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.

Best. Bread. Ever.

March 01, 2017
Wow. Easiest bread EVER. And utterly delicious. I made it with whole wheat flour and it was perfection.


September 13, 2016
I just used this recipe to make sub rolls for meatball subs.  After rising for 30 minutes, I divided the dough into 4 equal pieces, shaped them into mini loaves, brushed them with olive oil, made the 3 slits in each one to allow the steam to escape, and then let them sit 10 minutes before baking them.  They baked the same amount of time as one large loaf (that's 19 minutes in my oven) and they came out perfect.  I can't wait 'til dinner!

MarBandt's Review

September 01, 2014

felipe2010's Review

May 07, 2014

Sully186's Review

August 21, 2013
Great Recipe! I think I ended up using just under 3 cups of flour, and instead of punching down the dough and letting it rise in the bowl again, I roll it out into a 12x9 rectangle and roll it up jelly roll style, pinch the ends and put it on the pan. THEN I let it rise another 10 minutes before going in the oven. It seems to come out a little less dense.

vernassina's Review

August 20, 2013
I have used this recipe for pizza dough twice. This is the best pizza dough recipe ever!!!!!!!!!! I have also made Italian bread with it twice. The first batch I made, was flat, and hard. Not sure where I went wrong with it. Tonight, I made another loaf of the Italian bread. It turned out perfect. I prepared it as recipe stated, and shaped it into a 12 inch loaf. I did top the loaf with olive oil to give the top of the crust a nice appearance. This time the bread was a winner. I ate half the loaf by myself. The crust was crunchy. The interior of the loaf was light, and airy. I will make this again!