How To Make Crusty Italian Bread

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The right bread can be the difference between a cheesesteak and a “genuine Philly style steak and cheese sandwich.”

Philadelphians understand that line. The rest of you might be scratching your heads wondering what I’m talking about. In a word: Amoroso’s. Okay, that’s not helping you yet, is it?

Okay, put it this way. When you’re in Italy, you wouldn’t describe a restaurant as “Italian”. Kind of obvious, right? Well, when you’re in Philly you wouldn’t ask for a “Philly style steak sandwich”. You’d ask for a cheesesteak. Unless you want people to look at you like you just stepped in a pile of dog poo.

And if you’re somewhere else? “Philly style” on the sign is a dead giveaway that it’s not. It’s either a cheesesteak or it’s not, no qualifiers needed.

All of which is a really long way of getting to the point: I miss Amoroso’s so bad. Since I can’t get it here, I’m going to make my own. I may not get it perfect on the first try, but I’ll keep tweaking it until it’s as close as I can get.

Ingredients

081206-124229_Lg1 package (1/4 ounce, 2-1/2 teaspoons) active dry yeast
1-1/4 cups warm water (105°-115°)
3 cups unbleached flour or all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon olive oil
cornmeal for dusting

Directions

Dissolve the yeast in a quarter-cup of warm water. You should actually check the temperature of the water. Too cold and it won’t activate, too hot and you can kill the yeast.

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Give the yeast a few minutes, until it starts bubbling, then mix it in with the rest of the warm water.

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Add the flour, sugar and salt and stir.

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Don’t add the oil until after you’ve worked the water and flour together. Otherwise the oil will coat the proteins and prevent gluten formation. Gluten lets the dough stretch when it rises, making it light and chewy instead of crumbling like cake.

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After mixing the oil in, turn the dough out onto a clean, floured surface to knead.

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Stretch the dough away from you, fold it back, turn a quarter turn and repeat. Once the dough is well incorporated, slap it on the surface a few times. This will encourage more gluten production leading to a lighter, airier bread.

When the dough is smooth and silky, continue kneading for another several minutes. You can work it with both hands and keep turning the dough, or just hit it from opposite angles with each hand.

Once the dough is thoroughly kneaded, place it in an oiled bowl. Toss the dough around so it is coated with oil all the way around.

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Cover the dough with plastic wrap, pressed right up against the dough. This will prevent a skin from forming on the dough, allowing it to rise more.

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Put the bowl someplace warm until the dough has doubled in size, about 1-1/2 to 2 hours.

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Pre-heat the oven to 425°. If you have a pizza stone, put it on the bottom rack. Otherwise, place a baking sheet upside-down on the bottom rack.

Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and punch down to knock out most of the air out. Don’t go crazy and try to turn it into a pancake. Just give it a quick couple of hits.

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Roll the dough out into a loaf shape and cut it in half. You can form the halves into loaves or, like I did here, divide each half into three smaller pieces.

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Roll out the pieces of dough until they are about 6-9 inches long.

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If you have a peel (the large wooden spatula you see in pizza shops) use that. If not, a wooden cutting board will work. Dust it with cornmeal so the dough doesn’t stick.

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Cover the loaves with plastic and allow to rise for another 40 minutes. They should roughly double in width.

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Cut each loaf down the middle with the sharpest blade you have. If you don’t have anything that is absolutely razor sharp, use a razor blade. You want to cut about a quarter-inch deep in a single quick stroke without sawing back-and-forth. This will prevent the bread from bursting open when it rises in the oven.

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Transfer the loaves onto the baking stone. Leave room between loaves for them to rise some more.

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If they don’t all fit on your stone, put the rest on an upside-down baking sheet.

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Bake at 425° for 10 minutes, then turn the oven down to 400° and bake another 25-30 minutes. To check if they’re done, pick one loaf up and thump on the bottom with your thumb. If it has a hollow sound, it’s done.

If you want really crusty bread, great for dipping in olive oil or marinara sauce, place a pan of water in the bottom of the oven. The steam will keep a skin from forming too fast, giving the bread more time to rise. It will also make the crust crisper.

Don’t put the loaves near the top. The radiant heat from the top of the stove will brown the crust too much, too fast. Guess which ones in the picture below were on the baking sheet?

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Serve immediately with butter, or with olive oil and balsamic vinegar for dipping.

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And that’s it.

Or … let them cool off and maybe use them for sandwiches. Maybe I’ll have something special comingng up next. You think? Maybe? 

Crusty Italian Bread

Prep Time: 3 hours

Cook Time: PT35-40M

Yield: 6-8 small loaves

Crusty Italian Bread

Ingredients

  • 1 package (2½ teaspoons) active dry yeast
  • 1¼ cups warm water (105-115°)
  • 3 cups bread flour or all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • cornmeal for dusting

Instructions

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.

Comments

  1. michelle of bleeding espresso says:

    Mmmmm Amoroso’s…this bread looks fantastic! Now if only I could get some Cheez Whiz over here in southern Italy 😉

    • I made the dough in my bread machine, because I have celiac disease and cannot handle the bread. I kneaded it on the bread cycle. Took it out, put in oiled bowl, flipped, covered w/damp towel. After it filled the bowl and was crawling out, I continued as above.

      • I tried the recipe in my Zojirushi bread machine. I just put it on the basic cycle. It came out very good. The next time I with choose a longer rise cycle . My husband grew up in Washington, Pa. They had an Italian bread there that he has been looking for but unable to find anywhere. We live in League City, TX. He was very pleased with this bread. I’ll also try the Dough cycle and shape it and bake it in the oven as suggested. He is very happy to have gotten this close to his childhood memory! Thank you!

      • If he were from the east end of PA I’d bet it was Amoroso’s bread he was missing. That’s why I developed this recipe, was because I missed it.

      • I’m from central PA and there are a handful of restaurants spread all over called Original Italian Pizza or O.I.P. (mostly different owners) and a lot of them have the same type of bread that is absolutely amazing. I have a feeling the bread trisha’s husband is looking for is either the same thing or closely related to the bread I’ve been looking for. I haven’t been able to recreate it or find it anywhere else. Supposedly part of the secret to get the flavor is in the bread pans they use, which have been used and left to season for decades.

        I made the topic bread and like it a lot. I know of Amoroso’s, but have yet to eat there myself. Regardless, this bread recipe produces something very similar to the bread I mentioned above. The density is there, along with the internal texture, but still missing a thing or two to complete the flavor; I’m guessing the seasoned pans, the type of yeast used, and/or my lack of knowledge and experience in dough handling and making breads.

      • Yes, the type of yeast will absolutely make a difference in the flavor. I use store-bought dry yeast. Many bakeries have their own “mother dough” that they keep feeding and re-using for sometimes years at a time. There are stories from the great San Francisco fire of bakers running back into burning buildings to rescue their mother dough.

      • Sorry, I meant lonnie’s husband, not trisha. And thank you for the recipe and getting me started on this journey!

  2. This really looks good and I really want to try it. What are your thoughts on using a bread machine (just for making the dough)?

    • I make this bread all the time (my kids LOVE it) and use my food processor to make the dough..(use 1/2 cup warm water to activate yeast, process dry ingredients 10 seconds, then add yeast mix, process 10-20 seconds, then while machine is running, pour remaining 3/4 cups warm water through feed tube, and while machine is still running, add oil….let process 30-40 seconds longer after dough has formed ball on blades)..turn out onto floured surface and knead 1 to 2 minutes and continue as above. Turns out perfect every time!

  3. This looks so yummy-I can’t wait to try it. The videos were very informative!

  4. Michelle, Whiz is an abomination. I don’t care what Pat’s does. Pat’s and Geno’s are for the tourists now. (Okay, that’s enough inside references for now.)

    Amanda, I’ve never had a bread machine, or even used one. So all I can say is that kneading the dough is really fun. I don’t know why I’d try to avoid it.

    Lizzybee, let me know how it comes out.

    • You are so right about Pat’s and Geno’s. Tourists attractions. I am from Atlantic City and I live in Atlanta, GA. I can not get the right bread to make my subs so I was looking for information about making my own. This is great information and I will be trying this out.

  5. How can I not make this for Christmas. It’s going to go great with the roast I’m making.

  6. I love homemade bread. I haven’t made any in a long time, I think I might just try this recipe tomorrow.

    Amanda: I’ve known several people who love using bread machines to make dough and swear it gets great results. But I’m with our host here, I love kneading so don’t have any first hand experience.

  7. Stephanie, I just found out we’re doing bread and dessert for Christmas dinner. So it looks like we’re both doing this.

    Bob, now that I know what I’m doing, I’m going to let the girls help with the kneading next time. They’ll have a blast. (And if I can teach the 8-year-old to do bread on her own, mwaaaahahahahaha!)

  8. Nancy from Mass says:

    Don’t go to Pat’s or Genos…Go to Jim’s on South Street. mmmmm worth the wait!

  9. Nancy, you a native or just developed a preference on a visit?

  10. Well, I’m doing the whole meal, so I get to pick what’s made. Sort of. My dad won’t eat his vegetables, my boys don’t like meat, my husband does do dessert, my sister eats everything, and my mom must have salt. On everything. I just have a picky family.

  11. Nancy from mass says:

    Hi Drew, Not a native Philadelphian, but my hubby is. He and his cousins used to go to Jims late at night for a Steak n Whiz and I’ve been there many times on visits to PA. Now that I’m vegetarian though…I’ll just have to remember the times…

    • Alan Of Earth says:

      I’ll second that Fancy Nancy From Mass. Jim’s hits me right. Love their bread.

