Homemade Tuscan bread is actually at the base of our culinary tradition. Bread cannot miss from any Tuscan (and Italian) table! Bread from Tuscany is the perfect element to accompany any type of dish, from meat, cheese, fish to jams and chocolate. This is because it enhances every flavor.

I often enjoy preparing it at home, especially on special occasions or on Sundays.

I’ve heard really many stories from both my grandmothers and my mother Anna about how important the preparation of the bread was; at the time she was just a little girl, during the post war period.

My mother always tells me how incredibly delicious the bread prepared by her grandmother was; and from the enthusiastic way in which she speaks, I can only imagine how wonderful and tasty it really was. The bread was made even more savory as it was cooked in old wood ovens!

Homemade Bread Recipe from Tuscany

Many years have passed now, but she reminds very well that special moment of the week when she helped her grandmother to make bread. I understand that was really an enjoyable and happy event!

Bread was prepared only once a week, but it was so good and genuine that it kept well for many days. Women worked all ingredients by hand on the madia or kneading trough; I’ve  got one of these old and rustic piece of furniture at home, the same used by my great grandmother Elena:-)

Now I’ll show you the bread recipe I’ve learned from my mother, and although the actual Tuscan bread recipe is without any salt in it, I put just a pinch of it in my dough, as my mother does.

The traditional and authentic Tuscan Bread Recipe is totally made with no salt and requires many hours of leavening.

Note: to have a good bread you need to use only high quality products, starting from the flour, that’s extremely important!

Ingredients needed to make Bread at home

  • 1000 gr (=2.205 pounds= 10 cups) of soft flour (type 0)
  • 700 ml (=2.959 pounds= 3 cups) of warm water
  • a pinch of salt 
  • 6 spoons (50 gr) (=0.110 pounds) of extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons of sugar (10 gr) to help leavening
  • 14 gr of powder yeast (=4 1/2 teaspoons dry yeast)

How to make Tuscan Bread

How to make tuscan bread by hand

Note: I recommend you make your bread pastry absolutely by hand!

1. First of all you need to dissolve the yeast together with the warm water; until it is completely melt. Note that the water has to be just lightly warm.

2. Put the flour in another basin and add the water with the yeast in it little by little, then add all other ingredients and work the pastry very well on a table for at least 10 minutes.

3. Put the pastry in a basin, cover it with a damp cloth and let it leaven for no less than 2 hours, in a warm area of the kitchen. Once the dough is raised (it should double its volume), you have to work it all again by using some flour, then divide it in 2 or more parts, cover again with a damp cloth and let rest for another hour.

How to cook bread in the oven?

4. Finally cook it in the oven at 230 °C (Celsius corresponding to 450 °F Fahrenheit) for about 20 minutes, and then for other 20 minutes at 200 °C (390 °F), until your bread gets of a brownish color, or according to your preferences.

My Tips to Have a Great Tuscan Bread:

  • If you are going to make bread at home, never be in a hurry! It takes at least three hours in all to make the bread rise properly.
  • The main feature of Tuscan bread, besides its lack of salt, is that it has to be particularly soft inside. This requires long rising times. To have a great Tuscan bread soft inside, you need to let the dough very soft, even mushy, this is the reason why the quantity of water is more in comparison to other bread recipes.
  • How to have a crisp and crumbly crust? Once bread is cooked, turn off the oven and leave bread inside it for another 10 minutes so to get a crisper crust. Remove and let cool. A further tip to have a crusty bread is to put a little pan full of water in the oven and leave it there in the first cooking stage (20 minutes).
  • Homemade bread keeps well also for some days, it may be a good idea to warm it up in the oven just before eating it; in case you like it warm like me 🙂

Your Tuscan bread is finally ready! The wonderful smell of your homemade bread will pervade all your home! I love it 🙂

33 Comments

  • Ronald Hirsch ha detto:

    The temperatures in this recipe are Celsius, but they’re not marked as such. So if you’re in the US, you need to convert them to Fahrenheit … 230C is roughly 450F, 200C is roughly 400F.

  • elena nacci ha detto:

    Dear Ronald! You are right! Thanks a lot for letting us noticing it, I’ve just made it clear in the post 🙂

  • Jeanette Smith ha detto:

    I live in Australia, so can you tell me what is 700gm of water please? ;D

  • Randy Connah ha detto:

    I live in the USA. Would you please convert the recipe into cups ounces and so on. Also what is considered a little spoon. Thank you

    • elena nacci ha detto:

      Ciao Randy, a little spoon corresponds to 1 teaspoon (5 gr). While I’m working on the conversions to update the recipe, please have a look at this site for making conversions into cups etc

  • Joanna ha detto:

    Hey! I’m going to try this… but what pan do you suggest for cooking the bread in??? Some have told me a dutch overn or similarly shaped deep casserole/oven safe dish.

    I lived in Florence for a year a few years ago and I’m craving the pane!

    • elena nacci ha detto:

      Dear Joanna,
      Thanks for getting in touch 🙂 any oven pan would be ok, as I always use baking paper to cook it! The pans I use are not too deep.
      Let me know how it comes out! Viva il pane 🙂
      elena

  • Connie ha detto:

    Please convert recipt so I can try it, Ilive in Pa.

    • elena nacci ha detto:

      Dear Connie, thanks for your message. I’ve now updated the recipe converting measures. Let me know if it’s all clear 🙂

  • Laurie ha detto:

    Hello
    Your recipe calls for salt but the comments about Tuscan bread say that there is no salt. Shall I omit the salt?

