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Italian Bread

  • Total Time: 45 minutes
  • Yield: 10-12 1x


  • 2 cups warm water (about 100 degrees F)
  • 1 package active dry yeast
  • 55 ¾ cups bread flour, plus more for kneading and pan
  • 2 tablespoons packed light brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, plus more for bowl
  • 1 ½ teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon corn meal


  1. In a small bowl, stir the yeast into ½ cup of the warm water. Allow it to proof until frothy. Make sure the yeast is frothy and has bubbles in it or it may be dead and your bread will not rise.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook attachment, combine 5 cups of the flour, sugar, and salt. Mix on low just to combine. Make sure to break up the sugar. Add the yeast mixture, remaining water, and oil. Mix on lowest speed until a dough begins to form. Add more flour if the dough is too sticky and not coming together. I did not need to add more flour. After the dough is basically formed, raise the speed to 2 and knead for 7 minutes. Then, remove the dough from the bowl and place on a floured surface to knead by hand for about 2 minutes. You should have a smooth dough, but it is okay if it is still a little sticky.
  3. Move the dough to a large lightly oiled bowl. Lightly oil the top of the dough before covering the bowl tightly with plastic wrap. Place the bowl in a warm place for about 1 ½ hours until at least doubled in size. It should fill the entire bowl. I put mine in the microwave with the light on, but not the microwave itself.
  4. Remove the plastic, punch down the dough, and flatten it with the heel of your hand. With the dough still in the bowl, roll it up tightly, making sure to seal the seam well after each roll. You are shaping the dough during this process. In the end, the dough should look like a loaf of bread: long, but still wide and slightly rounded with tapered and rounded ends. As long as you’re happy with it, it doesn’t have to be perfect.
  5. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Place the dough on an inverted baking sheet covered with parchment and dusted lightly with flour and cornmeal. Cover dough with a lightly floured cloth or piece of parchment to rise again for about 30 minutes until at least doubled in size.
  6. After risen again, take a small knife and make a slash in the center of the dough from end to end about ¼ inch deep. Again, it doesn’t have to be perfect.
  7. Put a pan on the bottom rack in the oven with 1 cup of water. Allow to cook in the oven for a couple minutes to begin to create steam. Then put the pan with dough on the rack above the pan with water. Bake for about 30 minutes, until loaf is deep golden brown in color and has a hollow sound when tapped. The water will have evaporated.
  8. Allow the bread to cool on a wire rack. When cool, or slightly warm, slice and enjoy. May be stored at room temperature for up to 2 days in a paper bag or wrapped in parchment. May be frozen, wrapped in parchment and foil and placed in a zipper bag for up to 4 months. May be thawed at room temperature for several hours or in a 350 degree F oven. Pieces should be wrapped in parchment and warmed for about 10 minutes, while the whole loaf will take 30 or more minutes not wrapped in parchment.


Recipe adapted from Brown Eyed Baker

  • Prep Time: 15 mins
  • Cook Time: 30 mins