I don't normally bake much, I just don't really enjoy it, too much mess to clean up. Luckily there was some inspired person out there who probably didn't like baking either, but still wanted fresh bread, and they invented a bread machine. I've had a bread machine for 3.5 years. And after 3.5 years I finally got around to learning how to use it 2 weeks ago. There's a few reasons it took me so long to get around to using it. One, I didn't have a user manual so I had no idea how. And two, somehow I thought it would be harder than making bread by hand. I have no idea where I got that silly notion.
Anyway, a few weeks ago I decided that it was time to dust it off and see what I could do with it. I looked up the user manual online (yes, you can find manuals for practically anything online) and realized it seemed pretty easy. So I made my first loaf. It was not good. Hard crust, short and heavy, crumbly inside. I could have given up then and there but I decided to make some changes. I bought bread flour instead of the normal stuff, and I found a different recipe. My next few loaves came out pretty good, though still a bit short and heavy. Turns out my yeast was old so not working like it should. We got some new yeast as well as just making the dough in the machine then cooking the bread in a bread pan in the oven, and now it is wonderful! Big, fluffy, delicious loaves of bread! Mmmmmm! Now every few days I get the most delicious smell wafting throughout the house, I love it! I'm about to go start a loaf to take to the neighbor.