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Braided Italian Bread

Braided Italian bread – a freshly baked, warm loaf of bread is something that really can’t be beat.

Braided Italian Bread \\ Recipe on

Nothing beats fresh, warm Italian bread. Ask Handsome. He can demolish any loaf put in front of him in mere minutes. Whether it be slathered in jam, coated in butter, or plain.

Who would have though something so normal would still be able to impress us so much? It’s only been a staple in our diets forever.

And here I am, not alone according to Google Reader, fearful of working with yeast. Its apparently mystifying powers to recreate itself and create rising dough still intimidates me (insert Alton Brown’s yeast sock puppets to explain the not so mystifying reasons – I’ll keep my magic).

This year I have conquered pizza dough a few times, some simple no knead dough, and now this crusty, braided Italian bread.

There were a few fails in there as well, and in all honesty, if I could figure out where I went wrong, I would blog about it so that others could point and laugh. After reading another blogger’s post about working with yeast, I am determined to become less fearful of it and work with it more. Ut oh, do I smell a 2011 goal coming up soon?

 Looking for more easy bread recipes? These will have your kitchen smelling amazing all day!

Homemade Challah Bread Recipe
Straight Baguette – Bread Baking Fundamentals
Fluffy Homemade Cinnamon Bread

If you’ve tried my Braided Italian Bread recipe or any other recipe on please don’t forget to rate the recipe and let me know where you found it in the comments below, I love hearing from you! You can also follow along for more good eats and travel tips on Instagram @passthesushi & @girlcarnivoreTwitter Facebook.

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Yield: 1 loaf

Braided Italian Bread

Braided Italian Bread \\ Recipe on

Braided Italian bread – a freshly baked, warm loaf of bread is something that really can’t be beat.

Prep Time 10 minutes
Rising Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Total Time 2 hours 15 minutes



  • 1 cup (8 ounces) cool water, about 65F
  • 2 cups (8 1/2 ounces) all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon instant yeast


  • 1/2 cup (4 ounces) cool water, about 65F
  • 2 1/2 cups (8 1/2 to 10 5/8 ounces) all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons instant yeast
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 egg white mixed with 1 tablespoon water


The Sponge: 

  1. Combine all of the sponge ingredients, mixing just till a cohesive dough forms.
  2. Allow it to rest, covered, for 12 to 16 hours at room temperature. When the sponge is ready, it will be filled with large holes and bubbles.

The Dough:

  1. Add the water to the sponge, and mix till smooth.
  2. Add the flour, yeast and salt, and knead the dough till it’s fairly smooth but not necessarily elastic, about 3 minutes by machine, or 5 minutes by hand. (The gluten will continue to develop as the dough rises, so you don’t want to develop it fully during the kneading process.)
  3. Place the dough in a lightly greased bowl, cover, and allow the dough to rise at room temperature for 1 1/2 hours. To help develop the gluten and distribute the yeast’s food, turn the dough twice during the rising time: gently fold all four sides into the middle, and turn the dough over.
  4. Divide dough in thirds, and roll each third into a 20-inch-long rope.
  5. Braid ropes.
  6. Set the braid on a lightly greased or parchment-lined baking sheet, cover with greased plastic wrap and let rise 1 to 1 1/2 hours, until just puffy.
  7. Preheat oven to 425F.
  8. Gently brush the braid with the beaten egg white mixture and sprinkle generously with sesame seeds.
  9. Bake for 25 to 35 minutes. Remove from the oven and cool on a rack.

Nutrition information provided is an estimate from For specific health concerns, please put the recipe into your Dr recommended nutrition calculator.

Braided Italian Bread \\ Recipe on

This braided Italian bread is a no fail recipe!

Seriously, try it! Send pictures when you do. Let’s kick yeast’s booty and become amazing artisan bread makers. Haha, ok. Maybe just try this and let me know it comes out. We’ll save the enthusiasm for later.

I even contacted the person’s blog who it was on after waiting a full 16 hours because my sponge was a little under bubbly. They were small bubbles, but there. The blogger assured me things would still be ok. Sure enough, things were ok.

Once you’ve stepped back from your beautifully braided loaf, it will hit you, “Damn, I’m a good.” 😀


Saturday 4th of June 2011

I did it!!! My tummy is smiling!!! Thank yoooooo!!! It was so easy really. Awesome!

Dionne Baldwin

Thursday 23rd of December 2010

I'm on a bread kick lately and I think it's time to branch out from my few favorite recipes! I gotta try this. Once I beat my nemesis (yeast) there is no stopping me...


Monday 13th of December 2010

Oh how I love carbs. I could eat that whole loaf with butter in one sitting. *drool*


Monday 13th of December 2010

I think that the reason why fresh baked bread is so delightful is because we don't get it very often anymore. We just pick up a mass-produced loaf at the store. I love fresh bread, but making it is definitely an art form.

Belinda @zomppa

Monday 13th of December 2010

I LOVE this - looks absolutely delicious!!

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