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Crusty Italian Bread

Do you ever picture yourself eating a slice of Italian bread you know the type with the crunchy outside and soft and delicate inside. Well this is the recipe for you and I have found the secret to getting the perfect crust!!
Crusty Italian Bread
makes 2 loaves
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
Place warm water, yeast and brown sugar in mixing bowl. Stir and let stand for a few minutes until it start to bubble and foam a bit. 
Add olive oil and salt.  Mix and add the flour gradually.  You want to add enough that the dough comes away from the sides of the bowl.  You want to mix it with the dough hook for a few minutes.

Cover and let the dough rise until doubled about 30 minutes.
Punch down dough and divide in two and form into two loaves (I doubled the recipe this time.)
Cover with a damp cloth and let rise until doubled.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Beat together:
1 egg
1 Tablespoon water
Brush the risen loaves with the egg mixture.
Make a single long quick cut down the center of the loaves with a sharp knife.
**Now here's the secret. Place atleast 1 cup hot water in a shallow pan and place it on the rack underneath the bread.  The steam will make the crust turn perfectly.  You may need to add a bit more water during cooking. You do not want it to evaporate.
Bake for 25-30 minutes or until the loaves turn golden brown and sound hollow when you tap them.
Remove from pan and let cool on racks.  I always like to rub butter over the hot crust!


  1. YUM!! I wish I had a piece right now. I can't wait to try this.

  2. These look so good, Tiffanee! I could sit down and eat an entire loaf (with butter, of course) for dinner. I'm not much of a bread maker but I really want to try this. Thanks for the tip on the crust too. Who would have thought? Happy weekend!

  3. You just never cease to amaze me Tiffanee! What heavenly loaves of bread! You have no idea how I long for a good crusty loaf of Italian Bread. I'm saving this recipe with the hopes that one day I will have the courage to try it.

    Thank you so much for sharing...

  4. Gorgeous bread Tiffanee! I've never seen brown sugar in an Italian bread recipe....yummy. :)

  5. Dear Tiffanee, Your bread looks wonderful! Nothing beat a loaf of Italian bread. When the weather gets cooler I will be trying this!! I hope to see you at the three o'clock meeting tomorrow for the video chat! Blessings my dear, your friend, Catherine xo

  6. This look awesome! We would love to invite you to join us at Saturday Show & Tell on Cheerios and Lattes! We know our readers will love your fantastic recipes! Have a great weekend!
    Mackenzie :)

  7. Thanks for this recipe Tiffanee. Just made the dough and it is rising. After I punch it down I will refrigerate until tomorrow when I will let it rise once more at room temp. and bake it for dinner with homemade lasagna and steak. Hope it is as good as it looks.


  8. Hello!

    I have been trying to make great bread for my family for a long time and had yet to find a recipe we all liked until I stumbled on your recipe! I am a wife and mom to three very picky guys so no recipe is safe from these guys! I made your recipe last night to go with a soup i made and my oldest son ate it without coating it in butter! thats unheard of from him! my husband loved it so much I made the recipe again today, doubled it and then cut them into sandwich roll size for BBQ chicken sandwiches. Thanks for an easy recipe I can make, and a great recipe my family loves! Im a new fan of your site and will be sharing it with all I know! this recipe is just plain amazing!

  9. Try adding 1tsp apple vinegar cider and reduce yeast (1tsp)

  10. Did you use all purpose flour or Bread Flour for this recipe?

    1. Just came across your recipe. Can this be made using a bread machine.

  11. I'm curious about bread vs all purpose as well! Which one do you think is best?


  13. 3 cups All Purpose flour and 1 cup Bread flour

  14. 3 cups All Purpose flour and 1 cup Bread flour

  15. How long does it usually take for the 2nd rise?


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