A customized print-friendly version of this recipe is available by clicking the "Print Recipe" button on this page.

Italian Bread 101

in quick and easy whole grain dairy free gluten free overnight guaranteed classic

Author: PJ Hamel

Italian Bread 101 Recipe

You know that Italian bread you get at the supermarket, the crunchy braid loaded with sesame seeds? You've found a recipe for that delicious loaf. Dish up the pasta!

At a glance

1 large loaf
Nutrition information


Choose your measure:

Overnight starter



  • 1 large egg white beaten with 1 tablespoon water
  • sesame seeds


  1. To make the starter: Mix the starter ingredients in a small bowl, cover, and let rest at room temperature overnight.
  2. Combine the starter and the remainder of the dough ingredients. Mix, then knead the dough — by hand, mixer, or bread machine set on the dough cycle — to make a soft, fairly smooth dough.
  3. Transfer the dough to a lightly greased bowl, cover the bowl or bucket, and allow the dough to rise for 90 minutes, turning it over and gently deflating it after 45 minutes. If you're using a bread machine, remove the dough when the cycle is finished, deflate it gently, and let it rest, covered, for 30 minutes.
  4. Transfer the dough to a lightly greased work surface, and divide it into three pieces.
  5. Roll each piece of dough into an 18" rope. Braid the ropes (tucking the ends under), and set the braid on a lightly greased baking sheet.
  6. Cover the braid, and let rise it rise for about 60 to 90 minutes, or until it's very puffy. Towards the end of the rising time, preheat the oven to 425°F.
  7. Uncover the braid. Brush it with the egg white glaze, and sprinkle it heavily with sesame seeds.
  8. Bake the braid for 25 to 35 minutes; the longer it bakes, the crunchier it'll be. When fully baked, the braid's internal temperature should measure at least 190°F on a digital thermometer.
  9. Remove the braid from the oven and cool it on a rack. For extra crispness, cool it in the turned-off oven with the door propped open.
  10. Store the braid in a paper bag for 24 hours; wrap in plastic and freeze for longer storage.

Nutrition Information

  • Serving Size 49g
  • Servings Per Batch 18
Amount Per Serving:
  • Calories 90
  • Calories from Fat 5
  • Total Fat .5
  • Saturated Fat 0g
  • Trans Fat 0g
  • Cholesterol 0mg
  • Sodium 170mg
  • Total Carbohydrate 18g
  • Dietary Fiber 1g
  • Sugars 0g
  • 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.