15+ Authentic Crusty Italian Bread Recipes to Try Today

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Italian cuisine is renowned for its bread, and there’s something truly special about a loaf of crusty Italian bread fresh out of the oven.

Whether you’re pairing it with olive oil and balsamic vinegar or using it to make sandwiches or bruschetta, crusty Italian bread is a culinary delight that everyone can appreciate.

In this article, we’ll explore some authentic and delicious crusty Italian bread recipes that you can recreate in your own kitchen.

15+ Authentic Crusty Italian Bread Recipes to Try Today

These crusty Italian bread recipes celebrate the rich tradition of Italian baking, offering a variety of flavors and textures to suit every palate.

Whether you’re craving a hearty Tuscan loaf, a fragrant herb focaccia, or a simple sesame-topped bread, these recipes are sure to bring a taste of Italy to your table.

Classic Italian Ciabatta Bread

Ciabatta bread is known for its rustic appearance and airy crumb. It’s perfect for sandwiches or dipping into olive oil and balsamic vinegar.

Ingredients:

  • 500g bread flour
  • 10g salt
  • 7g instant yeast
  • 400ml lukewarm water
  • Olive oil, for greasing

Recipe:

  • In a large bowl, combine the bread flour, salt, and instant yeast.
  • Gradually add the lukewarm water, stirring with a wooden spoon until a shaggy dough forms.
  • Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead for 10-12 minutes until smooth and elastic.
  • Place the dough in a lightly oiled bowl, cover with a damp cloth, and let it rise in a warm place for 1-2 hours until doubled in size.
  • Preheat the oven to 450°F (230°C) and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and divide it into two equal portions.
  • Shape each portion into a rough oval shape and place them on the prepared baking sheet.
  • Let the loaves rest for 30 minutes.
  • Bake in the preheated oven for 20-25 minutes until golden brown and crusty.
  • Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely before slicing.

Enjoy this classic Italian ciabatta bread with your favorite toppings or as a side to soups and salads. Its crispy crust and soft interior will delight your taste buds.

Pane di Altamura (Altamura Bread)

Pane di Altamura is a traditional Italian bread from the Puglia region, known for its golden crust and hearty flavor.

Ingredients:

  • 500g semolina flour (rimacinata)
  • 10g salt
  • 7g dry yeast
  • 400ml lukewarm water
  • Cornmeal, for dusting

Recipe:

  • In a large bowl, combine the semolina flour and salt.
  • Dissolve the dry yeast in lukewarm water and let it sit for a few minutes until foamy.
  • Gradually add the yeast mixture to the flour, stirring until a rough dough forms.
  • Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead for 15-20 minutes until smooth and elastic.
  • Place the dough in a lightly oiled bowl, cover with a damp cloth, and let it rise in a warm place for 2-3 hours until doubled in size.
  • Punch down the dough and shape it into a round loaf.
  • Place the loaf on a baking sheet dusted with cornmeal.
  • Let the loaf rise for another 1-2 hours.
  • Preheat the oven to 450°F (230°C).
  • Slash the top of the loaf with a sharp knife and bake for 40-45 minutes until deep golden brown and crusty.
  • Cool on a wire rack before slicing.

Pane di Altamura is a delightful bread with a crunchy crust and chewy interior. Serve it with olive oil or cheese for a true taste of Puglia.

Focaccia Genovese

Focaccia Genovese is a soft and pillowy Italian flatbread topped with olive oil, salt, and herbs. It’s perfect for snacking or serving alongside antipasti.

Ingredients:

  • 500g bread flour
  • 10g salt
  • 7g instant yeast
  • 400ml lukewarm water
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Coarse sea salt
  • Fresh rosemary or other herbs (optional)

Recipe:

  • In a large bowl, combine the bread flour, salt, and instant yeast.
  • Gradually add the lukewarm water, stirring until a sticky dough forms.
  • Turn the dough out onto a well-floured surface and knead for 10-12 minutes until smooth and elastic.
  • Place the dough in a lightly oiled bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and let it rise in a warm place for 1-2 hours until doubled in size.
  • Preheat the oven to 450°F (230°C) and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • Punch down the dough and transfer it to the prepared baking sheet.
  • Gently press and stretch the dough to cover the baking sheet.
  • Drizzle generously with extra virgin olive oil and sprinkle with coarse sea salt.
  • If desired, press fresh rosemary or other herbs into the dough.
  • Bake for 20-25 minutes until golden brown and crispy on the edges.
  • Let cool slightly before slicing and serving.