  • elena nacci ha detto:

    Hello Laurie
    Salt in the recipe is just 10gr, so use it! We say that Tuscan bread is without salt in comparison to all other types of Italian bread that are very salty 🙂

  • Mimi ha detto:

    Hi
    I just made a Tuscan bread, it is in the oven…. well I was not sure if I have to preheat the oven to 230 C ….also I selected the Conventional program. any advice regarding this?

  • Mark ha detto:

    Hi Elena, I have a wood fired oven any suggestions on your recipe for cooking it in there? Thanks a lot have a great day .

    • elena nacci ha detto:

      Dear Mark,
      Bread in the a wood fired oven is superb! Here are some tips about cooking it in the oven:
      -The oven has to be cleaned very well
      -The oven must be switched on 5-6 hours before use, so that it reaches the right temperature.
      -It is always better to leave a pan of water in the wood oven when bread or pizza are baked
      -The bread is cooked when tapping your knuckles over the bread you hear a hollow sound.

      Enjoy making your bread! 🙂

  • Pistol ha detto:

    HI … this bread looks delicious and I can’t wait to try making it. I was always taught that Tuscan bread doesn’t have any salt in it though. The people in Tuscany were like screw you…taxing our salt so high . We will show you by making delicious bread with no salt 🙂

  • James ha detto:

    I am preparing this recipe now but I am uncertain as to how many loafs it will yield as you mentioned to separate into one or more pieces. Do I add it back together at some point or cok more than one load? My question may be answered when it rises but I am certainly not a chef or a baker be any means

    • elena nacci ha detto:

      Hello James! Here I am, thanks a lot for coming here 🙂
      You should separate the dough in 2 or also 3 loafs after the first 2 hours of leavening. Then you’ll not have to put all together again, but put the loafs directly into the oven. In case you prefer to have smaller loafs of bread it can be ok also to separate the first dough into 4 parts, but no more than that. Let me know about the result! For any other tip, I’m here!
      elena

  • Rolf Seringhaus ha detto:

    Hello, your Tuscan bread recipe has salt as an ingredient, yet you mention ‘…it’s lack of salt…’
    I have lived in Tuscany, and tuscan bread has no salt in it. Perhaps you might clarify in your recipe that you have adjusted it perhaps to (North American?) tastes.

    • elena nacci ha detto:

      Hello Rolf, thanks a lot for your message! I appreciate it as it helps to clarify the recipe. In the recipe I explain that this is the bread recipe I’ve learned from my mother, and she, in turn, had learned it from her grandmother. As also told in other comments in this post, the original recipe for Tuscan Bread should not include any salt, but the quantity of salt I put in the recipe is just 10gr, a little more than a pinch of it. So you eat the bread and its taste is actually without salt. I will make this more clear also in the recipe 🙂

  • David stanmore ha detto:

    Elena, grazie absolutely gorgeous. I use sourdough starter for even deeper earthy tones. Love your pages

  • Galyn Sweeney ha detto:

    Can this bread be frozen? Can the dough be frozen for future baking? There are only two of us in the family and I don’t want to waste.

    • elena nacci ha detto:

      Ciao Galyn, thanks for your message! Sure! Absolutely 🙂 the dough can be frozen for future baking, ciao from Tuscany!

  • Judi culmone ha detto:

    Elena could you possibly convert the measurement for the olive oil? I’m confused because you show two teaspoons (small spoons) of sugar for 10 grams … but I think that would make 50 grams of olive oil 10 spoons?
    I’m so sorry! I am in ny … I am unfortunately very limited with other measurements than those we use here!
    Thank you so much for your help.
    We are locked down because of coronavirus … I am missing Italian bread

    • elena nacci ha detto:

      Dear Judy 🙂 so happy you are contacting me in this difficult period for all of us, we are locked down because of the Coronavirus also here in Italy, so I send you a big kiss to you and the wonderful New York!
      1 spoon of olive oil corresponds to about 8-10 gr or sometimes more, depending on how large is the spoon, so 50 or 60 gr is ok (6 spoons). No need to weight the exact quantity in grams, and note that the more oil you’ll put in the dough, and the more soft your bread will be inside. A small spoon or teaspoon, corresponds to about 5gr of sugar for example. Hope to have been clear and please contact me again for any other question 🙂 Please also send me the photos of your Tuscan bread 🙂 I think we are all eating a lot these days! Elena

  • Alan Royston ha detto:

    Dear Elena
    Great recipe works every time. I have slightly reduced the amount of water to get it perfect in my conditions.
    Thanks so much.
    Alan

    • elena nacci ha detto:

      Dear Alan! It’s a pleasure to hear that 🙂 So happy you made bread! If you wish you can also share your photos! Ciao from Tuscany 🙂

  • Jesse Hill ha detto:

    Elena,
    I just found your recipe for pane Toscano. I had the pleasure of living in Firenze for a year, way back during college. We were forced to find our own accommodations and immerse ourselves into the fabric of the city. One of the things that I miss so much is buying fresh loaves of bread for our neighborhood panetteria. It took a while for me and my roommates to get used to the hard, sharp crust and the lack of salt, but after a few months we couldn’t get enough. In the years since I was there, I have never found a store, shop, or restaurant that offered Tuscan bread(I live in Southern California) I can’t wait to try your recipe, I’ve already found a good bottle of olive oil.

    • elena nacci ha detto:

      Dear Jesse, what a pleasure to receive your message! 🙂 Tuscan bread is actually unique, when it is done well it comes irresistibile, especially with olive oil and fresh tomatoes! Please let me know the result for your home made Tuscan bread! Kisses from Florence, elena

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