Mediterranean Pan Bread

My first bread in the category “Pane Italiano“ is a wheat bread that is baked in a pot. Although I use salt in my recipe, those that would like can just leave it out. Those that have been to tuscany will have noticed that they bake their specialty breads without salt. There is a historical explanation for this:

During the Middle Ages, the neighboring Italian provinces controlled the salt trade and levied a salt tax. The Tuscans did not want to bow to this demand and so they baked their bread without salt.


for 2 pan breads / each 830g

Wheat Sourdough:

  • 70g Wheat flour Type/1600
  • 70g Water 35°C
  •   5g Starter

Standing time of 15 hours at 28-30°C


  • 120g Wheat Flour Type/700
  • 120g Water 30°C
  •     1g Yeast

Standing time of  12 Hours at 20-22°C

Main Dough:

  • 145g Wheat Sourdough
  • 240g Poolish
  • 370g Wheat Flour Type/700
  • 370g Wheat Flour Type/1600
  •   20g Sea Salt
  •     5g Yeast
  • 450g Water
  •   25g Olive Oil

Slowly mix all ingredients except olive oil for 8 minutes. Then mix on fast for 3-4 minutes- only as long as it takes until the dough begins to separate from the side of the bowl. Finally, mix in the olive oil on slow speed.

Cover and rest the dough for 40 minutes in the mixing bowl. Then the dough is divided into two equal-size portions and loosely formed into loaves. 

Roll the loaves generously in rye flour and then tie them with a raffia string like a present. 

Now the tied up loaves can be placed in proofing baskets and left in the refrigerator at 4°C to rise. After about 5 hours of proofing were my loaves ready to bake.

It is important that the pot and lid are preheated – 250°C!!!

The proofed dough is placed directly in the heated pot and baked with the lid on for 15 minutes at 250°C and another 20 minutes at 200°C. At the end of the baking time remove the lid and bake until the desired browning is achieved.