In America, the term “Italian bread” means a very similar of French loaf, only much softer. This is very little to do with reality in Italian towns. This is because in America, big, rapid bakery use a lot of enhancers and rapid growers, meanwhile in Italy, they use biga-preferment methods for baked fresh, loafs daily.
The use of large amount of biga (pre-fermenter) in Italian bread, ensure a big quantity of sugars to break from flour starch, hence a small amount of refined sugar used for this recipe compared with French loaf recipe:
You can knead yourself or use an electric mixer to knead the dough, and let it rise
in an oiled bowl, at room temperature, covered for 2 hours, until is double in size.
Bake at 500F for 10 minutes. This is going to caramelize the high amount of sugars founded in this bread, into a dark, brown crust. Lower the temp at 450F and bake for 10 minutes, rotate the loaves in oven and bake for 10 minutes more.