Makes 1 loaf

Flaky on the outside and soft on the inside, this bread recipe can also be used to make focaccia or pizza crust.

How to Make It

Step 1

Combine yeast, sugar, and 1 cup warm water in bowl of a heavy-duty electric stand mixer; let stand 5 minutes. Add 2 cups flour, oil, and salt to bowl, and beat at low speed, using dough hook attachment, 1 minute. Gradually add additional flour until dough begins to leave the sides of the bowl and pull together. (Note: The dough will take on a "shaggy" appearance as the flour is being added. When enough flour has been added, the dough will look soft and smooth, not wet and sticky or overly dry with a rough surface.)

Step 2

Increase speed to medium, and beat 5 minutes. Cover bowl of dough with plastic wrap, and let stand in a warm place (85°), free from drafts, 30 minutes or until doubled in bulk. Punch dough down, and let stand 10 minutes.

Step 3

Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface; shape dough into a 12-inch loaf, and place on a lightly greased baking sheet. Cut 3 (1/4-inch deep) slits across top of dough with a sharp paring knife. (The slits release interior steam and prevent the loaf from blowing apart at the side.)

Step 4

Bake at 400° for 16 minutes or until golden brown. Cool on a wire rack.

Step 5

Herbed Focaccia: Proceed with recipe as directed, shaping dough into a ball instead of a loaf. Roll dough into an 11- x 14-inch rectangle on a lightly greased baking sheet. Press handle of a wooden spoon into dough to make indentations at 1-inch intervals. Drizzle dough evenly with 1 tablespoon olive oil; sprinkle evenly with 1 teaspoon dried Italian seasoning. Bake at 475° for 12 to 15 minutes or until golden brown.

Step 6

Pizza Crust: Proceed with recipe as directed, shaping dough into a ball instead of a loaf. Roll dough into an 11- x 14-inch rectangle on a lightly greased baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil, or spread with pesto or pizza sauce, and sprinkle with desired toppings. Bake at 475° for 20 to 25 minutes.

Ratings & Reviews

February 25, 2017

February 25, 2017
 Hi made the bread once, was really good.I am planning to do a double recipe half to make another bread other to make pizza dough.Do I need to double the yeast also? seen some recipes that use 1 yeast bag for 4 cups of flower.Also read best to add olive oil only close to the end of kneading since the oil can break up the glutten and make it less elastic. Your thoughts?

June 14, 2015
The reason it was dense is because you overworked your dough. Late response i know but its more so for the people that come across this. You don't want to knead too much or you will increase the gluten action and it will be less airy more heavy.

LorettaVance's Review

January 25, 2012
Best Italian bread ever!!!! The olive oil in the recipe gives it a wonderful flavor. Works great for pizza crust, focaccia or loaves. I always brush loaves with additional olive oil. Top focaccia with mozarella cheese. A Greek pizza loaded with spinach, garlic, fresh ground pepper and Italian cheese blends is out of this world using this crust.

This is it!

November 02, 2018
First recipe for bread that I tried when I got back from Italy.  Right on.  Texture perfect.  I think our flour is different. . . I used King Arthur.  But oh. . . served with olive oil and a sprinkling of milled sea salt. . . delicious!  I do want to say that I went in for a second short rise for about 45 min. before I baked.  Thank you, thank you!

cjbuddy's Review

April 04, 2010
Have made this twice, once as the suggested focaccia and once as a loaf. It is a great and quick recipe that can easily be made during the week. You won't be disappointed!

CharliS's Review

November 02, 2012
This bread was fantastic. I used a bit more oil and sugar and brushed it with beaten eagg before bakng. Everyone should have this recipe!!!!

felipe2010's Review

May 07, 2014

erika613's Review

December 01, 2012
I wanted to add a homemade loaf of bread to some DIY pasta sauce gift baskets I'm making for Christmas. I'd never made bread before so I needed something easy for a beginner, tasty and quick enough to make 10 loaves over the course of a weekend. This recipe hit it out of the park! I just made the test batch and cannot wait to make it again. I think next time I'll add some rosemary to it. :)

the4rojos's Review

March 06, 2012
This is a GREAT recipe. I threw in a couple shakes of italian seasoning with the final 5 minute beat. The family loved it; reminded us of Macaroni Grill bread, but better because it was piping hot! PTK! ...great with oil/balsamic mixture.