This homemade Italian Bread is a cool rise bread. It can be made in advance and put in the refrigerator for anywhere from 2-24 hours. It’s great to bake just before guests arrive!
Thank you to Red Star Yeast for partnering with us for this recipe. As always, all opinions are our own.
There are so many things to love about homemade Italian Bread. Especially this loaf. This recipe is from an old-fashioned cookbook that my great-grandma gave to me. That’s always a good sign that a recipe is doing to be good. And it didn’t disappoint. If you’re looking for an easy homemade bread with a chewy crust but soft inside, give this recipe a try!
Italian bread is similar to white bread. Italian bread is known for having a moist and absorbent interior that is perfect for soaking up soups and sauces. Italian bread has a little bit of a chewy crust and is often round in shape, although we’ve shaped our Italian bread into loaves.
This recipe is for a classic Italian bread with a simple flavor. It makes two loaves and is perfect to use as a side to your favorite Italian dinners, side salads or with soup. It’s hard to resist fresh from the oven, but it’s chewy exterior makes it perfect any time of the day!
My favorite yeast is Red Star Platinum Superior Baking Yeast. It comes in packets and never fails to produce a great loaf of bread. If you are newer to bread making, I highly recommend this yeast for great results! Red Star Platinum Superior Baking Yeast is an instant yeast which means it does not have to be proofed first. Just add it into the flour and start mixing.
We use our stand mixer to knead bread dough, but if you don’t have a stand mixer you can knead by hand. If you happen to have a bread maker, you can use the dough setting and let the bread machine knead for you, which is the easiest method of all!
This bread is a “cool rise” bread. That means you can let the dough rise in the fridge overnight and bake it fresh the next day. It’s the perfect bread for when you are having company over. The floury mess stays out of the kitchen the day you are having guests.
To allow your dough to rise, simply brush with oil and cover with plastic wrap. Pop the pan into the refrigerator overnight and remove it from the fridge the next day about 10 minutes before you want to bake it.
What gives this bread it’s shiny exterior? It’s an egg wash. Egg wash is simply 1 large egg white and 1 tablespoon of water. Use a fork to whisk the two together, then brush it overtop the loaves of bread after they’ve baked for 20 minutes. Brush on the egg wash, then bake for an additional 5 minutes. It helps give that delicious crust a beautiful look.
Having trouble? Read through our most frequently asked questions about bread baking.