Crusty Italian Bread

Indulge in the delightful experience of baking and savoring homemade Crusty Italian Bread. This recipe, passed down through generations, captures the essence of rustic Italian flavors, creating two irresistibly crusty loaves that are perfect for sharing with loved ones.

Why You’ll Love This Recipe:

The Crusty Italian Bread is a culinary journey that blends simplicity and authenticity. The warm, yeasty aroma filling your kitchen, the golden-brown crust crackling under your fingers, and the soft, airy interior make this bread a true delight. It’s a versatile companion to soups, pasta, or enjoyed on its own with a dab of butter.


1 1/3 cups warm water
2 1/4 teaspoons yeast
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 1/2 teaspoons olive oil
4 cups flour
1 egg
1 tablespoon water


  1. Place warm water, yeast, and brown sugar in a mixing bowl. Stir and let it stand for a few minutes until it starts to bubble and foam.
    1. Add olive oil and salt. Mix and gradually add the flour until the dough comes away from the sides of the bowl. Use the dough hook for a few minutes.
    2. Cover and let the dough rise until doubled, about 30 minutes.
    3. Punch down the dough, divide it in two, and form into two loaves. Cover with a damp cloth and let rise until doubled.
    4. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
    5. Beat together 1 egg and 1 tablespoon water. Brush the risen loaves with the egg mixture.
    6. Make a single long quick cut down the center of the loaves with a sharp knife.
    7. Place at least 1 cup hot water in a shallow pan on the rack underneath the bread. The steam will perfect the crust. Add more water during cooking if needed.
    8. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until the loaves turn golden brown and sound hollow when tapped.
    9. Remove from the pan and let cool on racks. For an extra touch, rub butter over the hot crust.

Prep Time: 45 minutes | Cooking Time: 25-30 minutes | Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes | Kcal: Caloric information may vary | Servings: 2 loaves


Store the Crusty Italian Bread in a paper bag or bread box to maintain its crispy crust. Avoid airtight containers to prevent moisture buildup.

Recipe Tips:

  • Ensure the water used for steaming is hot to generate enough steam for a perfect crust.
    • Experiment with adding herbs like rosemary or thyme to the dough for a flavorful twist.
    • Don’t rush the rising process; it contributes to the bread’s texture and flavor.

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