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Pagnotta – Italian Round Country Bread

Pagnotta  – Italian Round Country Bread

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Simple and delicious Italian rustic bread typical of Central Italy but also widely baked in other regions.

Very soft and spongy inside with a deep brown crust it’ll conquer you from the first bite.

Pagnotta -Italian Round Country Bread {Recipe}
Pagnotta -Italian Round Country Bread
4 from 2 votes

Pagnotta – Italian Round Bread

Pagnotta – simple and delicious Italian round country bread made at home.
Print Pin Rate / Comment
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time35 mins
Total Time2 hrs 20 mins
Course: Bread
Cuisine: Italian



  • In a large bowl mix flour, yeast and salt. Add malt or honey and start adding water ¼ cup at a time.
    NOTE: You might not use all the water.
  • Once you see the dough starts to come together place it on a floured surface and knead using your hands for about 10 minutes, until it doesn’t stick to the hands anymore. It should be smooth and elastic and have a silky look.
    NOTE: The whole process can be done using a standing mixer with a dough hook.
  • Rub a large bowl with extra virgin olive oil. Place the dough in the bowl and cover with a kitchen towel. Let rise at room temperature for 50 minutes or until it has doubled in size.
  • Turn the bowl upside down over a floured surface and let the dough slide out.
    NOTE: At this point you can decide to make one large loaf or two smaller ones. In case of the latter divide the dough in two equal parts and proceed with the next steps.
  • Press it gently to a square shape. Fold the edges into the center. Then fold again sealing it well. Turn the dough smooth side up work in a circular motion to perfect the round shape of the bread.
  • Place a kitchen towel in the bowl where the dough was rising, sprinkle it lightly with flour. Place pagnotta in the bowl sealed side up.
  • Cover with kitchen towel and let rise for another 20 minutes or until doubled in size.
  • Transfer pagnotta rough sealed side down on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
  • Bake in a preheated to 400F oven for 25-45 minutes (depending on the size of the loaves).
    NOTE: Remember to place an oven-safe (usually metal) bowl with water in the lower part of the oven to create steam.


Sieve flour AFTER measuring.
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Pagnotta -Italian Rustic Bread

Pagnotta is a perfect fit for soups, bruschetta and of course for a quick bite with a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil or beautiful Mortadella sausage.

Pagnotta -Italian Round Rustic Bread


Recipe Rating


Thursday 19th of August 2021

Hi, I was wondering if this (or your ciabatta recipe) could be made the night before left to prove overnight in the fridge. I'd like to be able to get it all made the night before and then put it in the oven the next morning and rush it over to my Italian mother.

Italian Recipe Book

Saturday 4th of September 2021

Hi Jean, that's a good question. Honestly, I have never tried it with this Pagnotta bread so cannot comment much. However, if you're looking for an easy and delicious overnight bread recipe - try these no knead ciabatta rolls. You can make them single serving ciabatta buns or shape into a bigger loaf. Just keep in mind, that even though you proof it overnight, the dough will need to rest at room temperature at least for an hour, better 2 hours before if could be baked.

Keidre Ligon

Tuesday 8th of September 2020

I make sourdough and other yeast breads. I often end up eating bread that has a crust that’s too hard it hurts your mouth (not burnt, just too hard). This was good crust but chewable and so soft inside. I did specifically knead by hand for at least 10 mins even though it was already smooth/in a ball well before. I think the kneading really made it as kneading helps develop the gluten strands. Definitely will make again- possibly less honey next time.


Wednesday 27th of May 2020

This isn't pagnotta.

Lynda Andrew

Saturday 11th of April 2020

I really love pagnotta bread. I don’t have to drive to Edmonton (6 hrs away)anymore to buy this bread from the Italian bakery - a bakery here now makes the bread - not as good as the Italian bakery but good. But now that I have some really good some stone ground flour that the Night Oven, a local bakery - ground up, I want to try this recipe. I just wish there was a video I could watch to make sure I do everything right.

Italian Recipe Book

Monday 13th of April 2020

Hi Lynda! Thank you for stopping by. Pagnotta bread is fairly easy to make. The key part is to knead the dough well. I will definitely make a video recipe in the future. Happy Easter :)

Lynda Andrew

Saturday 11th of April 2020

I forgot to say, that I was 70 yrs old when I finally learned how to form a loaf of bread. I watched a utube video

Marie Wise

Monday 30th of March 2020

Can you make this bread with GF flour ?

Italian Recipe Book

Monday 30th of March 2020

Hi Marie, honestly, I've never tried it with GF flour. I assume you can, but won't have the same result since gluten helps the dough rise and fills it with airy holes.