Homemade Italian Bread

This Italian Bread recipe tastes wonderful and is easy to make :) I’m actually quite happy that I found this as my family love warm bread on the dinner table. I could get it from the store, but homemade is so much more fun! I found this recipe on the back of a package of flour. I THINK it was Pillsbury. When I find it again I will verify and post.

Italian Bread

1 package active dry yeast
1 1/2 c. warm water
1 T. shortening, melted or oil
1 T. sugar
1 1/2 t. salt
4 c. flour (I used bread flour)

Sprinkle yeast on water in large bowl. Stir to dissolve. Add sugar, salt, and half of flour. Stir to combine.

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Add melted shortening and rest of flour. Mix well. Turn dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead about 5 minutes.

Place dough into a greased bowl in warm place and cover with towel. Let rise until doubled in size, about 1 hour.

Punch down and knead for one minute. Divide in half and shape in loaves (roll up and pinch very tightly).

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Place on greased cookie sheet, seam side down, slice top with sharp knife, then cover with a towel. Let rise in a warm place until doubled in size, about an hour.

Bake at 350 degrees for 30 to 35 minutes or until it sounds hollow when tapped. Can be brushed with butter afterwards or brushed with egg white before and sprinkle with sesame or poppy seeds.

Allow to cool on a rack for at least 5-10 minutes before slicing.



  1. Spice says

    Hi there,

    Your bread looks perfect & easy enough…..I tried to make same using all-purpose flour but i substituted 2 tblsp. of flour with whole wheat flour in each cup of flour…..my bread was kind of hard, it didn't rise enough do u think it's b'coz of whole wheat flour i used. Another thing is after first step before adding shortening, do the first mixture need to rest for some time or not.

    Please let me know so that I can give it another try.

  2. Amanda says

    Hi Spice

    Sorry you had trouble with it! I know that whole wheat flour does have a different concentration than bread flour or all purpose flour, so that could have affected it. However, there are definitely other factors that could have caused you difficulty. Make sure the expiration date on your yeast packet has not passed, the water temp should be around 100 degrees, and most of all, make sure your oven temperature is accurate. If you have an oven thermometer that will tell you if you oven is truly heating to what it says it is. If you really want to substitute some of the white flour with wheat, then I suggest using the wheat plus bread flour instead of all purpose white flour. Also, be sure that you are measuring the flour by scooping it in and leveling it off.

    Please let me know how it goes! :)

  3. Jelli Bean says

    I made this bread on Saturday to take to a friend's house. My husband LOVED it and couldn't stop reminding me. Thanks so much! P.S. It makes a mean garlic bread with mozzarella.

  4. Spice says

    Hi there,
    Thanks for answering my question. But before I try it again just wanted to confirm that after first step & before adding shortening do the dough need to rest.


  5. Amanda says

    Hi sorry about that! No it does not need to rest before adding the shortening :)

    Jelli Bean – So glad it turned out well! :)

  6. Blair says

    This recipe seems so easy yet I’m having problems!! First time I tried making this bread it didn’t rise at all! Any reason as to why this could be happening? I followed every direction to a T!!! Second attempt was another fail… It didn’t rise!! I did use rapid rise highly active yeast the second time thinking that might be the problem!! Any idea on why my bread won’t rise??

  7. patricia says

    was making this recipe with my granddaughter but the dough wouldn’t get hard enough to take out of the bowl to kneed – what did we do wrong – we measured the regular flour exactly but the dough remained sticky even when we added extra flour – please help – she really wants to make bread – thx so much

    • says

      Hi Patricia. It’s hard to troubleshoot bread making when I’m not there with you, but usually when a dough is too sticky it’s because A) the liquid temp that you dissolved the yeast in was too warm or B) the kitchen temp was too warm or humid. I have a recipe on this blog that needed to be adjusted for my part of the country (the midwest) because the person who gave it to me was from a different environment (California). I hope you get it figured out!

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