Keith Scribner, in his second novel, Miracle Girl, asks readers to think. To reconsider assumptions about faith, trust, materialism, ethics, and love. While these heavy themes may initially scare-off some readers, he develops his characters with such subtle humor that I dare anyone not to enjoy the writing.
Take Rita, Quinn’s live-in girlfriend. Quinn comments, “Rita kept us in bread. She’d gotten a bread machine from her sister the previous Christmas, and new kinds of bread had become an obsession: olive and sun-dried tomato, Kahlua and molasses, cinnamon-honey. She seemed to be developing her domestic aspects” (Scribner 4).
I remember reciting these lines aloud to a friend when I first read this book several years ago. This is so me. And
my guess is…this is so anyone who has ever owned a bread maker. How many of us have spent a month spoiling, and sometimes torturing, our families by making every random bread known to man? Filling up our shopping carts with little envelopes of Fleischmann’s yeast, powdered milk, whole wheat flour, and pumpernickel only to burn out two weeks later and kick the bread machine to curb (metaphorically, of course…we all know it’s buried in the back of the pantry).
Well, I say, dig that bread machine out of the garage, the hall closet, or its spot in the lowest corner cabinet. Dust out the loaf pan—it’s no doubt stuffed with old napkin rings, after all. Unbury this fine piece of equipment from wherever its current resting place may be. Rediscover that love you first felt when you unwrapped the box on Christmas morning, Mother’s day, or your birthday. (Surely it was a gift. Does anyone buy such an indulgence for themselves?)
This basic Italian herb bread will no doubt become a staple on your dinner menu— remember, no kneading required. Enjoy!
Serving size: 1 lb Loaf
- 1 cup warm water (about 80 degrees)
- 1 ½ Tbsp olive oil
- 1 Tbsp sugar
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp dry milk
- 2 ¼ cup bread flour
- 1 Tbsp grated parmesan cheese
- ½ tsp dried parsley
- ½ tsp dried basil
- ½ tsp dried oregano
- 1 tsp active dry yeast
Add warm water and olive oil to the bread pan.
Add all measured dry ingredients, except yeast, to the wet ingredients.
Make a small indentation on top of the dry ingredients and add the measured dry active yeast.
If applicable, depending on your style of bread machine, select the loaf size (this is a one pound loaf).
Then, select the cycle. You will select either a French/Italian cycle (if applicable, based on your model) or basic white bread with a light crust.