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

Mom's Italian Bread Recipe

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4.5 38 33
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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
TOTAL TIME: Prep: 30 min. + rising Bake: 20 min. + cooling
MAKES:24 servings
Diabetic Exchange Test Kitchen Approved
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 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.


  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).
Originally published as Mom's Italian Bread in Taste of Home December/January 2010, p73

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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."

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."

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!"

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!"

Reviewed Aug. 11, 2015

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

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