Focaccia Genovese is a classic Italian bread that’s simple yet irresistible. Enjoy it warm out of the oven or at room temperature with your favorite toppings.

Rustic Italian Bread (Pane Rustico)

This rustic Italian bread boasts a crispy crust and a soft, chewy interior. It’s perfect for serving alongside pasta dishes or enjoying with a drizzle of olive oil.

Ingredients:

  • 500g bread flour
  • 10g salt
  • 7g instant yeast
  • 350ml lukewarm water
  • Extra flour, for dusting

Recipe:

  • In a large bowl, combine the bread flour and salt.
  • Dissolve the instant yeast in lukewarm water and let it sit for a few minutes until foamy.
  • Gradually add the yeast mixture to the flour, stirring until a rough dough forms.
  • Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead for 10-12 minutes until smooth and elastic.
  • Place the dough in a lightly oiled bowl, cover with a damp cloth, and let it rise in a warm place for 1-2 hours until doubled in size.
  • Punch down the dough and shape it into a round or oval loaf.
  • Place the loaf on a baking sheet dusted with flour.
  • Let the loaf rise for another 30-45 minutes.
  • Preheat the oven to 450°F (230°C).
  • Score the top of the loaf with a sharp knife or razor blade.
  • Bake for 25-30 minutes until golden brown and crusty.
  • Cool on a wire rack before slicing.

This Pane Rustico is a classic Italian bread with a rustic charm. Its crunchy crust and soft crumb make it a versatile choice for any meal.

Olive Rosemary Focaccia

This flavorful focaccia features briny olives and aromatic rosemary, making it a delightful bread to serve as an appetizer or snack.

Ingredients:

  • 500g bread flour
  • 10g salt
  • 7g instant yeast
  • 400ml lukewarm water
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Coarse sea salt
  • 1 cup pitted olives, chopped
  • Fresh rosemary sprigs

Recipe:

  • In a large bowl, combine the bread flour, salt, and instant yeast.
  • Gradually add the lukewarm water, stirring until a sticky dough forms.
  • Turn the dough out onto a well-floured surface and knead for 10-12 minutes until smooth and elastic.
  • Place the dough in a lightly oiled bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and let it rise in a warm place for 1-2 hours until doubled in size.
  • Preheat the oven to 450°F (230°C) and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • Punch down the dough and transfer it to the prepared baking sheet.
  • Gently press and stretch the dough to cover the baking sheet.
  • Drizzle generously with extra virgin olive oil and sprinkle with coarse sea salt.
  • Scatter chopped olives and fresh rosemary over the dough.
  • Press the olives and rosemary gently into the dough.
  • Bake for 20-25 minutes until golden brown and crispy on the edges.
  • Let cool slightly before slicing and serving.

This Olive Rosemary Focaccia is a burst of Mediterranean flavors in every bite. Enjoy it as an appetizer or alongside your favorite Italian dishes.

Whole Wheat Tuscan Bread (Pane Toscano)

Pane Toscano is a traditional Tuscan bread with a dense crumb and a robust flavor. It’s perfect for pairing with soups or enjoying with charcuterie.

Ingredients:

  • 400g bread flour
  • 100g whole wheat flour
  • 10g salt
  • 7g instant yeast
  • 350ml lukewarm water
  • Extra flour, for dusting

Recipe:

  • In a large bowl, combine the bread flour, whole wheat flour, and salt.
  • Dissolve the instant yeast in lukewarm water and let it sit for a few minutes until foamy.
  • Gradually add the yeast mixture to the flour, stirring until a rough dough forms.
  • Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead for 10-12 minutes until smooth and elastic.
  • Place the dough in a lightly oiled bowl, cover with a damp cloth, and let it rise in a warm place for 1-2 hours until doubled in size.
  • Punch down the dough and shape it into a round or oval loaf.
  • Place the loaf on a baking sheet dusted with flour.
  • Let the loaf rise for another 30-45 minutes.
  • Preheat the oven to 450°F (230°C).
  • Score the top of the loaf with a sharp knife or razor blade.
  • Bake for 25-30 minutes until golden brown and crusty.
  • Cool on a wire rack before slicing.

