Bread: The Opium of the Household

Hemingway once suggested that maybe bread was the opium of the people. I’m not sure about people in general, but it sure fits in our house.

A decade ago, I bought a bread machine. I loved it. The first month I had it, the electric bill went up tremendously because I had to try out every recipe in the book that came with it. Some days I’d make three loaves a day because it went so fast. (Quite the novelty it was.) Then I discovered chocolate chip bread, and my jeans were in some real trouble.

Last year at a visit to my parents’, my dad made fresh bread. A recent refugee from Atkins and South Beach, I’d forgotten how delicious fresh bread was. He told me his secret—the freezer section of WalMart—and I went home to make my own. My sons went ape. The whole house smelled wonderful. Over Christmas break, I made a new loaf every day because it got eaten faster than I could make it.

I decided for my birthday I’d treat myself to a new bread maker. The pan on the old one was pretty beaten up, and I couldn’t find the recipe book anymore. (There’s plenty of recipes on the ‘net, but the fact that I didn’t have the chocolate chip bread recipe on hand was probably a good thing.) Much to my surprise, on my birthday I came home from work to find a bread machine waiting for me. Yum! And let me tell you, it makes some BIG bread. It’d take a whole frying pan to make one slice of French toast with these babies.

After several loaves of plain old delicious white bread, I tried out beer bread. With beer and onions in the recipe, what could be bad? I’m told it was amazing when paired with tuna salad.

My new toy. Not the beer, the bread maker. 🙂 (Well, I did get to drink what was left over.)

Next up: honey buttermilk bread. Heaven on a plate.

I should’ve just applied it to my thighs and saved myself the time spent getting up for *just one more slice*.

This weekend I plan to make Hawaiian Sweet Bread to bring to my RWA chapter meeting. I’m going to put in the ingredients the night before, set the timer, and let the machine do its thing. Around 8 a.m., the luscious aroma will call me out of bed like a siren. If you’re in the area of the Philly suburbs, feel free to stop by and test-taste it with me. If there’s anything left. My suggestion is to get here early.

Can you suggest a new bread recipe for me to try? Something with fruit in it, maybe?  (I love sweet.) Have bread machine, might share. 🙂



8 thoughts on “Bread: The Opium of the Household

  1. No-name bread.
    This started out as a basic white that I modified and modified and modified. It’s really good, and about as healthy as a bread can be.

    Just under 12 ounces water, heated 50 seconds in the microwave
    3 tablespoons olive or coconut oil
    3.5 tablespoons honey
    2 teaspoons salt
    1 cup whole grain oats
    1 cup wheat flour
    3 cups white flour
    1 cup raisins
    1 cup chopped walnuts
    2.5 teaspoons bread yeast
    bake according to machine directions
    If you like wheat bread, use more wheat flour.

    Have you tried a cranberry-orange bread? There’s a slew of different recipes that vary a little here and there on the web for cranberry bread. I make a lot of that around Christmastime – makes a great gift, nicely wrapped. Spread a little (spreadable) cream cheese on it! YUM!!

  2. I love mine, too, but so far I’m just working from the book that came with the machine. I’ll have to try your recipe, Julie!

    • You really want one, AG. They’re amazing. The best thing since sliced…well, you know. 🙂 Seriously, I love mine. It has SO many options. If you don’t want to use it for bread, the book that came with it has recipes for jellies, jams, preservers, etc. My old machine’s book had recipes for fresh pasta; it made the pasta for you, that you then ran through the pasta maker. Thank goodness I don’t have one of those or I’d really be bigger than the house.

      There’s also the option to make dough and then transfer the dough to a bread pan or baking pan and take it the rest of the way in the oven. One of these days I’m going to try cinnamon rolls and/or monkey bread. Mmm!

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