Try this Italian Sandwich Bread Recipe for a delicious homemade bread that holds together perfectly for thick Italian sandwiches!
Italian sandwich bread is versatile and can be used for a variety of sandwich fillings, such as meats, cheeses, vegetables, and spreads. This bread holds together really well for delicious Italian sandwiches.
I strongly encourage you to read through my entire post. The video tutorial, step-by-step pictures, and tips and tricks sections below will help make sure this bread comes out perfectly.
This recipe was adapted from my original recipe, The Best Sandwich Bread. Don't forget to check out these amazing New York Style Bagels. If you are looking for a pizza dough recipe this Chewy Pizza Crust is perfect for homemade pizza.
Why You'll Love This Recipe
- This Italian bread is soft on the inside, but holds together perfectly for sandwiches without crumbling!
- Italian bread has a mild, slightly sweet flavor that complements a wide range of sandwich fillings without overpowering them.
- Making your own bread is a great way to know exactly what ingredients you putting into your body.
You'll need the following simple ingredients to make this Italian Sandwich Bread Recipe.
Water adds moisture to the bread. Warm water will help the dough to rise faster.
Bread Flour is the best flour for white bread. It has a higher protein content than regular flour and helps the bread to hold together for sandwiches.
Instant Yeast allows the dough to rise. I prefer using the brand SAF Instant Yeast.
Olive Oil softens the crumb of the bread.
White Sugar feeds the yeast.
Salt brings out the flavor of the bread.
These simple ingredients create the best bread for Italian sandwiches.
- All Purpose Flour or regular white flour can replace the bread flour. This will affect the chewiness of the finished loaf and how well it holds together.
- Honey can be a substitute for white sugar. Replace the sugar with 2 tablespoons of honey.
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Canola Oil, and Vegetable Oil can all be used interchangeably in this recipe.
- Active Dry Yeast can substitute the instant yeast. Make sure you proof it in warm water before adding the ingredients.
How to Make Italian Sandwich Bread
Here are some quick visual instructions. The full recipe with ingredient measurements is below!
Add all the ingredients to the bowl of a stand mixer. Using the dough hook attachment knead on a low speed for about 6-9 minutes. The dough should be pulling away from the sides and center of the mixer, but still feel sticky (see video in recipe card).
Pro Tip: If it is your first time making this you may want to add 3 ½ cups of flour to the mixer and wait a minute to see if you need to add the remaining ½ cup of flour.
Remove the dough from the mixer and knead it a couple times on a lightly floured surface to form a ball.
Place the dough in a large bowl and cover it with plastic wrap. Let the dough rise in a warm place until doubled. How fast it rises will depend on the room temperature.
After the first rise, grease two loaf pans. Divide the bread dough into two equal pieces. Shape them into loaves and transfer the dough to the loaf pans.
Rise Option 1: Rub a little oil or butter on the top of two pieces of plastic wrap. Place the plastic wrap over the dough allowing room for the dough to grow about 45-60 minutes.
Rise Option 2: Place a pan in your oven and add 2 cups of boiling water to the pan. Let the loaves rise in the warm, steamy oven with the light on for 30-45 minutes.
Once the dough has risen, very carefully remove the plastic wrap (option 1) or remove them from the warm oven (option 2). Preheat the oven to 350° Fahrenheit. Gently place the loaves in the oven. You don't want the dough to deflate. Bake for 25-30 minutes, until golden brown on top.
Remove them from the pans and let the loaves cool on a cooling rack before slicing into them.
Recipe Tips & Tricks
Read through these tips to help you make the best homemade bread.
The Loaf Pan Size Matters!
- The size of the loaf pan will affect how tall the loaf of bread will be. During the second rise, pay attention to how tall the dough rises. If using a 4.5x8.5 inch pan: The middle of the risen dough should be about 1 inch above the edge. If using a 5x9 inch pan: The middle of the risen dough should be just barely above the top of the edge.
- If the bread doesn't rise enough it won't be as fluffy.
- If the bread rises too much it can over-proof and fall.
Bread is Too Dense
- First, how was the consistency of your dough. You want a sticky dough that holds together in a ball. If you added too much flour you will have a dense loaf of bread.
