When I discovered these Tuscan salt less flat breads I was shocked at just how beautiful bread can be. Even removing one of the key ingredients!
Eating too much salt is not good for you, yet it’s essential in bread making, but in this recipe we are going to bake without it. And you will not be disappointed. Salt improves the flavour and helps the dough to hold its shape when rising. My Dad used to always remove the salt to make bread. But after a campaign from Mum and a younger me, he resigned!
The reason for saltless bread in Tuscany was due to the government having to heavily tax salt in the region. Bakers decided to work without salt to reduce costs and feed the nation. Now the tax isn’t around but some of the breads, still remain.
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These flatbreads go fantastically well with salty foods and salads such as cheese, olives and cured meats. They will take 2-3 hours to make 7 breads.
Every baker should try this recipe to see the different the missing salt makes to bread. It feels and looks different, yet these flat breads are really nice to eat!
What you need to make tuscan saltless flatbreads
To make these flatbreads, you’ll need the following equipment:
- Mixing bowls
- A metal and plastic dough scraper
- A lid or plastic wrap (to cover)
- Scales, if you don’t a decent set you might want to try these scales from Myweigh
- A baking stone
Using a thermometer will help you with controlling proofing times. For accurate dough temperature readings try this thermometer from Gdealer. Aim for dough temperature between 25C and 30C (77-86F).
What if I don’t have a baking stone?
A baking stone conducts heat into the loaf. Using one increases the height of the oven spring and helps to give an even bake on the base of the loaf. If you don’t have a baking stone, preheat the thickest baking sheet that you have.
Can I use a dutch oven to make this recipe?
Yes, if you would rather use a dutch oven to make flatbreads you can. Simply preheat the dutch oven and drop the dough inside on a sheet of parchment paper and bake without the lid. If you are looking to get a dutch oven, I recommend getting this one from Challenger.
- 400g 00 Italian white bread flour
- 288g Water
- 8g Fresh yeast (4g active dried)
- 20g Extra virgin olive oil
Using dried yeast
If using instant yeast, divide the amount of fresh yeast used by 3 and follow the same method as fresh yeast. Active dried yeast needs to be activated before use. In this case, warm 20 grams of water to 35C (95F) – no higher! Add the yeast with half a teaspoon of sugar, whisk and leave to stand for ten minutes before adding to the dough. Remove 20 grams of water from the recipe.
Changing the size of the recipe
This recipe makes 7 flat breads. If you want to change the size of the recipe, use the bakers formula.
How to make Tuscan flat breads with no salt
1) Get ready!
Weigh the ingredients.
2) Slowly knead the dough
Except the oil, add all the ingredients to a mixing bowl and set a timer for 7 minutes. Using a dough scraper, gradually combine the ingredients until the bowl hinders your action. Take the dough out of the bowl and knead gently on the table using long, stretching actions.
Using a dough mixer?
Except the oil, add all the ingredients to a dough mixer with a dough hook attachment and mix for 7 minutes at slow speed, then 3 minutes at fast speed. Whilst still in the bowl, add the olive oil and mix for another 2-3 minutes at slow speed at first, moving up to fast when the oil has almost incorporated.
3) Knead faster!
Once the timer sounds, set it again for 5 minutes and change to a fast kneading technique such as stretch, slap and fold. At the end of 5 minutes, return the dough into the mixing bowl.
4) It’s time for the extra virgin olive oil…
Add the olive oil to the dough and push the oil in with your hands. Once incorporated, turn it back onto the table and knead quickly for 2 more minutes.
5) First rise
Using a dough scraper, place the dough in a lightly oiled mixing bowl, cover and place in the fridge for 45 minutes.
6) Stretch and fold
Remove the dough and put it on the worktop and complete a stretch and fold or gently knead for 20 seconds.
7) First rise pt 2
Put the dough back in the bowl, cover and leave to rest on the side for another 45 minutes.
8) Divide the flat breads
Lightly flour dust a surface and tip the dough on to it. Using scales and a metal dough scraper, divide into 100g pieces, flatten and give them a little stretch to make a pita style shape before laying them out on the bench to rest.
9) Bench rest time!!
Leave them on the table for 10-15 minutes to relax the gluten. Lightly dust a wooden board or baking tray.
10) Stretch and tray up
Stretch the pieces again out as you place them on your board. Stretch them as far as they’ll go without taring. Proof for 1 hour, preheating the oven with a baking stone to 230C (450F).
11) Proof the flat breads
Proof for 1 hour, preheating the oven with a baking stone to 230C (450F).
Check the pieces are still loose on the tray by pushing the dough scraper underneath the dough. Drop the tray into the oven, adding a little bit of steam. Drop the oven temperature to 220C (430F) and bake for 5-7 minutes until the tops get some colour. You may wish to experiment using the top and bottom heat setting or just the bottom heat setting on your oven to get the right colour in the right amount of time.
13) Remove from the oven
Once the colour is achieved, remove from the oven using a peel and allow to cool for 20-30 minutes before eating.
How to make saltless flat breads video
Nutritional information per flat bread
Calories: 229kcal | Carbohydrates: 41g | Protein: 8g | Fat: 3g | Saturated Fat: 0.4g | Fiber: 0.2g | Sugar: 2g | Calcium: 2mg | Iron: 2mg