I haven't posted a recipe in a while so I thought I would share my recipe for Italian bread. This is the easiest bread to make and turns out great every time.
In a mixer, whisk 1 Tbsp. yeast with 2 cups warm water. Add 1 Tbsp. salt and stir until dissolved.
Add 5-6 cups of flour and mix until the dough is smooth and elastic. The great thing about mixers is that you get to skip the kneading part. However, if you don't have a mixer, just add the flour until a well combined and then turn out onto a floured surface and knead for about 10 minutes.
Cover and let rise until double, about 2 hours.
Form into two balls and roll out into a long loaf shape. Place on a greased cookie sheet (ignore how disgusting mine look). Brush with water and score the top of both loaves with a knife. Let rise another 5 minutes.
Meanwhile put on the tea kettle and boil some water. Place the water in a loaf pan. Put the loaf pan on the bottom rack of the oven and the cookie sheet with the bread on the middle rack. DO NOT PREHEAT THE OVEN!!! You have to start with a cold oven. Turn the oven to 400 degrees and bake for 40 minutes.