Soft Italian Bread

An easy recipe for soft and tender homemade Italian bread. You’ll never want to buy bread from the store again! An absolute must make bread recipe.

Soft Italian Bread Recipe from

I’ve got a thing for bread. I always have. I swear it’s in my genes. I even have memories from my childhood of my mom slathering bread with butter. There’s just something about a soft slice of bread, slathered with butter. We’ve all done it and it’s still amazing, especially paired with dinner… or okay, as an occasional snack. Ask me to give up candy, but don’t ask me to give up bread.

Have you ever compared prices to what it costs to buy vs make? Now, I don’t have the amounts for what this loaf would technically cost to make but let’s just say it’s worth it to make it yourself. Not only because a small loaf (much smaller than this), costs nearly $2 at my local store. That’s half to a whole bag of flour, depending on brand. You can easily make multiple loaves for the same cost as buying just one.

And, since we have a nut allergy in the house, making many things myself, including bread, is just safer. It allows me to control the environment and the ingredients going into the food. No questionable equipment, handling, etc. Safe, tasty and cheaper!

Soft Italian Bread Recipe from

I tested out this recipe a few weeks ago and was extremely pleased with the results, so clearly I had to make it again to share here. This Italian bread is not only soft and tasty, it’s easy to make! There’s barely any effort put into making it. Let the mixer do the hard work.

This would be a perfect addition to dinner any night of the week! Double the recipe for two loaves, for a larger gathering or to eat one now and save the other for later!

This soft Italian bread will absolutely be my new go to quick dinner bread recipe, taking only 2 hours start to finish. It’s an absolute must make, so be sure to add this to your weekly menu!

Soft Italian Bread Recipe from

Soft Italian Bread

An easy recipe for soft and tender homemade Italian bread.
Cook Time25 minutes
Total Time2 hours
Course: Bread
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Bread
Servings: 1 loaf


  • 1 C water
  • 1 1/4 tsp active dry yeast
  • 1/2 tsp granulated sugar
  • 2 C all purpose flour
  • 1/2 C white whole wheat flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • Cornmeal for dusting


  • Heat water to 115°F. Dissolve yeast and sugar in warm water. Allow to proof.
  • In the bowl of a stand mixer, with dough hook attachment, add 1/2 cup white whole wheat flour, 1 3/4 cups all purpose flour and salt. With mixer running on low, slowly add yeast mixture. Increase speed, adding additional flour as needed, up to 1/4 cup. Continue mixing until dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl. Shape dough into a ball. Transfer to a lightly greased large bowl. Cover and allow to rise in a warm location until doubled in size, roughly 1 hour.
  • Lightly dust a baking sheet with cornmeal. Shape dough into a loaf, placing seam side down on prepared baking sheet. Lightly cover with a clean towel. Allow to rise for 30 additional minutes in a warm location.
  • Preheat oven to 400°F. Bake for 25 minutes or until golden and internal temperature reaches 190°F.
  • Cool completely prior to slicing. Store in an airtight container.


An original recipe from Baked by Rachel

More bread recipes to try:
Amish potato rolls
English muffin bread
Braided pesto bread
Garlic and herb pull apart bread
Parmesan potato bread
Thick focaccia bread with garlic and cheese dipping oil
Apple cinnamon pull apart bread
Garlic knots

Share this:

64 Responses to “Soft Italian Bread”

  1. #
    Stacy | Wicked Good Kitchen — March 18, 2014 at 6:56 am

    Beautiful loaf, Rachel! There’s nothing like fresh, warm bread from the oven. Thanks for sharing, girl. Pinning!

    • #
      Rachel — March 18, 2014 at 4:27 pm

      Thanks so much Stacy!

  2. #
    Chloe @ foodlikecake — March 18, 2014 at 7:38 am

    Beautiful bread. I love homemade bread

    • #
      Rachel — March 18, 2014 at 4:27 pm

      Thanks Chloe!

  3. #
    Christine — March 18, 2014 at 8:09 am

    Your Save icon insists on taking one to Pinterest, Rachel.

    • #
      Rachel — March 18, 2014 at 8:48 am

      I’ve removed the pin icon from that area but the save button still shouldn’t take you to Pinterest. It worked fine for me. Try it again and hopefully it works for you now.

  4. #
    Averie @ Averie Cooks — March 18, 2014 at 8:44 am

    This is PERFECT! Pinning! And I wish I had some here right now :)

    • #
      Rachel — March 18, 2014 at 4:27 pm

      Thanks so much Averie!

  5. #
    Becca @ Crumbs and Chaos — March 18, 2014 at 9:17 am

    Bread lover for life right here…this looks perfect, Rachel!

    • #
      Rachel — March 18, 2014 at 4:28 pm

      Thanks Becca! :)

  6. #
    Christine — March 18, 2014 at 9:26 am

    Thank you so much!

  7. #
    Chris — March 18, 2014 at 11:33 am

    I have great memories of coming home from school in the fall and winter and the counters covered in baked bread from my mom’s baking marathon. It was an all day event for her, and the loaves and rolls went in our huge chest freezer for extended enjoyment. I’m not much of a bread maker myself, but when I do, I’m definitely with you on letting my mixer do the hard work.

