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Mom's Italian Bread Recipe

Mom's Italian Bread Recipe

I think Mom used to bake at least four of these tender loaves at once, and they never lasted long. She served the bread with every Italian meal. I love it toasted, too. —Linda Harrington, Windham, New Hampshire
TOTAL TIME: Prep: 30 min. + rising Bake: 20 min. + cooling YIELD:24 servings

Ingredients

  • 1 package (1/4 ounce) active dry yeast
  • 2 cups warm water (110° to 115°)
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 5-1/2 cups all-purpose flour

Directions

  • 1. In a large bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water. Add the sugar, salt and 3 cups flour. Beat on medium speed for 3 minutes. Stir in remaining flour to form a soft dough.
  • 2. Turn onto a floured surface; knead until smooth and elastic, about 6-8 minutes. Place in a greased bowl, turning once to grease the top. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 1 hour.
  • 3. Punch dough down. Turn onto a floured surface; divide in half. Shape each portion into a loaf. Place each loaf seam side down on a greased baking sheet. Cover and let rise until doubled, about 30 minutes.
  • 4. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 400°. With a sharp knife, make four shallow slashes across top of each loaf. Bake 20-25 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from pans to wire racks to cool. Yield: 2 loaves (12 slices each).

Nutritional Facts

1 slice equals 106 calories, trace fat (trace saturated fat), 0 cholesterol, 197 mg sodium, 22 g carbohydrate, 1 g fiber, 3 g protein. Diabetic Exchange: 1-1/2 starch.

Reviews for Mom's Italian Bread

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MY REVIEW
Reviewed Mar. 14, 2016

"I've made this recipe dozens of times!! Sometimes I put 2 cups of whole wheat flour in just to mix it up a bit. I've never had a fail and my family always asks for this bread if I ask them for requests. I do find that I add different amounts of flour depending on the weather so I'm careful when adding in the last 2.5 cups of flour. Normally I can stop at 2 cups and the dough is beautiful. Thanks for this great recipe."

MY REVIEW
Reviewed Feb. 7, 2016

"I have to agree with the other reviews. This was a very dense and heavy bread that never browned. I think that there is too much flour. It dried out quickly."

MY REVIEW
Reviewed Jan. 11, 2016

"I made my spaghetti sauce today for spaghetti, and thought this bread would be perfect to sop up the leftover sauce in our bowls. It surely didn't disappoint! I always use quick rise yeast and beat all the ingredients in my Kitchenaid mixer, then knead it on medium for 5 minutes. I let it rest for 10 min. in the bowl, then continued with the recipe, except I only needed to let it rise for 30 min. I brushed the tops before baking with melted butter...delicious! This is in my recipe box now! Thank you Linda for an outstanding recipe!"

MY REVIEW
Reviewed Nov. 30, 2015

"This has become my go-to bread recipe. I've made the dough the traditional way and with my bread machine on dough setting. It comes out perfect every time! I always get compliments when I make it with dinner and I've shared the recipe with a few friends. Absolutely the BEST!"

MY REVIEW
Reviewed Aug. 11, 2015

"I found this a wonderfully easy recipe. My family loves the crusty exterior!"

MY REVIEW
Reviewed Jun. 23, 2015

"I had a soup going in the slow cooker today, and was craving some fresh bread. This recipe looked easy, and it really delivered! I made it exactly as written. It was the perfect density, with a nice chewy crust....perfect for dipping! This would make a great garlic toast base as well. I'll definitely make these loaves again."

MY REVIEW
Reviewed Sep. 14, 2014

"Loved how the loaves had a crispy crust, but soft on the inside."

MY REVIEW
Reviewed May. 24, 2013

"This is a fantastic recipe. I don't like to knead dough, so I use a breadmaker to make dough and then resume the directions when I form the loaves. It turns out great, except I do have to paint the loaves so that they brown in the oven."