  12. Nancy, you can be a vegetarian and still eat a cheesesteak. You just … ummm … give me a minute, I’m still working on how to rationalize this one …

  13. Nancy from mass says:

    Well, Drew…they do make vegan scrapple (scrapple…ewww) so someone somewhere will probably come up with vegan cheesesteaks!

    BTW: I have been making your sourdough bread – Yum! but have a question about it…do you ever add more yeast to the starter?

    • Elizabeth says:

      The answer to Nancy’s vegetarian Cheesesteak is at the Continental!! They serve a portobella mushroom cheesesteak that is awesome!! Fortunately I am not a vegetarian so, I too Prefer Jim’s on South to Pat’s or Geno’s!! But for a real delight Tony Luke’s is the place to go!!!

    • The reading market in Philadelphia has a shop callers Carmen’s , previously known as Rocco’s . They make vegetarian steak sandwich !! It looks the same as the ribeye but it not meat. Not sure if it is consider vegan though . They make te world best Italian hoagie. I live in upstate pa and hoping this will be a great recipe !!! If they are things I miss it is deff the rolls!!! And soft pretzels!! The list goes onon!!!!

  14. Nancy, vegan scrapple? That’s a contradiction in terms. Scrapple … scrap … vegan scrapple would be scrap … what?

    As for the starter, no you shouldn’t need to add more yeast. If you keep the same starter going, you’re really nurturing a colony of yeast. That’s why the San Francisco bakeries are so protective of — and snobbish about — their bread. They’ve been maintaining the same starters for, in some cases, over a century. And the specific strain of yeast is what gives the distinctive taste.

  15. Sheesh that bread look sooo good!

  16. Vanessa, it is. But follow the recipe. I know you hate that. So do I, that’s why I avoided making bread for so long. But I’m growing to love the measuring spoons.

  17. Anonymous says:

    Drew, thanks for the recipe. I made it last night (2 large loaves) along with the pan of water in the oven, and it was FANTASTIC! I think I’m going to be baking a lot of bread in my future.

  18. Anon, that’s exactly how I felt the first time I made a bread that came out how I wanted. And it doesn’t hurt that every time I make something now the girls rush the kitchen to get some while it’s still hot from the oven. Heck, I have to chase them out while it’s still baking because they follow the smell and don’t want to wait.

  19. Anonymous says:

    Hello! We have moved from New York to Louisiana. We love it! BUT! We can't find great italian Bread! ANY WHERE!! Guess I have to make it! My question is what is your thought with "Starter's" in Italian Bread? And Not handling so much as to alot? I'm looking for the Chewy Crusty bread!

  20. The pan of water in the bottom is how you get the crustiness. For the chewiness, substitute bread flour (high gluten flour) for at least half the white flour. If you're feeling extravagant, use all bread flour.

    For handling, you want to knead it to "windowpane" consistency. That means if you pull off a little piece of dough, you can stretch it thin enough to almost see through without it breaking.

  21. Michelle says:

    I have made so many loaves of Italian bread, trying to capture that wonderful taste of a Philly roll, and this is the closest I have ever come. Thanks so much for the great recipe and directions! Do you know how they make kaiser rolls? My grandfather was a bread maker in Philly, but died before I ever got a chance to ask him how they get that perfect swirl on the top!

  22. Michelle, glad you liked it! For the kaisers, I've seen a couple of different methods, but haven't actually tried one yet. I might give that a shot later this summer.

  23. What are your thoughts on making this one day and baking the next? I'd really like to try this, but don't want to bake it after nine due to rising times. Or, is this a weekend bread? It does look delicious and I'm ready to tackle homeade bread!

  24. Sara, the only time I've done that was my cinnamon buns. I'm sure it would work, but I'd be guessing at the timing of it.

    I'd put it in the fridge — wrapped tightly in plastic wrap with a little oil on it so it doesn't stick — after shaping it but before the second rise. Take it out the next day and leave it someplace warm until doubled in size. I really have no guess how long that will take, but certainly longer than if you don't refrigerate it.

  25. Oh my God! They came out great…..
    I always make homemade bread I'm from Europe thats just what we do..hah but thanks Drew for this great recepie. Even my mom don't believe me that I made it …she said they look 2 pretty.
    We never eat out…I cook breakfast, lunch and dinner so new recepies are always great.
    I just love your website.
    5 stars , great job.

  26. Always good to hear success stories. Hmm, I've got a new bag of bread flour downstairs. I wonder what I'll make this weekend …

  27. ty-rant84 says:

    Just made these for the second time in the past two days : ) Everyone has loved it! I was so happy with the crunchiness of the crust.

  28. Ty, I was going to make this again last night, but the kids wanted Chinese. And bread doesn't seem the best accompaniment for fried rice. Now I'm really jonesing from some fresh yeasty goodness.

  29. TheMarque says:

    I can't wait. It's rising right now. I hope it turns out well. While mixing and kneading it, it was SO INCREDIBLY sticky.

  30. Anonymous says:

    Ahh, perfect. Amazing results on first try! But please, if you use a spray bottle and/or pan of water, please be very careful anytime you open the oven. Otherwise, you may find out like I did that steam burns. I was so excited to mist the sides of the oven that I had my hand with the bottle right there as I opened the oven.

  31. Ooh, good point. I had my face right there last time I made bread. I wasn't close enough to get burned, but my glasses steamed up and stayed that way.

  32. I (an Italian-american)am now living in Cocoa Beach,Florida after growing up in Philadelhia. Restaurant food here is dismal at best but the bread here is AWFUL. What they call "italian bread" is like a giant tan marshmallow. So, when I found your site I was thrilled! I will be making bread by hand for the first time. I have a bread machine and yes, it's a great toy to play with to make pizza dough, bagel dough and some specialty breads, but I need REAL italian bread! Can't wait to try this bread tomorrow. Now if only I could cook like "Dante and Luigi"!!!

  33. Mary, don't expect Amoroso's on the first try. And use bread flour instead of all-purpose.

  34. Philly native… Jim’s Steaks, 4th and South…. the best. Lose the Wiz though, never understood the point. Use Prov instead. Add fried onions for a little bit of heaven.
    Now for the recipe… looks great. Gonna try as soon as I get into the kitchen. :)

  35. Trying this out right now, thanks!

    and Delasandros or Chubby’s on Henry avenue in Roxborough. God I miss them (in DC now).

  36. Made this today and it was pretty good. Was a bit denser than I hoped for, but the wife and kids gobbled it up anyway. I suppose the density is in the type of flour and/or the skill at kneading? This was my first bread attempt and I used all purpose bleached, maybe I didnt knead it enough?

  37. Steve, bread flour will help with the rise. As for kneading, it could be either too much or too little. You have to knead it enough to develop the gluten (stretch out the protein chains in the flour once they’ve been hydrated) but if you overdo it the bread can get tough.

    One other thing to try is letting the second rise go longer. I have this bad habit of wanting the bread right now and don’t give it as long as I really should. You want the most rise you can get without getting flimsy and falling over on itself. It just takes practice to recognize what it should look like at each stage.

    • Hi Drew,

      This is a great recipe. I have tried it twice, and I seem to be having a similar problem. Maybe I should try bread flour and let the second rise go longer…

      Both times, I got a great rise during the first and second rises, but for some reason, my bread doesn’t rise while it’s baking! It stays the same size as the last rise. Any thoughts or suggestions?

      Any tips would be a big help.
      Thanks,
      Adia

      • Adia, my problem is always deflating it when I’m transferring it to the oven. It can be delicate, like a souffle. I wonder if that’s what’s happening to yours.

        The other thing to try is pre-heating even higher. It has to be hot enough that the water in the dough steams and inflates the bread before the dough cooks and sets its shape for good.

  38. Well – I am on my third batch of bread now – Its been edible, but not looking as good as yours! Meanwhile,on my current attempt, my loaves deflated when I took the plastic wrap off to then put in the over. ( are you supposed to preheat the stone in the oven before putting the bread on? did I let them rise too long? )
    BTW – I found out that the left over or bad loaves make great croutons! Hoping this batch tastes good even if deflated….. going to try the bread flour tomorrow!

  39. Lee Ann, I’ve had far too many disappointments with deflating bread. The baking stone gives a slightly better crust, but I still have trouble moving the dough onto it without deflating. And don’t even get me started on slashing the top.

    If yours went down just from pulling off the plastic, then yes, you let it rise a bit too much. A smaller rise that makes it into the oven intact beats a nice big rise that goes *poof* when you touch it. (You could also try a bit more oil on the plastic before you cover the dough.)

    And by the way, your first time with bread flour you’re going to tell yourself, “Oh, so that’s how this is supposed to work.”

  40. Today, I made bread that looks good and tastes good – taking it to Aunt Dorothys for spaghetti dinner. She is an awesome cook at the age 0f 90 and invites us often

    As for the good bread today – I tried the bread flour, and watched the rising – I also used parchment paper for the loaves to rise and then slid paper and all onto the stone in the hot oven. (brushed on some garlic butter right after forming the loaves like in the garlic breadstick recipe)
    Also, last night I made the asiago cheddar cheese rolls – to serve with baked chicken breasts and asparagus – I ate three rolls before dinner got on the table – family loved the bread , that is, what I didnt eat before they got a chance-

  41. The parchment is a great idea. A friend of mine does that with her pizza, but it never occurred to me to do it for other bread. Seems obvious now that you’ve pointed it out.

    And those cheese rolls are addictive, aren’t they?