Pane Toscano is a hearty bread that reflects the rustic flavors of Tuscany. Its dense texture and nutty flavor make it a wonderful addition to any meal.

Sicilian Semolina Bread (Pane di Semola)

This Sicilian-style semolina bread features a golden crust and a soft, slightly sweet crumb. It’s perfect for enjoying with a hearty soup or as part of an antipasto platter.

Ingredients:

  • 500g durum wheat semolina flour
  • 10g salt
  • 7g instant yeast
  • 350ml lukewarm water
  • Extra virgin olive oil, for greasing

Recipe:

  • In a large bowl, combine the semolina flour and salt.
  • Dissolve the instant yeast in lukewarm water and let it sit for a few minutes until foamy.
  • Gradually add the yeast mixture to the flour, stirring until a rough dough forms.
  • Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead for 10-12 minutes until smooth and elastic.
  • Place the dough in a lightly oiled bowl, cover with a damp cloth, and let it rise in a warm place for 1-2 hours until doubled in size.
  • Punch down the dough and shape it into a round or oval loaf.
  • Place the loaf on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
  • Preheat the oven to 450°F (230°C).
  • Score the top of the loaf with a sharp knife or razor blade.
  • Bake for 25-30 minutes until golden brown and crusty.
  • Let cool on a wire rack before slicing and serving.

This Pane di Semola is a delightful representation of Sicilian bread-making traditions. Its unique flavor and texture will transport you to the sunny shores of Sicily.

Italian Rosemary Olive Oil Bread

This aromatic bread is infused with the flavors of fresh rosemary and extra virgin olive oil, making it a wonderful accompaniment to pasta dishes or as a standalone appetizer.

Ingredients:

  • 500g bread flour
  • 10g salt
  • 7g instant yeast
  • 350ml lukewarm water
  • 2 tablespoons fresh rosemary, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil, plus extra for brushing

Recipe:

  • In a large bowl, combine the bread flour, salt, and instant yeast.
  • Gradually add the lukewarm water, stirring until a sticky dough forms.
  • Add the chopped rosemary and olive oil to the dough, kneading until well incorporated.
  • Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead for 10-12 minutes until smooth and elastic.
  • Place the dough in a lightly oiled bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and let it rise in a warm place for 1-2 hours until doubled in size.
  • Punch down the dough and shape it into a round or oval loaf.
  • Place the loaf on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
  • Preheat the oven to 450°F (230°C).
  • Brush the top of the loaf with extra virgin olive oil.
  • Bake for 25-30 minutes until golden brown and crusty.
  • Cool on a wire rack before slicing and serving.

This Italian Rosemary Olive Oil Bread is bursting with Mediterranean flavors. It’s a delightful addition to any meal or gathering.

Grissini (Italian Breadsticks)

These slender, crispy breadsticks are a classic Italian snack or appetizer, perfect for dipping into marinara sauce or enjoying alongside a cheese platter.

Ingredients:

  • 300g bread flour
  • 5g salt
  • 5g sugar
  • 7g instant yeast
  • 200ml lukewarm water
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • Coarse sea salt, for sprinkling

Recipe:

  • In a large bowl, combine the bread flour, salt, sugar, and instant yeast.
  • Gradually add the lukewarm water and olive oil, stirring until a dough forms.
  • Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead for 5-7 minutes until smooth and elastic.
  • Place the dough in a lightly oiled bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and let it rest for 30 minutes.
  • Preheat the oven to 400°F (200°C) and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • Divide the dough into small pieces and roll each piece into a thin breadstick shape.
  • Place the breadsticks on the prepared baking sheet, leaving space between each one.
  • Brush the breadsticks with olive oil and sprinkle with coarse sea salt.
  • Bake for 12-15 minutes until golden brown and crispy.
  • Let cool on a wire rack before serving.

These homemade Grissini are a fun and delicious way to experience authentic Italian snacking. Enjoy their crunchy texture and savory flavor!

