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 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.