Tuscan Herb Bread

slices of tuscan herb bread served with olive oil

Tuscan Herb Bread with fresh basil, thyme, rosemary, and oregano. Homemade flavorful Italian loaf bread without a bread machine.

Every time I eat this bread I am transported back to Tuscany. The farms, cobble stone streets, the beautiful language, and oh the amazing food! Window baskets overhanging with herbs or flowers, street markets filled with baked goods and fresh vegetables. I love how taste can evoke a memory, especially one as magical as Florence.

I want you to enjoy the same Tuscan flavors I love so much through a slice of warm bread dipped in olive oil. You don’t have to go to a bakery or a an Italian restaurant to find some. Just make it yourself. This recipe is a great introduction to first time bread bakers. The result is a perfectly balanced loaf to accompany your pasta, salad, or meat dishes.

Now that  I have my mini herb garden growing on my back porch, I’m determined to use them in every recipe possible. Tuscan Herb Bread is perfect for mixing many of  your herbs together. Since I am using fresh which are less potent than dry herbs the amount needed is three times more. Feel free to use dried herbs to create the same flavor profile. Be sure to adjust 1 Tablespoon of fresh to 1 teaspoon of dried.

Baking bread requires time and a little patience. Always allow a couple hours for your dough to prove. Proofing or Proving your dough is a technique where dough is allowed to ferment, creating carbon dioxide that makes the dough rise. During this time the yeast is reacting with the starch from the flour. In this case we are allowing time for three proofs before baking.

The first proof is for the yeast. When you add warm water to the yeast and sugar, it reacts and creates a frothy film. This means the yeast is alive and ready to work with the starch. Careful not to add too hot of water or salt to this first step or it will kill the yeast.

The second and third proves are for the dough itself. Once the dough has been made, kneaded and placed in an air tight container, it is left to rise. I place my dough in a draft free warm location where the temperature will aid in helping the dough to double in size. When finished with its first prove, air punched down and shaped into loaf form,  a second prove is often required before baking. I tend to answer emails, play with my dogs, or have lunch during these waiting periods. The actual making of the bread is easy!

Now give it a try and let me know how it goes. Serve warm with a glass of wine outside with friends! Make sure to put Tuscany on your must go travel list!

What you need to make Tuscan Herb Bread

  • Active Dry Yeast
  • Fresh or Dried Herbs
  • Bread Flour
  • Stand Mixer ( or just use your hands)
  • Warm window or draft free area to allow your dough to prove (rise)

What are Tuscan Herbs?

  • Rosemary
  • Thyme
  • Basil
  • Oregeno
  • Parsley
  • Marjoram
  • Sage
  • Taragon

tuscan herb bread

rustic tuscan herb bread sliced in half

sliced tuscan herb bread loaf

slices of tuscan herb bread served with oil

rustic tuscan herb bread sliced in half
4 from 1 vote

Tuscan Herb Bread

Recipe for Tuscan Herb Bread with fresh basil, thyme, rosemary, and oregano. Homemade flavorful Italian loaf bread made from scratch.

Course Bread
Cuisine Italian
Keyword herb bread, rustic bread, tuscan herbs
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
proving time 2 hours
Total Time 45 minutes
Servings 16 slices
Calories 104 kcal


  • tsp active dry yeast
  • 1 cup warm water (250 ml) 110-115F
  • 2 tsp organic white sugar
  • 2 tsp fine salt
  • 3 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil extra for brushing on dough
  • cups sifted bread flour (635 g)
  • 1 Tbsp fresh rosemary chopped
  • 1 Tbsp fresh basil chopped
  • 1 Tbsp fresh thyme chopped
  • 1 Tbsp fresh oregano chopped


  1. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. In bowl of stand mixer, add yeast to 1 cup warm water with the sugar. Gently stir together with handheld whisk. Let sit for 10 minutes until foamy.
  3. Whisk together flour, salt, and herbs in a separate bowl.
  4. Add olive oil to yeast mixture and with dough attachment turn mixer onto medium low.
  5. Slowly spoon in flour and herbs. Turn speed up to medium.
  6. Once dough starts to form increase to medium high.
  7. Continue to work the dough for 5 minutes or until a positive "Window Pane Test" (Pinch a piece of dough off and spread with finger tips holding up to the light. If the dough stretches without breaking and you can see through the center, gluten has formed and its ready to prove.

  8. Gently place dough into a lightly oiled large bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and let sit in a warm, draft free location until doubled in size. (dough will be sticky)

  9. If your area is cooler, it may take 2 hrs to rise.
  10. Once dough has doubled, remove from bowl and place on parchment paper lined tray. Push down into a rounded loaf shape removing excess air. Take a sharp knife and cut a criss cross pattern on the top.

  11. Place a large mixing bowl upside down on the loaf or place in cold oven with light on. Let it rise for about 1hr.

  12. Now that dough has doubled again, gently brush with olive oil, sprinkle with sea salt and more rosemary.

  13. Bake at 375 F (190 C)  for 25-30min, or until crust is golden brown.

  14. Let cool for 10 minutes before slicing.


  • Reply
    Senja Bohjanen
    December 22, 2018 at 9:43 pm

    5 stars
    I made two loaves of this for our family Christmas party tonight. Everyone from ages 1-65 loved the bread! Thank you for the recipe!

    • Reply
      December 27, 2018 at 7:06 am

      Yay Senja!! I’m so glad you love it:)

  • Reply
    August 17, 2019 at 6:00 pm

    4 stars
    Started making this before I realized that the instructions are incomplete at number 7. I had an incredibly sticky dough and no idea if that is what I should have had or not. I added at least one extra cup of flour, but it was still really sticky. I ended up having to put the loaf in a cake pan because it was spreading out a ton. It completely collapsed when I removed the bowl from over it and it came out kinda pancakey. Smelled amazing while baking and came out nice and golden brown. Not sure where I went wrong, but it looked nothing like the pictures.

    • Reply
      August 28, 2019 at 7:49 am

      Hi Dana, were you able to work the dough before the first prove? Kneading to activate the gluten will strengthen the dough and keep it from being overly sticky.

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