Easy Crusty Italian Bread

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My friend, Debra Wolcott , used to use her bread machine to make the most delicious Italian Loaf. It had a wonderful sweet and savory taste. I truly miss that bread and am always on the lookout for recipes that taste similar.

Sooooo…today we’re going to talk about how to recreate that amazing flavor you remember!

Crusty Italian Bread


  • 2 1/2 tsp active dry yeast
  • 1 1/4 cup warm water
  • 3 cups bread flour or all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • cornmeal for dusting


  • Combine yeast, water, 1 teaspoon of sugar and 1 cup of flour in mixing bowl.
  • Allow to rest for 10 minutes until the yeast starts bubbling and giving off a "yeasty" smell.
  • Add the remaining flour, sugar, and salt and mix until the flour is incorporated. Add the olive oil and knead for 10 minutes, until the dough is smooth and satiny.
  • Place the dough in an oiled bowl, coating the dough all around with the oil.
  • Cover with plastic wrap or a wet tea towel and place in a warm spot until the dough has doubled in volume -- 45 minutes to an hour or more, depending on temperature.
  • Punch down the dough, roll into desired loaf shape, cover with plastic again and allow to rise until doubled in volume.
  • Place a bowl of water in the stove and pre-heat to 425°. Turn down to 400 when you put the bread in.
  • Bake 20-30 minutes, depending on shape of loaves.
  • Bread is finished when it makes a hollow sound when you thump on the bottom with your thumb.


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