Simple Italian Cheese Bread – Mel’s Kitchen Cafe


This straightforward Italian cheese bread is unimaginable! The easy dough is combined by hand, and the baked bread is tacky and filled with aptitude and taste!

Okay, you guys, cease what you’re doing proper this minute, and make this bread! Critically. It is going to be the very best determination you’ve made all week.

It’s by far a number of the most scrumptious bread I’ve ever eaten!

Three slices of Italian cheese bread on wood cutting board.Three slices of Italian cheese bread on wood cutting board.

Bread Dough Combined by Hand

The dough for this award-winning Italian cheese bread is combined collectively by hand. No stand mixer wanted!

Dough substances:

  • flour
  • sugar
  • yeast
  • olive oil
  • salt

As you combine, the dough will come collectively in a shaggy mess. That is after I ditch the blending utensil, evenly grease my palms, and dive in to combine and evenly knead the dough for a couple of minutes till it varieties a tough ball form.

Attempt to not add further flour until completely obligatory. The gentle dough is what ensures the bread will bake up completely fluffy (you might even get a few of these cute little artisanal air pockets should you’re fortunate!).

Assembling the Cheese Bread:

As soon as the dough has risen, it’s time to make the deliciousness occur.

  1. press the dough onto a evenly greased half sheet pan about 1/4- to 1/2-inch thick (it received’t cowl all the backside of the pan – simply get it right into a tough oval form)
  2. brush the highest with Italian salad dressing (a number of notes within the recipe about retailer purchased vs selfmade; spoiler alert: both will work!)
  3. sprinkle with a easy combination of pantry-ready dried herbs
  4. cowl with mozzarella and Parmesan cheese

You already understand how mentally allergic I’m to something associated to soggy bread dough – I promise the salad dressing doesn’t make the dough soggy! As a substitute it provides essentially the most unimaginable layer of taste and helps the cheese adhere to the highest of the dough.

Superb Italian Cheese Bread

Bake the bread till the crust is golden and that cheese is a’sizzlin.

The aroma emanating out of your oven is probably going nothing you’ve ever skilled. All of my youngsters talked about how wonderful it smelled after they walked in the home the primary time I made this bread. (And that’s saying rather a lot, as a result of my household is used to the home smelling like meals, for higher or for worse. 😉)

I’ve made this bread time and again since then. It’s truthfully a number of the most beautiful selfmade bread ever. And it’s so straightforward!

Baked Italian cheese bread on half sheet pan.Baked Italian cheese bread on half sheet pan.

I’m so grateful that Sarah M (a loyal MKC reader for nearly 20 years!) despatched me this recipe. She’s been making this bread for over a decade and even received Grand Champion for it at her native truthful!

I can by no means go away nicely sufficient alone, so I tailored the recipe to work a bit higher for house cooks who might not personal a pizza pan, and adjusted the portions of the bread and toppings to raised swimsuit my carb-loving coronary heart.

Final week, I packed up slices of this bread and took it to my son’s highschool tennis match considering it will make a easy dinner for me and Brian whereas we watched (sure, the entire loaf 👀😜). We by no means even obtained a single slice after my son, adopted by a hoard of his ravenous teammates, spied it, devoured it, and begged me to carry it once more.

I can’t wait so that you can make this bread! It might be excellent for therefore many various events and meals. Or, simply since you want Italian cheese bread in your life.

Two stacked pieces of fluffy Italian cheese bread on wood cutting board.Two stacked pieces of fluffy Italian cheese bread on wood cutting board.

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Two stacked pieces of fluffy Italian cheese bread on wood cutting board.Two stacked pieces of fluffy Italian cheese bread on wood cutting board.

Simple Italian Cheese Bread


  • 3 cups (426 g) all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon on the spot yeast
  • 1 ½ teaspoons salt
  • 1 ¼ cups heat water
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, plus extra for the pan


  • cup bottled Italian salad dressing (see notice)
  • ½ teaspoon dried basil
  • ¼ teaspoon dried oregano
  • ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • Pinch dried thyme
  • 1 cup (113 g) shredded mozzarella cheese (see notice)
  • ¼ cup (28 g) freshly grated Parmesan cheese (see notice)

Forestall your display from going darkish

  • In a big bowl, stir collectively the flour, sugar, yeast and salt. Add the water and the two tablespoons olive oil and blend till the dough begins to come back collectively in a shaggy ball.

  • Calmly grease your palms and proceed mixing the dough, folding it over on itself and kneading it evenly (urgent it with the heel of your hand) 5 to six instances, till the dough has fashioned a tough ball form.

  • Cowl the bowl and let the dough rise till noticeably puffy, 30 to 60 minutes.

  • Preheat the oven to 450 levels F. Brush two tablespoons oil evenly throughout a half sheet pan.

  • Calmly punch down the dough and switch it out onto the ready pan. Press the dough evenly right into a tough oval form, about 1/4- to 1/2-inch thick. It will not cowl all the backside of the pan. It is alright to flip the dough a few times whereas shaping; add extra oil to the pan, if wanted.

  • Brush the highest of the dough evenly with the Italian salad dressing. In a small bowl, mix the basil, oregano, garlic, salt and thyme. Evenly sprinkle this combination over the dressing.

  • Sprinkle the mozzarella and Parmesan cheeses throughout the highest of the dough.

  • You probably have the time or desire a barely fluffier bread, let the bread relaxation for 10-20 minutes earlier than baking. In any other case, you may bake immediately.

  • Bake for quarter-hour till the crust is golden brown and the cheese is scorching. Let relaxation for about 5 minutes earlier than slicing into squares and serving. The bread is scrumptious heat or at room temperature.

Salad dressing: use a model of retailer purchased Italian salad dressing you benefit from the style of, and it’ll work tremendous on this recipe. Shake the dressing very well earlier than utilizing. The dressing on this salad recipe would make an amazing selfmade choice (pass over the Parmesan cheese within the dressing, if utilizing for this recipe). 
Cheese: you probably have the time, freshly grated mozzarella cheese from a block is finest (it melts significantly better than pre-shredded cheese from the shop). It isn’t a deal breaker if you want to use pre-shredded mozzarella cheese; nevertheless, I extremely advocate utilizing freshly grated Parmesan cheese for the proper tacky crust (pre-shredded Parmesan is usually dried out and received’t soften in addition to freshly grated Parm). 

Serving: 1 serving, Energy: 144kcal, Carbohydrates: 20g, Protein: 5g, Fats: 5g, Saturated Fats: 2g, Ldl cholesterol: 7mg, Sodium: 374mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 1g

Recipe Supply: tailored from this recipe by means of a reader, Sarah M., who has been making this bread for 20 years (and received Grand Champion at a neighborhood truthful for it!)I elevated and tailored portions so the bread is ideal for a half sheet pan

Disclaimer: I’m a participant within the Amazon Companies LLC Associates Program, an affiliate promoting program designed to offer a way for me to earn charges by linking to and affiliated websites. As an Amazon Affiliate I earn from qualifying purchases.


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