Easy Italian Bread

This is an easy Italian bread that I’ve been making for over 20 years.  With fast-rising yeast, a mixer with a dough hook, and directions for quick-mixing, in no time you’ll have two big loaves of hearty bread.


  • 2 packages fast-rising dry yeast
  • 2 Tblsp. granulated sugar
  • 2-1/2 tsp. salt
  • 4-1/4 to 4-3/4 cups all-purpose flour, divided
  • 1-3/4 cup water heated to 130 degrees F
  • 2 Tblsp. vegetable oil

In the large bowl of mixer, place yeast, sugar, salt and two cups of flour.  Mix to blend and add the 130 degree F water and oil.  Mix on medium speed with regular beater for 3 minutes.  Insert dough hook and beat for another 6:30 minutes, adding flour as needed to keep dough from being sticky.

Place dough on a floured board, cover with a cloth, and let rest for 10 minutes.  Punch down dough and form into two long narrow loaves.  Place loaves on a greased pan, cover and let rise in a warm place for 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

Before placing loaves in oven, moisten your fingers and gently spread water over the top of the loaves.  Cut three slashes in the top with a serrated knife.  Place loaves in oven and bake for approximately 25 minutes.  Remove to a wire rack to cool.  These loaves measure approximately 15 inches long by 6 inches wide.

This is my favorite bread to use as garlic bread, bruschetta, French Toast, stuffing, bread pudding or in any recipe that calls for a sturdy old-fashioned bread.

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Lillian Applegate Westfelt was a mother of 4, grandmother of 6, and great-grandmother of 3. She was an 86-year-old widow living in a nice little bungalow with her oldest daughter and a beagle-dachsund named Addie. She passed away in November, 2018.

24 thoughts on “Easy Italian Bread”

  1. I love this recipe. I’m just now beginning to work with yeast and this bread was such a success on the first run. I added some garlic powder before mixing then added some dried rosemary and onion to one of the loves. Heaven!

  2. That is fast….I need some bread for dinner and I am going to try my hand at this recipe. Thanks for posting it!


  3. Oh My Goodness! It worked and what a joy! My 13 year old son and I just had our first bite of this bread and it was a hit with our pot roast tonight. This recipe will now be a part of my families cook book.


  4. Thank you for posting this recipe. I tried it last night and it came out great. I cut the ingredients by half and only made a singe loaf. After it had cooled from the oven I made a pesto, vegetable, cheese sandwich with it. It was delicious. I am just a beginner at baking so I appreciate this recipe’s simplicity and quality of product.

  5. could you post what kind of yeast you used?? eg a photo or something? i am soooo interested in making this! but being in canada im afraid some of the names are different (plus i have NEVER made bread before, this still seems daunting to me!) i’m just not sure of all the different types of yeast….

    thank you!!

    1. I use Fleischmann’s Instant Dry Yeast. I buy it in bulk (454 g) and the package says that it is made in Canada. I understand it is packaged under the name “Instant Dry” for distribution through stores like Sam’s, but is identical to “Quick Rise” in Canada. I’ve attached a link that explains the different products.


      The “Quick Rise” yeast is especially formulated to be used mixed with the dry ingredients and can withstand the hot water.

      I’ve had people e-mail me that they were skeptical at first, but this recipe really does work and it’s quick and easy. Feel free to e-mail me if you have any questions.


  6. Hey Lillian!!!
    Thanks so much for posting this, it looks soooo delicious!!! I have just started making bread and this is exactly the type of recipe I was hoping for!! You are a life saver, I hope to never have to buy bread for dinner anymore 🙂


  7. would you be willing to post photos from along the way?? like when mixed, before the 1st rise, after, when you punch it down, after its risen in the warm place (where you warm it?) etc. i am a bread noob. the most i did was help my mom make her super labour intensive bread, and that was 12 years ago….

    1. I’ll try to make this bread over the weekend and will send you pictures of the process. I’m sure this is nothing like the way your mother made her bread – and not nearly so good – but it’s a good way to get a nice loaf of bread on the table in a little over an hour.


  8. Made this bread tonight and added garlic powder, parmesan cheese, and oregano. My hubby asked me where I got the bread and was floored when I told him I made it (I usually just make loaf bread.) This bread was SO quick, easy, and delicious! Thank you so much for the recipe!

    1. Thank you so much for letting me know. And I love the additions you made to it – I’ll have to try that sometime.

      Happy New Year. Lillian

  9. This was so easy. My family loved it. My husband thought i went to the bakery to get a fresh bread, lets just say he was surprised and asked me when i was going to make more.

    1. Thank you for trying the bread and for commenting. I checked in on your blog and found the entries so charming that I’ve added you to my feed so I can keep up with what you are doing. Lillian

  10. This bread is amazing! I have made this a couple of times with your recipe. I checked out the other comments on here and I am going to try adding the garlic powder, oregano and Parmesan cheese. Sounds really tasty for a spaghetti dish! Thanks for posting your recipe!

    1. Thank you for visiting my blog and taking the time to comment. This is one of my favorite bread recipes and the additions would only make it better, I’m sure.

      Nice to hear from you. Lillian

  11. Making this recipe now. It is on its second rise. I used garlic salt though! Then I cut after the first rise and tied into garlic knots. Thanks! 🙂 Let’s hope my changes work for me.

    1. It was a success! My 2 year old shared one with me and is screaming for more! Thank you again for this awesomly easy recipe!

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