Soft and crusty, exactly how Italian bread should be, this Herb Crusted Italian bread is great by itself, with sandwiches or dipped in delicious Restaurant Style Garlic and Herb Bread Dipping Oil.
I love baking homemade bread, but I must admit, I’m not naturally gifted at it like many others. I’ve had many fails along the way, but I’ve also had a lot of wins too, so I’m doing okay.
I have figured out that I more than likely just need a simple recipe that is easy to follow along. I figure this ensures I don’t mess up and that it is going to come out right every time I make it. Well, I nailed it with this Homemade Herb Crusted Italian Bread. It is exactly that. Simple yet absolutely delicious! So perfect for dipping in dips, sauces, oils and more. Also makes a mean Italian sandwich! So good!
We’ve been making this for years, and I’m not sure why I never thought to share it here before. It’s written in my grandma’s chicken scratch handwriting on an index card that is faded and weathered and even coated with a fine dusting of flour. *grin* I love using recipes that my family gave me, even if I don’t remember them ever making it. No idea where she got it from, but it is so easy and so delicious – if you follow the instructions, you will get it right every single time.
It is pretty easy to just throw all the ingredients together following the directions, but the most important part is actually watching the additional flour that you will be adding to get that soft and smooth texture before you let it rest. You don’t want a sticky wet dough, but you also don’t want an overly dry crumbly dough either. When it’s the perfect consistency, it will feel so soft and smooth, like silk. Just add a little more flour at a time up to that 1 cup I mention and you’ll be fine.
One last thing before I give you this recipe. I have not made this recipe any other way than how I have it listed. I’m sure you can use different flour, and add things and take away things, but I don’t know because I haven’t tried. This Homemade Herb Crusted Italian Bread makes an appearance in my kitchen several times a year, but I haven’t played much with the recipe and as written it’s come out perfect for me every single time.
You ready to make your own Homemade Herb Crusted Italian Bread?
Homemade Herb Crusted Italian Bread
- 1 .25 ounce envelope active dry yeast
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1 cup warm water
- 2 cups bread flour plus 1/2 - 1 cup - see directions
- 2 tablespoons olive oil plus more for the top
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 cup dry Italian Herbs
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
In the bowl of your stand mixer, combine the yeast, sugar and 1 cup of warm water. Allow to stand for 5 minutes.
After 5 minutes, add two cups of bread flour, the olive oil and salt and beat 1 minutes, at a low speed, using your dough hook attachment.
Gradually add in more flour up to 1 cup until the dough leaves the sides of the bowl and pulls together and looks soft and smooth. Be careful not too add too much flour or the dough will become rough and not the consistency you want. You also don't want it sticky and wet. Soft and smooth is perfect.
Increase the speed of your mixer to medium, and continue to beat for 5 minutes.
Take a warm towel, or plastic wrap and cover the mixing bowl. Allow to stand in a warm place for 30 minutes or until doubled in size. Keep free from drafts. After 30 minutes with dough doubled, punch the dough down, and let stand 10 minutes.
On a lightly floured surface, shape dough to fit into your lightly greased loaf pan. Cut 1 long (1/4-inch deep) slit across the top of dough with a sharp paring knife. Don't forget this step, as it releases steam during the baking process and will make a difference in how the final product is presented. (in other words, it won't blow up)
In a small bowl, combine Italian Herbs with garlic powder.
Brush the top of the bread dough with more olive oil and top with dry Italian Herbs. Pressing them into the dough a little.
Bake in a preheated 475 degree oven for 12-14 minutes or until golden brown.
Remove from oven and allow to sit for 5 minutes. Turn out on a wire rack and allow to cool completely before wrapping for storage or serve warm.
Do you like to bake bread but want easy recipes? If you are looking for another perfectly simple bread recipe, try out our Favorite Homemade Sandwich Bread. It has rave reviews, it is super simple and tastes absolutely delicious!