  42. I just finished making this and it came out kind of flat because I think I rolled it out too much. Other than that it was perfect. I used a lot of plastic for this so do you have an alternative to the plastic wrapping? Can’t you just leave it out?

  43. Anqel, for the second rise yes, I’ve left it without the plastic wrap. If the first rise was good but the second rise wasn’t going anywhere, then you probably did roll it out too much. I try to handle it as little as possible after the first rise to get it into the final shape.

    • Thanks ! And I have baked other breads and they rise a lot when in the oven; the Italian Bread takes a shorter amount of time to bake and they don’t do much more raising when in the oven. Do you know why?

  44. I made the bread according the recipe, but it didn’t rise much on the second rise and baked into tiny dense inedible bricks. Any suggestions?

  45. Dan, if you do the second rise on a baking sheet, it has to go somewhere warm. If you do it in a cold room the metal will pull all the heat out of the dough and slow the yeast down as much as refrigerating it would.

  46. carbaholic says:

    yuummm, im practically drooling over here just reading this

  47. What do you suggest for storing the bread? I torn between airtight because it is bread, and loosely wraped because of the crustiness. Any ideas?

  48. I like airtight and refrigerated. Then a quick shot in the toaster oven to warm and crisp it back up.

  49. I been using this recipe for about a year now.
    I finally got a baking stone WHAT A DIFFERNCE!
    I also have been adding things to my breads. Tonights choice was crushed black pepper and feta cheese.
    I have used sausage before and my family went nuts over it.
    All in all I love making this style bread.

  50. Joe, it’s funny you should mention that today. Just last night I used this same basic recipe, but did it as dinner rolls cooked in a cast iron skillet. I left out the pan of water, and brushed the tops with butter, to keep them soft. Wow. I’ll be writing those up and posting them real soon now.

  51. I’ve been hunting all over to get a sub made in my area with this kind of bread. There are even some sub shops that have it shipped from Amoroso’s. Weird thing is, by the time it gets here, the roll turns into a large hot dog bun!
    After much frustration I decided to simply break down and make it myself. Great recipe and very simple, not even much mixing is required.

    Used an air-bake cookie sheet on which I wiped with Crisco and dusted with cornmeal and then allowed the rolls to rise on the sheet. Put an empty metal bread pan on the floor of the gas oven and added 1/2C of water after the bread was in place on the rack. Instant steam that way but not sure if it matters. Got 4 standard sub rolls out of this recipe and they came out really well. Check my web link to see the beauties.

  52. Max, nice work. Now you just need an Italian deli.

  53. David Meneo says:

    I tried this off the webpage and it worked pretty good I must say… I decided to make it again and I printed out the recipe card and the directions were different…. going to give it a shot…. the card wants you to mix all the water 1 tsp of sugar and a cup of flour together and let sit for 10 minutes… the webpage wants 1/4 cp of water with the yeast for a few minutes then the rest… just strange that the card is different from the page…. cant wait to see which it better it at all…

  54. David, that’s a good catch. The page was showing one of the first times I had done this recipe. I have since done a lot more yeast breads, and the card describes my current technique.

    Do both techniques correctly and there shouldn’t be much difference in the final product. But with the method described on the card, there’s the added safety factor of “proofing” the yeast — makings sure that it’s activated before mixing in the rest of the ingredients.

    If you don’t proof the yeast first, everything might still come out fine. But if the yeast was no longer good, or if you had the water too hot and killed it, you won’t know until a half-hour later when the dough still hasn’t risen.

  55. chelsea says:

    Hi, I made this recipe as directed, except I cut all the ingredients in half (its just me eating the bread) and the bread never became golden or crusty despite putting water at the bottom. It also remained relatively flat and dense, though it is quite tender. I have an electric oven.. could this change the result? I also used all organic ingredients, would this also affect it? I heard once that organic active dry yeast doesn’t work as well… but that was in pairs and I’m not sure I will trust a Parisian. If you could give any tips, I’d really like to produce a nice fluffy, crusty Italian bread like shown in the pictures.

  56. Chelsea, most of the rise should come before it ever goes into the oven.

    With “quickbreads”, meaning biscuits or anything else made using baking powder or baking soda (so this technically includes cake … yes, cake is a bread) all the rise happens while baking due to chemical processes.

    With yeast breads, most of the rise comes from a live culture reproducing, giving off gases which are trapped by the gluten in the wheat. They get a little “oven spring” as the heat causes these pockets of gas to expand, but the yeast has already died by that point and stopped producing more gas.

    • chelsea says:

      Yes, I know. The bread did rise during the process, it did just as the directions said… though I did notice that it didn’t double in size, despite given the allotted time. I could even see air bubbles in what was supposed to be the crust. The bread that I ended up with, tasted very good, but it was more the consistency of a pretzel, according to my roommate who loved it and likes that type of bread.

  57. I love fresh bread! good stuff!

  58. Danielle says:

    So easy~~LOVE IT! We added fennel seed to the bread! OMG!!!!! :) :) :)

  59. used your recipe for italian bread it worked just great – delicious, I will continue to use it,perhaps with just one teaspoon of sugar also adding rosemary.
    many thanks
    Sean

  60. Alan Justice says:

    Amoroso’s! I miss them so much here in Texas….

  61. Cathy Smith says:

    I am trying this recipe now. The dough is rising. My question is, can you freeze this dough? I may have too much and don’t want to waste it.

  62. Cathy, I hope I’m not too late — though it looks like I am. If I were going to freeze it, I’d do it before the second rise. Then you can let it do the second rise while it’s defrosting.

    In fact, you know what? I should do that.

    • Cathy Smith says:

      Thanks Drew. You’re not too late. I didn’t have any left to freeze after all. It’s came out really great and my husband loves it.

  63. I’ve tried this recipe a couple times today but the dough is never thick enough to knead, it’s more like mixing. It doesn’t hold form when I try to shape it either (after the oiled bowl/plastic wrap step).

    Any suggestions? I’m obviously doing something wrong, I just can’t figure out what.

    • Dough can be really sensitive to humidity. If it’s not holding it’s shape before it rises, knead in a little more flour.

  64. Fantastic Recipe i followed the directions as stated, and the bread turned out wonderful, however i only fully backed 2 rolls for my wife and i to have with our home made Osso Buco i half backed the other rolls and froze them, re backed then about a week later and the result was almost the same… less rise but texture was great, i also added some dried garlic and ground fennel seed, YUM! id say that you need to proof the yeast its critical, well i found its critical when making pizza dough, well it is for my nonna’s pizza dough. give it a go folks is very simple and easy to do. make sure you knead the bread well tho you need that soft smooth feel to it.

  65. deidre dagner says:

    I spent 3 hrs last nite with the “improved” recipe card version, mostly trying to disentangle myself from the glue-like dough. Every time I tried to remove the plastic wrap I was left with flooop. It went in the garbage at 1 am. I noticed the card was different from the site instructions, so I have now spent another 1.5 hrs trying to get past the first step. I bought the yeast yesterday, it expires in 2012. I measured the water temp with a thermometer. In the 5 seconds between putting the 1/4 cup water into the bowl & opening the yeast pkg, the temp had gone down 5 degrees, so I realized keeping it the right temp long enough for it to prove was going to be tough. My house temp is 80 since I shut off the a/c, and placed the bowl on a cookie sheet that was on top of a still-warm burner. No luck after 45 min. Now I have my oven on warm, the door ajar, and the yeast water balanced on top of a pan & counter weighted with a pot so it doesn’t fall. If this one winds up in the garbage, too, at least all I lost was a pkg of yeast. How do I keep the water warm enough?

  66. Diedre, that sounds horrible. So sorry it’s not working.

    My best guess for the temperature is that you’re trying to proof in a metal bowl. The metal acts as a heat sink — like the fins in a car radiator — and draw the heat out.

    If you want to proof in the same metal bowl you’re going to mix in, rinse the bowl in hot water first so it doesn’t draw all the heat out of the water.

    • deidre dagner says:

      Thanks for the reply Drew. Unfortunately, my 2nd attempt went into the garbage, also, as the loaves just wouldn’t rise a second time, and baked into bricks. I used plastic bowls, btw. When the outside temp is in triple digits I need the a/c on, just can’t take the heat, so I don’t know how I’m going to get the yeast to proof. What do you think about putting it in the oven and lighting a candle in the oven? Or putting the light on inside the oven? Also, I’ve never been successful with bread so I don’t know what the dough should feel like. I know how important that is – the secret to my famous meatballs is knowing how moist the mixture should feel. I have an electric oven and can’t put a pan of water in the bottom, there’s an element in the way. Will the bottom shelf do instead?
      I grew up just outside NYC. I never knew that people in the rest of the country couldn’t get all the fantastic food we just took for granted. If you love ethnic food of any kind, don’t move to the South, whatever you do. My years here in central VA constitute cruel & unusual punishment for a 2nd generation Italian.

      • Deidre, I do the rising in the oven with the light on. You’re right about getting the consistency being important. Unfortunately I can’t let you feel the dough through the internet. :-/

        If you’re getting the first rise but not the second, I suspect you’re punching it down too much, or overworking it before you do the second rise. Once the yeast starts going, you want to handle the dough as little as possible.

        And I hear you on the ethnic food. I lived in Southern California for several years. Now I’m in Cleveland. I haven’t had good Mexican food since I’ve been here.

    • I haven’t tried this recipe yet–I just found it. But I use an old heating pad against the wall of a little cabinet to keep that space consistently warm, and it works great to get doughs to rise properly.

