Authentic Crusty Italian Bread Recipe is Amazing and Vegan

Delicious with a vegan spread or dipped in olive oil with a touch of balsamic vinegar
Crusty Italian Bread pinit View Gallery 2 photos

Authentic Crusty Italian Bread Recipe is Amazing and Vegan

Difficulty: Intermediate Prep Time 2 hrs Cook Time 40 mins Total Time 2 hrs 40 mins
Servings: 15


Adapted from Michelle. (2020). Italian Bread Recipe.

A traditional Italian bread using basic ingredients mixed and kneaded, shaped and baked to produce loaves with a golden brown crust. This crusty Italian bread recipe yields two loaves.




Off On

  1. Pour 2 cups of warm water into the mixer bowl. If a digital food thermometer is available, confirm the temperature is about 105 oF (41 oC).

  2. Add yeast, mix thoroughly and let proof for 6-10 minutes or until bloom rises to the surface. Add olive oil.

  3. In a large bowl mix the dry ingredients (flour, brown sugar, and salt) with a wisk and then pour into the mixer bowl.

  4. With dough hook installed, set the mixer to the lowest level and run for 5 minutes until the mixture is homogeneous and pulls away from the bowl sides.

  5. Dump onto a lightly floured surface and knead by hand for about 10 minutes. Periodically stretch the dough to expose the sticky interior and sprinkle with flour.

  6. Repeatedly fold the dough and press down with the heel of the hand sprinkling flour when sticky until a smooth, firm, elastic, non-sticky dough is formed.

  7. Weigh the resulting dough and divide equally into 2 dough balls and place in separate lightly-oiled bowls. Lightly brush each dough ball with olive oil to prevent drying.

  8. Cover the bowls with plastic wrap and place in a warm place for 1.5 hours or until the dough has doubled in size.

  9. Place a pizza stone on the oven's middle rack and a pan of hot water on a lower rack and pre-heat the oven to 425 oF (218 oC).

  10. Empty each dough ball onto a slightly-floured surface and gently stretch into an elongated oval and fold once into a cylinder.

  11. Pinch the seam tightly closed along its length resulting in an elongated cylinder with rounded ends.

  12. Place each loaf seam-down on a parchment-covered baker's peel and separated by about 3 inches.

  13. Cover with an oversized linen or cotton napkin (or equivalent) and allow the dough to proof in a warm area for 30 minutes or until doubled in size.

  14. Using a lame blade, single-edge razor, or sharp knife, slash the top of the loaf lengthwise about 1/4 inch deep.

  15. Slide the loaves and parchment paper off the baker's peel onto the heated pizza stone and bake for 20 minutes

  16. After 20 minutes, remove the pan of water. Bake another 20 minutes or until golden brown.

  17. Let loaves cool on a rack for 2 hours before slicing.


For consistent results, always weigh flour on a kitchen scale since density may vary.

If an electric mixer with a dough hook is unavailable, hand mixing and kneading for an additional 5 minutes works as well.

Keywords: Crusty Italian bread, Italian bread, crusty bread, bread

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *