Tuscan Bread | Pane Tuscana

I have been having a very open love affair with bread ever since Celia sent me Cordelia, my sourdough starter. However, when we went to Italy in October I placed my starter into the freezer and I have left it there. I just have not had the time to dedicate to making bread every weekend. Since we got back from Italy I have been watching Paul Hollywood’s program on TV called bread. He has to be one of the most good looking men on TV at the moment, and to top it all, he makes the most divine sounding and looking bread. As he does not give exact quantities on his show I went out and bought his book 100 Great Breads and the first loaf that I made from the book was Tuscan Bread. I needed bread crumbs for a recipe and decided to make this Tuscan bread so that my bread crumbs would be home made and fresh. To make the bread crumbs take day old bread, slice it thickly and place into a preheated oven at 40° Celsius for an hour and a half. Once nice and toasted, break the bread up into chunks and place in your food processor. Process until as fine as you can get them. For fine bread crumbs, use a sieve to get the finest grains. I have a left over bag of half coarse and half fine bread crumbs, and I have placed them into the freezer for the next recipe that calls for breadcrumbs.

Pane Tuscana

This loaf of bread needs to be started the day before you want to eat it / use it but needs no attention during that time so you could do it after work on a Friday and have fresh bread for Saturday lunch. I did not read Paul’s introduction before making this bread, and even though he states to use 25% less dried yeast to instant yeast, I used the amount he stated, and it worked perfectly. He only uses fresh yeast in his recipes and this can be bought from your local bakery, or the bakery section of your local supermarket.

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Tuscan Bread

Recipe Category: Bread
All Rights Reserved: adapted from Paul Hollywood's 100 Great Breads, page 68


  • 500 g 00 flour, divided, plus extra for dusting
  • 15 g yeast
  • 250 mls water, divided
  • 60 mls olive oil


  • Place 250g of the flour, the yeast and 150mls of the water into a bowl
  • Mix until a thick dough has formed
  • Cover with a damp cloth and leave to prove overnight (min 9 hours)
  • Add the rest of the flour, water and olive oil and knead for 5 minutes
  • Cover with a damp cloth and leave to prove for an hour
  • Prepare a baking tray
  • Lightly dust your worktop with flour and place the dough onto the flour
  • Shape into a ball, covering the entire surface with flour
  • Using a sharp knife, slash the dough in several places
  • Place onto your baking tray and cover with lightly oiled clingfilm and leave to prove for an hour
  • Preheat the oven to 220° Celsius
  • Bake for 30 minutes and leave to cool before serving warm

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23 thoughts on “Tuscan Bread | Pane Tuscana

    1. Claire, I have only tried two recipes and the second one did not work – after three attempts! I am more than willing to share the recipes with you if you are looking for something specific 🙂

  1. Hi Tandy, glad you enjoyed watching Paul Hollywood making bread. He has just finished a new series here in the UK called Pies and Puds, also very watchable. Interesting to note though when he was on TV here he always used easybake dried yeast. Find it very hard over here to get fresh yeast, so maybe that is why. One supermarket stocks it, but ten miles away another branch does not – Health and Safety stated, the bane of our lives here. Happy New Year to you.. Wendy.

    1. Ooh, I shall look out for that program here Wendy. I don’t bother to buy fresh yeast as it goes off so quickly. Thank you for the visit and a great 2014 to you 🙂

  2. How I wish that bread wasn’t a likely food intolerance for me, Tandy… I’d love to do more bread making in my retirement. Happy baking… your Tuscan bread looks delicious.

  3. Beautiful loaf, Tandy! I’m interested to hear how Cordelia goes after her stint in the freezer, I’ve never had much luck with that, but lots of people freeze their starters, so I know it can be done!

  4. I made your tasty easy peasy bread & it was still very tasty toasted the next morning, smeared with some tasty butter & a good local honey! 🙂 x

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