Mom's Italian Bread Recipe
- 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
- 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.
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.
Reviews for Mom's Italian Bread
"I gave it 5* because it is quick and easy to make. I have one negative that I noticed when I switched to regular salt instead of the real salt I had been using, (only because I ran out). The bread tasted extremely salty. Has anyone else noticed this? It makes great toast and my friends love when I bake it for them. I just cannot get over that salty taste. If I drop the amount of salt in the recipe, will that make a difference?"
"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!"
"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."
"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!"
"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."
"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."
"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!"
"I found this a wonderfully easy recipe. My family loves the crusty exterior!"
"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."
"Loved how the loaves had a crispy crust, but soft on the inside."
"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."
"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!"
"easy to make, texture is substantial, but flavor is lacking"
"worked out great (adding the sugar to the yeast & water first)...great with garlic butter!"
"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"
"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."
"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."
"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 . . .""
"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."
"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."
"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."
"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,"
"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 :))"
"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."
"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."
"it was okay"
"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."
"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."
"This bread comes out perfect. This recipe makes a lot! Prepare for a crowd with this."
"I've made these several times! I did add egg wash to the top and sides! Beautiful and Tasty"
"Already made this twice in two weeks. Will be making it again tomorrow. Makes great toast in the morning too! Also easy to prepare."
"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"