Recipe by Brynie Greisman

Whole Wheat Italian Bread

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Parve Parve
Easy Easy
6 Servings
3 Hours, 30 Minutes

This looks and tastes like the real thing, only it has whole wheat flour so it’s more wholesome. The glaze adds incredible crispiness to it. It is a fine companion to soup and a variety of cheeses as well. You can savor it on its own, too.

Yields 1 loaf


Italian Bread

Glaze and Topping

  • 1 large egg

  • 1 tablespoon water



In a large mixing bowl, dissolve yeast and light brown sugar. Let stand until foamy, five to 10 minutes. Add whole wheat flour, quarter cup cornmeal, and salt and mix together. Beat in the rest of the flour, slowly, until a stiff dough forms. Continue kneading, either by machine or by hand, for five to 10 minutes until dough is smooth and elastic. Add more flour, if necessary, to prevent sticking.


Place dough in a large greased bowl (I recommend either using oil spray or one tablespoon of olive oil), turning to coat. Cover loosely with a damp cloth and/or a large plastic bag; let rise until doubled, about one and a half hours.


Sprinkle a baking sheet lined with Gefen Parchment Paper with remaining one tablespoon cornmeal. Punch down dough. Knead softly for one minute. Roll into a large rectangle. Starting with the long side, roll up dough, jelly-roll style; pinch ends to seal. Place loaf, seam-side down, on prepared baking sheet. Cover loosely; let rise until almost doubled, approximately 45 minutes.


Preheat oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit (230 degrees Celsius). Mix together egg and water. Brush loaf top with glaze. Sprinkle with sesame seeds. Using a sharp knife, slash loaf top diagonally to resemble authentic Italian bread. Bake loaf for 10 minutes. Reduce temperature to 375 degrees Fahrenheit (190 degrees Celsius) and continue baking until loaf is brown and bottom sounds hollow when tapped, approximately 30 minutes more. Cool.


For really crusty bread, place a pan of water in the bottom of the oven when preheating. Don’t put the loaves near the top of the oven, as the heat from the top will brown the crust too much, too fast. For a duller finish on the loaf, as most Italian breads have, omit the glaze and sesame seeds.


This bread freezes beautifully, whole or already sliced. Delicious dipped in olive oil mixed with balsamic vinegar.


Photo by Daniel Lailah. Food Styling by Amit Farber.

Whole Wheat Italian Bread

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