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

4.94 from 47 votes
It is so easy to make Italian Bread at home with just a few simple ingredients. Nothing beats soft, crusty bread warm from the oven!
Course Bread
Cuisine American, Italian
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 teaspoon instant yeast
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 5 cups all purpose flour


  • Whisk together water, yeast, sugar, oil, and 2 cups of 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 the 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°F for about 30 minutes or till the crust is golden brown.


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About Kara

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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Recipe Rating


  1. 5 stars
    We have used this recipe for so many things..garlic bread, sandwiches, hot bread with butter. IT IS SO SOFT & MELTS IN YOUR MOUTH!

  2. 5 stars
    Thank you so much! This was my first time ever attempting to bake bread (other than the old bread machines).
    it was so easy & came out great!
    THanks for sharing it!

  3. 5 stars
    This is a hit with my whole family, including my super picky daughter. My son likes to eat with toasted with jam and my husband loves when i use it to make french toast!

  4. 5 stars
    I love this recipe! i have probably made this about 3 times and it turned out great everytime. but yesterday i made it and it DIDN’T turn out right i cried 🙁 i always follow the recipe exact. my dough WASN’T bubbly for the 30 min rest and it didnt rise for the rise time. can you tell me what went wrong? thank you for this lovely recipe

    1. You are so welcome! So sorry, it didn’t work out. I hate when that happens! I’m guessing it had to do with the yeast. Maybe it wasn’t fresh enough? I’m just guessing, but that’s what I would think.

  5. So far my dough is not rising well. This is my 2nd bread attempt. I really like this recipe so far. I kind of think my issue may be temperature? Would temp affect the rise? I also didn’t use instant yeast. That could be a thing too? ❤️

    1. Those two things could have easily affected it or also bad yeast. Make sure your yeast is fresh…that is key. Hopefully, you perfect it 🙂

  6. Hi! This is my first time ever attempting to bake bread. I’m only on step 2 but I wasn’t able to get all of the flour (the final 3 cups) to mix in smoothly. It seems like there is too much flour. any thoughts? Thank you!

    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. 🙂

  7. 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. 🙂

  8. This bread is delicious and so easy to make.
    But I’m wondering if that carb count is correct. Oh………I hope not.

    1. The nutrition facts are for the whole recipe… which makes 2 large loaves. I’m glad to hear you enjoy the bread!!

  9. 5 stars
    Love that this recipe makes 2 loaves. I’ve been eating one immediately and freezing the other until we need it. So simple and satisfying!

  10. 5 stars
    Have made this recipe several times. I absolutely love how easy it is. I decided to make pumpkin soup for dinner and couldn’t be bothered to go and buy bread. I had all the ingredients to make bread nothing better than homemade bread especially when you have this recipe. Thank you.

  11. 3 stars
    To much salt for our liking. I also used active dry yeast. Not thinking, 5 teaspoons was wayyyy to much, lol, it ballooned out after rising half in a loaf pan (for sandwich bread). The texture was very good for making sandwich bread & the other half for making hamburger buns. I’ll just adjust the salt amount.

    1. You can definitely adjust the salt! Thanks for the feedback and for giving the recipe a try!

  12. 4 stars
    Taste was good, used about 4.5 cups of flour. They came out a bit flat though… not sure if I did something wrong :/