Homemade Italian bread is actually very easy to make and tastes delicious! While you could buy a loaf of Italian bread from the grocery store, baking bread is fun and satisfying. Warm, toasty bread from the oven is pure comfort food.
I love my 1963 homemade white bread for sandwiches and everything peasant bread for snacking, but this Italian loaf is perfect with a bowl of spaghetti, or alongside a plate of my crockpot roast beef!
There’s a definite difference between French bread and Italian bread. Most of the general population either doesn’t know or simply doesn’t care, but there are differences nonetheless.
Basically though, French bread only uses flour, yeast, salt, and water. In fact, French law states that added oils or fats are prohibited. A French loaf is usually long and thin, while an Italian loaf is shorter and wider.
1 1/2 tablespoons active dry yeast 2 packets
1/2 cup warm water
1/2 teaspoon granulated sugar
2 cups hot water hot to the touch, not boiling
3 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 tablespoon salt
1/2 cup vegetable oil
5-6 cups all-purpose flour add more if needed to get to a pliable dough
1 large egg white for brushing on loaves
Dissolve yeast, 1/2 cup warm water, and 1/2 teaspoon granulated sugar in a small bowl.
In a large bowl or stand mixer, combine 2 cups hot water, 3 tablespoons granulated sugar, salt, and oil. Add 3 cups of flour to the mixture in this large bowl/mixer and mix well. Stir in yeast mixture.
Add 2 – 3 cups more flour and mix until well blended. (At this point your dough will still be quite sticky). Leave in bowl, cover with a towel and let rise for 1 hour. (If using a mixer, remove the bowl from the mixer and cover. Otherwise your paddle attachment or dough hook will get covered in dough when it rises). NO KNEADING IS REQUIRED.
After the rise, if the dough is too sticky to handle, add more flour until its workable. For some people this can be up to a cup or more! Just don’t dry out the dough. Add by quarter cupfuls until its workable.
Divide dough into 2 (or 3 if you want smaller loaves) pieces. Roll out each piece on a floured surface into the length desired then roll up lengthwise like a jelly roll. If it’s still too sticky, add more flour until it’s workable but not dry.
Put on a greased cookie sheet, sealed side down, and tuck the ends under. Slash the top diagonally across the top every couple of inches with a sharp knife.
Cover and let loaves rise 30 more minutes.
While loaves are rising, preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
Whisk the egg white and brush over the top of loaves.
Bake for 25 – 30 minutes.
Serving: 1slice | Calories: 106cal | Carbohydrates: 16g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 4g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Sodium: 219mg | Potassium: 23mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Calcium: 3mg | Iron: 1mg