I finally tried the Italian bread recipe. It violates the laws of bread as I know them. It has no fat, and no sweetening to feed the yeast. I was very grateful for my Bosch, since it requires 15-25 minutes of kneading to really develop the gluten. I've also been taking advantage of the warm weather and putting my dough outside (covered, of course) to rise. For some reason this bothers Nathan, but it's covered tightly in plastic wrap and on the back deck where no children or ants go.
I made one round and one long loaf. They both turned out fantastic! Nathan performed the test mentioned in the Ratatouille movie, where you push on the crust to hear the crackle. :P We turned it into garlic bread and even my ultra-picky nephews who were visiting deemed it a success. I don't think I'll buy french bread anymore when I want garlic bread.
The next day, I needed something for my visitors to eat for breakfast, so I made pumpkin-orange muffins. This isn't from my bread cookbook but I liked how they turned out, and again, my nephews liked them. I added vanilla, increased the amount of orange peel, and omitted the nuts. I sprinkled powdered sugar on most of them and added chocolate chips to the last of the batter.