MY REVIEW
Reviewed Dec. 3, 2012

"I have had such trouble with bread recipes and finding one that was just right. I am done searching. This is the best bread I've ever made and it was so simple. My husband agreed that it was the best I've made to date. It wasn't too dense or too airy. It stayed soft. It had a nice crust. It tasted absolutely incredible and my house smelled amazing!"

MY REVIEW
Reviewed Dec. 21, 2011

"easy to make, texture is substantial, but flavor is lacking"

MY REVIEW
Reviewed Feb. 21, 2011

"worked out great (adding the sugar to the yeast & water first)...great with garlic butter!"

MY REVIEW
Reviewed Feb. 21, 2011

"I haven't tried the recipe yet, but I do know that yeast requires sugar, so I will try it today by putting the sugar in the water with the yeast...we'll see what happens"

MY REVIEW
Reviewed Feb. 7, 2011

"great results and loved the bread! I used instant yeast that does not require proofing, just mix with dry ingredients. Other than that, followed the recipe exactly as given. I have made it 3 times; perfect every time."

MY REVIEW
Reviewed Feb. 5, 2011

"This is a really good basic bread recipe. I don't use all 5 1/2 cups of flour since it's so dry here. The more flour used, the more dense and heavy the bread comes out. I usually start with adding the sugar and salt with the yeast, then let it sit for about 5 min until it foams, making sure the temp of the mixture doesn't fall below 110 degrees. Then I put in 3 cups flour with the yeast mixture until its worked in. Add more flour until it forms a sticky dough ball that pulls away from the sides of the bowl. Its usually a little less than 4 cups for me. If your dough ball get too flaky add more water. Hope this helps those who are struggling with this recipe."

MY REVIEW
qwm
Reviewed Jan. 18, 2011

"Wow! Such mixed results. I am wondering if ALL of the instructions are being followed, i.e. kind of yeast, water temp, amounts of ingredients, etc. Remember the old saying, "If it ain't broke . . .""

MY REVIEW
Reviewed Jan. 16, 2011

"I wanted to make the dough in a bread machine so I took the advice of "lyonflying" and adjusted the amount of the ingredients to those suggested. DO NOT DO THIS! Too much water for the amount of flour. I ended up with a big soupy mess and had to throw it away. I will try this recipe as it is written and then decide."

MY REVIEW
Reviewed Jan. 16, 2011

"I tried this recipe twice. Both times it was a disaster. The dough doesn't rise very well, it is as heavy as a bowling ball, it didn't brown in the oven without an egg wash, and the inside is doughy. I carefully did each step of the recipe.. either something is missing or something is wrong with it all together. I've made italian bread before, made braided bread, made easter bread and never once had this problem and it isn't the yeast I went out and bought brand new today.. will never make it again."

MY REVIEW
Reviewed Jan. 16, 2011

"This was an easy, able to make after work, treat for supper. I followed the recipe and wonderful results. Tastes great, slices well, and family loves it, they ate both loaves within 15 minutes. I have to make 2 batches now."

MY REVIEW
Reviewed Jan. 14, 2011

"For those having problems with this recipe, try: 1½ cups water, 2 tsp. sugar, 1½ tsp. salt, 3 cups flour and 2 tsp. yeast in your bread machine on the dough cycle. This is very close in texture and taste to Italian Bread."

MY REVIEW
Reviewed Jan. 14, 2011

"mine turned out like the other person's did, it never browned and it did not really rise well either, It was awful, i have a bread and roll recipe and it always turns out great.

put an egg in 1 1/2 cups of warm water,add to the bread machine , then put 1/4 c. oil, 1/2 c sugar, 1/2 t, salt, 4 1/4 cups of bread flour and 2 packages of yeast, set it on the dough cycle, after it stops ,form small rolls and let them rise until doubled in size or 1 hour. preheat oven to 400 degrees, bake for 10 min. delicious,"

MY REVIEW
Reviewed Jan. 14, 2011

"Does anyone know if this can be modified for a bread-maker using the dough setting? I like to use Quick-Rise yeast, as I generally get better results with it. Any advice, please?"

