I've tried baking bread several times, with moderate success. I love my hardwood bowl and wooden mixing spoons. I have read the 10 Tips for Better Bread post that Farmgirl Fare posted in 2005. I would have assumed that I'd be a purist at heart, because of my love of the special, the artisinal, and the handmade.
Then, my friend gave me a bread machine.
I didn't know if it even worked, so my son and I tried it out yesterday. We used a recipe for French bread that came in the manual. I measured and dumped ingredients in. I pushed a button. And I walked away.
Three and a half hours later, the bread machine beeped three times and I had fresh bread.
My house smelled good and the bread had a good crunchy crust on it. I wasn't cooking tons of fresh bread by hand before, and now....I'm not sure when I'll do it again!
I'm on the hunt for recipes to use in the machine. I've found a few that I want to try so far.
Now I think I understand the appeal of bread machines.