Italian Bread

It is so easy to make Italian Bread at home with just a few simple ingredients. Nothing beats a soft and crusty bread warm from the oven!

This Italian Bread has a similar consistency and taste as classic white bread, but is in crispy loaves like french bread. Of all the yeast breads you could try to master, this one is one of the simplest!

slice of Italian bread with butter

A Simple Yeast Bread

Making homemade bread really isn’t difficult, especially making simple loaves like this one. You don’t even need to pull out a mixer; all you need is a large mixing bowl!

This recipe only requires SIX ingredients, and I would bet you already have most of them on hand. And the finished product is not just one, but two loaves of delicious crusty Italian bread! So don’t let the yeast intimidate you. This recipe really is quite simple!

process shots for making homemade italian bread


In a large bowl, whisk together some warm water, yeast, sugar, oil, and about 2 cups of flour until smooth. Let the mixture sit until it isnice and bubbly, about 30 minutes.

Add the salt and stir in enough flour to make a soft dough. Knead a few times until dough is smooth.

Place the dough back in the bowl. Cover and let raise in a warm place until at least doubled.

Cut dough into two pieces on a counter that has been sprayed with non stick spray. Form each piece of dough into a loaf about 12 inches long. Place on a baking pan that has been sprayed with non stick spray.

(Note: Sometimes I like to cut the dough into four pieces during this step and make smaller loaves. They are perfect for taking to neighbors!)

Let loaves raise until they have doubled in size. Make a few diagonal slices across the top. Bake at 375 degrees for about 30 minutes. That’s it!

how to form and bake Italian bread loaves

Tips for Soft Crust + Sides

I like to brush the tops of my loaves with BUTTER when I take them out of the oven. It makes for a softer crust. If you like a crisper crust on your bread, you can skip that step.

This bread is perfect on its own, especially slathered with some butter. But it also makes fantastic garlic bread! Because the bread is soft and absorbent on the inside, I also recommend dipping it in some soup. Some of our favorite dishes to make this with, include:

loaves of Italian bread on a baking pan

Storing homemade Italian Bread

Because homemade breads like this Italian bread don’t contain any preservatives (like the breads you buy at the store do), they only stay fresh for a short period of time.

To keep your loaves fresh for as long as possible, store in an airtight plastic bag at room temperature, or wrap with plastic wrap making sure the entire loaf is covered.

If you want to FREEZE this bread, we recommend letting it cool and then placing it in a freezer safe bag to store.

slices of italian crusty bread

For more delicious bread recipes, try:

Italian Bread Recipe

5 from 19 votes
It is so easy to make Italian Bread at home with just a few simple ingredients. Nothing beats a soft and crusty bread warm from the oven!
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Rise 1 hour 30 minutes
Total Time 2 hours 10 minutes
Servings 2 loaves
Calories 1379 kcal
Author Lil' Luna


  • 2 cups very warm water
  • 5 tsp instant yeast
  • 1 Tbsp sugar
  • 2 Tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 Tbsp salt
  • 5 cups all purpose flour


  • Whisk together water, yeast, sugar, oil, and 2 cups of the flour in a large bowl till smooth. Let sit in a warm place till bubbly, about 30 minutes. Add the salt and enough flour to make a soft dough.
  • Knead a few times on a floured counter till smooth. Return to bowl. Cover and let rise till doubled, about an hour.
  • Divide dough in half and roll each piece into a long loaf about 12 inches long. Place both loaves on a greased baking pan.
  • Let loaves rise till doubled, 30-45 minutes. Cut a few diagonal slits across the top of each loaf.
  • Bake in an oven preheated to 375° for about 30 minutes or till crust is golden brown.

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About the Author

Kara Cook

Hi! I'm Kara from Creations by Kara, and I'm addicted to creating pretty and yummy things. I love sharing home decor ideas, DIY projects, tasty recipes, and simple tips! I hope that I am inspiring women everywhere to use their creativity to build a better life.

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    1. Yes! So start with the 2 cups of flour, let it sit for 30 minutes and then add enough flour to create a soft dough… it could be the rest of the 3 cups… might not quite need that much, depending on weather/temperature/etc. Hopefully that helps clear up any confusion. 🙂

  1. 5 stars
    This is the first new-to-me bread recipe that I made on the first day of the new year and I’m so glad I did. I’ve been making bread for 50 years so I’m always thrilled to find a new one that my family loves. I made this to go with a big pot of potato soup and it was perfect. Incredibly easy too. I brushed the loaves with an egg white wash and they looked spectacular! Thank you so much for getting me off to an auspicious start in the new year.

    1. You’re welcome!! That’s amazing that you’ve been making bread for all the years. We’re so glad you tried this recipe. Thanks for sharing. 🙂

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