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Happy New Year! It’s my first post of 2016, and I’m so excited to see what this year will bring!
If there’s one food I want to see lots of in the coming year, it’s homemade bread. We’re all familiar with the yeasty goodness of bread that doesn’t come in plastic bags from the grocery store, and it’s so easy to get a perfect loaf with just a little help from my best friend, a.k.a. the bread machine. Life was so cold and dark before we met!
Luckily, fresh bread is always possible, and this one is special. It’s made with mostly whole wheat flour, which will help you stick to your healthy eating resolutions. It’s also full of walnuts for an extra protein punch, not to mention sweet Craisins® Dried Cranberries. It’s a loaf worth making!
On a day like today, I really need the extra sustenance. Studies have shown that today is one of the trickiest of the whole year. People drag themselves back to work and school from the celebrations of weeks past and realize that winter is ahead. If you look at it that way, it can be pretty grim.
But there’s so much to look forward to! Good TV, for instance. A lot of shows took mid-season breaks, but now they’re back. I’ll get to find out if the world ends on Heroes: Reborn, or find out if the world ends on Once Upon a Time. Now that I think about it, maybe I should stop watching television shows that deal with any coming apocalypse. It might explain those disturbing dreams I keep getting.
When I wake up after a night of dreaming and prepare for a day of work after a too-short winter break, I need to have a motivating force to propel me out of bed and into the cold, dark morning. And that force is bread, pure and simple. How could breakfast get any better?
If I’m feeling energetic, the best topping for this bread is cream cheese. But honestly, if I’m in a rush, I’ll eat it alone. There’s so much flavor happening here. Plus, the walnuts provide protein while the Craisins® give me that sweet zing I crave every morning. And with the whole wheat flour, this healthy bread gets me through until lunch. When I have more of the bread, of course. I made sandwiches with this for my kids, and they had a ball calling it “crazy bread.” For years, they’ve referred to Craisins® as “Crazies.” I love it.
And if I’m not packing my Craisins® into the best bread ever, then I’m sending them to work and school with everyone. This time of year, when packing lunches gets harder and harder as we try to find new foods to make everyone happy, we know we’ll always be good with Craisins®! After all, fresh fruit is hard to come by in the winter, but these magical “Crazies” equal a fruit serving.
You might be fighting off a case of the post-holiday blahs, but remember that good things are still in store! Fresh bread and good TV make life better. Instead of making New Year’s resolutions you can’t keep, focus on the joys of life and make this a year to remember!
- As recommended by bread machine manufacturers, start with the wet ingredients. Put them into the bread machine in the order listed above.
- Once the wet ingredients are in, add the salt, sugar and both flours.
- Using your index finger, make a small well in the flour. Fill it with the yeast.
- Select the dough cycle on your bread machine and press start.
- Shortly before the dough is set to come out, coat one large or two regular-sized loaf pans with cooking spray. Set aside.
- Once the dough is done (usually about an hour and a half, depending on your machine), take it out and put it on a floured surface.
- Punch the dough down and let it rest for 5-10 minutes. Knead the Craisins® and chopped walnuts into the dough until evenly mixed in.
- Place the dough into the prepared pan(s). Cover with plastic wrap and let the dough rise for an hour.
- When you're ready to bake, preheat the oven to 350. If desired, brush the top of each loaf with beaten egg.
- Bake for 25-30 minutes until golden brown. Cool. Store in a bread box or airtight container.
To find Craisins® and other products (like new Craisins® Fruit Clusters), look in the dried fruit section at Walmart!
This Post Has 46 Comments
I’ve never actually made homemade bread before, but I do love the taste of it! A bread machine is definitely on my list of items to buy this year, especially after seeing this bread! I love the craisins in here, Mir! Sounds like it gives this such a great flavor. Just perfect for the new year!
It’s a good investment, Gayle. Really, you get the best bread for not much effort!
Happy New Year, Mir! Bread always intimidates me a little, but you are inspiring me to try…I’ve never had a Craisin before!
Kate @ Framed Cooks recently posted…Baked Taco Frittata
Whaaat? Kate, jump on that bandwagon. Craisins are the best!
We buy the giant bag of Craisins from Costco. We put them in cookies, oatmeal and salad. And now I’ve got to try this bread because it sounds delicious!!
Aimee @ ShugarySweets recently posted…Lightened Up Banana Chocolate Chip Breakfast Cake
I love those big bags, Aimee. I buy them with Craisins and chocolate chips and then just bake away!
Happy New Year, Mir! Today is a pretty rough day, it’s only 8:23 AM and I already want to crawl back into bed… I mean I’m still in my PJs, so it would be easy. 😉 Guess I need a cup of coffee and to head into the kitchen to make this bread for a little sustenance. I love baking bread and there is nothing that compares to the taste of freshly baked bread. AND, this bread looks FAAAAB! LOVING the honey, whole wheat and craisin combo, girlfriend! A cream cheese shmear on this and I’d be in heaven! Pinned! Cheers, doll!
Cheyanne @ No Spoon Necessary recently posted…Top 15 Recipes of 2015
I’m jealous that you were in your PJs, Chey. I was already wrangling students then! But hey, there’s bread. That helps!
