Scali Bread Recipe: A Delicious Italian Loaf for Any Occasion


Are you craving a freshly baked loaf of bread with a light, airy texture and a hint of sweetness? Look no further than Scali bread, a traditional Italian recipe that dates back centuries. In this article, we will take you through the steps to create your own Scali bread masterpiece, complete with tips and tricks to ensure a perfect result every time.

What is Scali Bread?

Scali bread, also known as Semolina bread, is a specialty found in the Italian-American communities of the Northeastern United States. It is a delicious loaf with a slightly sweet taste and a soft, light interior. The crust is thin and crisp, making it perfect for sandwiches, toast, or simply enjoying on its own.


Before we get into the nitty-gritty of the recipe, let’s take a look at the ingredients you will need:

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup semolina flour
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1 packet active dry yeast
  • 1 ½ cups warm water
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil


Now that we have everything we need, let’s dive into the step-by-step process of making Scali bread:

Step 1: Activate the Yeast

In a small bowl, combine the warm water, sugar, and yeast. Stir gently to dissolve the yeast and let it sit for about 5 minutes until it becomes frothy. This step ensures that the yeast is active and ready to work its magic.

Step 2: Mix the Dry Ingredients

In a large mixing bowl, combine the all-purpose flour, semolina flour, and salt. Mix well to distribute the salt evenly throughout the dough. Creating a well in the center of the dry ingredients will make it easier to incorporate the wet ingredients later.

Step 3: Combine the Wet and Dry Ingredients

Pour the yeast mixture into the well created in the dry ingredients. Add the olive oil as well. Using a wooden spoon or your hands, gradually mix the wet and dry ingredients together until a shaggy dough forms.

Step 4: Knead the Dough

Dust a clean surface with flour and transfer the dough onto it. Begin kneading the dough by stretching it away from you and then folding it back towards you. Continue this process for about 10 minutes until the dough becomes smooth and elastic.

Step 5: First Rise

Place the kneaded dough in a greased bowl, cover it with a clean kitchen towel, and let it rise in a warm, draft-free area for about 1 to 1 ½ hours, or until doubled in size. This rise allows the yeast to ferment and produce those lovely air bubbles that give Scali bread its signature texture.

Step 6: Shape the Loaf

Once the dough has risen, gently deflate it by punching it down. Transfer the dough onto a lightly floured surface and shape it into a loaf. You can do this by folding the sides of the dough towards the center, and then rolling it tightly from one end to the other. Place the shaped loaf onto a greased baking sheet.

Step 7: Second Rise

Cover the loaf with a clean kitchen towel and let it rise for another 45 minutes to 1 hour. This second rise gives the bread a chance to relax and rise a bit more before baking.

Step 8: Preheat and Score

During the second rise, preheat your oven to 425°F (220°C). Once the oven is hot and the bread has finished rising, use a sharp knife or razor blade to make shallow cuts on the surface of the loaf. This scoring allows the bread to expand properly while baking.

Step 9: Bake

Place the baking sheet with the scored loaf into the preheated oven and bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until the bread is golden brown on top and sounds hollow when tapped on the bottom. You can also use an instant-read thermometer to check for an internal temperature of 200°F (93°C).

Step 10: Cool and Enjoy!

Once the bread is baked to perfection, transfer it to a wire rack and let it cool completely before slicing. This will allow the bread to set and maintain its structure. Cut into thick slices, spread on some butter, and enjoy the wonderful taste of homemade Scali bread!

Tips and Tricks

Now that you know how to make Scali bread from scratch, here are some additional tips and tricks to help you achieve bakery-quality results:

  • For a richer flavor, you can substitute some of the all-purpose flour with whole wheat flour or bread flour.
  • If you prefer a softer crust, you can brush the loaf with an egg wash (1 egg beaten with 1 tablespoon of water) before baking. This will give the bread a shiny, golden crust.
  • If you’re short on time, you can refrigerate the dough overnight after the first rise. This will slow down the fermentation process and allow you to bake the bread the next day.


Q: Can I freeze Scali bread?

A: Yes, you can freeze Scali bread. Once the loaf has cooled completely, wrap it tightly in plastic wrap and then place it in a freezer bag or airtight container. It will keep well in the freezer for up to 3 months. To thaw, leave it at room temperature for a few hours or overnight.

Q: Can I use a bread machine to make Scali bread?

A: While it’s possible to make Scali bread using a bread machine, the texture and flavor may differ slightly. The traditional method described in this recipe allows for better control over the dough and yields a more authentic result.

Q: Can I add other ingredients to Scali bread?

A: Absolutely! Scali bread is versatile and can be customized to suit your taste. Feel free to experiment with additions such as olives, sun-dried tomatoes, herbs, or cheese. Just make sure to incorporate them into the dough during the mixing process.


Scali bread is a delightful Italian loaf that is sure to impress your family and friends. With its light texture, hint of sweetness, and thin, crispy crust, it is perfect for sandwiches, toast, or simply enjoying on its own. By following this easy recipe and incorporating the tips and tricks provided, you can create your own Scali bread masterpiece any time you desire.

Key Takeaways

  • Scali bread is a traditional Italian loaf with a light, airy texture and a hint of sweetness.
  • The ingredients for Scali bread include all-purpose flour, semolina flour, salt, sugar, yeast, warm water, and olive oil.
  • Key steps in making Scali bread include activating the yeast, mixing the dry and wet ingredients, kneading the dough, allowing it to rise, shaping the loaf, conducting a second rise, scoring the loaf, and baking it.
  • Additional tips and tricks include experimenting with different flours and toppings, brushing the loaf with an egg wash for a softer crust, and refrigerating the dough to save time.
  • Scali bread can be frozen for up to 3 months and can be customized by adding ingredients like olives, herbs, or cheese.

Now that you have all the information and guidance you need, it’s time to roll up your sleeves and start baking your own batch of delicious Scali bread. Enjoy the aroma that fills your kitchen and the satisfaction of biting into a homemade loaf that will transport you to the streets of Italy. Buon appetito!


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