Italian White Bread (made with whey)

Italian White BreadHave you ever had Italian bread in a restaurant that’s flat, white, bland, but oh so good? This is the recipe. I think that Italian mamas must have always made whey bread  following the making of ricotta, because they just seem to go together.

Whey bread is very easy to make, as it only has one rise and this comes after you form the loaves. For the first time, I used my new kitchen aid mixer to knead the bread. Superbly simple!

adapted from Home Cheese Making

5 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp. salt
1 tbls. sugar
4 1/2 tsp. yeast

3/4 cup hot whey leftover after the making of ricotta
1 cup warm water
5 tbls. butter, melted

Extras: cornmeal, sesame seeds, egg white

1. Add dry ingredients to the bowl and stir.
2. If the whey has cooled, heat whey and water. Slice butter and stir into the hot liquid to melt.
3. Add the liquid ingredients to the dry ingredients. Stir well until combined. Or! Use your mixer and the dough hook to mix and knead. Either way, stir and knead for an additional five minutes, until the dough is smooth and warm.
4. Divide dough into desired portions. I suggest two pieces for full size loaves or three pieces for moderate, individual loaves. Pat the dough into a rectangle and then roll up into a cylinder. Pinch seams and edges and shape a little bit more.
5. Place onto a sheet pan that’s been sprinkled with cornmeal. Cover and rise in a warm place for 1 hour.
6. If you want, paint the loaf with egg white and/or  sprinkle with sesame seeds.
7. Bake at 425F for 30 minutes.Bread before rising-

-This recipe easily doubles.
-Loaves freeze well after they have been cooled.
-Makes great garlic bread!
-Dry leftover pieces and process to make bread crumbs. Keep a container of bread crumbs in your freezer for later use.


31 Comments Add yours

  1. kateroden says:

    Thanks for the recipe! I just made this with some whey left over from making goat cheese — the bread is soft and delicious.

  2. good recipe, I will have to give this a try to see what it tastes like. Does anyone know what effect cooking has on the whey protein in terms of denaturisation?

  3. Nichole says:

    I just wrote out my grocery list and added items to make my own ricotta… And then a serendipitous Stumble landed me here!!1!?!4!

    <..> Sometimes the cooking fairies are just with you, ya know. =P

    I can’t wait to try both the cheese and the bread! I’ll be back to let you know how it turns out! I’ve got the Pita bread down to a science now so it’s time to branch out and try something new. I love the idea of not having anything from my cheese making go to waste. I even read somewhere that you could freeze the whey to use in future bread making endeavors.

  4. Anne says:

    Fantastic. :) If you’re looking for more uses for whey, check out a piece I did for soundfood on the very topic:

  5. Anthony says:

    I used the refrigerated whey from making ricotta two days ago and followed your recipe. Kneaded by hand. Two loaves are rising and will be baked after an hour. I don’t have a digital camera to show the results but will let the group know the results in a reply later today. Thanks for the recipe.

  6. Anthony says:

    Results: two beautiful tasty loaves. Nice browning and crust was just right. I did a triple diagonal slash on each loaf after the one rise and after the 30 minute 475F bake, the baking pan was removed, the oven gas closed, and the loaves were kept in the oven with the oven door slightly ajar.
    Maybe next time why not incorporate a second rise? Any thoughts on that?

  7. Anthony says:

    Whoops. That last email of mine should have said that the oven temperature was 425 F as in the original recipe. I forgot to mention that the dough was hand kneaded.

  8. Anne says:

    You could experiment with a second rise, but since the recipe has so much yeast in it, keep an eye on it. Don’t want it to get overexcited, rise, and then deflate. That will ruin your crust. So, did you like it? Tasty? :)

  9. Anthony says:

    Hi Anne,
    Thanks for your prompt response.
    Yes I found it very tasty. Just the two of us and we finished one loaf by this morning. When my sis in law heard about my baking yesterday, she was here today to enjoy it with us.
    We made turkey salad from left over Thanksgiving Day turkey and used the bread for those sandwiches. I added a little sugar to the ricotta, whipped it with a kitchen fork, and found it made a very nice dessert topping on toasted whey bread. Try it, you’ll like it.

  10. I tried this recipe today and it came out really great. It’s good to have a recipe for bread that is so quick, yet gives good results. Thanks!

  11. Anne says:

    Glad it worked out for you. :)

  12. Pikko says:

    Sorry but I’m trying to use your recipe with the leftover whey I have on hand, but am not sure how much “3/4 whey leftover” from your recipe is. Or did you mean 3/4 cup?

    1. Ric Mann says:

      Did you get a reply to this? I too was wondering what “3/4 whey” is.

      Any advice would be appreciated,


  13. Sofya says:

    Tried it today and it turned out very good! Thank you for sharing! I followed exactly your recipe and it worked. May be next time, I will bake it a little shorter to try and leave the crust a little less crusty. Also, I wanted to try this recipe and make some individual bread rolls – something handy to take for a lunch.
    As you suggested, I made some garlic oil spread and we chowed it all off with the bread at the dinner.

  14. Anne says:

    Fantastic! :) Let me know how the rolls bake up and, if you don’t mind, post baking time.

  15. Feyza S. says:

    I tried it and it turned out very good! The bread is delicious and soft. Ideal for breakfasts :)
    I’ve published it in Turkish on my blog. Thank you for this great recipe!

  16. I just made ricotta for the first time as well andfelt horrible wasting all that whey… this bread is currently in the oven and I can’t wait to see the end results – thanks for the great info :-)

    1. Anne says:

      Excellent. So glad that you can use the whey up. Try saving a jar in your fridge for anything that might come up over the next couple of days. Soups, sauces, pancakes, could all use a splash of whey. Hooray for homemade ricotta!

  17. Pingback: Whey Bread |
  18. Tamra says:

    Hi there! Just found this recipe (pics look amazing!) and was wondering if anyone has used all whey (1 3/4 cups) instead of whey and water?

    1. Anne and Ryan says:

      Yes, I did give it a try. It turns out to be very, very dense.

  19. Valerie says:

    I had whey left over from making ricotta so I froze it till I had time to try making bread with the whey. I tried this recipe and found that this is an excellent recipe. I made a single recipe…just to try it and it turned out perfect…so I made another one to share with my friends, Everyone who ate it thought it was delicious. I will be bookmarking this recipe and using it when I make my ricotta again. Thank You Small Potatoes!

  20. Crystal says:

    This bread is great! I have lots of whey, could I replace the water with whey?

    1. Anne says:

      No, unfortunately, it will be too dense. I was tempted also and tried it -poor results. Think about using it to replace stock in soup, etc.

      1. Anonymous says:

        Thank you! I ended up using 1 cup of whey and 3/4 water. I also used 1/2 wheat bread flour 1/2 all purchase white. Turned out great!

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