To salt or not to salt, question of bread

I learnt only recently that the Tuscan bread is made without salt. Strange. I had not tasted it nor thought about it.

Why is there no salt then? There are several stories and explanations. Is is because the Tuscans wanted to avoid the salt tax that was introduced shortly after the unification of Italy? Is it because day old bread is used as an ingredient in so many recipes that are savoury and sweet like panzanella, bruschetta,  Or perhaps because the fillings of bread (panini, piadina, ciabatta and so on) are salty like salami and prosciutto. Talking, or rather writing, about prosciutto (ham) another truth was reveiled. prosciutto is salted only in Tuscany.

Well, which story is right? Leave a comment if you know the truth or have another version of the story.

Here you have a recipe for Italian inspired grissini. They are not without salt and I’ve adjusted the recipe after the one in the Eisenman sisters’ recipe in the book Systrarna Eisenmans MINGELMAT. 565 snittar, snacks & smårätter  (Lisa Eisenman Frisk & Monica Eisenman, Bonnier Fakta 2011).

The book is wonderful and a great help in party planning. The recipes are simply delicious.

Grissini (makes about 50)
40 g yeast
4 dl water
1 tsp salt
1 table sp olive oil
1 tsp sugar
1 egg
10 – 12 dl flour (regular baking flour of wheat and durum wheat)

1 egg for brushing
poppy seeds, aniseeds, rosemary, salt

  1. Dissolve the yeast into lukewarm water. Add the rest of the water, sugar and salt.
  2. Add the oil and the lightly whisked egg.
  3. Add the flour little by little and work it in by hand.
  4. Let the dough rest and double in size (about 30 minutes).
  5. Work the dough until it is smooth and until there are no bubbles in it. Cut it into small pieces and roll into bread sticks.
  6. Place the sticks on a baking sheet and let then rest and double in size (30 min).
  7. Brush with egg and sprinkle with spices and salt. Bake in 200 Celsius for 12 – 15 minutes.

This recipe is really easy and grissini turned out well even the first time I tried the recipe. They were best the day after baking.


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