I wanted to start making my own bread a few years ago when a close friend started making loaves for her husband, who had to be strict with his diet due to treatments for cancer. (Praise the Lord, he is now cancer-free.) She bought a bread machine and told me how easy it was. She also mentioned the Yum factor.
Fast forward a year or so and find our family on staff with many people who are into eating healthier. Many ladies bake their own bread and know lots of stuff about healthy things like whole wheat flour, flax seed, wheat germ, ...stuff I knew nothing about!
So, for Christmas, Joel bought me a bread machine. It's this one--available at WalMart for quite a cheap price, as far as bread machines go (we got it for about $40).
I started using it and liked the breads I could make. However, I could not master using the machine for whole wheat dough if I wanted to bake it in regular loaf pans in my oven (if you bake in the machine the loaf is a weird size and the paddle creates a big whole in the bottom of the loaf). I still use my machine quite a bit in intervals. I love to make cinnamon rolls (posted about them here), some great white bread that's delicious but offers no nutritional value, I'm sure, and loafs of white/wheat mix.
I read my friend, Beth's, blog today (catching up) and saw a post for a cookbook she has. She's giving away a cookbook, so I entered of course! You can enter too. Just make sure to mention I sent you.
And, as a final thought, I have a blog dedicated just to the foods our family eats. That may seem weird to you, but my plan is to create the blog so I can easily find our favorite recipes, share those with anyone who might be interested, and eventually print the blog into a family cookbook for me and my children. (Lofty goals, I know!) I've been slow to post new things on it, so be patient.