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Full confession: I’ve never made a regular loaf of bread by hand. I know, it’s a baker’s rite of passage and it’s supposedly so therapeutic and all that, but I was given a bread machine as a gift very early on in the adulting portion of my life and it was just easier to do it that way. And honestly, just as easy to buy it.
Then a few years ago, I bought a delicious Black Olive & Onion loaf of artisan bread at the Co op bakery and I was addicted. And although it was sooo divine, it was kind of expensive. So, I decided I could probably make it in my bread machine for a lot cheaper. My family loves this bread machine bread so much so that my bread maker has never seen this much action! And this Bread Machine recipe for Onion & Olive Bread is not only simple to make, it rivals the artisan breads from any bakery. So if you don’t like making it by hand or buying it, then READ ON…
I have made Ukrainian Easter bread by hand, but let me be clear- it was purely out of necessity AND before I discovered I could make it in my bread maker! But then my wrists went on me (I won’t bore you with the details – and yes, you’re welcome!) but I just couldn’t do the kneading anymore so this Bread Maker Babka and Bread Machine Paska became even more of a necessity.
Anyway, my philosophy is, ‘why would I do all that hard labor when there is a perfectly capable machine, at my mercy, available to do it for me’?
What is the best bread machine to buy?
Well, since I got my Charlescraft bread machine as a gift 25+ years ago and it’s still going strong, that’s the one I’d recommend to you, if it actually still existed…. But sadly, when I searched it up, it was no longer available. So, I did the next best thing and have provided you with some sound bread machine reviews.
So, if you are in the market for a bread machine and are wondering which one to buy READ THIS Business Insider Article: The best bread machines you can buy to make fresh loaves at home!
This Sunbeam 2 pound programmable bread machine was rated the best one under $100 :
And this Zojirushi Home Baker Virtuoso Breadmaker was rated their top choice. What sets it apart is that it has two blades for kneading bread and features a heated lid for the even baking of loaves:
Bread dipped in olive oil and balsamic vinegar is king!
Having quality balsamic vinegar and olive oil to dip your bread into is pretty important if you’re eating it straight up! And if you’ve ever had the misfortune of consuming a balsamic vinegar that’s not good quality, between the bitterness and gagging, you’ll know exactly what I’m talking about. My favorite balsamic vinegar discovery is Kirkland Signature Balsamic Vinegar of Modena! I actually found this by chance, shopping at Costco, and was pleasantly surprised at how smooth it is.
Then when I was researching balsamic vinegar for an article, I came across a taste test of “economical” balsamic vinegars, where Kirkland came out in FIRST PLACE! Several judges concurred that the aroma was the most interesting, with a hint of wood, it had the most viscosity and the best sweet-to-sour balance. One panelist said it was “brighter on the palate” and another said it they could detect hints of cherries on the nose. Several judges said that it had the most pleasing finish. In sum, “it has an excellent sweet to sour balance and pleasing finish, especially for its price point.” I’d have to agree with that! You can Read more about the balsamic vinegar taste test HERE.
So, if you’re not up to paying $75+ for a bottle of top notch balsamic vinegar aged 12+ years, then I think you’ll be pretty happy with this one (this bottle will last you a very long time):
Kirkland Balsamic Vinegar
Why not make it a meal?
This Bread Maker Onion and Olive bread and my Award-winning Creamy Carrot Soup are a match made in dinner heaven!
Bread Machine Onion and Olive Bread
- (Makes a 1b loaf)Add all ingredients in order given. This is critical!
- When adding salt, pour it around the outer edge of mixture, away from yeast.
- When adding sugar, pour it around the outer edge of mixture, away from yeast (opposite the salt)
- Yeast should be added last. Dig a small crater in the middle of the flour, away from the salt, sugar and water.
- Set bread machine on most appropriate setting - for my bread make it's the "normal mode" setting (the same setting I'd use to make a regular loaf of white bread).
- ** It is really important that you follow your manufacturer's operating instructions for your bread machine when attempting to make any bread.