Italian Loaves

A bit of wheat germ adds a tiny bit of crunch and more nutrition to these free-form loaves. The dry milk powder helps the dough rise even higher.

Serves: 16Hands-on: 30 minutesTotal: 3 hours 55 minutesDifficulty: Medium

Serves: 16


  • 2 packages (2 1⁄4 tsp.) active dry yeast
  • 1 1⁄2 cups warm water
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 Tbsp. sugar
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1⁄4 cup dry milk powder
  • 4 cups bread flour
  • 1 Tbsp. cornmeal


  • In a large bowl, combine yeast with warm water and mix. Let stand for 15 minutes or until bubbly and creamy. Add egg, sugar, salt, dry milk powder, and 1 cup bread flour; beat for 1 minute. Cover and let stand for 1 hour.
  • Gradually add enough remaining bread flour to make a stiff dough. Knead on lightly floured surface for 8 minutes, until dough is smooth and elastic. Place dough in greased bowl, turning to grease top. Cover and let rise until doubled, about 1 hour.
  • Grease a baking sheet with nonstick cooking spray and sprinkle with cornmeal.
  • Punch down dough and divide into two parts. Let stand for 10 minutes.
  • On a lightly floured surface using a lightly dusted rolling pin, roll out each dough into a 12-inch square. Roll up tightly, pinch edges to seal, and place each cylinder on the countertop until they are about 2 inches in diameter. Place loaves on prepared baking sheet, cover, and let rise until almost doubled, about 30 minutes.
  • Preheat oven to 400°F. Spray each loaf with water and bake for 30 minutes or until loaves are golden brown. Cool on wire racks.