2 - 3 HOURS
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! When bread making, my Dad used to always remove the salt at first. But after a campaign from my mum and me, he resigned.
Apparently salt is not good for you, but it’s essential in bread making for flavour and for the bread to hold shape. It’s normally essential, but in this recipe we are going to bake without it. And you will not be disappointed.
How to make saltless flat breads video
400g 00 Italian white bread flour
8g Fresh yeast (4g active dried)
20g Extra virgin olive oil
Method for Tuscan flat breads
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.
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.
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.
Using a dough scraper, place the dough in a lightly oiled mixing bowl, cover and place in the fridge for 45 minutes.
Stretch and fold
Remove the dough and put it on the worktop and complete a stretch and fold or gently knead for 20 seconds.
First rise pt 2
Put the dough back in the bowl, cover and leave to rest on the side for another 45 minutes.
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.
Bench rest time!!
Leave them on the table for 10-15 minutes to relax the gluten. Lightly dust a wooden board or baking tray.
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).
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.
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.
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.
Top tips for the best Tuscan saltless flatbread
These flatbreads go fantastically well with salty foods and salads such as cheese, olives and cured meats,
Every baker should try this recipe to see the different the missing salt makes to bread. It feels and looks different, but surprisingly these flat breads are really nice to eat!
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 the region inspired, still remain.