Fresh Italian Bread. This easy bread recipe will have you making and baking your own in no time. Soft and delicious and with the perfect crust.
Easy Italian Bread
I guess, I could say, that I picked the perfect Country to live in for a great part of my life. I am afraid I can never get enough carbs, from bread to pasta, I love them all. So yeah Italy and the Italian were a good choice!
I think loving the idea of making bread came easy. I love to cook and especially I love to bake. I always found bread making very interesting and in the last couple of years it has actually become a passion.
In my opinion there is nothing like homemade bread fresh from the oven.
How to make Italian Bread
- In a small bowl add the water and honey, sprinkle the yeast on top. Let it sit for 5 minutes, then stir to combine.
- In the bowl of the mixer whisk together the flour and salt.
- Make a well in the middle and add the yeast mixture.
- Start to knead for about 5 minutes, the dough will be smooth and elastic and pull away from the sides of the bowl.
- Move the dough to a lightly floured flat surface and knead a few times into a ball.
- Place the dough in a lightly oiled bowl, cover with a clean tea towel and let rise for an hour or two.
- Place the loaf on a parchment paper lined cookie sheet.
- cover and let rise one hour.
- Make a few scores in the bread and bake.
How to tell when dough has risen enough
With your knuckles or a couple of fingers make an indentation in the dough, If the indentation disappears, the dough needs more time to rise. If the dent remains, the bread is ready to bake or move to the second rise. The test should be repeated with the second rise also.
How to tell when bread is done
Tap the bottom or sides of the bread. If you hear a hollow sound and the dough is firm, the bread is done. If the bread is still wet, put it back in the oven.
You can test the temperature of the bread with an instant-read thermometer. Stick the thermometer into the thickest part of the loaf, give it a few seconds, if the temperature reads between 190 and 210 degrees, the bread is done.
If you don't have a thermometer, you can also use a toothpick or even a sharp knife. Insert it into the middle of the bread at the thickest part. If it comes out with batter stuck to it, the bread isn't done yet. If it comes out dry, the bread is finished.
Can the dough be left to rise in the fridge?
The first rise of the dough can be left to rise over night in the fridge. However the dough should be left to rise the second time in a draft free warm room.
Risen dough can be left in the fridge for up to 48 hours before baking.
Can the dough be frozen?
If freezing the unbaked dough, it should be frozen after the first rise. Freeze the dough on a lightly greased cookie tray. Once it has frozen, wrap it tightly in plastic wrap and place in a freezer safe bag or container. The dough will last up to six months in the freezer.
To bake, allow dough to thaw overnight in the refrigerator, or for 2-3 hours at room temperature. When dough is thawed, roll out into rounds and proceed with the recipe.
How to store the bread
Homemade bread should be stored in an airtight plastic bag or tightly wrapped in plastic or foil. It should be stored at room temperature and will last three to four days.
So if you area looking for an easy Italian bread that tastes amazing, I hope you give this Easy Italian Bread a try!
Easy Italian Bread
- ¾ cup lukewarm water (temperature 105F / 40C) (175 grams)
- ½ teaspoon honey
- 1 teaspoon active dry yeast
- 2 cups all purpose flour (250 grams)
- ¾ teaspoon salt
- In a small bowl add the water and honey and mix, sprinkle the yeast on top. Let it sit for 5 minutes, then stir to combine.
- In the bowl of the stand up mixer whisk together the flour and salt. Make a well in the middle and add the yeast mixture. Start to knead for about 5 minutes at speed #2, the dough should be smooth and elastic and pull away from the sides of the bowl.
- Move the dough to a lightly floured flat surface and knead a few times into a ball. Place the dough in a lightly oiled bowl, make sure to roll the dough in the oiled bowl so that is lightly covered in oil. Cover the bowl with a clean tea towel, place it in a warm draft free area and let it rise for an hour or two. If the room is warm enough an hour should do. Or you can let it rise overnight in the fridge.
- Form the dough into desired loaf shape and place it on a parchment paper lined cookie sheet, cover again with the tea towel and let rise one hour in a warm draft free area.
- Pre-heat the oven to 400F (200C). Place a pan of water on the bottom of the stove. Score the bread a few time then bake it for about 30-35 minutes. Check to make sure it is done by tapping on the bottom, if it sounds hollow it is done. You could also use a long wooden stick to check for doneness. Immediately move the baked bread to a wire rack to cool. Enjoy!