Sourdough adventures – Tuscan saltless bread

I adapted this recipe from virtuousbread. They used a rye starter, but mine is white and they had an extra handling stage at the end that I omitted because my dough was waaaaay too sticky and soft to flip over. I obviously still have a lot of practice to do – it didn’t spring much in the oven and my slashes don’t open up very much so there’s something not quite right somewhere – perhaps it needs a little more proofing, or a slightly dryer dough…


All in all, I’d call it a success, though. The crust was crisp but not too hard, the crumb was nicely open and chewy and the taste was pleasantly sour… but I have bigger plans for this bread, so stay tuned for part 2  😉


Makes 1 large or 2 small loaves

Day 1

30g mature sourdough starter
175g flour
140g water

Stir, cover and leave at room temperature for 12-18 hours until frothy.

Day 2

Sponge from day 1
295g water
500g flour

Mix the sponge from Day 1 in the water until it is thoroughly incorporated.  Add the flour and knead for 10 minutes. Let the dough rest in a bowl for 60 minutes.

Take it out, stretch and fold.  Oil the bowl and put the dough back and leave for 60 minutes. Repeat.

Turn it out onto a well-floured baking tray and shape it into a loose round ball.  Sprinkle liberally with flour. Cover with a teatowel and let rise for 2 hours or until risen by half.

Preheat oven to 230°C.

Score the loaf and bake for 15 minutes.  Reduce the heat to 200°C and bake for 25 minutes more. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

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4 Responses to Sourdough adventures – Tuscan saltless bread

  1. Olya says:

    I like your pictures a lot! They all are so airy, light and just beautiful. Interesting, not traditional picture of sliced bread…I’ll be back 🙂

  2. Mal says:


    Salt less – There is a region of Italy where salt was taxed a century or so ago. Consequently their bread was made without salt – I didn’t think the region was Tuscany maybe it was. I will have to research that. Salt and sourdough don’t get on, you should leave it as late as possible to add it so that it doesn’t inhibit the fermentation.

    Rye flour is fundamentally different from wheat flour only weak gluten potential. They are not really interchangeable.

    But in the end if you enjoy the resulting product – then you’ve got a result. Sourdough does present a challenge, particularly if you adopt the purist “no commercial yeast addition” rule.

    Keep up your experiments. They’re great!

    • pizzarossa says:

      Thanks for the tips Mal – I’ve read on various sites that the starter should be white, rye or a mix (mine was a 50/50 mix when I got it, but I’ve only fed it white just because it’s really hard and expensive to get rye here – most non-white “flours” are actually in the form of mixes with yeast etc added) so it’s still in the experimentation stages.

      I am trying to make “no commercial yeast” bread with it just because I want to see what it can do all alone, and so far the results have been great.

      Thanks for your support – it is most appreciated. 🙂

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