Crispy Italian Bread Recipe

This homemade Crispy Italian Bread Recipe is going to become a hit with the whole family. Crispy and crunchy on the outside and soft on the inside served with an amazing olive oil and herbs dip. This bread is like from Italian restaurants but homemade.

The Russian Bread and our Easy Braided White Bread are quick loaves of bread you want to try.

Crunchy round Italian bread loaf of parchment paper.

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crispy Italian bread recipe-

Oh, I’m so excited to update this older bread recipe, it’s amazing. Though it’s a little more time consuming than some of the other bread we have, it’s worth every minute. This bread is the perfect combination of a crispy, crunchy thick crust while the inside is soft and tender. What really makes this bread stand out is the herbs and oil dipping for the bread. It’s seriously amazing!!

This bread was shared with me from a coworker when I just got married and had no idea what I was doing in the kitchen, let’s just say my first loaf was a fail, haha.. Though it took me some time, I finally got it. Was feeling very much a domestic housewife at that moment, good memories ;).

Crunchy bread slices on parchment paper with a side of oil dipping with herbs.

how to make Italian bread-

  1. Prepare an initial mixture with some of the flour, sugar and yeast. Add in the warm water and mix on low speed. The mixture will be runny, set aside to rise for 1 hour until bubbly.
  2. Stir in the salt and oil and remaining flour. Knead for about 10 minutes on a floured surface.
  3. Gently shape dough into a round bread loaf, place into a greased bowl, rise 1 more hour, releasing any air bubbles.
  4. Remove dough from bowl and gently shape once more, place onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Stretch sides to make a smooth, almost flat top (about 9″-10″ in diameter).
  5. Run hand under cold water and pat dough with water, cover with plastic wrap or a kitchen towel, set aside to rise 1 more hour.
  6. Add hot water into a pan into the oven. Make slashes on the loaf.
  7. Bake bread until crispy.
  8. Enjoy, friends.

NOTE: To clarify, the bread will be baked on the center rack of the oven. The pan with the water is to be placed on the lower rack and not directly under the bread.

TIP: Once baked, the bread will feel extremely hard, that’s normal. Once it cools it will not be as hard as it feels when it comes right out of the oven.

Step by step pictures on how to make bread. How to make Italian bread recipe.

oil and herbs bread dip-

This oil bread dip is SOO GOOD! It’s so easy to prepare. Place all of the ingredients into a bowl or plate. Drizzle with the oil, stir and serve with bread. TIP: If any of the herbs are large in size, crush them until fine before mixing.

Easy bread recipe rising in baking sheet. How to make creases in bread loaf before baking.

can I freeze bread?

This Italian bread is great to freeze. Once cooled, freeze individual slices or half of a loaf wrapped in a freezer ziploc bag.

Thaw bread and enjoy. If you like warm bread, toast or reheat until warm in the oven, we love our toaster oven for this.

Sliced white italian bread loaf on a cutting board.

Try these other BREAD recipes:

Sliced bread loaf dipping into oil and herbs.

The soft white bread loaf dipped in the herbs dipping oil is truly a recipe to be tried. You’ll love the combination and will want to make it over and over again.

Don’t forget to leave us feedback in the comments below if you give the recipe a try! 🙂

Crispy Italian Bread Recipe

The most delicious homemade recipe for a crispy Italian Bread recipe. Crispy and crunchy crust with a soft and airy center, served with a homemade oil and herbs dipping oil.
Prep Time2 hrs 30 mins
Cook Time45 mins
Total Time3 hrs 15 mins
Course: Bread
Cuisine: American, Italian
Keyword: Italian bread
Servings: 8 servings
Calories: 39kcal
Author: Valentina's Corner

Ingredients

bread loaf-

  • 5 to 5 ½ cups bread flour, sifted
  • 1 tsp granulated sugar
  • 2 ¼ tsp active dry yeast
  • 2 cups warm water
  • 2 Tbsp oil (canola or olive)
  • 2 tsp salt

oil and herbs dip-

  • 1/2 tsp dried parsley
  • 1/2 tsp dried basil
  • 1/2 tsp dried rosemary
  • 1/4 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/8 tsp pepper
  • 1/3 cup olive oil (or extra virgin olive oil)

