Crusty Italian Bread Recipes


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. -Linda Harrington, Windham, New Hampshire

Recipe From

Provided by Taste of Home

Time 50m

Yield 2 loaves (12 slices each).


  • 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., 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., 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. , 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.

Mom's Italian Bread image

Number Of Ingredients: 5


  • 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


Crackling homemade bread makes an average day extraordinary. Enjoy this beautiful crusty bread recipe as is, or stir in a few favorites like cheese, garlic, herbs and dried fruits. -Megumi Garcia, Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Recipe From

Provided by Taste of Home

Time 1h10m

Yield 1 loaf (16 slices).


  • In a large bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water. Using a rubber spatula, stir in 3-1/2 cups flour and salt to form a soft, sticky dough. Do not knead. Cover and let rise at room temperature 1 hour., Stir down dough (dough will be sticky). Turn onto a floured surface; with floured hands pat into a 9-in. square. Fold square into thirds, forming a 9x3-in. rectangle. Fold rectangle into thirds, forming a 3-in. square. Place in a large greased bowl, turning once to grease the top. Cover and let rise at room temperature until almost doubled, about 1 hour., Punch down dough and repeat folding process. Return dough to bowl; refrigerate, covered, overnight., Grease the bottom of a disposable foil roasting pan with sides at least 4 in. high; dust pan with cornmeal. Turn dough onto a floured surface. Knead gently 6-8 times; shape into a 6-in. round loaf. Place into prepared pan; dust top with remaining 1 tablespoon flour. Cover pan and let rise at room temperature until dough expands to a 7-1/2-in. loaf, about 1-1/4 hours. , Preheat oven to 500°. Using a sharp knife, make a slash (1/4 in. deep) across top of loaf. Cover pan tightly with foil. Bake on lowest oven rack 25 minutes., Reduce oven setting to 450°. Remove foil; bake bread until deep golden brown, 25-30 minutes. Remove loaf to a wire rack to cool.

Crusty Homemade Bread image

Number Of Ingredients: 5


  • 1-1/2 teaspoons active dry yeast
  • 1-3/4 cups warm water (110° to 115°)
  • 3-1/2 cups plus 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour, divided
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 tablespoon cornmeal or additional flour


This one reminds me of the great breads that I enjoy when eating know the ones you fill up on before you entree comes! Yep, this one is that good. There are a lot of steps in this recipe, but it was relatively easy to make. It's great served with some olive oil ... but I see it also going really well with a nice soup...

Recipe From

Provided by Gena Buck

Time 2h45m

Categories Other Breads


  • 1. Dissolve the yeast in a quarter-cup of warm water. You should actually check the temperature of the water. Too cold and it won't activate, too hot and you can kill the yeast.
  • 2. Give the yeast a few minutes, until it starts bubbling, then mix it in with the rest of the warm water.
  • 3. Add the flour, sugar and salt and stir.
  • 4. Don't add the oil until after you've worked the water and flour together. Otherwise the oil will coat the proteins and prevent gluten formation. Gluten lets the dough stretch when it rises, making it light and chewy instead of crumbling like cake.
  • 5. After mixing the oil in, turn the dough out onto a clean, floured surface to knead.
  • 6. Stretch the dough away from you, fold it back, turn a quarter turn and repeat. Once the dough is well incorporated, slap it on the surface a few times. This will encourage more gluten production leading to a lighter, airier bread.
  • 7. When the dough is smooth and silky, continue kneading for another several minutes. You can work it with both hands and keep turning the dough, or just hit it from opposite angles with each hand.
  • 8. Once the dough is thoroughly kneaded, place it in an oiled bowl. Toss the dough around so it is coated with oil all the way around.
  • 9. Cover the dough with plastic wrap, pressed right up against the dough. This will prevent a skin from forming on the dough, allowing it to rise more.
  • 10. Put the bowl someplace warm until the dough has doubled in size, about 1-1/2 to 2 hours.
  • 11. Pre-heat the oven to 425°. If you have a pizza stone, put it on the bottom rack. Otherwise, place a baking sheet upside-down on the bottom rack. Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and punch down to knock out most of the air out. Don't go crazy and try to turn it into a pancake. Just give it a quick couple of hits.
  • 12. Roll the dough out into a loaf shape and cut it in half. You can form the halves into loaves or, like I did here, divide each half into three smaller pieces.
  • 13. Roll out the pieces of dough until they are about 6-9 inches long.
  • 14. If you have a peel (the large wooden spatula you see in pizza shops) use that. If not, a wooden cutting board will work. Dust it with cornmeal so the dough doesn't stick.
  • 15. Cover the loaves with plastic and allow to rise for another 40 minutes. They should roughly double in width.
  • 16. Cut each loaf down the middle with the sharpest blade you have. If you don't have anything that is absolutely razor sharp, use a razor blade. You want to cut about a quarter-inch deep in a single quick stroke without sawing back-and-forth. This will prevent the bread from bursting open when it rises in the oven.
  • 17. Transfer the loaves onto the baking stone. Leave room between loaves for them to rise some more. If they don't all fit on your stone, put the rest on an upside-down baking sheet.
  • 18. Bake at 425° for 10 minutes, then turn the oven down to 400° and bake another 25-30 minutes. To check if they're done, pick one loaf up and thump on the bottom with your thumb. If it has a hollow sound, it's done. If you want really crusty bread, great for dipping in olive oil or marinara sauce, place a pan of water in the bottom of the oven. The steam will keep a skin from forming too fast, giving the bread more time to rise. It will also make the crust crisper. Don't put the loaves near the top. The radiant heat from the top of the stove will brown the crust too much, too fast. Serve immediately with butter, or with olive oil and balsamic vinegar for dipping.

Crusty Italian Bread image

Number Of Ingredients: 7


  • 1 pkg (1/4 ounce, 2-1/2 teaspoons) active dry yeast
  • 1 1/4 c warm water (105°-115°)
  • 3 c all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • cornmeal for dusting

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