Easy Italian Cheese Bread is made with homemade dough, topped with a blend of Italian dressing with added seasonings and covered in cheese! What could be better?!Jump to Recipe
The Italian Flavor
This Italian Cheese Bread is so yummy. What makes it so great is the topping. It is made with Italian Dressing mixed with some seasonings. The flavors are tangy, with a punch of robust flavor and a hint garlic.
Any brand of Italian dressing will work great, so you use your favorite. This brand is usually on sale, so it is what I have in my cupboard.
Make your Italian topping before making the breadstick dough and set it aside.
I use a small liquid measuring cup to make the Italian topping.
Measure the Italian Dressing. Then add your seasonings to it.
Whisk the dressing and seasonings together, set aside.
You will need to make a simple yeast dough for these cheese bread breadsticks. The good news is there is no waiting around for the bread to rise. It goes straight into the oven!
To make the yeast dough, I use my stand mixer with the dough hook. I always use instant yeast (also called Bread Machine or rapid rise yeast). It is easier to use and more forgiving than active dry yeast!
You do not have to ”proof” the yeast when using Instant yeast. You can just throw all of the ingredients in the bowl and mix it up. BUT…I still ALWAYS proof my instant yeast, just to be sure it is still alive/active and will work.
To proof the yeast, add your sugar to your mixing bowl, then add your warm water.
The temperature of the water doesn’t have to be an exact temperature (instant yeast is more forgiving with liquid temperatures). Just make sure it is warm. Think of a cup of hot chocolate that you can comfortably sip…or warm water you could wash your face in…warm but not scalding hot!
Next, add in your instant yeast and give it a stir. Let the mixture sit for a minute or two. It will get bubbly and foamy and you know your yeast is ”proofed”/active and your bread will rise!
Then, add your salt, and your vegetable oil (canola oil or olive oil works great too).
Add in 2 cups of all-purpose flour to start. You will need to add more, but start with 2 cups. Mix it until it is fully mixed. The dough will be sticky and wet.
Add a little more flour at a time. You will know you have added enough when the dough starts to pull away from the mixing bowl and is slightly sticky. When you touch the dough it should be soft and should barely stick to your fingers. Your fingers should come away mostly clean. See photos below.
After you have added enough flour, let the dough mix on medium-high speed for a few minutes to knead the dough! No need to hand knead the dough, let the mixer do it for you!
This yeast dough you do not need to let rise!!
Just place the dough on a lightly floured surface.
Using a rolling pin, roll it out into a large circle.
Then drape the dough over your rolling pin and transfer it to your pizza pan.
NOTE ABOUT PAN: I use a 16 inch pizza pan. The amount of dough fits this size perfectly.
If you do not have a 16 inch pizza pan, 2 smaller ones will work, the dough just may not stretch out all the way to the edges.
You can also use a baking sheet. Depending on the size of the baking sheet, the dough may not spread out evenly on the bottom of the baking sheet. Spread/press it out as much as you can without pressing the dough too thin.
Once the dough is on the pizza pan, press it out to the edges. Press it out as evenly as you can so there are no thin spots.
Topping off the Italian Cheese Bread
Pour the Italian dressing mixture on top of your dough.
Spread out the dressing mixture using the back of a spoon, a knife, rubber scraper or whatever works best for you.
Next add your mozzarella cheese and Parmesan cheese, sprinkling and spreading it evenly on top of the Italian dressing.
Baking the Italian Cheese Bread
Bake the cheese bread for 15 minutes. Mine bakes perfectly at 15 minutes but let it bake until the cheese is golden, bubbly and perfectly melted and the crust is toasted golden brown!
Slice your cheese bread as soon as it gets out of the oven and enjoy!
This cheese bread is tasty dipped in some pizza sauce or marinara sauce.
This Italian Cheese Bread is the perfect side for pizza, pasta dishes!
Try my Homemade Pizza, Sheet Pan Pizza, Easy French Bread Pizza, Easy Homemade Alfredo Sauce, Slow Cooker Lasagna or Two-Sauce Pasta Bake!
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Here are some products I used to make this recipe!
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Easy Italian Cheese Bread
- 16 inch pizza pan
- 1 cup warm water *see notes
- 1 tsp white sugar
- 1 Tbsp instant yeast (also called rapid rise or bread machine yeast)
- 1 Tbsp vegetable oil (canola or olive oil works too)
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 2 to 3 cups all-purpose flour *see notes
Italian Dressing Topping
- 1/4 cup Italian Dressing
- 1/2 tsp Italian Seasoning
- 1/2 tsp garlic powder
- pinch of salt
Cheese for Topping
- 1 1/2 cups mozzarella cheese, shredded
- 1 1/2 Tbsp Grated parmesan cheese *the plastic bottle kind is perfect
- Preheat your oven to 450°F.
- Grease a 16 inch pizza pan. (See notes for other options on pans)
- In a small dish or in a liquid measuring cup, add your Italian dressing along with the Italian seasoning, garlic powder, and pinch of salt. Whisk it together and set it aside.
The Bread Dough
- In a stand mixer, using the dough hook, add in your white sugar and warm water. Then add in your yeast and give it a little stir. Let it sit for a few minutes until the mixture is bubbly and foamy.
- Next, add the salt, oil and 2 cups of the flour. Mix the dough on medium speed. The dough will be wet and sticky at this point and you will need to add more flour.
- Add more flour a little at a time. Add more until the dough starts pulling away from the sides of the mixing bowl and is only slightly sticky. The dough should feel soft and only stick to your hands just a little bit. (See photos above).
- Once you have added enough dough, let the mixer knead the dough for a few minutes until it is soft and fairly smooth. It will continue to clean the sides of the bowl as it kneads the dough. If it is too sticky and is not cleaning the sides as it mixes, add a dusting of flour, a little at a time, until it cleans while it mixes.
- Once your dough is kneaded and mixed, place it on a lightly floured surface and roll the dough into a large circle.
- Drape the dough over a rolling pin and gently transfer it to the pizza pan. Press the dough out evenly to the edges of the pan.
- Spread the Italian Dressing topping over the top of the dough and then top with the mozzarella and parmesan cheese.
- Bake for 15 minutes or until the cheese is melty, bubbly and the crust is golden brown. (Or until it is done to your liking).
- Cut the cheese bread into slices/strips. You can cut them like pizza slices or cut the bread into 4ths and then cut into strips like I do! You will get anywhere from 18-20 strips, maybe more or less, depending on how big or small you cut the slices.
- This Italian Cheese Bread is tasty dipped in pizza sauce or marinara sauce!
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