How to Make Italian Bread. Italian bread is set apart from other breads by its chewy, thick golden crust covering a soft and tender center. It tastes wonderful with any type of pasta, and with the addition of a bit of sauce and cheese, makes a delightful pizza bread. Follow these steps to bake Italian bread.
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.
Pour the warm water, milk and sugar in a small mixing bowl and sprinkle the active dry yeast over the top. Let it stand for about 4 minutes, until the yeast is soft and begins to foam.
Place the sifted flour and salt in a bowl and mix them until they're completely blended. Add the yeast mixture and knead it in the bowl for about 2 minutes. At this point, the dough should still be very moist and doughy.
Oil a separate bowl and place the dough in the oiled bowl. Cover it with a dry towel and place it in a draft-free place to rise until it doubles in size.
Punch down the dough and divide it into two equal pieces. Shape the pieces into loaves and place them on an oiled baking sheet.
Cover the loaves with a dry towel and allow them to rise until they double once more.
Bake the Italian bread for about 15 minutes, until the tops are golden brown.