Mom's Italian Bread Recipe
Mom's Italian Bread Recipe photo by Taste of Home
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Mom's Italian Bread Recipe

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4.5 42 36
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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
Featured In: Mom's Best Recipes
TOTAL TIME: Prep: 30 min. + rising Bake: 20 min. + cooling
MAKES:24 servings
TOTAL TIME: Prep: 30 min. + rising Bake: 20 min. + cooling
MAKES: 24 servings


  • 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

Nutritional Facts

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


  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).
Test Kitchen Tip; To ensure a light texture be sure to take the time to knead well. After kneading the first few minutes, press your thumb into the dough. If the indent stays, you're done. If not, knead a few more minutes.
Originally published as Mom's Italian Bread in Taste of Home December/January 2010, p73

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Gail User ID: 9111525 263552
Reviewed Mar. 16, 2017

"I made this bread exactly as listed. Oh my. Perfection isn't even a big enough word for how excited my family was over this loaf! And the toast! THE TOAST! It was crispy and perfect! Made this dough two more times in succession and will be making it again later tonight due to family demand!"

Kay User ID: 8988659 261165
Reviewed Feb. 12, 2017

"I wrote a review earlier today. I baked it for the designated amount and decided it is nothing like the picture. It's very heavy, dense and bland, I won't be making it again."

Kay User ID: 8988659 261159
Reviewed Feb. 11, 2017 Edited Feb. 12, 2017

"First time making it, I tend to take bread out too early. I should have let it bake another 5 minutes. Thought that orange butter would be great on it. It was easy enough but still bland."

lvarner User ID: 35803 255151
Reviewed Oct. 8, 2016

"I made this recipe for the first time today. I halved the recipe to make one loaf. It was delicious! My husband could not stop eating it. This bread was relatively simple to make, and it turned out great. It had a nice crrust, and a soft interior. This is a reipce that I will definitively make again!"

2sushi User ID: 8612515 245435
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."

rahcarpenter User ID: 8763741 243417
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."

teryn69 User ID: 6818421 241551
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!"

Sara89 User ID: 8643257 238507
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!"

sierraj10 User ID: 8480730 231064
Reviewed Aug. 11, 2015

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

shannondobos User ID: 5115022 228442
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."

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