This bread was also made for my fellow Drexel graphic design alum, Hannah Olin, who requested two different loaves, which is perfectly okay!
Tuscan bread, traditionally, has no salt in it. This leads to a very boring, flat-tasting loaf of bread. There are number of theories as to why Tuscan bakers hate flavor, but the prevailing one is that salt was heavily taxed during the Middle Ages, and the bakers had to do without. This bread, while inspired by traditional Tuscan bread, does have salt. Because I like flavor.
Solid avocado toast. This bread is plain enough to let the avocado shine, but flavorful enough to not be boring, and the herbs add a nice little bit of excitement to the proceedings. 🥑🥑🥑🥑/5
Tuscan Bread with Herbs
(makes two large round loaves, takes about 2-2.5hrs)
• 964g AP flour
• 3c water
• 3t salt
• 2tsp active dry yeast
• 2t dried herbs or 2T fresh herbs (your choice!)
1. Gather your ingredients. This bread is pretty darn simple, you’ve really just got flour, water, salt, yeast, and some herbs for flavor.
2. Mix all the ingredients up real good, then knead until a smooth, pillowy-soft dough forms.
3. Resist the urge to rest your head on this tiny fragment of a cloud, and instead place it, ever so gently, into a greased bowl and turn once to coat. Cover it with plastic wrap or a damp towel, and let it rise for 1 hour, or until even puffier, although maybe not quite doubled.
4. Deflate the dough, gently. Like a warm hug, but with your hands. Divide it in half and shape it into two round loaves. Place these loaves into a floured proofing basket or bowl (see the Baking Techniques page for more info on rising). Let it rise again for 30-45 minutes, until it’s noticeably starting to Hulk out a little bit (but not a ton, just shy of doubled).
5. MEANWHILE, preheat your oven to 375°F. If you’re using ceramic or cast-iron, make sure your baking vessel is in there as it preheats.
6. When your dough is done rising, bake for 30-35 minutes, or until golden brown and sounds hollow when tapped on the bottom.
7. Let cool for 30 minutes before slicing. Enjoy!