Mom’s Italian Bread
Total TimePrep: 30 min. + rising Bake: 20 min.
Makes2 loaves (12 slices each)
- 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
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
Mom’s Italian Bread Tips
What makes Italian bread unique?Italian bread is super soft and absorbent, making it perfect for soaking up sauces. This homemade bread has a light crust that’s not too hard or crunchy, so it works really well for making sandwich recipes, too!
What do you eat with Italian bread?Italian bread is amazing dipped in olive oil or thick sauces. It pairs well with a flavorful Bolognese or a saucy chicken dish like chicken cacciatore.
How can I tell if my yeast is still active?It's so important to test yeast! To see if your yeast is still active, dissolve 1 tsp of sugar into warm water and then mix in your active dry yeast. Allow to sit for 5-10 minutes. If the mixture becomes nice and foamy, you’re good to go!
My dough is taking forever to double! What’s going on?Dough will rise slower or quicker depending on the temperature of your kitchen. When proofing homemade Italian bread, place it in a warm, humid environment if you can. It will help the yeast create carbon dioxide, which encourages the dough to expand. Find this tip and more in our ultimate bread baking guide.
Nutrition Facts1 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.
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May 10, 2020
Great texture and flavor and the recipe made 2 loaves so we got to enjoy 2 days in a row:)
Apr 21, 2020
This bread was THEE best that I’ve made. Believe me I’ve made many that were failures. I heated my water for about 1.5 min in the microwave to get it up to 110 degrees. I mixed it in my KitchenAid but kneaded it by hand because who doesn’t love to get their hands in that yummy smelling dough? I turned on the oven to 200 before doing this and then turned it off before “helping” it rise. Did it again for the second rise. Helps tremendously. I did use an egg wash and the top was so nice and crispy. I must say this is so much tastier than store bought. Don’t have to get in the car and go to the store just to get bread. GREAT RECIPE!!
Apr 18, 2020
I made this once before and was disappointed with how pale my bread turned out. This time I did an egg white/water wash and sprinkled sesame seeds on top. Turned out phenomenal. Nice brown crust and perfect inside. Had with spaghetti and meatballs. Can't wait to make meatball sandwiches for lunch tomorrow.
Apr 10, 2020
Very easy and yummy ?? recipe. First timer and everyone loves it!! My husband couldn’t get enough. Even my neighbors enjoy the bread. So perfect with spaghetti sauce or dipping. Or just with butter and honey ??. Sooo good!! Thank you so much for your recipes.
Apr 7, 2020
Love this recipe! Even when things go wrong - it tastes right. Try it, you'll like it! :)
Apr 1, 2020
Lovely bread. Has a wonderful smell and taste.
Mar 29, 2020
Excellent recipe. I cut the recipe in 1/2 because there was only 2 of us having it with our dinner. My fussy daughter and me loved it. I was able to make 2 small loaves which only took about 17 minutes in my oven. Flavor and texture of this bread is point on perfect. I will make it again for sure.
Mar 27, 2020
I’ve made this bread twice, both times it came out great. But the second time it was perfect. The first time I followed the directions exactly how they are written but I ended up with a ton of dough...I decided instead of making two loaves I would make one giant one. It turned out good. But the second time I made this I used less flour (about 4 cups) and I used a 1/2 cup more of warm water. Topped it with a mixture of olive oil, Italian seasoning, minced garlic, and parmesan cheese. I also only baked it for 20 mins. It came out beautiful.
Mar 25, 2020
Excellent bread! So easy and what a lovely dough to work with.
Jan 20, 2020
Instead of two loaves I made one huge one. I used an egg wash which gave a nice crunch. I served this with a traditional pot roast and the compliments just kept coming. "Your pot roast is really good but your bread is even better!" were examples of the compliments I received. Proof was in the pudding: Not a crumb left! A