July 28, 2009

Keeping Grumpy Happy

These loaves of bread put a smile on my Grumpy's face. You see, we have been watching what we eat and Grumpy has been doing a great job of it - and it is showing! There isn't much in the house to just grab anymore though - not even bread! So, when I knew I was going to make my Chicken Penne Prima Vera, I knew I would need something bready to go with.

Sometimes I get the bread baking bug and nothing can cure it except to bake some bread! Fortunately we were home all day on Sunday and I was able to cure my need to bake! However, I am also lazy when it comes to bread making (did I just say that?!) and I did not want to be stirring and kneading by hand. Ahem, after all, I did just have surgery not that long ago and I really didn't "knead" to be doing all that arm work, right? ha ha. In any case, I hate stirring and kneading bread. Yes, I am one of the few who does not get pleasure from it. So, I went on a search on allrecipes.com and came across a recipe for Italian Bread using a bread machine. Perfect!

Then, as I am just beginning to mix my bread, something funky goes on with my old machine. Yes, it is old. Which is why I only use it to mix and never bake. It started to smoke. I have a feeling I won't be using this machine anymore and will be on the hunt for a new one. I still was able to finish my recipe and it turned out wonderfully!

I am pretty proud of this Italian loaf. My very first one. I think I should have cut the slice just a little deeper into the loaf but still it tasted awesome! 

Italian Bread using a Bread Machine


4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon light brown sugar
1 1/3 cups warm water
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 1/2 teaspoons olive oil
1 (.25 ounce) package active dry yeast
1 egg
1 tablespoon water
2 tablespoons cornmeal

Place flour, brown sugar, warm water, salt, olive oil and yeast in the pan of bread machine in the order recommended by manufacturer. Select dough cycle; press start.

Deflate the dough and turn it out onto a lightly floured surface. Form dough into two loaves and place seam side down on a cutting board generously sprinkled with cornmeal. Cover the loaves with a damp cloth and let rise, until doubled, about 40 minutes. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

In a small bowl, beat together egg and 1 tablespoon water. Brush the risen loaves with egg mixture. Make a single long, quick cut down the center of the loaves with a sharp knife. Gently shake the cutting board to make sure that the loaves are not sticking. If they stick, use a spatula or pastry knife to loosen. Slide the loaves onto a baking sheet with one quick but careful motion.

Bake in preheated oven for 30 to 35 minutes, or until loaves sound hollow when tapped on the bottom. 


  1. What lovely loaves you made , oh so you're going to make garlic bread , i love that . I haven't made it in a while , well i'll just wait to see yours. have a nice day!

  2. Beautiful bread Shelby! The Bread Baker's Apprentice Challenge has us making Italian bread a few weeks from now. I'm excited...it's one of my favorite breads.

  3. Your bread looks perfect to me! I'm so glad you're posting the garlic bread recipe!

  4. It looks lovely!! I have a bread machine that is new in the box, I may have to get it out just to try this!!

  5. Shelby,
    I am a bread freak and yours looks so good. I haven't used by bread machine in years and my husband always teases me that I don't use it. I may have to pull it out for this one.

  6. Looks perfect to me...I wouldn't change a thing!

  7. Awesome bread Shelby! I have never baked a bread and am all excited to see such perfect bakers...and am defintely coming again for ur garlic bread...

  8. I love fresh bread. Absolutely amazing and worth eating!

  9. I need to invest in a bread machine. I'm like you, lazy to do kneading and making bread by hand hehehe

    your italian bread looks like came fresh out of a bakery. I imagine you're going to be dipping that delicious bread into soup and having it as a side to a great salad :)

  10. That is one beautiful loaf! And all in the bread machine...even better!

  11. The attraction to see and smell warm bread just baked is pure happiness...like I’m enjoying now :)

    Tomorrow a garlic bread....my weakness with butter!



  12. It's looks beautiful and delicious. I love fresh baked bread!

  13. That is some gorgeous bread!! Definitely a great reward for all that discipline :)

  14. Shelby, those loves are GORGEOUS!!

  15. Aw, c'mon...it looks awesome. I am not good with yeast baking so I am so jealous of those who can!! LOL

  16. These turned out so beautifully!

  17. Bread looks awesome. Great job Shelby!

  18. Shelby, how gorgeous! (Mouth open, salivating...) I would be proud too. I just printed out the recipe.

  19. That looks totally delicious!!

  20. What a nice loaf made wiht love.


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