Learn How to Make Crusty Italian Bread Recipe From Scratch

Crusty Italian Bread Sliced

A thick slice of hard and chewy bread always goes well with a spaghetti dinner for sopping up any remnants of that fragrant seasoned tomato sauce. This recipe for crusty Italian bread is delicious and crunchy with hardly any ingredients, but loaded with great flavor. Still, there is more that this rustic bread has with ease to prepare that will please you.

This bread has just five ingredients with flour, salt, yeast, water and a teaspoon of sugar for proofing the yeast. There is no oil, butter or shortening in this homemade Italian bread recipe, which may come as a surprise. The reason is because any form of a fat interferes in the bread’s texture from how they shorten the gluten’s strands.

You may be wondering what is the difference between what sounds like French bread and this rustic crusty Italian bread. While French bread tends also to be hard and crusty on the outside, it has a light and soft crumb inside. On the other hand, Italian bread has that same crunchy hard crust, but the crumb inside is denser to explain why no oil matters. This happens because without those fats the gluten form longer strands to explain that unique texture.

Please share this easy Italian bread with your friends and family and come back to my blog for more delicious and home-tested recipes.

Crusty Italian Bread Recipe

1 package of active dry yeast ( 2 and 1/4 teaspoons)
1/4 cup of warm water (very warm but not hot)
1 teaspoon of sugar
1- 3/4 cups of warm water
1 tablespoon of salt
5 to 5 ½ cups of sifted flour
egg white (optional) for a shiny glaze

Dissolve the yeast in the very warm water with one teaspoon of the sugar. Give it a few minutes to proof. You will know the yeast is active when bubbles start appearing.

In the meantime, sift three cups of flour and add to the remaining warm water and salt in a large mixing bowl.

Now stir in the proofed yeast to the flour mixture.

Slowly, you start mixing in the rest of the sifted flour. Be careful because you may not need all of it to form soft dough, depending on the humidity. You may find that 5-1/4 cup will be enough or on other days you may need all of it.

Keep working the dough, kneading it on a lightly floured surface. Turn dough into a smooth, soft ball and put in a large greased mixing bowl. Cover with a dish cloth and keep in a warm spot until the dough doubles in size (about 1 ½ hour or two hours).

After that time, punch the dough down and shape into two equal balls. Cover this again and let this rest for about 10 minutes.

Now roll out each into a long rectangular strip about 14 x 8-in. Then roll each back up and seal the edges. You can also shape this dough into two round loaves with your hands.

Bake in a 400-degree oven for about 30 minutes to get it golden brown.

You can use a teflon brush to paint egg white over the bread before baking if you want a glossy crust.

ENJOY!

Crusty Italian Bread Recipe
This recipe for crusty Italian bread is delicious and crunchy with hardly any ingredients, but loaded with great flavor.
Course: bread, Dinner, Lunch, Snack
Cuisine: Italian
Keyword: crusty italian bread, crusty italian bread recipe, easy italian bread recipe, homemade italian bread, no oil bread, rustic bread
Author: Mary Balandiat
Ingredients
  • 1 package of active dry yeast 2 and 1/4 teaspoons
  • 1/4 cup of warm water very warm but not hot
  • 1 teaspoon of sugar
  • 1- 3/4 cups of warm water
  • 1 tablespoon of salt
  • 5 to 5 ½ cups of sifted flour
  • egg white optional for a shiny glaze
Instructions
  1. Dissolve the yeast in the very warm water with one teaspoon of the sugar. Give it a few minutes to proof. You will know the yeast is active when bubbles start appearing.
  2. In the meantime, sift three cups of flour and add to the remaining warm water and salt in a large mixing bowl.
  3. Now stir in the proofed yeast to the flour mixture.
  4. Slowly, you start mixing in the rest of the sifted flour. Be careful because you may not need all of it to form soft dough, depending on the humidity. You may find that 5-1/4 cup will be enough or on other days you may need all of it.
  5. Keep working the dough, kneading it on a lightly floured surface. Turn dough into a smooth, soft ball and put in a large greased mixing bowl. Cover with a dish cloth and keep in a warm spot until the dough doubles in size (about 1 ½ hour or two hours).
  6. After that time, punch the dough down and shape into two equal balls. Cover this again and let this rest for about 10 minutes.
  7. Now roll out each into a long rectangular strip about 14 x 8-in. and roll back up and seal the edges. You can also shape this dough into two round loaves with your hands.
  8. Bake in a 400-degree oven for about 30 minutes to get it golden brown.
  9. You can use a teflon brush to paint egg white over the bread before baking if you want a glossy crust.
  10. ENJOY!
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