  67. Loved this recipe… it has been added to our collection.

    Thank you

    ps: the videos were very helpful.

  68. Jack Jensen says:

    Hi Drew,
    I’m still in the Philly area and can get all of the Amoroso and other Italian bread I want, but I had to try your recipe anyway. In fact, I have a little excel worksheet for scaling percentages and changed it to a 9 roll recipe (50%more dough). Then I didn’t feel up to shaping 9 rolls so I cooked it as 2 loaves. It came out great. We had it with our spaghetti dinner about 2 hours after it was made. The wife loved it, my daughter sopped up about a quart of sauce with half a loaf and the grandkids are still asking for more 2 hours after dinner.
    I did do a couple of things differently. I kneaded it using the “slap and fold” method then folded the dough twice during the ferment stage (first rise). I believe it’s the best Italian bread I’ve ever made. The crumb was open and tender and the rise and oven spring incredible.
    BTW if you ever get back to the Philly area give Phillip’s @ 23rd and Passyunk a try. They have what I consider the best cheese steaks around.
    Thanks for the recipe I believe I’m going to have a good time with it.

  69. Jack, can you confirm my theory: Everyone who grew up in or near Philly can tell you where to find the unquestionably best cheesesteak. And it’s always within three blocks of where they grew up.

  70. Jack Jensen says:

    Drew,
    I agree. My favorite place as a kid closed up years ago though, when the owner retired (He put his kids through college and they didn’t want to take it over ).
    So I had to get a new favorite ( I live in Delaware county) and it wound up being Phillip’s. A walk up place like Pat’s and Geno’s. His bread and meat are way better than either one of the former. Tony Luke’s aren’t bad, but his bread is a little too chewy for my taste.
    As an aside, when my wife and I were dating, she lived on S 56th St. Many a Friday night I stopped at Amoroso’s bakery(On 55th St.) and bought 12″ rolls as they were coming off the line. I usually had 2 eaten before I got to her house.
    BTW, after tasting your bread last night, I feel energetic enough to shape rolls, so we’re having home-made steaks tonight using them and real rib-eye of course.

  71. Christine says:

    I’m so happy to have found your site! My grandfather started an Italian bakery in NJ when he came over in the ’30s. Unfortunately I’m an embarrassment when it comes to baking bread! I’m hoping to learn from you since we live in CT and I can’t get home to the bakery as often as I would like. First attempt is on the rise as I type.

    My husband is from Cherry Hill and his family swears by Tony Luke’s on Oregon Ave. I may have to convince him to that we should have a taste test with some of the other places mentioned. (Not a bad way to spend a day!)

    Also, my grandfather said to never refrigerate baked bread because it gets stale faster. Slice it and put it in the freezer if you want to keep it. You can always take out what you need and defrost it.

  72. NEED HELP! The rolls keep coming out flatter and denser than they should, though the taste and smell are dead on! I think the problem might be transfering from cutting board to the hot stone. Also, how can a make them more CRUSTY! Thanks for all of your help with this.

    VR,
    Billy

  73. Oh, have you ever had a sarcone’s rolls, they are the absolute best of philly. They are at 9th and fitzwater in south philly.

  74. William, I always lose volume transferring to the hot stone. I’m starting to think I’d be better off keeping the stone for pizza and just leaving the bread on the pan it rose on.

    For the crust, it’s all about having a steamy environment. I mentioned you can put a pan of water in the bottom for that. There are a few other methods that might work better, though. First, put a heavy-bottomed skillet (like cast iron) in the oven while it’s preheating. When you put the bread in, add a few ice cubes to the skillet.

    Another method, common in bakeries, is to use a spray bottle of water. Spray the inside of the oven when you but the bread in.

    A combination of methods might be best. For my next batch I’m going to use the skillet and ice cubes and spray with the spray bottle. I’ll keep you posted.

    As for Sarcone’s, I recognize the name, but can’t say whether I’ve ever had them.

  75. The bread recipe was fantastic. We were EALLY pleased with the results. I just read about the ice cubes idea for the steam/crusty magic…I’m going to try that next time. Thanks and I can’t wait to look through the rest of the recipes. I think the pretzels are next!

  76. Glad you liked it. Check out the post about finishing salt before making them. The sea salt I used was perfect, but I might try one of the flavored ones next time.

  77. WOW!!! I can’t believe how amazing this bread is – it was perfect for soaking up my mussels in wine sauce. I am so grateful to have found this fantastic recipe for my first attempt at making bread.

    Thank you!

    – V

    Sydney, Australia.

  78. Veronica, that’s great to hear. And prompts me to make another batch for myself.

  79. Just found your website. After seeing the pics I have to try this when I get home. Born and raised in Philly now residing in Charlotte. My folks are on there way down with Amorosos and some sliced beef. I’ll actually get to do a side by side. If my results come out half as nice as your pics, I would consider opening a shop down here. At the very least I’m gonna buy you a drink.

  80. Sure … make it a Frank’s grape.

    On second thought, don’t do that. I’m sure it was made with sugar when I was growing up and now it would be corn syrup.

  81. I made this 16 times so far n it tastes amazing!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  82. Jilliana, you know that whole “man does not live on bread alone” thing? Not kidding about that. Seriously, I’m glad you like it, but I sure hope you’re mixing in some other stuff along with it. :-)

  83. bonniejean says:

    I have a 56″ brick oven in our back yard…this recipe is oh so perfect for it!!! Small loves work much better than larger ones as heat tends to dissipate rapidly in the winter (go figure). I make this one with a cream Lasagna! I use a mixer for the dough. I always do.

  84. Hi,
    I’m making this break for my Italian boyfriend right as I’m typing:) I’m so scared because I’m watching the bread in the oven but its not rising:( The only step I had to skip was the cornmeal since i dont have any and I put flour on the tray instead. Let’s pray it comes out right in about 15 mins left. This is my first time making any bread and omg im nervous…

    But regardless, I would have to say the page is wonderful as well as the recipes. I will let you guys know about the results…

  85. Ok the results are in:) My bread didnt rise or brown at all after I took it out…. Im so sad i dont know what went wrong. I did everything right but probably I should have let it rest more than 45 minutes on the trays after I rolled them since my house is pretty cold.

  86. Hulika, I’m sorry it didn’t turn out. This is something that you just can’t do by time alone. If they don’t rise to double their volume before you put them in the oven, then they’re not going to.

    Yeast breads do most of their rising before baking. Cakes and other things made with baking soda rise because of the heat.

  87. I have been searching for a “real” Italian bread recipe, like the Italian bread you get from bakers in New England, for more than 20 years. I tried this recipe in December 2010 and it was yummy, although the loaves were a bit smaller than I’d hoped, probably a combination of them not rising enough because it was *cold* in the kitchen and perhaps I didn’t knead them enough. The flavor was the closest I’ve ever come to that delicious Italian bread back east.

    Because I couldn’t find good Italian bread, I pretty much stopped eating bread. Then I found your web site and this recipe. I’ve been longing to try this recipe again and today’s the day! It’s snowing outside and I’m staying home. I’m going to put the pan of water in for a crustier crust because that’s also what I liked about the bread I remember. Will let you know how it goes. Thank you *so very much* for sharing this recipe. You have no idea how much it means to me to be able, finally, to have this wonderful bread again.

  88. I found your recipe yesterday, as I have only made homemade bread a few times in my life and I can’t remember the last time I made bread but I have to say I made your recipe today and it is GREAT!

  89. I tried this recipe and the bread turned out AMAZING! But… it didn’t rise much. I put it in a bowl and I guess since it’s winter it was too cold to rise. I ended up with only 2 small loaves. I think next time I’m going to put the dough on a baking sheet in a slightly warm oven. I can’t wait to bake this bread again!

  90. Does anyone know how to make lard bread? i havent seen it anywere but new york i miss it so.

  91. I haven’t done it, but this is the recipe I’d try first: http://www.cooksrecipes.com/bread/neapolitan_lard_bread_recipe.html

  92. Just found this recipe, I’m going to make it for tonight – was looking for a nice crusty loaf to go with the garlic soup I’ll be making, and this looks perfect.

    I’ll have to freeze some of it, though… only two of us to eat it all. But I’m sure there’ll be a reason to eat the rest soon enough.

  93. We just finished eating, and both the soup and the bread were amazing – I’m really glad that I found this site. The bread was so good that we didn’t even have any butter with it – and I love my butter.

  94. I want to try just cooking this in 2 loaves instead of the small ones…is the cooking time the same or do I have to cook it longer?

  95. Cooking time is all about how far it is to the center of the thickest part. If you do round loaves, the cooking time will be a bit longer. If you do them in bread pans it will be even longer than that. How much longer? I don’t really know, since I always use this for either steak sandwiches or garlic bread.

  96. After the dough is kneaded, and placed in a bowl with Olive Oil, is it OK to let the dough sit over night, or could i refrigerate it after the two hours? I don’t want to lessen the quality of dough by letting it sit over night if that is the result.

    Thanks!

    • Some people prefer to let the dough rise more slowly. The colder it is, the slower it will rise — you can freeze dough and the yeast will go completely dormant. When it warms up, it will start to rise again.

      Usually you would refrigerate (or freeze) the dough before the second rise.

      • Bread dough can be left to rise unrefrigerated for as much as 24 hours without any problems. The alcohol produced in the rising process will prevent any harmful bacteria from forming. You will want to keep the bread covered to keep dust and bugs off of it. I keep my bread in a large plastic bowl with plastic wrap across the top. That allows the bread to rise without the wrap getting stuck to it. Making sure the top of the dough is well oiled helps keep a film from forming. If the bread is rising a lot, I will punch the dough down before going to bed.