    Question: I never keep wheat flour on hand and live in an rural area, so running out to a store is out of the question (2 hour round trip for me). Is it possible to use 2 1/2 cups all purpose flour and achieve the same results?

    • #
      Rachel — March 18, 2014 at 4:29 pm

      You could absolutely use entirely all purpose flour instead. Follow the same guide to leave out 1/4 cup of flour at first and then add only enough extra as needed to pull the dough together. :) Good luck!

  8. #
    Maggie Unzueta @ Mama Maggie's Kitchen — March 18, 2014 at 11:48 am

    I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE the smell of bread baking. Crack has nothing on freshly baked bread. I’m sure there’s a scientific study to prove it. :)

    • #
      Rachel — March 18, 2014 at 4:30 pm

      You seriously cracked me up. I couldn’t agree more! :)

  9. #
    Jackie {The Beeroness} — March 18, 2014 at 2:37 pm

    I could probably live on just beer and this bread.

    • #
      Rachel — March 18, 2014 at 4:31 pm

      Haha! Thanks Jackie :)

  10. #
    Jennie @themessybakerblog — March 18, 2014 at 2:54 pm

    Hands down, homemade bread is tastier and so much cheaper. I love making it. Honestly, it doesn’t take that long. Most of the work is left to proofing and rising–not much hands on at all. This looks amazing!

    • #
      Rachel — March 18, 2014 at 4:32 pm

      Exactly!! Minimal effort for tasty homemade bread. Always worth it :) Thanks so much Jennie!

  11. #
    Danae @ reciperunner — March 18, 2014 at 3:07 pm

    Warm bread with butter is truly the ultimate comfort food. This bread looks perfectly fluffy and tender! I wish I had a loaf right now to have with my soup tonight! Pinning now!

    • #
      Rachel — March 18, 2014 at 4:32 pm

      Thanks so much Danae! :)

  12. #
    Karen Kuntz — March 18, 2014 at 4:20 pm

    Is it still a successful bread if I up the white whole wheat flour to, say, half of the 2 1/2 cups? Thank you!!

    • #
      Rachel — March 18, 2014 at 6:51 pm

      Usually you can substitute with whole wheat for up to 1 cup, many times more. With that being said… you can certainly give it a try. I know I’ve had success substituting with white whole wheat as have many others. I just haven’t tried more with this particular recipe as of yet. Remember not to add all of the flour in at once so you still have wiggle room as it’s mixing, just in case you don’t need quite as much. Good luck!! :)

  13. #
    Ashley - Baker by Nature — March 18, 2014 at 10:09 pm

    We LOVE homemade Italian bread, but it has been ages since I’ve made a loaf! This lovely loaf is just the inspiration I needed!

    • #
      Rachel — March 19, 2014 at 7:35 am

      You definitely need to whip some up! :)

  14. #
    Chris — March 19, 2014 at 2:26 am

    Thanks for your reply regarding the use of flour types. I went ahead and made it with all white flour. Let’s just say the family devoured it! :) And the recipe was so EASY to make. Love it. I can see myself making this again and again, although after my next monthly shopping trip I will try your version (with the wheat). I’m curious to know the difference. In the meantime, LOVE, LOVE, LOVE!

    • #
      Rachel — March 19, 2014 at 7:36 am

      So glad you enjoyed it! :)

  15. #
    Dixya @ Food, Pleasure, and Health — March 19, 2014 at 9:35 am

    i have to get back on baking was once upon a time my Sunday thing to do :)

    • #
      Rachel — March 19, 2014 at 12:26 pm

      I might have to steal that idea :)

  16. #
    Tracy | Peanut Butter and Onion — March 19, 2014 at 9:49 am

    I’m a total bread junky… I will give this a try

    • #
      Rachel — March 19, 2014 at 12:26 pm


  17. #
    Laurie {Simply Scratch} — March 19, 2014 at 11:24 am

    Love homemade bread! This looks great Rachel!

    • #
      Rachel — March 19, 2014 at 12:27 pm

      Thanks Laurie!

  18. #
    Kathi @ Deliciously Yum! — March 19, 2014 at 12:28 pm

    I am such a bread lover. This bread is right up my alley – and you only need a couple of ingredients that most of us probably already have on hand… so great!

    • #
      Rachel — March 19, 2014 at 2:31 pm

      Thanks Kathi!

  19. #
    Georgia @ The Comfort of Cooking — March 19, 2014 at 2:17 pm

    Perfect for mopping up the extra sauce from pasta dishes! This looks so wonderful, Rachel. I love homemade bread!

    • #
      Rachel — March 19, 2014 at 2:32 pm

      Thanks Georgia!

  20. #
    Julie @ Table for Two — March 19, 2014 at 3:40 pm

    This whole loaf looks like a soft pillow just waiting for my head..err mouth. I need to make homemade bread more often, I’m just too lazy :)

    • #
      Rachel — March 19, 2014 at 6:33 pm

      It’s SOO easy. No excuses ;)

  21. #
    Megan {Country Cleaver} — March 19, 2014 at 11:10 pm

    Homemade bread is always best !! Let me just slather that in butter and eat is straight!!

