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Mom's Italian Bread

by Dan Pelosi
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My mom spent my childhood selling endless loaves of her famous Italian bread for charity at every school fair, PTA event, church gathering, and Tupperware demonstration in Connecticut. She donated her time, energy, and domestic abilities to raise this money—a valuable lesson I learned early on. More than that, she even stuck a recipe card inside every loaf of bread, so that the recipe was shared with everyone. A true saint.

dan pelosi' mom's bread

star

Mom's Italian Bread

Servings

14

Calories

333

Author:

Dan Pelosi

Image of Mom's Italian Bread

Ingredients

  • 4 cups warm water

  • 4 ½ teaspoons active dry yeast
  • ⅓ cup sugar

  • ⅓ cup olive oil, plus more to grease bowl

  • 2 tablespoons salt

  • 8 cups all-purpose flour** plus more for surface

  • **Gluten free All-Purpose 1:1 flour can be used.

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 200º F, then turn off.

  2. In the biggest bowl you own, combine 4 ½ teaspoons active dry yeast with 4 cups warm water. Water should be warm to the touch, hot tap water will do. Mix until yeast dissolves. Add ⅓ cup sugar, ⅓ cup olive oil, and 2 tablespoons salt and combine.

  3. Mix in 8 cups all-purpose flour with a wooden spoon until dough forms into a shaggy ball. Flour a clean surface and plop out your dough. Knead for 10 minutes until dough forms a smooth ball. NOTE: Depending on the humidity in your air, this recipe may take a lot more flour than 8 cups. Keep adding until you reach the shaggy texture!

  4. Lightly grease a clean bowl with olive oil or vegetable oil, then place dough in and flip over so the entire ball is covered in oil. Place a damp towel over the bowl and transfer to the preheated oven. Let dough rise 1-2 hours, until doubled in size. (To test the rise, stick a finger in the dough. If the hole stays, my mom says you have done the job right. This is a rule I have used so many times in my life for a number of different endeavors—thanks, mom!)

  5. Transfer dough to a floured surface and punch it back down to its original size (should take less than a minute). Move the dough back to the greased bowl and let rise 1-2 more hours again on the countertop (no oven required).
  6. After your second rise is complete, transfer the dough to a floured surface and punch down again, then cut into 4 pieces and place them in 4 oil-greased loaf pans. You can use other shapes of pans, or even bake freestyle on a sheet. See below for pics of what those options look like!
  7. Cover pans with damp towels and rest for 30 minutes until dough rises and fills out the pans. Bake at 400º for 30-35 minutes, making sure to check on them as they bake.
  8. Serve your bread hot, room temperature, toasted—endless options! Eating it warm out of the oven with a slab of butter really takes me back! Freeze any extra loaves, as they defrost perfectly. To defrost, either leave on the counter overnight or heat at 400º for a few minutes. Loaves of bread make a GREAT gift to friends as well, so be sure to share the love!

  9. *Do not halve this recipe! Wrap any extra loaves on plastic wrap tightly and freeze.

Nutrition

Nutrition

Nutrition Serving Size
14
per serving
Calories
333
Amount/Serving % Daily Value
Carbs
61 grams
Protein
8 grams
Fat
6 grams
Saturated Fat
1 grams
Sodium
353 milligrams
Fiber
2 grams
Sugar
5 grams
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5 reviews & comments

  • Author's avatar image
    Yves - Jan 19
    ★★★★★
    ★★★★★

    The third rise literally kills the yeast and you end up having bread that’s 4 inches high. I can’t believe that I wasted about entire morning and my precious ingredients on this….

    Giadzy - Jan 19

    Hi Yves! This may have happened if it was risen in too warm of a place or for too long! For more clarification we recommend you leave a comment on Dan Pelosi’s original recipe! Here’s the link :)

    https://danpelosi.com/recipe/moms-italian-bread/

  • Author's avatar image
    Valerie - Dec 15
    ★★★★★
    ★★★★★

    I second the request to see more pictures. Also, at the end the tip is given to not halve the recipe. What is the reasoning? 4 loaves would take a year to eat. I usually freeze loaves in quarters because I eat so little at a time. As for gifting, I usually gift cake or cookies, not bread. At any rate, would love to know what the down side is of halving the recipe. Thanks!!

    Giadzy - Dec 15

    Hi Valerie! To see more pictures and learn more about Dan Pelosi’s recipe you can visit Dan Pelosi’s website (danpelosi.com)!

  • Author's avatar image
    Alisa - Apr 26
    ★★★★★
    ★★★★★

    The recipe mentions additional pictures but I only see the one of finished baked loves:

    After your second rise is complete, transfer the dough to a floured surface and punch down again, then cut into 4 pieces and place them in 4 oil-greased loaf pans. You can use other shapes of pans, or even bake freestyle on a sheet. See below for pics of what those options look like!

    Would love to have the additional pictures!

    Can’t wait to make the bread!

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