        Letting the dough rise this long gives it a lot of character, meainign it will have a stronger alcohol flavor. If you enjoy beer or wine, you will like this.

  97. I tried this recipe and now it’s all I use. I do a few things a little different, first I let it rise on top of the stove while it’r heating up and for only about 1 hour. Then I split the ball in two and form a braid on a lightly oiled cooking sheet. I place a pyrex dish on the bottom rack filled halfway with water while it bakes. I also brush on egg wash (one egg, yolk and white) before I bake it, I will attach a photo next time I make it, it tastes amazing and looks amazing too, very much a crowd pleaser!

  98. Braided is awesome. I like to mix some herbs in with half when I braid it so you can see the difference more.

  99. Drew,
    Flavor-wise the bread is turning out great but I can’t seem to master the crusty crust part — coming out soft. Instead of using a water bottle my Uncle says place an ice-cube in a small tray, tried it today — didn’t work. Any suggestions?

  100. Jeff, some bakeries keep a spray bottle handy and spray the inside of the oven with water before closing it. The trick is to get as much steam in there as possible.

    Try a shallower, wider dish — maybe a pie plate — so you get more surface area with less volume. And make sure the water is hot before it goes in the oven.

  101. Drew,

    I am trying to bake bread for the first time in my life. It’s in the oven now and the odor does not smell too good. I am guessing it’s the yeast. Do you think I may have put in too much yeast?

  102. Jack, how much yeast did you put in? This is not a case of “if some is good more is better”. Did the dough rise okay, or was it really fast?

    I’m assuming it has to be done baking by now. How did it come out?

    • Drew,

      Thanks for getting back to me.

      Actually it came out pretty good! The outside crust was really thick. I thought I made a brick.

      However, it tasted great. The inside was soft and we ate the loaf with some olive oil and Italian seasonings.

      I still do not understand the odor. I lived in Philly and now in South Jersey and I wanted my home to smell like one of those Italian bakeries. I used honey instead of sugar and put a pan of water under my baking stone. I think I used the right amount of yeast but we will trying this again and will let you know how it turns out.

      thanks agin. Jack

  103. I really had fun making the bread. It came out fantastic. I wanted to know Drew, how do you get sesame seeds to stick to the crust on bread. I have tried numerous time without success. Looking forward to your reply.

    Roma
    Trinidad.

  104. Roma, spray the top of the dough with water before sprinkling on the seeds.

  105. My dough is always sticky/ and I am afraid I will add too much flour while trying to get dough to not be sticky. I do not have a stone, will just a baking pan do?

  106. Sandra, a little too sticky is better than too dry. Make sure you have plenty of flour on the work surface and on your hands so it doesn’t stick, but don’t knead the extra flour in and you should be good.

    A pan is fine, I only use the stone for pizza now, just because I like making long loaves that don’t fit on my stone real well.

  107. Sandra, a little too sticky is better than too dry. Make sure you have plenty of flour on the work surface and on your hands so it doesn’t stick, but don’t knead the extra flour in and you should be good.

    A pan is fine, I only use the stone for pizza now, just because I like making long loaves that don’t fit on my stone real well.

  108. Wow..my husband just sent me the link here and printed out the recipe card. Think he wants me/him to make this?? :) We are living in Sout Carolina and there is nowhere and I mean nowhere to get a good loaf of bread or rolls!! We are both from up north, infact I owned a 50’s restaurant in South Jersey so I know how to make a cheese steak…just need the rolls. We may have just found them! I use to buy rolls from Del Buono’s for the restaurant but they are strictly SJ, only 2 places but I use to go in the morning and get them off the conveyer belt :) Been in SC for 15yrs and dying for a good bread so will definately try these. We have done a search for Amoro’s so many times in the last 15 yrs to see if they were ever going to start shipping south but no luck. Will let you know how they turn out and thanks Drew! :)

  109. Hi!
    I’m going to attempt to make bread for the first time in my life this weekend. I’m trying to do Italian beef because I really miss it and it’s hard to find in Michigan. My only problem is the bread. No bakeries seem to have that “tough wet” type of bread.

    So, my question is this… If/Should I add Vital Wheat high Gluten to the recipe, and if I do would the flour measurements differ at all?

    I’ve never made bread but your recipe sounds great and have gotten great reviews, not to mention doesn’t sound too difficult!

    Thanks!
    Tatiana

  110. Tatiana,

    If you use bread flour, use exactly the amounts shown above. I’ve done this recipe several times since posting it, and the bread flour makes it a lot more of a sure thing. If you use all-purpose flour, add a teaspoon of vital wheat gluten per cup of flour.

  111. Jeffery Garrison says:

    I have a bone to pick with you Drew…..I made this about a month ago and ever since that time my wife refuses to eat any store bought italian bread, and she makes me make her some atleast once a week, lol. This is a great recipe and great instructions, and as I said before my wife loves it and so does my kids. We are having Italian meatball subs tonight for dinner and I just got done making some loafs. Thanks again.

  112. Hey man, sorry about that.

  113. Courtney Taylor says:

    My sister and myself, just took a whirl with your recipe and I have to say…this bread is delicious 😀 thank you so much for posting this!!.

  114. This recipe produces tasty and crusy bread rolls. It will be on my repetorie for entertaining friends and colleagues.

    But I have to make an adjustment to the water amount to 1.125 cup. If I used 1.25 cup of water, the bread rises beautifully but very sticky to a point that its very hard to shape. I live in Indonesia, does it has something to do with the humid air or something?

    With less water, the bread tastes and rises better if I use 1.5 tsp salt (very fine salt) and 2.5 tsp sugar. What do you think?

  115. Herman, humidity makes a huge difference in the amount of water you’ll need. I will say, though, that after several tries making this I realized it came out better when it was a little sticky and hard to shape. I try to get it just dry enough that I can form it, but no drier. The wetter it is, the better it rises.

  116. paul DePinto says:

    all i can say is the bread is fantastic!!!! a million times better than a bread machine and thats for putting this up.

  117. Good basic bread recipe. I don’t agree about the oil, though. the only thing that’s going stop the rise is heat, or the yeast has eaten all its fuel(flour). I do like to mix it into my liquid ingredients first, then flour. I came here by way of searching simple Italian bread. I don’t know what’s authentic yet. I make this basic recipe without sugar. It doesn’t brown but is delicious. Making this with sourdough starter may improve your quest for the perfect cheesesteak. Refined sugar is not Italian peasant food. I would guess honey or some other browning agent would be more authentic. It’s really good with no sugar.

  118. Mr A, what I’ve heard about the sugar is that it’s food for the yeast to start on and get things going. I’m sure you could leave it out and just wait longer for things to start rising. I’d be interested to see how it affects the browning to leave it out.

  119. Carolyn says:

    Hi, I can’t wait to try the recipe, it looks so good. One thing though, this recipe seems to make a lot of bread so can you use some of the dough and store the rest for later. And a which point would you do that?

  120. Wrap and freeze it after the first rise. Then when you take it out, it will start to rise as it thaws.

    • a baker says:

      if you want to freeze it, do it at once do not let the yeast start working, use cold water, put it in the fridge when you want to use it

      • Baker, I’ve seen frozen partially-risen loaves before, so I know this can work. Are you saying that it works better to not allow any rising at all first? Better how, texture? Taste?

        I’m not disagreeing with you, just asking for more detail.

  121. I just tried this today with my 5yr old daughter, she loved every minute of it…her idea of putting it somewhere warm was under a blanket so we did…lol, while we are waiting for the dough to rise we made another set and learned that we can freeze them…..? can chesse be added to the bread I think my kids will love it, if so at what point in the process do I add it.,
    thank again for the recipe.

  122. I hope you have something holding that blanket up or it isn’t going to rise. :-O

    I would add the cheese after the first rise. Punch it down, add a layer of shredded cheese, then roll it up and knead briefly.

    • for that part after adding the cheese do I aslo let it sit for 40 mins after too as I would for reg bread….fortunatelly the blanket was put like a mountain so it did rise 😉

  123. My girlfriend is a recent New Jersey transplant, there are no good Italian delis down here in VA. After making our own soppresatta and capicola, we could find no good Italian loaves to go with it.

    This recipe is perfect! She no longer freezes loaves to bring from home.

  124. Drew, I have to say this is the best bread recipe I have found. The water to make the crust for the bread really works. That is what Italian bread is all about “THE CRUST” thank you. Kathy

  125. My dad always said the key to Amoroso’s was the Philly water. Can’t wait to test that theory!!

  126. Hi This is my first bread from scratch. 6 loves are rising oven is heating.. Let you know how it went

  127. Stephanie says:

    I’m trying out this recipe to go with some beef stroganoff I’m making for dinner tonight. I have always wanted to make bread from scratch… I’ve made one loaf with another recipe and it was okay, but I’m really looking for a crusty bread I can dip into some spiced oil. It’s on its second rise right now… I’ll be putting it in the oven in 15 or so minutes, so I will let you know how it turns out! I am hoping for delicious. It WAS pretty sticky, but from what I’m reading, that’s pretty okay. I didn’t knead it for too terribly long because of the stickiness — just enough to get it smooth. Do you have an idea of how long I should knead this bread for future reference?

    • Stephanie, in the pictures above I kneaded for less than 8 minutes. I don’t know exactly, but based on the timestamps on the photos it had to be less than that.