Tuscan Saltless Bread (Pane Toscano)

Pane Toscano, or Tuscan Saltless Bread, is a traditional Italian bread with a rustic crust and a dense, chewy interior. Despite its lack of salt, this bread pairs beautifully with soups, stews, and hearty dishes.

Ingredients:

  • 500g bread flour
  • 7g instant yeast
  • 350ml lukewarm water
  • Extra flour, for dusting

Recipe:

  • In a large bowl, combine the bread flour and instant yeast.
  • Gradually add the lukewarm water, stirring until a sticky dough forms.
  • Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead for 10-12 minutes until smooth and elastic.
  • Place the dough in a lightly oiled bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and let it rise in a warm place for 1-2 hours until doubled in size.
  • Punch down the dough and shape it into a round or oval loaf.
  • Place the loaf on a baking sheet dusted with flour.
  • Let the loaf rise for another 30-45 minutes.
  • Preheat the oven to 450°F (230°C).
  • Score the top of the loaf with a sharp knife or razor blade.
  • Bake for 25-30 minutes until golden brown and crusty.
  • Cool on a wire rack before slicing and serving.

Pane Toscano is a staple in Tuscan cuisine and showcases the simplicity and elegance of traditional Italian bread-making.

Italian Olive Bread (Pane all’Oliva)

This flavorful olive bread is studded with briny Kalamata olives and fragrant herbs, making it a perfect companion to antipasti or as a standalone snack.

Ingredients:

  • 500g bread flour
  • 10g salt
  • 7g instant yeast
  • 350ml lukewarm water
  • 1 cup pitted Kalamata olives, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary
  • Extra virgin olive oil, for brushing

Recipe:

  • In a large bowl, combine the bread flour, salt, and instant yeast.
  • Gradually add the lukewarm water, stirring until a sticky dough forms.
  • Add the chopped olives and rosemary to the dough, kneading until well incorporated.
  • Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead for 10-12 minutes until smooth and elastic.
  • Place the dough in a lightly oiled bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and let it rise in a warm place for 1-2 hours until doubled in size.
  • Punch down the dough and shape it into a round or oval loaf.
  • Place the loaf on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
  • Preheat the oven to 450°F (230°C).
  • Brush the top of the loaf with extra virgin olive oil.
  • Bake for 25-30 minutes until golden brown and crusty.
  • Cool on a wire rack before slicing and serving.

Pane all’Oliva is a savory and aromatic bread that celebrates the Mediterranean flavors of olives and rosemary.

Italian Cheese Bread (Pane al Formaggio)

Pane al Formaggio is a cheesy Italian bread that’s perfect for cheese lovers. This bread is filled with gooey pockets of melted cheese and makes a delicious appetizer or accompaniment to pasta dishes.

Ingredients:

  • 500g bread flour
  • 10g salt
  • 7g instant yeast
  • 350ml lukewarm water
  • 200g shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 100g grated Parmesan cheese
  • Extra flour, for dusting

Recipe:

  • In a large bowl, combine the bread flour, salt, and instant yeast.
  • Gradually add the lukewarm water, stirring until a sticky dough forms.
  • Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead for 10-12 minutes until smooth and elastic.
  • Flatten the dough into a rectangle and sprinkle the shredded mozzarella and grated Parmesan evenly over the surface.
  • Roll up the dough tightly to encase the cheese, then knead gently to distribute the cheese throughout the dough.
  • Place the dough in a lightly oiled bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and let it rise in a warm place for 1-2 hours until doubled in size.
  • Punch down the dough and shape it into a round or oval loaf.
  • Place the loaf on a baking sheet dusted with flour.
  • Let the loaf rise for another 30-45 minutes.
  • Preheat the oven to 450°F (230°C).
  • Score the top of the loaf with a sharp knife or razor blade.
  • Bake for 25-30 minutes until golden brown and crusty.
  • Cool on a wire rack before slicing and serving.

Pane al Formaggio is a decadent treat that combines the irresistible flavors of bread and cheese, creating a delightful experience with every bite.

Pugliese Bread (Pane Pugliese)

Pane Pugliese is a traditional bread from the Puglia region of Italy, known for its chewy texture and rustic flavor.

This bread is great for sandwiches or enjoyed with olive oil and balsamic vinegar.

