Toscany Bread, my "fast" bread

Bread making is a skill that improves with time. Thank godness for that, because my first loafs could have been used as a (deadly) weapon or replace any two by four on a construction site! But that's what being in the kitchen is also about: learning along the way and improving everytime around. In the first tries I enjoyed the preparation part more than the result, but today I can gladly say both are a pleasure.

So with some practise, but also some knowledge you learn from books, friends or cooking show, you can get a really decent result, maybe not like the pros, but close enough. The ones that I found to be handy: put a bowl of water in your oven for a nice crust, don't kill the yeast by adding water that is too hot, but mostly, work your dough, and for that part having a good standmixer can be usefull, even if the last touch has to be done by hand.

One of the bread "wisdom" I've learned, is that the longer a bread takes to rest and rise before going in the oven, the better it will keep after being cooked. The problem is, I don't always have 7 hours ahead of me to prepare bread, because I actually have a job and a life outside of my kitchen aswell (incredible, I know!).

So this is the bread I make, when I don't have as much time on my hand. It is delicious, it is best eaten within 24 hours, but after that it's still lovely slightly toasted. The dough is a bit sticky to work by hand, so having something like a kitchenaid with a dough hook, makes it much easier. It will "only" take you about 2 hours and a half for enjoying some nice fresh bread.

Toscany Bread (based on "Pains de Tradition" from Marguerite Rousseau)

For 1 Loaf

15gr Fresh Yeast
45cl of Water at 40°C
475gr Flour (Type 55) + extra for dusting
1 Teaspoon of Sugar
10gr of Salt
100gr of Whole Wheat Flour

In the bowl of the Kitchenaid, crumble the yeast and add 5cl of water to disolve it in. Let it sit for 15 minutes.

After that, add the rest of the water, the 55 flour, the sugar and salt. Start slowly to combine and increase the speed as you go, aswell as adding the whole wheat flour. Work the dough for at least 5 minutes, it will still be pretty sticky, but elastic.

Dust the dough with flour, bring into the shape of a ball, cover it with a clean cloth and let it rise for 45 minutes in a hot place (around 25°C, I place mine close to the radiator).

Preheat your Oven to 200°C and place an oven proof recipient with water in it.

On a very well dusted worksurface, tip the dough and dust it generously with flour, stretch it and fold it a few times, add some more flour if needed. Shape it into a loaf and place it on a dusted oven tray.

Cut into the loaf with a sharp knife a few times on the top, and brush it with tepid water before putting it in the oven for 1 hour. Let it cool on a rack before enjoying it.

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