      • The first batch I made didn’t turn out very well… I was disappointed, because everyone raved. But after doing some reading of the comments, I noticed you mentioned using bread flour. So I picked some up, and oh my GOD did that make all the difference in the world! The flour I was using was old (it had been in a box for a couple months in storage because I was moving) and all-purpose. When I made a different type of bread with the same flour, it didn’t turn out very well, either. I made it again with the bread flour, and once again, day and night difference. I will never bake bread without bread flour again! Thanks for the awesome recipe!

  128. Thanks so much for sharing this recipe. I see a LOT of Italian bread up here but would like to try making my own. I’ll give this a try. If you’re ever in Portland, be sure to ask for a REAL Italian-you’ll love what you get….but be sure to go to Amato’s or DiPietro’s-they rule the roost and are two of the last sandwich shops that remain.

  129. Wonderful bread! The best recipe I’ve found. I make this all the time.

    Great job, love all the step by step pictures!

    Also I was wondering if its possible to put the uncooked loaf of bread in a bread pan and bake rather than just leaving it on a baking sheet?

    Thank you!

    • Sure, that will work. You’ll probably have to bake it a little longer, though. And when I bake in a loaf pan, I like to use a digital thermometer to test when it’s done. Stick the probe into the middle and it should read 200° F.

      The one I’d like to have for this is the Thermapen Instant Read Thermometer, but the kind you can get for $15 at the local grocery or homewares store will work just fine.

  130. I just cooked this bread tonight, started at 6pm had the bread down around 9:30
    I used King Artnur’s Bread Flour instead of an all purpose flour.

    This is not hard to do, and the bread was better than I was expecting. Nice crust on the outside, I didn’t get quite as fluffy or airy an inside as I had hoped, but it was not far off. I will try this again, the bread tasted great.

    I do have pizza stones, put them on the bottom rack and it worked well. Very Pleased!

    • Getting the dough into the oven without deflating at all takes a bit of practice. But yes, even when it’s not as fluffy as you wanted it’s still pretty doggone good.

      • The bread is fantastic – I’ve been making bread for years and always wanted to try a crusty loaf – it’s so good that I’m baking it now more than the sandwich style breads. We love it! Thank you so much for sharing and also for keeping up with the comments

      • I think this weekend might be time for another batch.

  131. Built a brick oven in my backyard and usually get the temperature up to about 750 and then cool down to about 400. Problem so far, is that all my italian bread receipes usually wind up to be big round crusty loaves and the kids just eat it up before I get a chance to make sandwiches. Will definetly try you receipe this weekend. Just came back from Philly and need to make cheesesteaks.

  132. I am looking for a recipe for Chicola bread. I lived in Connecticut for 10 years and one of the things I miss the most is chicola bread. Can you help?

    • Chicola is a really old, really basic recipe that every Italian wife probably made just a little bit different. It’s just your regular bread dough rolled out flat, covered with cooked pork scraps, rolled up and cooked like a jelly roll.

      This guy has an amazing post about making sausage with his parents, and you can see what he does with the scraps at the end. He describes making the chicola, but doesn’t show it.

      For the technique, check out Grandma’s Kitchen.

  133. Hi Drew, Great site! You did such a wonderful job with the step by step pics and video..exactly what I need! Thank you:-)

  134. Finally, crusty bread!! This worked perfectly and the proportions are spot-on–not too sweet, not too salty. Thank you!

  135. DaniBethBee says:

    I used a bread machine for the dough making, then added about a tablespoon of fresh chopped rosemary and a teaspoon of granulated garlic. I shaped them into dinner rolls after the first rise ( the recipe made a dozen) brushed the top with olive oil ( it’s chilly and dry in my house at the moment, being December and whatnot) and let them rise under a dish towel on my parchment lined pizza peel for forty minutes on the stove top while the oven preheated. They’re baking now. Oh. Mah. Gosh. They smell so YUM. Update to follow.

  136. I made this bread recipe twice and my loaves always turn out with very thick crust & too heavy. What am I doing wrong?

  137. walt peifer says:

    I’ve got to try it soon!! we had a local sub/pizza shop here in St Pete Fl, that had Amoroso rolls and New york water flown in twice a week. They sold out and its not the same. A real philly steak, has to have the right crusty chew and ratio of meat and cheese, else its just a sandwich. Same with pizza dough it has to fold right!! i often get a slice and don’t let them heat it up. Some folks says it Brooklynn style I say no way its PHILLY style we always ate slices, like a sandwich while walking down the street. by the way my fav steak was from North Wales a little place called Nicky Dee’s (back in the 80’s) the guy was a master with the spatuala chopping the meat just so. Amoroso rolls with Clearfield white cheddar. PS the water trick works for a lot of breads to get that just right crust

  138. I have been making this for the past year and my father-in-law will not buy out local breads anymore, even though we have some really great bread shops here in Rochester New York. He insists on me making him a few loaves at a time. Now I’m making bread for neighborhood!!!! Im glad everyone is enjoying it! Thanks.

  139. Hi,
    Just wanted to let you know,this is my seventh recipe to make italian bread..haven’t found one that is great except Yours.. I want to thank you for posting such a great recipe. I put this recipe in my keeper recipes. It was clear to follow, great steps and examples! I just wanted to Thank You….

  140. OlePhillyGirl says:

    http://www.woodfiredkitchen.com/?p=1626

    Found this link which gives a recipe for hoagie buns. There are a few added ingredients which I’ve never seen in a bun prior to this. Whey and Ascorbic Acid.
    I’m gonna give it a try.

    So far, nothin’ but nothin’ beats Amoroso’s. Miss the hoagies since I’ve moved away!
    Dang!

  141. saw question on your home page about using a cast iron griddle for baking stone. will this work? and do you preheat your stone. my wife baked your recipe and its great.

    • Yes, you have the stone in the oven while it’s heating. It helps produce a nice, even crust, and ensures the bottom is fully cooked at the same time as the top.

      You could use cast iron, but I tend to have trouble getting the loaf into the oven without deflating it. Anything that makes that step harder — and I’m guessing it would be harder to get it over the side of a skillet — I’m going to avoid.

  142. here goes trying this recipe,but adding pepperoni for my husbands boss!I couldn’t find a recipe for pepperoni bread,,he used to get in new york

  143. Hey Drew,
    Tried to make bread for the first time. Funny thing, my family had a bakery that I grew up in. I bagged buns and bread every day of my life for 20 + years. Any way my bread didn’t turn out so great, to dense on the inside and not as crispy on the outside as I like it. Also just wanted to mention the reason I decided to make bread and found your website is because I recently moved from my hometown of Pittston PA, where there is no shortage of great Italian bread, to a town in south central PA where there is noooooo where to get good bread, we actually buy rolls form the local pizza shop because the are not terrible, not great but not terrible. What did I do wrong and what should I try next time. Thanks Tina

    • Tina, first I’d want to make sure you got a good second rise, and didn’t deflate them moving them into the oven. I’ve got a bad habit of flattening them at this point. Doing the second rise on parchment paper and sliding the paper into the oven is you best bet.

      For the crispy crust, make sure you place the pan of hot water in the oven while pre-heating. The steam is what gives you the crust.

      • Thanks Drew, I’m pretty sure your righti will try again.
        Think I’ll try pizza next, and the lemon bars too.
        Thanks again

  144. Hi Drew,

    How many small loaves does this make?

    Eight like your pictures? Or just four?

    Thanks,

    John

  145. Hello, I made buns with this recipe tonight and they are spectacular! I used this for stromboli’s last weekend and they were ok but what was left over I made rolls out of and they were really good. I love the sponge method at the beginning with the yeast! These taste like my MIL’s with a portion of the work she puts into them. I baked them 15-18 minute’s. The only problem I had was I baked them on a half sheet pan and the bottoms didn’t brown like I wanted them to. I actually had my pizza stone on the bottom shelf and I think this was why they didn’t brown on the bottom. They were nice and golden brown on top. Great Recipe! Thanks!

  146. Did a search for Italian bread since my family wanted Spaghetti tonight for supper. I formed the dough into a large loaf and put it in for 30 minutes with a pan of water. When I pulled it out it ended up being soft and not real crusty like I had hoped. I may have put too much water in the pan I was using (a roasting pan) or maybe it was just too big of a pan. I’ll use something smaller next time and see if I can get better results by splitting up the dough into two loafs instead of one large one. I think it will be fine for garlic bread this evening, which is all that matters. :) The nice thing about baking is that you can eat your mistakes. :) (as long as they don’t turn out TO bad) :)

    • Phil, start with hot water, and have it in the stove while it pre-heats. It needs to be steaming when the dough goes in.

  147. Hey Drew,
    Been looking for a good Italian bread recipe and found yours,,,tried it yesterday,,have to say came out great, except for one thing,,the bottom of the bread was too hard and over baked had to cut off the bottom,,the top was perfect as well as the inside,,had them on an overturned cookie pan on a lower shelf,,would baking them on a higher shelf be better, but don’t want the top overbaked,,,am going to get a pizza stone which leads to another question,,does the stone have to be preheated or can you use the stone for the second rise and just put it in the oven so they won’t deflate,,,,Best recipe I found Thanks. BTW the 6 small loaves I made yesterday,,only have 2 left,,Very Good

    • Ron, definitely move them up to a higher rack if the bottom is overdone.

      As for the pizza stone, it’s better if it’s pre-heated, otherwise just use the overturned pan like you have been. For transferring, I’ve become a big fan of parchment paper. Super easy to slide things from one surface to another without deflating.

      • Ok thanks Drew,,will try a higher rack,,Ready to bake more anyway, there all gone,,awesome.

