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.

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).

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.


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32 Responses to Homemade Italian Bread

  1. 1
    RecipeGirl says:

    That looks like it turned out perfect!

  2. 2
    Bunny says:

    This looks very good Amanda, I’ve never made italian bread before , great job!

  3. 3
    Wenchzilla says:

    OMG…this looks delicious. I can’t wait to try it!

  4. 4
    Debbie says:

    Looks delicious. I would love to dip that in tomato sauce!!!

  5. 5
    Amanda says:

    it really was good, but definitely plan on eating it the same day. i haven’t tried freezing the dough yet.

  6. 6
    The Blonde Duck says:

    This looks so simple to make. I’m going to print it out and try it!

  7. 7
    MaryBeth says:

    Your bread looks perfect, I bet it makes great french toast. YUMMO!!

  8. 8
    Barb, sfo says:

    Looks great! I wonder how it would be as rolls?

  9. 9
    AK Mom says:

    Your bread looks wonderful!
    A very cute award awaits you. Please visit my blog to accept my gratitude. :)

  10. 10
    Pam says:

    I love this recipe. I can’t wait to bake this bread.

  11. 11
    Pumpkin says:

    I just started poking around your blog- I love all your bread recipes! They look so comforting and homey.

  12. 12
    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.

  13. 13
    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! :)

  14. 14
    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.

  15. 15
    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.


  16. 16
    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! :)

  17. 17
    Anonymous says:

    do you mean 11/2 cps water or 1/2 cp water?
    thank you

  18. 18
    Amanda says:

    As stated in the ingredient list it is one and a half cups (1 1/2) :) Hope you like it!

  19. 19
    Jessica Collins says:

    This is a wonderful bread! My whole family loved it!

  20. 20
    Amanda says:

    @Jessica – so glad you enjoyed it!

  21. 21
    Aggie says:

    oh my gosh that bread looks so delicious!

  22. 22
    Shelby says:

    Amanda, this looks so good! I absolutely love homemade breads!

  23. 23
    Brett says:

    looks perfect! i’ve been wanting a good italian bread recipe. i am going to try this today!

  24. 24
    Kerry Schell says:

    This bread was SO easy to make and came out perfect every time!!!

  25. 25
    Dave says:

    Used this recipe today and it turned out wonderful. This will be my Italian brean recipe from now on. Thanks!

  26. 26
    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??

  27. 27
    Deb says:

    I’m making it now, on the second rise will let you know how it turns out!

  28. 28
    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

    • 28.1

      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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