Crusty, soft and fresh, this Easy Italian Bread will make you want to run to the kitchen for a slice! Made with only 5 ingredients, it’s the perfect bread for beginner bakers and experts.
I guess, I could say, that I picked the perfect Country to live in for a great part of my life. I am afraid I can never get enough carbs, from bread to pasta, I love them all. So yeah Italy and the Italian were a good choice!
I think loving the idea of making bread came easy. I love to cook and especially I love to bake. I always found bread making very interesting and in the last couple of years it has actually become a passion.
In my opinion there is nothing like homemade bread fresh from the oven.
This bread is perfect for toast. I like to spread a nice layer of Nutella on top in the mornings and another great bread that allows me to do that is the Homemade Italian Bread Recipe. Yum!
Or you could keep it super simple for lunch and drizzle some olive oil on top and add some fresh slices of tomatoes and mozzarella!
And I especially love bread because you can always make the dough one day and then bake it the day after just like I did with this Overnight Bread recipe.
Table of Contents
Ingredients to Make this Easy Italian Bread
- Water -Lukewarm water between 105F and 115F is ideal. Warm water will activate the yeast.
- Honey: Adds moisture to the bread dough.
- Yeast –Active dry yeast. For this Italian Bread recipe we are using Active dry yeast. This form of yeast needs to be activated before using it, which is why we add it to the lukewarm water and we let it sit for about 5 minutes before adding it to the rest of our ingredients.
- Flour –All purpose flour: For this bread recipe we are using all purpose flour, which make our bread softer with smaller bubbles and creates a bread with a tighter crumb. All Purpose flour has a medium protein content, between 10% and 12%.
- Salt: Helps the dough hold carbon dioxide. Supplies structure and flavor to the bread.
How to make Italian Bread
- In a small bowl add the water and honey, sprinkle the yeast on top. Let it sit for 5 minutes, then stir to combine.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer whisk together the flour and salt.
- Make a well in the middle and add the yeast mixture.
- Start to knead with the dough hook for about 5 minutes, the dough will be smooth and elastic and pull away from the sides of the bowl.
- Move the dough to a lightly floured surface and knead a few times into a ball.
- Place the dough in a lightly oiled large bowl, cover with a clean tea towel and let rise for an hour or two.
- Place the loaf on a parchment paper lined cookie sheet.
- cover and let rise one hour.
- Make a few scores in the bread and bake.
How to tell when dough has risen enough
With your knuckles or a couple of fingers make an indentation in the dough, If the indentation disappears, the dough needs more time to rise. If the dent remains, the bread is ready to bake or move to the second rise. The test should be repeated with the second rise also.
How to tell when bread is done
Tap the bottom or sides of the bread. If you hear a hollow sound and the dough is firm, the bread is done. If the bread is still wet, put it back in the oven. The outside color of the bread should be a golden brown.
You can test the temperature of the bread with an instant-read thermometer. Stick the thermometer into the thickest part of the loaf, give it a few seconds, if the temperature reads between 190 and 210 degrees, the bread is done.
If you don’t have a thermometer, you can also use a toothpick or even a sharp knife. Insert it into the middle of the bread at the thickest part. If it comes out with batter stuck to it, the bread isn’t done yet. If it comes out dry, the bread is finished.
Can the dough be left to rise in the fridge?
The first rise of the dough can be left to rise over night in the fridge. However the dough should be left to rise the second time in a draft free warm room.
Risen dough can be left in the fridge for up to 48 hours before baking.
Can the Italian Bread dough be frozen?
If freezing the unbaked dough, it should be frozen after the first rise.
Freeze the dough on a lightly greased baking sheet. Once it has frozen, wrap it tightly in plastic wrap and place in a freezer safe bag or container. The dough will last up to six months in the freezer.
To bake, allow dough to thaw overnight in the refrigerator, or for 2-3 hours at room temperature. When dough is thawed, roll out into rounds and proceed with the recipe.
How to store this Easy Italian bread
Homemade bread should be stored in an airtight plastic bag or tightly wrapped in plastic or foil. It should be stored at room temperature and will last three to four days.
So if you area looking for an easy Italian bread that tastes amazing, I hope you give this Easy Italian Bread a try!
More Italian Bread Recipes
Easy Italian Bread
- 3/4 cup lukewarm water (temperature 105F / 40C) (175 grams)
- 1/2 teaspoon honey
- 1 teaspoon active dry yeast
- 2 cups all purpose flour (250 grams)
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- In a small bowl add the water and honey and mix, sprinkle the yeast on top. Let it sit for 5 minutes, then stir to combine.
- In the bowl of the stand up mixer whisk together the flour and salt. Make a well in the middle and add the yeast mixture. Start to knead for about 5 minutes at speed #2, the dough should be smooth and elastic and pull away from the sides of the bowl.
- Move the dough to a lightly floured flat surface and knead a few times into a ball. Place the dough in a lightly oiled bowl, make sure to roll the dough in the oiled bowl so that is lightly covered in oil. Cover the bowl with a clean tea towel, place it in a warm draft free area and let it rise for an hour or two. If the room is warm enough an hour should do. Or you can let it rise overnight in the fridge.
- Form the dough into desired loaf shape and place it on a parchment paper lined cookie sheet, cover again with the tea towel and let rise one hour in a warm draft free area.
- Pre-heat the oven to 400F (200C). Place a pan of water on the bottom of the stove. Score the bread a few time then bake it for about 30-35 minutes. Check to make sure it is done by tapping on the bottom, if it sounds hollow it is done. You could also use a long wooden stick to check for doneness. Immediately move the baked bread to a wire rack to cool. Enjoy!