  148. Love this site! Just baked a bread round from a recipe by Jacque Pepin. If the french can’t make good bread we’re in trouble. I believe after reading most of you having a problem transferring dough to oven, I came up with a really great remedy. I put the round on the pizza stone, then on my stove top burner until it was hot to touch. In the oven in one fell swoop. Not only was the bread crusty, it was perfect on the inside too.
    I’ll give your recipe a try for rolls Drew. Hope this is helpful.

    • Maggie, that’s a good idea. I don’t think I could do it on mine, though. I have a glass-top stove, so I wouldn’t be able to get my hands (in oven mitts) under the edges of the hot stone to move it.

      • Glass top could present a problem and you don’t want to scratch it with the stone. With an extra pair of hands you could use two spatchelas and gently lift one end at a time while you grasp it with your mit. I didn’t leave it on the heat for a long time at all. In fact, next time I probably will move rack up one notch since bottom of round was very hard, or forgo heating the stone at all might work better for me.
        With all the dangers of unlabeled gmo foods in almost everything we eat, I am more determined to start from scratch on almost all foods. After hearing about the “pink slime” that is in almost all hamburger meat, I switched to a local butcher. Get the real news at reality news .com with G. Edward Griffin. Sign up and it’s sent to you every Friday. Cheers,
        Maggie

      • I was thinking about the spatula idea, but it sounds like the beginning of a YouTube clip titled “The stupidest thing I ever tried”.

        I think I’ll stick with parchment paper for now. :-)

  149. Drew had to let you know,,,Second Bake,,,got a pizza stone,,,put it on the middle rack,,used the parchment paper to transfer and bake,didn’t burn the bottom like I did last time.,,,Perfect,,,,Priceless,,,,Can’t wait to make some up at hunting camp next month for spring turkey,,,The guys are going to love it.

  150. I love this recipe. I have made other homemade yeast breads before, but this is by far my favorite. I have made it twice now in the last 2 weeks and am about to make another batch. It’s amazing toasted and for sandwiches and with soup and…just about anything. Thanks for the great detailed step-by-step process.

  151. Dick Weber says:

    I like to make Italian bread. The crust on the outside comes out great. What I want is a “course” inside similar to an English muffin. Can you tell me how to do it?

  152. Having lived in Philly for 40 years (now in CA), and worked at 1 of the more prominent bread bakeries in the area, I can say that this bread recipe is spot on with a few minor exceptions.
    We used wet yeast instead of dry active yeast. Having worked extensively with both wet and dry, I can say dry active yeast is temperamental and has to depend on alot of variables being just right for it to activate properly, which could explain some of the problems people are having with the dough rising. Dry yeast depends on room temperature, water temperature, and seasons of the year. Wet yeast is already activated and can be mixed with all the dry ingredients immediately, and temperature isn’t as much of a factor as the rising time would be.
    As for the water bottle, yes we used them… alot. However, we didn’t spray the inside of the oven, we sprayed a light mist directly on the surface of the bread (sometimes with diluted honey). By doing so, you’re allowing the interior of the bread to cook faster than the exterior. Once the interior is cooked (about 35 minutes into baking) stop spraying the water and let the crust form and become golden (bake for another 10-15 minutes). Tap with a wooden spoon and listen for that hollow thud to let you know it’s finished.
    As for the difference between bread and rolls… When baking rolls we used water for the liquid. You want the roll to be slightly on the denser side so it’s able to withstand cutting and filling it with your favorite meats and cheeses. Bread (baked in a loaf pan) was made with milk instead of water, to make it more light and fluffy, thereby making the bread more delicate to handle. For extremely light and fluffy bread, try NOT kneading the dough. Once the dough is mixed, just flour the surface of the dough and put it directly into the pans and let it rise, then bake.
    Remember these tips and you’ll be fine…
    1) Yeast consumes sugar and gives off alcohol. The more sugar it has to consume, the more your dough will rise.
    2) Salt deactivates yeast. Too much salt will prevent proofing of the dough. A good rule of thumb is always use twice as much sugar as salt.
    3) Using olive oil is fine and tasty, but butter is better and just as tasty.
    4) ALWAYS use bread flour, ALWAYS make sure it’s high-gluten.
    5) When knocking down the dough, don’t over-do-it. Air, in bread, is a good thing. It keeps it light and fluffy. Try not to handle the dough too much after it’s risen.
    6) If you refrigerate/freeze the dough, don’t bake it until it’s room temperature. It will cause alot of air pockets and bubbles.

  153. samella mccullough says:

    i’m originally from philly, but living in Ga now and am missing my amoroso rolls terribly. it’s so sad that noone here understands what a real cheesesteak is supposed to taste like. can’t wait to try this recipe… and chinks steaks in tacony is awesome! :)

  154. This is a FANTASTIC recipe! The dough can be done in a bread machine..just don’t bake it in the machine! I often have so much going on, the machine is really handy for the mixing & rising process..( set Machine on dough setting)
    Once the dough comes out of the machine..I form loafs..let rise again..and then I bake them..
    As I live in Las Vegas..I also use my BBQ with a stone to bake..and even roast my peppers on the grill! I hate to put the oven on even for a minute here in the summer. At 110 degrees many days, it really kills the AC..My hope is to have the Brick oven built out back this Fall..Yeahhhh!!!!
    If your BBQ has 3 burners..light only the end burners and bake bread in center of grill..this will bake the bread nicely and not burn the bottom of bread…
    If you only have 2 burners, light either one, and bake the bread on the side that is NOT lit!
    I tell ya it works great!
    ciao*

    • Debbie, I live in Henderson NV…just as hot here but I have a fantastic range hood ( two fan motors, really sucks out the oven heat) so using the oven in the summer is not an issue…but, do want to try doing the bread on the grill just need to get an appropriate stone although I may get some bricks. Could probably leave both burners on with the bricks…

  155. Please help!

    In the recipe above, the baking instructions say to “Bake at 425° for 10 minutes, then turn the oven down to 400° and bake another 25-30 minutes.” But when we clicked on the recipe card, it says, “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.”

    Which will give is better results?
    Thanks

    • Penny, I never noticed I had that different on the card. Thanks for pointing it out.

      If you get the bread in quickly, you can turn it down right away and it will be fine. If you’re slow getting it in, you’ll let a lot of heat out and you’ll want it to warm back up again before turning down.

  156. I’m from Philly, and haven’t had any good Italian bread since I moved to Costa Rica, three years ago. I used your recipe today, and it was amazing. I never thought I could make anything to compete with Amarosos!

    Thanks a million!

    Myra

  157. Tracey Jones says:

    Today was a baking day for me. The house is quiet and the humidity is up due the impending rain. I live in Mississippi about an hour from the coast. I have never tried anything but fridge yeast rolls and the recipe I have is wonderful. I thought I would try this recipe and I am on the second rise. I don’t have a lot of the bread tools I have read of so I am trusting my reliable cast iron to help me with the even cooking. I placed my cast iron pizza pan in the oven to warm it up and an extra frying pan for the few rolls that didn’t fit and I am looking forward to seing the result. I am making rolls for cheesesteak sandwiches for dinner. The beef is done now I just have to sautee the veggies…thanks for this wonderful site!

  158. Drew, used your recipe today, by hand, love kneading. Made one big loaf, water bath on the bottom. Came out great! Nice crusty loaf, great bread recipe! You had some tips I didn’t know (i.e.adding the oil after the yeast water) and it made a difference! Thanks!

  159. Grease, grease, grease. The author forgot to empahsize that everything needs to be oiled. Stretch wrap etc. This is the worst online recipe ever! Many holes in the directions! Amateurs, amateurs, amateurs!

    • Thanks so much for the constructive feedback. I shall be sure to refer to it often in the future.

    • lets see your super awesome flawless recipe

    • Bakers' helper says:

      I was Bakers helper for many years. When they voted in a new village idiot, he became very bitter. Hundreds of positive responses & one idiot. He’ll find another village someday. My goodness, sticky dough. What’s a cook to do? Thanks for a great recipe from a S.Jersey transplant in The Swamp of Florida.

  160. Patricia Howard says:

    Tried your “How to Make Crusty Italian Bread” recipe and it turned out SUPER!! Thank you for sharing.

  161. do you preheat the pizza stone or place the dough on it while room temp?

    • Have it in the oven while pre-heating. Some people even give more time for the stone to heat up after the oven is at full temperature. For pizza, that’s a great plan. For the bread, I’ve tried it and didn’t notice a huge difference.

  162. can i use one cup of whole wheat flower, & 2 cups of all purpose flower?

  163. can i use one cup of whloe wheat flour & 2 cups of all purpose? i can not find where this question was posted before. yes or no.

    • If you do, I would add some vital wheat gluten. Whole wheat doesn’t rise as much and will lead to a denser bread.

  164. Im trying this recipe tonight ,I’ve had a few less than perfect attempts so far but can make a pretty good thin or thick pizza crust. I’m hoping the bread flour does the trick , I’ve been using unbleached all purpose till now and not waiting to put the oil in while mixing . I’ve read most of the comments, but don’t see any mention of using a kitchen aid mixer( that’s not the same as a bread machine right?) with the hook attachment. That’s what we used when we made a hundred pound dough back in my pizzeria days ,a huge mixer with hook attachment . The dough always came out great back then , but that was Brooklyn ! I’ve also stopped using my well water ( I live in Pa.)now my mother in law brings me tap water from queens. Wish me luck!;-)

  165. I made this and made quite a few mistakes, but it came out delicious even so…..yummy with butter!

  166. I’m wondering if at any point this can be frozen. I have a grandchild that lives with me and loves Italian bread. Only problem I’m going broke buying it. I try to buy it when the store has it marked down but it will mold if I buy more than one loaf at a time and the stuff you get from the store does not freeze well at all. Th.ank you

    • As soon as you roll out the loaves, but before the second rise, wrap them in oiled plastic wrap. (Brush some Saran wrap with olive oil.) Then stick the loaves in the freezer. Make sure you don’t put multiple loaves together, they’ll take longer to freeze.

