The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Hungry For Italian

Bixmeister's picture

Hungry For Italian

I am very fond of the taste and texture of Italian bread, so I followed the recipe labled Italian Bread 101 in the recipe section of website.

Here are the results:

This is a sesame seeded Italian Bread with egg white wash

I bought 2 large teflon coated, double sided baking sheets

that I custom cut to the size of my baking stone.  On the

final rising I placed the braid on the baking sheet on top of

a cornmeal dusted flat cookie sheet that I used as a peel to

scoot the bread/sheet on to hot stone for baking.


This is the bread fresh from oven.  The picture is truncated

because my wife cut off the end before I could take a picture

as you will see in the next picture.


This is the crumb view.  The inside texture was very good.

The internal temperature was 203ºF after baking 42 minutes

in a 425º oven.  I rotated the bread half way through baking.

My oven is small so I placed the bread diagonally on the

baking stone.


I welcome questions and comments.


Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

Beautiful braid and crumb!  I can relate to small ovens and like the little loaves that come out of them.   Means fresh bread more often.   Thanks for sharing.

Mini Oven

Bixmeister's picture

Thanks for the nice comment.  I'm starting to get back into the swing of things regarding bread making.



flournwater's picture

OK, you sold a recipe.  You've also given me some encouragement to try that braided thing again (I'm a miserable failure at braiding at this point in my experience) and see if I can create anything close to your beautiful example.

If anyone else is looking for the recipe, try this link:

SylviaH's picture

I love Italian bread and with the lovely braiding it is even nicer!


JoeV's picture

I sometimes take exception with the self promotion and arrogance of King Arthur Flour in their recipes, and therefore do not purchase their products. They recommend flour for this recipe that requires a "dough enhancer" (vital wheat gluten) because it lacks sufficient protien to make good bread, then have the audacity to say that egg wash with whipped egg whites will not hold sesame seeds to the bread as well as "bread shine," a product they sell. I'll bet they would not tell that to their grandma without getting a dressing down.

This bread looks beautiful, and can be made with any bread flour like Gold Medal or Pillsbury. The "dough enhancer" is only needed when using coarse grains like whole wheat and rye that do not raise well. Even then, you just need 1 teaspoon of vital wheat gluten per cup of coarse flour to get a normal rise. Also, for a single loaf of bread you just need 1-1/4 teaspoons of Instant Yeast, and your dough should double in size within 1 hour.

Aside from their exotic ingredients that require help, this is a basic Italian recipe. To kick it up a bit, add 1 Tablespoon of brown sugar and dissolve it in your warm water.

BTW, excellent job at rolling out the the strands for your braid. They are very uniform, which really takes some practice. If you want to have some fun, try a 4-strand or 6-strand braid like they use for challah bread. Very festive looking.

Bixmeister's picture

Thanks for all the comments everyone!  I will attempt a 6 braid bread for my next braided bread.