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HomefoodItalian Bread | The Recipe Critic

Italian Bread | The Recipe Critic

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Skip the bakery and make your own artisan Italian bread at home! This bread is perfect for subs and sandwiches of every kind. Besides, no one can resist the smell of fresh bread hot out of the oven!

I just love making bread at home! Yeasted breads used to intimidate me, but after lots of practice I have all the tips you will need to have the confidence to tackle any bread recipe. If you still feel like making a few no-yeast bread recipes first, then you’ve got to try this easy Beer Bread, this yummy No Yeast Flatbread, and Soda Bread.

Italian bread ripped in half and stacked on top of each other showing the fluffy inside.

Artisan Italian Bread

If you love getting your hands in some dough, this Italian bread recipe is for you! It’s so easy, and the end result is a fluffy inside with a slightly chewy outside. There is just nothing that tastes better than homemade bread! It’s totally worth the extra effort to make bread that is better for you, but also so much better tasting than what you can find at the grocery store. I grew up eating my grandma’s sandwich bread, and there is still nothing like it!

If you’ve been to Subway and ordered your sub on Italian bread, then you kind of know what to expect with this one. It’s similar to that, but way tastier! It reminds me of Cuban bread, but with a few differences in the method of making it. I really like this recipe because it’s as easy to whip up as a pizza dough, but the end result is a super versatile loaf that you can use for sandwiches, toast, and whatever else sounds good!

Ingredients

I just love how simple the ingredients are for this Italian bread dough. It’s just the basics and nothing more. This recipe calls for bread flour, which has a higher protein content than all purpose flour. If you want to use all purpose, I have a tip below in the tip box for how to adjust the recipe for that. You can find the measurements below in the recipe card.

  • Active Dry Yeast: Use warm water to activate it, it should only take a few minutes to get frothy.
  • Warm Water: To help the yeast activate and come alive.
  • Sugar: Sugar helps the bread rise better and to give it more flavor. You could use honey instead.
  • Bread Flour: You could use wheat flour or all-purpose flour instead, but I talk about how to do that successfully down in the tip box. Bread flour has a high protein content which makes it different than all-purpose.
  • Salt: Brings out all of the lovely flavors.
Process photos showing how to liven the yeast, knead the dough, let it rise, divide it, and shape it.

Italian Bread Recipe

Yes, you can absolutely make this recipe by hand! All you need is a large mixing bowl and a wooden spoon. Anything that mentions the bowl of a stand mixer, just add it to your mixing bowl instead. When you knead by hand, try not to add too much extra flour, you don’t want your bread to be dry.

Make Dough

  1. Activate Yeast: In the bowl of your stand mixer, mix your yeast, warm water, and sugar. Allow the mixture to sit until the yeast becomes frothy, about 5 minutes.
  2. Mix Dough: Once the yeast is ready, add the flour and salt to the bowl. Using the dough hook attachment, mix on low speed until the dough comes together, about 3-4 minutes. Increase the speed to medium and mix for 3-5 minutes to develop the gluten.
  3. Rest: Once the dough is done mixing, remove it from the mixer and place it into an oiled bowl. Cover and let the dough rest until it has doubled in size, about 1 hour. Prepare a baking sheet by lining it with parchment paper.
  4. Pound and Fold: Dump the dough out onto a floured surface and pound the air out of it, fold it back in on itself into a round and place it back into the bowl, seam side down. Cover and let rest for another 30-40 minutes.

Shape and Bake

  1. Cut and Shape: Once the Italian bread dough has rested and risen back up again, dump it out onto a lightly floured surface and degas it again. Cut dough in half and toll them both up into 10 inch baguette-like loaves. Place the loaves onto your prepared baking sheet, seam side down and cover them. Preheat your oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Proof and Bake: Proof your loaves until they are nearly double in size about 30-45 minutes. Once the loaves are ready, score your loaves (I did two diagonal slits on each one) and bake them for 25-30 minutes. They should have a light golden brown crust and temp out to 190 degrees fahrenheit.
  3. Cool: Remove the loaves from the oven and allow them to cool to room temperature.
An overhead view of two loaves of Italian bread.

Tips for Making Homemade Italian Bread

I like to make bread, so I always have bread flour on hand. If you don’t, here are some tips for using other flours in this Italian bread recipe.

  • Using A Different Flour: I know you are all thinking it! If you don’t bake bread frequently, you might not have bread flour on hand. What I will say is this- I haven’t tested this recipe with another flour. I can tell you from experience that sometimes substituting 1:1 bread flour for all purpose doesn’t always turn out. You should be able to use the same amount of flour with a little less water, or add extra flour if the dough seems way too sticky. Bread flour has a higher protein content than all-purpose, so it sucks up more water. Don’t be afraid to experiment until you get it right!
  • Whole Wheat Italian Bread: If you want to make this loaf whole wheat, I would recommend using half all purpose and half whole wheat. Using all whole wheat may cause a really dense and dry loaf that doesn’t really hit the spot.

Two halves of Italian bread stacked on top of each other showing the inside.

Storing Leftovers

Homemade bread doesn’t have any preservatives in it, so it doesn’t last quite as long as store bought bread. Here are my tips for keeping your bread fresh for as long as possible.

  • On the Counter: Make sure your bread has completely cooled for at least a few hours before storing. You can store in a bread bag or bread box for a few days, or transfer bread directly to a plastic bag for up to a week.
  • In the Refrigerator: Store your bread in the refrigerator in an airtight bag for up to two weeks.


  • In the bowl of your stand mixer, mix your yeast, warm water, and sugar. Allow the mixture to sit until the yeast becomes frothy, about 5 minutes.

  • Once the yeast is ready, add the flour and salt to the bowl. using the dough hook attachment, mix on low speed until the dough comes together, about 3-4 minutes. Increase the speed to medium and mix it for 3-5 minutes to develop the gluten.

  • Once the dough is done mixing, remove it from the mixer and place it into an oiled bowl. Cover and let the dough rest until it has doubled in size, about 1 hour. Prepare a baking sheet by lining it with parchment paper.

  • Dump the dough out onto a floured surface and pound the air out of it, fold it back in on itself into a round and place it back into the bowl, seam side down. Cover and let it rest for another 30-40 minutes.

  • Once it has rested and risen back up again, dump it out onto a lightly floured surface and degas it again. Cut the dough in half and toll them both up into 10 inch baguette-like loaves. Place the loaves onto your prepared baking sheet, seam side down and cover them. Preheat your oven to 375 degrees fahrenheit.

  • Proof your loaves until they are nearly double in size about 30-45 minutes. Once the loaves are ready, score your loaves (I did two diagonal cuts on each one) and bake them for 25-30 minutes. They should have a light golden crust and temp out to 190 degrees fahrenheit.

  • Remove the loaves from the oven and allow them to cool to room temperature.



Serves: 2

Calories743kcal (37%)Carbohydrates150g (50%)Protein25g (50%)Fat3g (5%)Saturated Fat1g (5%)Polyunsaturated Fat1gMonounsaturated Fat0.3gSodium2340mg (98%)Potassium208mg (6%)Fiber5g (20%)Sugar3g (3%)Vitamin A4IUCalcium38mg (4%)Iron2mg (11%)

All nutritional information is based on third party calculations and is only an estimate. Each recipe and nutritional value will vary depending on the brands you use, measuring methods and portion sizes per household.

Course Bread

Cuisine Italian, Italian American

Keyword homemade Italian bread, italian bread twists





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