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Learn How to Make Soft and Elastic Italian Bread: From Sandwiches to Subs and Biga Dough Preparation

Welcome to our blog post where we share everything you need to know about making soft and elastic Italian bread. Whether you’re looking to make a delicious sandwich, a hearty sub, or a crusty loaf to dip in olive oil, we’ve got you covered. In this post, we’ll guide you step-by-step through the process and teach you the traditional Italian method of preparing biga dough. With our expert tips and techniques, you’ll be making bakery-quality bread in no time. So, let’s roll up our sleeves and get started!

Learn How to Make Soft and Elastic Italian Bread: From Sandwiches to Subs and Biga Dough Preparation


Italian bread, particularly the submarine sandwich bread, has a long and fascinating history. It is the origin of the famous Subway sandwich, but it can also be enjoyed as a pre-dinner bread with olive oil and vinegar or used to make Italian submarine sandwiches. The bread is long and soft, with a crispy outer crust and moist and chewy texture inside. In this article, we will guide you on how to make this bread from scratch, from preparing the Italian Biga to baking the dough into perfectly shaped bread.

Ingredients for Italian Biga

  • Bread flour
  • Instant yeast
  • Water

Recipe for Italian Biga Preparation

  1. Mix the bread flour, instant yeast, and water in a large bowl.
  2. Knead the mixture until it becomes smooth, but make sure not to over-knead it.
  3. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let it ferment for about 12 hours in a warm place in your kitchen.

Recipe for Final Dough Preparation

  1. In a large mixing bowl, add bread flour, salt, yeast, and water.
  2. Add the Italian Biga to the mixing bowl and mix everything until it forms a smooth dough.
  3. Knead the dough for about 15 minutes by hand or using a stand mixer.
  4. Place the dough in an oiled bowl, cover it with a cloth and let it rise in a warm place for about 1 to 2 hours.

Shaping the Dough

  1. Once the dough has risen, transfer it to a floured surface and divide it into two equal parts.
  2. Shape each part into a long baguette-like shape by stretching and folding the dough onto itself. Make sure to seal the edges properly.
  3. Place the dough onto a baking tray with parchment paper and sprinkle some flour on top.
  4. Use a sharp knife to make several diagonal cuts onto the surface of the dough.

Baking the Bread

  1. Preheat the oven at 425°F (220°C) and place a baking tray of water at the bottom of your oven.
  2. Once the oven is preheated, spray some water onto the surface of the bread using a spray bottle.
  3. Place the tray with the dough on the middle rack and bake it for about 25 minutes.
  4. After 25 minutes, rotate the tray and bake it for another 10-15 minutes until it turns golden brown.

Tips for Perfect Italian Bread

  • Adjust the water temperature based on the room temperature to get the perfect dough consistency.
  • Use a baking stone if possible or place your baking tray on the middle rack of the oven for even baking.
  • Reheat your bread in the oven after it cools down to get a crispy crust.


Preparing Italian bread can be a rewarding experience with some practice and patience. The recipe we have provided contains all the necessary information on how to make Italian Biga and dough, shaping the bread, and baking it perfectly. With these guidelines, you can now impress your family and friends with your homemade Italian bread and sandwiches.


  1. Is Italian bread the same as French bread?
  • No, it is not. Italian bread is typically longer and softer compared to French bread, which is crustier and has a denser texture.
  1. Can I use all-purpose flour instead of bread flour?
  • It is best to use bread flour as it has a higher protein content, crucial for creating the gluten and achieving the ideal texture of Italian bread.
  1. How long can I store Italian bread?
  • You can store it for about 2-3 days in a paper bag or wrapped in foil. You can also freeze it for up to 3 months.
  1. Can I use a bread machine for making Italian bread?
  • It is possible to use a bread machine, but we recommend hand-kneading the dough for best results.
  1. Can I add other ingredients like cheese or garlic to the dough?
  • Yes, you can add other ingredients to the dough as per your preference, but make sure to adjust the amount of flour and water accordingly.
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