- Second, make sure you are giving the loaves enough time to rise.
Bread is Crumbly
- The type of flour you use can affect how chewy or crumbly the bread will turn out. Bread flour has a higher protein content and yields chewier bread that will hold together beautifully for sandwiches. Whole wheat flour and all-purpose flour will affect the crumb of the bread. King Arthur Bread flour works great in this recipe.
- Allowing the dough to rise for the right amount of time will ensure that the bread has enough structure to hold together. Under-risen bread may be dense and crumbly.
- Using the right amount of water or other liquids in your dough is critical. Too much liquid can make the dough sticky and difficult to handle, while too little can make the bread dry and crumbly.
- Kneading the dough for a sufficient amount of time will help develop gluten, which is essential for holding the bread together.
- A good bread knife will also make nice clean cuts for sandwiches,
Storage and Reheating
- Storage: Store the cooled bread in an airtight plastic bag.
- Freezing: The bread can be frozen. Be sure to double-bag it and try to get out as much air as possible.
Whether you are making Italian bread rolls, sub rolls or sandwich bread this dough is very versatile.
- Hoagie Rolls: This dough can be divided up and shaped into hoagie rolls. Bake the shaped sandwich rolls on a parchment paper lined baking sheet. You can even brush it with an egg wash and add sesame seeds on top before baking. Give it a spray of water on top of the dough to help it have a bit of a crispy crust and soft interior. It is the best Italian sub bread (so much better than Subway bread).
- Toasted: Slice the bread and put it in the toaster for toasty bread with butter or jam.
- Italian Sandwich: Make an Italian sandwich recipe with your favorite Italian meats and provolone cheese. Add a little sprinkle of Italian seasoning.
Frequently Asked Questions
Italian bread is typically light and airy on the inside and is made using olive oil instead of butter or other oils. Italian bread is a great all-purpose bread that can be used for a variety of sandwich fillings, from meat and cheese to veggies and spreads. It has a mild, slightly sweet flavor that complements a wide range of sandwich fillings without overpowering them.
Yes, this bread can be made in a bread machine, but depending on how large your loaf pan is you may need to scale the recipe down a bit.
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Italian Sandwich Bread Recipe and Video
- 1½ cups warm water (340 grams)
- 1 tablespoon SAF Instant Yeast (9 grams)
- ¼ cup olive oil (50 grams)
- 3 tablespoon white sugar (37 grams)
- 1½ teaspoons salt (9 grams)
- 4 cups unbleached bread flour (520 grams)
- Add the warm water, yeast, olive oil, sugar, salt and bread flour to a mixer with the dough hook attached.
- Knead on low for 6 minutes in a Bosch mixer or 9 minutes in a KitchenAid or similar mixer. The dough should be pulling away from the sides of the mixer, but still feel sticky (see video).
- Remove the dough from the mixer and knead it a couple times on the counter to form a ball. You can add a very small sprinkle of flour if needed.
- Place the dough in a large bowl and cover it with plastic wrap. Allow it to rise in a warm place until doubled about 1 hour.
- Grease two loaf pans. Remove the dough from the bowl and divide it into two equal-sized pieces. Gently knead it into a ball and roll it out into a loaf shape. You can use another very light sprinkle of flour if needed.
- Rise Option 1: Rub a little oil or butter on the top of two pieces of plastic wrap. Place the plastic wrap over the dough allowing room for the dough to grow about 45-60 minutes.Rise Option 2: Place a pan in your oven and add 2 cups of boiling water to the pan. Let the loaves rise in the warm, steamy oven with the light on for 30-45 minutes.If using a 4.5x8.5 inch pan: The middle of the risen dough should be about 1 inch above the edge.If using a 5x9 inch pan: The middle of the risen dough should be just barely above the top of the edge.
- Once the dough has risen, very carefully remove the plastic wrap (option 1) or remove them from the warm oven (option 2). Preheat the oven to 350° Fahrenheit. Gently place the loaves in the oven. You don't want the dough to deflate. Bake for 25-30 minutes, until browned on top.
- Use oven mitts to remove them from the pans and let the loaves cool on a cooling rack before slicing into them.