Italian Supermarket Bread

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Yield: 2 loaves

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You know that yummy Italian bread you get in the supermarket? The fat, golden, sesame-seed-sprinkled loaf? Yes, you CAN make it at home. Here's how.

Italian Supermarket Bread

star rating (91) rate this recipe »
Hands-on time:
Baking time:
Total time:
Yield: 2 loaves
Published: 01/01/2010




  • 1 egg white beaten with 1 tablespoon water; or substitute Quick Shine
  • sesame seeds

Tips from our bakers

  • Tips for using your Italian bread pan: Before using for the first time, wash your new pan in hot, soapy water; rinse and dry. To clean after use, place the cooled pan in the dishwasher, or wash by hand using a non-abrasive pad in hot, soapy water. Rinse and dry completely. Scouring with metal pads, steel wool or abrasive cleaners will damage the pan's surface. This pan will gradually darken with use over time. This is normal, and will enhance the quality of the products you bake in it.
  • To bake the loaves without a pan, shape, and place them on a lightly greased or parchment-lined baking sheet, leaving enough room between them for expansion. Continue with the recipe as directed.


1) In a large bowl, stir together all of the dough ingredients till cohesive. Knead the dough for 5 to 8 minutes, until it's smooth and supple, adding more water or flour as needed.

2) Cover the dough and allow it to rise for 1 hour, or until it's doubled in bulk.

3) Transfer the dough to a lightly greased work surface and divide it into two pieces. Shape each piece into a smooth 16" log. Place the logs into the two wells of a lightly greased Italian bread pan, cover, and let the loaves rise until very puffy, about 1 hour.

4) Brush the loaves with the egg wash (or spray them with Quick Shine), then sprinkle heavily with sesame seeds. Slash the loaves diagonally, making 3 slashes in each, and immediately put them in the oven. Bake in a preheated 400°F oven for about 25 minutes, until the loaves are golden brown. For the crispiest crust, turn off the oven, prop the door open, and allow the bread to cool in the oven

Nutrition information

Serving Size: 1 slice (41g) Servings Per Batch: 24 Amount Per Serving: Calories: 100 Calories from Fat: 20 Total Fat: 2g Saturated Fat: 0g Trans Fat: 0g Cholesterol: 0mg Sodium: 200mg Total Carbohydrate: 17g Dietary Fiber: 1g Sugars: 1g Protein: 3g

* The nutrition information provided for this recipe is determined by the ESHA Genesis R&D software program. Substituting any ingredients may change the posted nutrition information.


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  • star rating 05/02/2015
  • carolyn Scaturro from Mt. Arlington, NJ
  • I only have on hand active dry yeast. How/can I use this instead of instant?
    Carolyn, I would recommend using a packet (2 1/4 teaspoons) active dry yeast. You can add it to the lukewarm water in the recipe first and allow it to proof for 15 minutes, and then add the remainder of the ingredients. This step isn't absolutely necessary these days because active dry yeast has become more and more like instant yeast over the years. However, to be on the safe side it won't hurt to proof your active dry yeast. Barb@KAF
  • star rating 04/21/2015
  • Flourdance from KAF Community
  • These loaves are fun to make. In my Atlanta kitchen the second rise takes only about 30 minutes. I learned that the hard way by letting the loaves rise way too long the first time I tired the recipe and had the heartbreak of deflation in the oven! After that experience I called and got some really helpful advice from a KA baker. Now I make these often and they're a family favorite. Thanks again, King Arthur!
  • star rating 02/26/2015
  • backbone_acres from KAF Community
  • I really want to figure out how to make this recipe work! I've made It three times this week and each time it's not rising properly. I've recently moved to 5000 ft.. So maybe I'm missing something about high altitude baking? It takes a little longer than an hour for it to get puffy but when I make the slashes the bread collapses and isn't rising much at all in the oven. I'm making shallow gentle slashes, so I'm not sure why it's deflating. After baking the slashes only separate about 2cm. Any advice would be appreciated... Thanks!
    Your elevation is probably affecting the way your bread rises, which is causing it to deflate when you slash it. Please give our Baker's Hotline a call for help adjusting this recipe for altitude baking: 855-371-2253 Barb@KAF
  • star rating 02/16/2015
  • Foodfetish from KAF Community
  • Very easy to follow recipe that yields great results! I have an Italian loaf pan which makes for perfectly shaped loaves. I was a little worried when the 2nd rise took a little longer than the recipe stated, but I was baking on a cold dry day in Chicago. The texture, taste and crust are delicious! I put one of the loaves in the freezer, but I don't think it will be in there for long.
  • star rating 02/12/2015
  • member-blmk2155 from KAF Community
  • I made this for the first time last week but I divided it into 8 poboy buns. We made catfish poboys. Very delicious and so pretty. I'm making it again today as a gift for friends who are helping me plant potatoes in my garden. This recipe is a real keeper. Next time I'm going to try some flavoring to the bread like garlic or the olive parmesan mix. I let it mix and rise in my bread baker.
  • star rating 01/26/2015
  • cjb4560 from KAF Community
  • My husband is not a fan of my favorite, sourdough breads so I decided to try this recipe, To my amazement I was able to make a non sourdough bread!!! I did purchase the Italian bread bread pan which I believe helped to make this perfect Italian bread. I followed the directions and used a mixer with a dough hook and then kneaded by hand to achieve that perfect dough feel.. Again following the directions while using the KAF artisan bread topping and using semolina flour on my bread pan bottom the result was a true old fashioned Italian Bread that could have came out of my grandmother's kitchen! Both loaves were eaten at dinner and talked about the next few days.
  • star rating 01/19/2015
  • Jeanne loves to bake from KAF Community
  • This was a great, quick Italian bread. Sometimes I decide at the last minute I want crusty Italian bread with dinner that night, so I'm not able to do a recipe that requires the overnight proof. This recipe worked exactly for my needs. Very good flavor, nice crust, attractive loaf -- I'll be using this again for sure!
  • star rating 01/13/2015
  • Annabelle from Massachusetts
  • My mother is a huge fan of this recipe. It always turns out well for her! I'm planning to try making it myself soon. A couple questions regarding substitutions and variations: 1. Would using potato water in place of the regular water work as a substitute for potato flakes/potato flour? 2. If you were going to add semolina flour, what ratio of semolina to AP would you recommend?
  • star rating 12/31/2014
  • BonJon from Raleigh
  • We've made this many, many times now. It's so much better than the local storebought. Sometimes I shape it into breadsticks, too. Recently, I started adding 50grams of my sourdough starter. It's only wild yeast, a mix of organic whole rye, whole wheat and bread flours, very active and well developed. I reduced the recipe yeast by 1/2 to 1 teaspoon. With recently fed, room temp starter, the rise was wicked quick, and the oven spring was great! With cold, unfed starter, I could start in the morning and have a loaf ready for dinner. Great flavor addition to this already great recipe!
  • star rating 12/28/2014
  • Jenn from Preston, CT
  • I LOVE this bread! I get rave reviews every time I make it. I'm making some today and I'm going to try adding the pizza dough flavoring to it. I don't have an Italian loaf pan but they come out perfectly on a sheet tray with parchment. I've also made them as 4 mini loaves and they were just as delicious, perfect for meatball sandwiches!
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