This is a loaf worth making! And I’ll eat while watching the final season of American Idol…I can’t resist! 🙂
annie@ciaochowbambina recently posted…Lentil, Roasted Red Pepper & Walnut Salad with Thyme Sherry Vinaigrette
I hope it’s a good season! I love that Idol always goes until about May, and then it’s nearly summer!
This is definitely a recipe I would love to try♥
Summer recently posted…Blueberry Galette
Hope you do, Summer. It’s great!
I had a hard time dragging myself outta bed this morning and to work – wish I had this fresh delicious loaf waiting for me! Nothing quite like homemade bread and I am loving your combo of Craisins and walnuts in this!
Shashi at RunninSrilankan recently posted…Craisins & Quinoa Breakfast Bake
That first day back is the hardest, Shashi. Getting out of bed is such a bummer!
I was not happy this morning when I had to hear my alarm, drag myself out of bed, and drive to work. I did perk up a bit when I started thinking about good TV coming back! I can’t wait for Dancing With The Stars and Survivor to start up. My friends in Port Charles are always there, but I can’t survive on General Hospital alone. I could survive on this delicious crazy bread though! Happy New Year, Mir!
Rachelle @ Beer Girl Cooks recently posted…Roasted Vegetable, Kale, and Quinoa Salad with Clementine Vinaigrette
Nothing harder than driving to work in the cold. At least there’s TV! Our shows don’t let us down!
This bread would definitely get me up in the morning! I love making my own bread, but have yet to add craisins or walnuts. Can’t wait to try soon! Hope you have a great year, Mir!
Megan – The Emotional Baker recently posted…Chai Tea Granola
It’s a great combo, Megan. Give it a shot!
I love love this bread Mir, just what I need for my breakfast!!
It sure helped me today, Manali!
Today is DEFINITELY tricky… But this bread would make it a whole lot easier 🙂
Happy New Year!!
Sues recently posted…Eggs in Meringue Clouds
It does, because being at work in the freezing cold and dark early is not happy. Bread is!
You’re singing my song with this one! I love homemade bread. Store-bought just doesn’t hold a candle to it. And adding craisins sounds so good!
Amanda recently posted…Chai Iced Tea
Thanks, Amanda! I don’t even bother with store-bought bread. It’s not worth it!
Homemade bread sounds amazing! I’m not even at your level yet- for me, fresh baked bread means heading over to a bakery and picking up a loaf instead of buying shelf sandwich bread- I gotta start making my own. This looks delish 🙂
Medha @ Whisk & Shout recently posted…Miso Soba Noodle Soup with Jalapeños, Shallots, Basil, and Tofu
I probably wouldn’t be doing bread if not for my trusty bread machine, Medha. So if you get one, it does the hard work for you!
This looks so good!
Aria recently posted…Twelve Books in Twelve Months
Well when you put it that way it is pretty grim, lol. Winter, rain, cold, and no dessert. **CRYING** But can I substitute this bread instead???? I neeeeed it!
Dorothy @ Crazy for Crust recently posted…Skinny Oreo Cheesecake Dessert
Yep, I’m grim about winter because it’s a true hatred. I want to live in CA like you!
Mir, love this bread!!!! and gorgeous photos!!! I love Craisins!! we’re always munching on them or throwing them into granola bars or energy bites!!! and I love your attitude! I’m also looking forward to the new TV shows, the new year and so much more!!! Happy New Year!!
Alice @ Hip Foodie Mom recently posted…Superfood Smoothie Bowl + A Giveaway!
Thanks, Alice! I have to focus on TV. Otherwise, I’ll focus on the 19-degree weather outside and my cold, dark commute to work. Better to think happy thoughts!
We just made some wheat bread the other day, I’ll have to try this one.
Amy recently posted…Florida Salads and Dressings
I hope you like it, Amy!
I am so excited for all the TV series to start back again. How dare they take a season break 😉
This looks like some delicious bread. I really got in to making my own bread over Christmas.
Dannii @ Hungry Healthy Happy recently posted…Comment on 100 Ways To Be Healthier and Happier This Year by Stella
Seriously. Actors don’t need vacations. They’re paid very well! 🙂
Oh man, I love homemade bread! You’re right in that it’s just so much better than the store-bought version. And adding walnuts and Craisins to bread is sheer genius! I need to get a batch of this bread started ASAP! #client
David @ Spiced recently posted…Healthy Chicken Corn Chowder
Thanks, David! I’m a sucker for bread mix-ins. Love the crunch!
I swear I can smell that bread baking now! I love the craisins in it!!
Renee@Two in the Kitchen recently posted…Lemon Tartlets
Thanks, Renee! It was pretty great!
I feel like I need to get on board with making homemade bread now, Mir! There’s a little sandwich shop close by my house that sells chicken salad on cranberry nut bread and it is sooo good. This reminds me exactly of it! I think I may need to invest in a bread machine soon 🙂
Danielle recently posted…Small Batch Peanut Butter Cookies
That sounds like a great sandwich! I need a little sandwich shop nearby that does cool things like that!
I love freshly baked bread. This is healthy too. I loved the idea of c raisins and walnuts . Wonderful pictures.
Do drop by my blog FitFoodieMegha.com
Thanks, Megha! I can never resist the fresh bread.
Yummm this sounds delicious! Great post!
Annie Abbey recently posted…WHAT’S IN MY BAG?