      Once they’re frozen, put them in an empty bread bag. When you’re ready to make one, take it out and set it on a wooden curring board to come to room temperature. Once you can remove the plastic without it sticking, take it off and put the cutting board in the oven with the light on. It will take a couple of hours for it to warm up and start to rise, but once it’s doubled in size it’s ready to bake.

  167. Made this bread last night to accompany homemade spaghetti sauce & meatballs. I’m pretty happy with the outcome. Nice crust, good crumb. I’ll definitely use this recipe again.

  168. Thank you so much for the great recipe. I just made this with a big pot of homemade vegetable beef soup. I used a combination of bread flour & unbleached all purpose flour & it was a awesome. Great texture & flavor. I will definitely make this again. Thanks again!

  169. Jeff Norwine says:

    Drew:

    You can cut the ribeye thin and cook it on a cast iron griddle, but without the right roll, it’s not the same. Like all the Philly area diaspora on the site I am completely jazzed to try this receipe.

    What’s your latest thinking, try to slide on a pizza stone with parchment or merely leave on the tray?

    Many Thanks.

  170. ALFONSE CORLEONE says:

    Great easy recipe… I buy Desanti water here in Wisconsin… with the NY 5cent return on the label.. As I know its bottled in Queens, NY.. and spray some of that water in my hot oven…all my Italian bread and pizza dough I use Desanti water from NY.. :) Salute!!!!

  171. I made this after looking up “Best Recipe for Homemade Italian Bread”. I saw that you are from Cleveland, and so is my dad. He always raves about Alesci’s bread which was all made by the owner’s grandmother, I think. We used to go in and get the best pastries and sandwiches and olives and pizza. They had cow’s and sheep’s heads hanging over the deli. I made this starting with my bread machine(always a cheater) and all-purpose flour. I probably should’ve added a bit more flour because it was so sticky, and when I took off the plastic wrap, the dough lost a little of its fluffiness. It still turned out with an amazing crust and texture inside. I baked in one oblong load on my pizza stone, and it’s yummy. I’m going to play around a bit, maybe do it all by hand and also make sure it’s really fluffy next time. But thank you for the recipe. The taste is delicious, and I can’t wait to make it the next time my dad visits.

    • I always lose volume turning it out from the first rise. If I could figure out how to keep that … man, that would be some good bread.

      And yeah, Alesci’s is great. I’m probably there every two or three weeks.

  172. This bread was soooo delicious! I consider myself pretty handy in the kitchen, but have never been able to pull of a good loaf of bread. I learned several tricks from this recipe that made it fool proof. I put a light egg wash after I turned the temp to 400 and it browned up really nice. A great dipping oil is olive oil, balsamic vinegar, Parmesan, black pepper, garlic, sea salt, and crushed oregano. I can’t thank you enough! Yummy

  173. Going to try this one every time I make bread the next day or after the bread gets crumble I’m going to use all trumps flour I was told that is good flour for bread because its high in gluten so hope it comes out great.

  174. Okay I tried it and it tast good and it is crunchy the way I like it the in side looks good to but the second rise stayed the same its thin but still good so I will try it again.

  175. The yeast is doing it’s “thing” as I type this. I will let you know how it comes out. 😀

  176. I made this for a company Christmas Party to accompany Meatballs and Chili that other people were making. Everyone loved it so much, I had a couple of people who took some just to be polite cause they don’t eat bread go back for more. One coworker from Philly said we need to go in the Cheese Steak business! LOL Great recipe!

  177. Lavona Lewis says:

    I have made this successfully 2 times and am making another batch as I type. I do however have a question. I am finding that after I mix the dough and begin ti knead that the texture is quite sticky and I cannot get to that silky texture you refer to. The only reason for this that i can think of is perhaps I am not mixing the oil in well enough or i do not have enough flour on my kneading surface. Do you have any thoughts? is it supposed to be sticky enough to adhere to my hands and kneading surface? I think not, but you are the expert and would greatly appreciate your opinion. thank you.

    On a side not, i have modified the recipe slightly on occasion, folding in small bits of steak and onions well seasoned and it is an amazing feast. almost like a calzone, but more imbedded into the bread rather than in a pocket.

    • If the finished product come out right, then you might be better of just accepting the stickiness. Since I wrote that, I’ve started using the stand mixer for the kneading, so I don’t notice the stickiness so much.

      I’ve added garlic and herbs to it, but steak and onions? Yes please.

  178. Tony Conte says:

    Was looking for a good Italian bread recipe and found your site, so right now, my dough is going through the first rise. I used bread flour, and have pizza stones. Since you have ties to the Philly/S. Jersey area, I figure you know what’s up…lol…and, I guess since I’m born and raised here in South Jersey, my pick for bread and rolls is Aversa’s, although I do make a trip down the street to Jim Main’s Italian bakery once a week or so…and if your recipe works out, I won’t be going there too much longer…lol

  179. Hi Drew,
    I am from Taiwan. I love bread.
    This is not my first time making bread, yet this is the first time I made it. I am thrilled. The result is way much better than I expect. Crusty outside (just right) and soft inside. So…thank you soooo much (I accidentally saw your blog earlier and decide to give it go). I especially appreciate that you do reply each comment.

  180. This bread was so easy to make and tasted so good. My husband did not believe that I didn’t buy it from a bakery. I used my kitchen aid mixer and it did all the work. Thanks for the recipe!

  181. John Minarik says:

    I have tried this recipe four times. It has always crashed and I have nothing but flat bread. I am not a novice bread baker. It has never worked. I have wasted way too many ingredients to try again. Thanks anyway.

  182. Drew, this recipe is perfect! It is my new go-to…for dinner, holidays, parties, etc. Thank you so much for sharing. I made various flavored butters….sun dried tomato, oil cured black olive, and herbed butter. All big hits with this amazing bread. I used the pan with water on the bottom…great tip! My bread was crispy on the outside and perfectly tender on the inside. Thanks again : )

  183. Pappa Chubby says:

    I have a hard time following instruction & have made this recipe twice with pretty good results. Next time I’ll knead it before the 1st rise instead of after. Transfering into the oven w/o collapse has been the trick. Has anyone tried corn meal on wax paper? I’ve baked cookies on waxed paper with good results. Thanks for a great recipe Drew.

    • Since first posting this I’ve discovered the wonders of parchment paper. Form the loaves on parchment on a cutting board. When they’re ready for the oven, just slide it the parchment from the cutting board right onto your baking stone (or sheet).

      This is why you put the baking sheet upside-down, by the way — so you can slide the parchment onto it.

  184. I just had to put a note on here…Im not sure if you’re aware of this or not, but the recipe card and the recipe here on this page are different. The ingredients are the same, but the steps/process vary quite a bit.

    I am not new to baking bread, but hadn’t found an Italian bread recipe I like so I thought I’d give this one a try. I found this months ago and had not had the chance to try it. For ease of reading while preparing the dough, I used the recipe card. When I was done kneading and letting the bread rise, I clicked back onto this page and noticed the drastic differences. I’m sure the bread will still turn out lovely, but this could be very confusing to people.

    Thanks for the recipe though! :-)

    • Good catch. I came back and added the card quite a while after posting the original recipe. The difference is mostly in how I handle the yeast. I’ve changed it even more since then, based on balancing what’s easiest and what’s most foolproof.

      Either method works well, and by the time you’ve done it enough times to really get the differences between them, you’ll only be using the card as a reference anyway.

  185. They’re not quite Amoroso’s; they’re better! Holy heck this is an amazing recipe! The water trick worked wonders! Thanks for my new favorite bread! – SCS in Philly

  186. I do this recipe but for the small loaves I only bake them 18 minutes at 400. I substitute 1/4 to 1/2 cup wheat flour as well. 2.5 cups bread-flour and 1/2 cup of wheat works good and gives the bread a nice flavor. Using the same recipe I make two loaves of braided bread with sesame seeds on top. I bake those twelve minutes at 400, then brush egg white on top and sprinkle with sesame seeds. Bake for 8 more minutes. Tasty!

  187. Karen G says:

    I miss Amoroso’s so much I would almost give my left arm for some! This recipe was GREAT!!!!! Two hours to make half a dozen rolls, 34 minutes to devour them all! Thank you for coming up with this awesome recipe!!!!!!

  188. meenakshi says:

    hello Drew, i am from India iwant to make so many things from your site but i need your guidelines. please tell me if i am using totally bread flour in this recpie then how long should i knead the dough?
    i have small OTG conventional oven ,on which rack should i keep my baking sheet with loaves to bake?
    warm regards and thanks.

    • Meenakshi, if you’re kneading by hand, go by the texture not the time. When the dough is smooth and stretchy it’s ready.

      Unless you have the biggest OTG oven ever, you’re going to need to do several small loaves from the recipe above. I recently did a batch with half the amounts above and it made one loaf more than a foot long and 4-6 inches across.

      Do smaller loaves and put the rack near the middle.

  189. meenakshi says:

    thankyou for your prompt reply and your guideline. thanks once again.

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