    • #
      Rachel — March 20, 2014 at 7:16 am

      And this is just one reason why we get along so well lol

  22. #
    Baby June — March 19, 2014 at 11:18 pm

    Oh my goodness this looks EXACTLY like the bread at my favorite local bakery. Imagine if one actually made the Italian bread from scratch, then turned it into garlic bread! The only way you could make it more from-scratch would be to harvest your own wheat and garlic. :)

    • #
      Rachel — March 20, 2014 at 7:16 am

      Hahaha and I’m not about to do my own harvesting of wheat, garlic maybe.

  23. #
    Monique Bartley — March 28, 2014 at 2:47 pm

    Is it weird that I get more excited over bread then over cupcakes or pastries? Bread is bomb diggity!! So excited that this bread is such a quick one to make. Will be giving it a go soon!

    • #
      Rachel — March 28, 2014 at 3:50 pm

      There is nothing weird about that at all! :)

  24. #
    Carla — April 7, 2014 at 9:32 am


    This recipe was terrific. About the easiest bread I’ve ever made and it was so delicious (and hand mixed…I don’t have a stand mixer!!).

    • #
      Rachel — April 7, 2014 at 12:29 pm

      So glad you enjoyed it! And I’m happy to hear it mixed well by hand too :)

  25. #
    Mel — June 21, 2014 at 11:15 am

    What exactly is WHITE whole wheat flour?

    • #
      Rachel — June 21, 2014 at 4:59 pm

      It’s a milder and lighter in color whole wheat flour, listed as white whole wheat flour on the packages and can be found in the regular baking aisle.

  26. #
    Mel — June 21, 2014 at 5:05 pm

    Thanx Rachel, I’ll look for it.

  27. #
    Judy — April 21, 2015 at 3:42 pm

    I had success with all white whole wheat flour! And a side note, something I was taught by a friend… When using all whole wheat, stir in most of the flour, then let it sit for 10 minutes before adding anymore flour. Your breads won’t be as dry! :)

    • #
      Rachel — April 22, 2015 at 7:26 am

      So glad you enjoyed it!

  28. #
    Sevi Bertroli — April 24, 2015 at 6:57 pm

    No olive oil?

    • #
      Rachel — April 25, 2015 at 8:05 am

      No olive oil is used in this recipe.

  29. #
    Jean — October 20, 2015 at 9:08 pm

    This recipe sounds great and going to try it. Just wanted to make sure that the 1 and 1/4 teaspoon of yeast was correct and shouldn’t be tablespoons. Just seems like so very little yeast. I make a sourdough bread that requires more yeast but it is just too sweet a bread for making garlic bread. Want a soft Italian type bread to use for garlic bread, and your recipe sounds great! Thanks! Jean

    • #
      Rachel — October 21, 2015 at 7:55 am

      The amounts listed are definitely correct. I hope you enjoy the loaf! :)

  30. #
    Michelle — November 13, 2015 at 12:19 am

    Hi Rachel,

    Thanks for sharing this recipe! It looks awesome and I am going to try it this weekend. Question: Do you think I could put all the ingredients in a bread machine and let it work its magic, then transfer to a baking sheet for baking in the oven? Might be worth a try – what have I got to lose – but would still appreciate your thoughts on this.

    Thanks again so much!

    • #
      Rachel — November 13, 2015 at 7:23 am

      I imagine the mixing and rising would work okay in the bread machine. However, I haven’t personally tried it that way so I can’t be totally sure. Let me know how it turns out for you! :)

  31. #
    Beckyl — March 30, 2016 at 10:12 am

    This recipe is a keeper!! I mix it in my bread machine and then let it rise on the counter, covered with a damp towel. I did substitute 1/4 cup potato flour for some of the bread flour. I have been looking for a recipe like this for a long time. Thanks so much!!!!

    • #
      Rachel — March 31, 2016 at 7:27 am

      So glad to hear you’ve enjoyed it! Thanks so much for sharing :)

  32. #
    Denise — March 3, 2019 at 11:53 am

    What about the use of bread flour? Will it have a big impact on the bread?

    • #
      Rachel — March 4, 2019 at 8:08 am

      It’ll have a slightly different texture but should still be fine. Good luck! :)

  33. #
    Brenda — May 5, 2020 at 8:46 am

    Hi Rachel – so for someone like myself who doesn’t own. a stand mixer, how long do I knead, and what other concessions do I need to plan on? I’d like to make this bread today. I HOPE it turns out, the recipe I tried yesterday was basically French bread.


    • #
      Rachel — May 6, 2020 at 8:31 am

      You can absolutely mix and knead by hand. I don’t have exact times for you though. If you’re familiar with baking by hand, follow the same general guidelines. Mix until the dough comes together and knead on a lightly floured surface. Dough should not be sticky when you transfer to a greased bowl to rise.

Leave a Comment