This bread has a wonderful chewy texture and is light and airy. The interesting thing is it contains the same ingredients as the French bread (flour, water, yeast and salt), yet it tastes completely different. The Italian bread is much chewier and slightly more airy. The only significant difference in the way they are prepared is the Italian bread is kneaded for 15 minutes while the French is only kneaded for 4 minutes. The extra kneading gives the dough its elasticity. It is also brushed with a glaze of egg white and olive oil. This gives a nice finish to the bread.
Bread should always be cooled at least 3 hours before being put in plastic bags to store or freeze. If eating right away let cool at least an hour. This makes delicious toast!