A homemade Italian bread recipe that doesn't take hours to prep and bake? Yes, it does exist!
Bread,  Food,  How To,  Savory Bread

Easy Homemade Italian Bread

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A homemade Italian bread recipe that doesn’t take hours to prep and bake? Yes, it does exist!

A homemade Italian bread recipe that doesn't take hours to prep and bake? Yes, it does exist!

There’s this little family-owned Italian restaurant in my neighborhood that has {arguably} the best baked ziti ever.

For whatever reason, I was craving that tonight, and yet didn’t feel like ordering takeout for Sunday dinner—one of the few days of the week where I actually have time to relax and cook things that are otherwise tough on a busy weeknight.

So, with all the necessary ingredients already on hand, I made the ziti.

And it was fabulous. I’ll put the simple recipe up soon.

Except there was one problem: I didn’t buy a loaf of Italian bread at the grocery store this week. 

I’m the type that needs Italian bread with my pasta, or at least a baguette—I’m not picky.

I checked my pantry, and low and behold, I had one packet of yeast left. One packet’s enough to make one loaf of Italian bread, I told myself.

But what I really wondered was whether or not I’d be able to find a recipe for homemade Italian bread that didn’t take hours and hours to prep and bake.

And sure enough, I did!

A homemade Italian bread recipe that doesn't take hours to prep and bake? Yes, it does exist!

I made a simple dough with flour, salt, sugar, water, yeast and olive oil, and then I used my KitchenAid mixer with the dough hook attachment to do the kneading for me.

I don’t mind kneading by hand, but this was a nice alternative today!

Then I covered the mixing bowl, and let it rise for 30 minutes in a warm, undrafty spot—today that spot was the microwave (not on).

After a half-hour, I punched the dough down (it had nearly doubled in size), and then I let it rise for another 10 minutes.

A homemade Italian bread recipe that doesn't take hours to prep and bake? Yes, it does exist!

I made a loaf shape out of the dough, cut three slits on top with a very sharp knife, and then baked it on a greased cookie sheet at 400°F for about 20 minutes.

A homemade Italian bread recipe that doesn't take hours to prep and bake? Yes, it does exist!

What I ended up with was a rustic looking loaf of Italian bread, soft on the inside and a little dense.

The crust had just enough tooth to it, and we loved it sliced warm with butter. Perfect with the baked ziti!

A homemade Italian bread recipe that doesn't take hours to prep and bake? Yes, it does exist!

Like this Italian bread recipe? Check out my Easy Homemade French Bread recipe too!

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Easy Homemade Italian Bread

Prep Time: 45 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 5 minutes

Easy homemade Italian bread in about an hour!

Ingredients

  • 1 cup warm water (about 110°F - it should feel warm on your hand, not hot)
  • 1 packet active dry yeast
  • 2 heaping cups bread flour
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil + extra for the pan and the dough ball

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 400°F.
  • Combine the yeast and warm water together in a small bowl. Let it rest for 5 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, mix the flour, salt and sugar together in the bowl of a KitchenAid (or similar) mixer fitted with a bread hook, until they're just combined.
  • With the mixer on medium-low speed, pour the water/yeast mixture into the flour mixture.
  • When the dough starts to form, but still looks flaky, add 2 tablespoons of olive oil.
  • Increase the mixer speed to medium-high and continue kneading the dough for 5 minutes - it should look smooth by this point.
  • If the dough still seems dry and flaky, you may need to add a little more water; if it's too wet, you may need to add a little flour, and then mix it for another minute.
  • Remove the dough and shape it into a ball. Lightly coat the outside with olive oil, and then place it back in the mixing bowl.
  • Cover the bowl with a towel, and then find a dry, undrafty, warm space for it to set while it rises for 30 minutes.
  • After 30 minutes, punch the dough down. Recover the bowl, and let it continue to rise for 10 minutes longer.
  • Use a little olive oil to grease a cookie sheet. Form the dough into a loaf shape, and then use a sharp knife to cut 3 diagonal slits on top.
  • Bake the Italian bread for 20-25 minutes, or until it's golden brown on top.
  • Did you make this recipe?

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    This Easy Homemade Italian Bread has been adapted from One Punky Mama’s recipe for Fairly Quick Italian Bread.

    Hi, I'm Liza, a self-proclaimed word-nerd who loves getting sucked into whimsical stories and epic movies. I have laid-back, practical attitude towards life, and as a foodie at heart, I relish the chance to both cook and eat. (No picky-eater here!) I'm always on the hunt for the perfect mojito, inspiration for another tattoo and time to finish my novel.

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