Ingredients:

  • 500g bread flour
  • 10g salt
  • 7g instant yeast
  • 350ml lukewarm water
  • Extra flour, for dusting

Recipe:

  • In a large bowl, combine the bread flour and salt.
  • Dissolve the instant yeast in lukewarm water and let it sit for a few minutes until foamy.
  • Gradually add the yeast mixture to the flour, stirring until a rough dough forms.
  • Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead for 10-12 minutes until smooth and elastic.
  • Place the dough in a lightly oiled bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and let it rise in a warm place for 1-2 hours until doubled in size.
  • Punch down the dough and shape it into a round or oval loaf.
  • Place the loaf on a baking sheet dusted with flour.
  • Let the loaf rise for another 30-45 minutes.
  • Preheat the oven to 450°F (230°C).
  • Score the top of the loaf with a sharp knife or razor blade.
  • Bake for 25-30 minutes until golden brown and crusty.
  • Cool on a wire rack before slicing and serving.

Pane Pugliese is a classic Italian bread that captures the essence of rustic, regional baking. Enjoy its hearty flavor and chewy texture.

Italian Herb Focaccia

This herb-infused focaccia bread is soft on the inside with a crispy crust, topped with a medley of aromatic herbs and olive oil. It’s a versatile bread that’s perfect for sharing.

Ingredients:

  • 500g bread flour
  • 10g salt
  • 7g instant yeast
  • 350ml lukewarm water
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil, plus extra for drizzling
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme
  • Coarse sea salt, for sprinkling

Recipe:

  • In a large bowl, combine the bread flour, salt, and instant yeast.
  • Gradually add the lukewarm water and olive oil, stirring until a sticky dough forms.
  • Turn the dough out onto a well-floured surface and knead for 10-12 minutes until smooth and elastic.
  • Place the dough in a lightly oiled bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and let it rise in a warm place for 1-2 hours until doubled in size.
  • Preheat the oven to 450°F (230°C) and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • Punch down the dough and transfer it to the prepared baking sheet.
  • Gently press and stretch the dough to cover the baking sheet.
  • Drizzle the dough with extra virgin olive oil and sprinkle with chopped rosemary, thyme, and coarse sea salt.
  • Press the herbs gently into the dough.
  • Bake for 20-25 minutes until golden brown and crispy on the edges.
  • Cool on a wire rack before slicing and serving.

This Italian Herb Focaccia is a fragrant and flavorful bread that’s perfect for serving as an appetizer or alongside your favorite Italian dishes.

Italian Sesame Bread (Pane al Sesamo)

Pane al Sesamo is a simple yet delicious Italian bread topped with crunchy sesame seeds. It’s great for sandwiches or enjoyed on its own.

Ingredients:

  • 500g bread flour
  • 10g salt
  • 7g instant yeast
  • 350ml lukewarm water
  • 1/4 cup sesame seeds
  • Extra flour, for dusting

Recipe:

  • In a large bowl, combine the bread flour and salt.
  • Dissolve the instant yeast in lukewarm water and let it sit for a few minutes until foamy.
  • Gradually add the yeast mixture to the flour, stirring until a rough dough forms.
  • Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead for 10-12 minutes until smooth and elastic.
  • Place the dough in a lightly oiled bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and let it rise in a warm place for 1-2 hours until doubled in size.
  • Punch down the dough and shape it into a round or oval loaf.
  • Place the loaf on a baking sheet dusted with flour.
  • Sprinkle the top of the loaf with sesame seeds and gently press them into the dough.
  • Let the loaf rise for another 30-45 minutes.
  • Preheat the oven to 450°F (230°C).
  • Bake for 25-30 minutes until golden brown and crusty.
  • Cool on a wire rack before slicing and serving.

Pane al Sesamo is a delightful bread that’s easy to make and showcases the nutty flavor of sesame seeds.

Final Thoughts

Crusty Italian bread is a staple in Mediterranean cuisine, and these recipes capture the essence of traditional Italian baking.

Whether you’re a seasoned baker or trying your hand at bread-making for the first time, these recipes are approachable and will yield impressive results.

So, roll up your sleeves, dust off your apron, and embark on a delicious journey into the world of crusty Italian bread. Your taste buds will thank you!

Enjoy baking and indulging in these crusty Italian bread recipes. Buon appetito!

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