Instructions

  • Place 2 cups sifted flour, sugar and yeast into a large mixing bowl and mix. Add 2 cups very warm water and on low speed with a mixer mix for about 1 minute.
  • Cover dough with plastic wrap, let stand 1 hour or until bubbly.
  • Gently stir in oil and salt, stir in 3 cups sifted flour. Once mixed in bowl, place onto lightly floured surface and knead 8-10 minutes. Add more flour if necessary so dough doesn’t stick to hands. Once kneaded, the dough should be smooth and springy. (You should need more than 5 ½ cups flour).
  • Shape dough into a ball, releasing any air bubbles, flatten a bit and transfer to a greased bowl. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap, set asie to rise 1 hour (or until doubled in size). Dough is ready if indentation remains when touched.
  • Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or grease with butter. Take the dough and shape into an even and round loaf, no need to release all the bubbles.
    Stretch sides of dough downwards to make almost a smooth top (about 9 to 10 inches in diameter). Add to baking sheet.
    Run hands under water and pat top of dough with water. Cover loosely with plastic wrap or kitchen towel, allow to rise 1 more hour or until almost double in size.
  • Add hot water to an 8x8 or 9x9 pan until about 1/2” from top and place on bottom rack of oven, not directly under the loaf. Heat oven to 425°F.
  • Carefully, with a sharp knife, make slashes on top of loaf. Dust with flour.
  • Bake 35 to 45 minutes or until loaf is deep golden brown with crispy crust and sounds hallow when tapped. Transfer loaf to wire rack to cool completely before cutting.

  • Prepare dipping oil-
    Place the parsley, basil, rosemary, oregano and red pepper flakes, minced garlic, salt and pepper into a bowl or place and stir. Pour the olive over the ingredients and serve with the bread as dip.

Notes

To clarify, the bread will be baked on the center rack of the oven. The pan with the water is to be placed on the lower rack and not directly under the bread.

This recipe was originally published in February 2014. We are republishing the recipe with new images in May 2019.

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Valentina's Corner

Show 10 Comments
  • Pat 08/26/2019, 11:11 am Link Reply

    Hi can I bake this bread in a dutch oven?

    • Valentina's Corner 08/26/2019, 12:30 pm Link Reply

      You sure can, Pat. Line the Dutch oven with parchment paper. Let me know how it turns out. 🙂

  • Tzivia 06/28/2018, 2:04 pm Link Reply

    Wow so many delicious bread recipes here another one for me to try out I’m wondering if I can use regular unbleached flour being that I don’t have bread flour if it’s worth it for me to get bread flour then definitely

    • admin 06/30/2018, 11:20 pm Link Reply

      Hi, friend. I’ve tested it with regular flour and it works just fine. Enjoy..

  • Tanya 03/28/2015, 9:56 am Link Reply

    When I lived near Russian store, I always bought this bread. It’s been years and I miss the smell and the flavor. I was so happy and excited when I saw this bread in your recipes. I already started making this bread. I can’t wait when it will be all done! Thank you Valechka again and again for your awesome web site!

    • admin 04/02/2015, 4:04 pm Link Reply

      Tanyush, It’s the water that makes the crust hard. When I bake mine, the crust is hard when it comes out but once it cools its just a perfect crust. If you want a soft crust don’t use water at all :)….

      • Tanya 04/10/2015, 1:27 am Link

        Valechka, That makes sense. So, if I don’t use water, do you think the bread will bake through at this temperature? Sorry for so many questions. I’ve been looking for this recipe for a very long time and I want the recipe to work. Thank you for your patience.:)

      • admin 04/13/2015, 4:01 pm Link

        Nothing to be sorry about!!:) I think it will work just great at this temperature and time and will be less crunchy:)

  • Paula 10/21/2014, 4:23 pm Link Reply

    Hi Valentina. I am so glad I found your blog and thank you so much for sharing your family recipes. What do you think about using a whole wheat flour (may be 1 cup)? Would it be the same? And also, is herbs dip spicy (because of red pepper flakes)?
    God bless you and your family

    • admin 10/21/2014, 5:33 pm Link Reply

      Paula,
      I am glad you found my blog too:O)… I think that’s a great idea and it would only add more flavor. Yes it does have a kick to it. It will taste just fine without it too;).. Let me know how it turns out. I might just have to try it with wheat as well..

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