A recipe for homemade Italian bread is Southern Living's Italian Bread that requires active dry yeast, sugar, warm water, bread flour and olive oil. Start by preparing the yeast, a process that requires dissolving 1 envelope of active dry yeast and 1 teaspoon of sugar in 1 cup of warm water. Allow the mixture to sit for five minutes. The mixture should start to bubble when it's ready to use.
Add 2 cups of bread flour, 2 tablespoons of olive oil and 1 teaspoon of salt to the yeast mixture, stirring it with a dough hook. After a minute, pour in the remaining cup of bread flour with the mixer running, and beat the dough at medium for five minutes. Cover the dough, and allow it to rise in a warm area. After 30 minutes, punch it down, and let it rise for 10 more minutes before kneading it on a floured surface.
Form the dough into a loaf, and score the top with 3 parallel slits using a knife. Place the loaf on a greased sheet, and bake it at 400 degrees Fahrenheit for 16 minutes. Once the bread turns a golden brown color, transfer it to a cooling rack until it's cool enough to serve.