Italian Bread

Makes 3-4 loaves



  • 1¾ cups bread flour
  • ¼ tsp instant yeast
  • 8-10 oz water


  • 3 ¾ cups bread flour
  • 10 ½ oz water
  • 1 tsp instant yeast
  • 2 tsp salt
  • biga
  • flour for dusting

Special Equipment

  • standing mixer
  • nonstick cooking spray


Make Biga

  1. In a large bowl, add all ingredients for the biga and mix by hand until a rough, shaggy dough forms. Cover with plastic wrap and set aside to rest overnight at room temperature
Mix Dough
  1. In a standing mixer with dough hook attached, add all ingredients and mix starting on low speed, slowly incresing to medium speed until a smooth dough forms, about 7-8 minutes
  2. Remove the dough from mixing bowl and place it in a large bowl sprayed with non-stick cooking spray and cover with plastic wrap
  3. Let dough rise for an hour at room temperature, covered with a lightly-dampened towel
Turn Dough
  1. Place dough on a flour-dusted table.  Punch down the dough and dust with flour
  2. Fold the left and right side of the dough into the center and roll twice from top to the bottom
  3. Return the dough to the sprayed bowl, cover and let it rise for another hour at room temperature
  4. Turn the dough again, cover and let it rest and rise for another hour at room temperature
  5. Cut the dough into 3-4 pieces and shape the loaves
Shape Loaves & Bake
  1. Preheat the oven to 450°
  2. Starting from the bottom of the dough, use your fingers to tuck and roll the bottom toward the center of the dough. Seal the seam by pinching them together
  3. Once loaves are shaped allow them to rise for 45-60 minutes
  4. Using a spray bottle or a pastry brush, baste loaves with water to ensure a crust
  5. Using a sharp knife, gently slash the loaves into desired patterns
  6. Bake until a golden brown exterior forms, about 30-40 minutes. For an extra crispy crust, pour additional water into the bottom of the hot oven during the baking time. You can also  alternate the pans from top to bottom after about 15-20 minutes so the bottom loaves get some color from the top heat (this step may also vary depending on the oven)