For Beginners: How to Make Italian Bread


Remember the delicious soft and fluffy sandwich bread we made two weeks ago? I was so excited about how wonderful it tasted that I was blabbing to all my friends about my newfound obsession of making bread. A wise friend told me, “It’s a dangerous thing, because once you start, you will never be able to stop.” She’s right! And here we are again, ready to make another – Italian Bread.

Italian Bread

Stay tuned, because next time it’s going to be another very delicious one.

For Beginners: How to Make Italian Bread

20 minutes

1 hour, 15 minutes

1 hour, 35 minutes

1 Loaf


  • 1.5 tsp dark brown sugar
  • 1.5 tsp salt
  • 1 pkg. (1/2 oz.) active dry yeast
  • 3/8 cups warm water, 95 to 110 degrees F
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 2.5 cups bread flour, about
  • Half of an egg white
  • Half a tbsp cold water
  • Butter, for greasing
  • Cornmeal, for coating bread


  1. In large bowl, stir together sugar, yeast, and warm water. Stir slowly for 2 minutes until it bubbles a little.
  2. Mix in enough flour to make a soft dough that can be kneaded by hand. Stir in olive oil and salt.
  3. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead for 8 minutes, adding more flour if necessary, until the dough is soft and not sticky. Remember that if this is one of your first attempts to make bread, try to avoid adding flour unless absolutely necessary to avoid a dense bread. Also, keep in mind that there is such thing as "over kneading", so knead for about 8 minutes then stop.
  4. Place dough in butter greased medium bowl and flip dough over so that the top is also lightly greased. Cover with a clean kitchen towel and let set for 30 minutes in a warm, draft place.
  5. Punch down dough (one punch in the center, no more).
  6. Grease large baking sheet. Sprinkle baking sheet with coarse cornmeal. Remove dough from bowl onto lightly floured table and roll the dough into a 15 X 9-inch rectangle. Tightly roll dough along the 15-inch side. Pinch seams and taper the ends of each loaf. Place loaves on baking sheet. Cover and let rise in warm, draft-free place for only 20 minutes.
  7. Preheat oven 425 degrees F. Make 3 (1/4 inch deep) diagonal slashes on the loaf with a sharp knife. Bake bread for 20 minutes. Lightly beat egg white and cold water in small bowl. Remove loaf from oven, brush with watered egg, and return to oven for another 5 minutes. Serve bread warm or cold.


Includes rising time.


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