MY REVIEW
Reviewed Jan. 14, 2011

"This recipe was excellent. I did use an egg wash and it turned out a beautiful golden brown. This recipe is very forgiving - I accidently doubled the yeast and accidently forgot to add any salt at all and it was still fine!!! Big hit - thanks :))"

MY REVIEW
Reviewed Jan. 14, 2011

"I would like to make this but my husband is on a 2000mg sodium diet, which is less than 1 tsp a DAY. How little salt can I use and still come out OK."

MY REVIEW
Reviewed Jan. 14, 2011

"This bread is awesome. My grandmother always made this bread and now that she is gone, the grandkids (me and my brother) make it. I love it toasted too!"

MY REVIEW
Reviewed Jan. 14, 2011

"Excellent and easy. One small suggstion-instead of adding the sugar with the flour, add it to the yeast and water. This is probably the reason why crankysad's didn't work as the yeast in water that warm needs a bit of 'food', which is what the sugar is to the yeast. This recipe can also be made by mixing all the dry ingredients in a mixing bowl (should double the sugar to 2tsp) and pouring the warm liquid into the center and mixing with a paddle until a ball forms, and then use a dough hook and/or knead. Very tasty and simple so it goes very well with the olive oil dip."

MY REVIEW
Reviewed Jan. 14, 2011

"WONDERFUL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"

MY REVIEW
Reviewed Dec. 11, 2010

"it was okay"

MY REVIEW
Reviewed Oct. 28, 2010

"From reading the reviews I must have done something wrong. I made half a batch using my breadmakers dough setting and my french bread curved rack/pan. I cooked it 5-10 minutes longer than it suggested and it never got golden, it stayed pale and white and the inside was gray and doughy. I have successfully made some nice bread in the past and was disappointed with this receipe but seeing the review maybe I did something wrong. I might try again, I just hate using so much flour on a receipe I might not like."

MY REVIEW
Reviewed Sep. 18, 2010

"I love how this recipe has so few ingredients and yet tastes so great! I brushed the outside with butter just after baking and added 1 T. of butter to the ingredients to help prevent it from drying out as quickly and it did not affect the texture."

MY REVIEW
Reviewed May. 4, 2010

"I've been baking bread for at least 35 years.

This is one of my favorites. It makes the best toast ever. I have no desire to put anything on it except butter. If you are a beginner, start with this one--it's easy."

MY REVIEW
Reviewed Apr. 20, 2010

"This bread comes out perfect. This recipe makes a lot! Prepare for a crowd with this."

MY REVIEW
Reviewed Feb. 24, 2010

"This bread is wonderful! I bake at least 2 times a week because my husband can't get enough of it.

Debbie Mansur"

MY REVIEW
Reviewed Feb. 23, 2010

"I've made these several times! I did add egg wash to the top and sides! Beautiful and Tasty"

MY REVIEW
Reviewed Feb. 20, 2010

"This bread is SO good. It's super easy to make and a hit with the whole family. My husband says it is by far one of his favorites!"

MY REVIEW
Reviewed Jan. 19, 2010

"Was looking for a new bread recipe to go with dinner. It is delicious, would make again and again and again."

MY REVIEW
Reviewed Jan. 8, 2010

"Thought I would try this - my husband loves it and now I make 4 loaves a week also! Made it for Christmas dinner and had to send a loaf home with my stepdaughter who couldn't get enough of it! Thanks for such a wonderful recipe!

Debbie Mansur, Mpls."

MY REVIEW
Reviewed Dec. 30, 2009

"Already made this twice in two weeks. Will be making it again tomorrow. Makes great toast in the morning too! Also easy to prepare."

MY REVIEW
Reviewed Dec. 21, 2009

"The recipe comments were incorrectly printed here. They should read, “I think Mom used to bake at least four of these tender loaves at once, and they never lasted long. She served the bread with every Italian meal. I love it toasted, too.” We apologize for the error and it will be corrected soon.

Taste of Home Test Kitchen"

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