I would love to bake our own bread- I am a carb queen! But, how long does it take you? I have a high maintenance 17 month old and don't think I could be in the kitchen for hours on end. Suggestions for a newbie with little time?
I use the kitchenaid to do my kneading, cuz I'm lazy. :
But really, the most time consuming part is the measuring and the kneading. When it's rising you can be doing other things.
For the bread machine loaves, I get huge bags of flour, and I mix up a gazillion loaves at once as my own 'mixes.' A 2 lb loaf fits perfectly in a quart sized mason jar (use a canning funnel) with just a little tapping for the last cup of flour, and you can store them in the pantry or the freezer. I use the freezer because we have a ridiculous amount of freezer space and not much pantry space, then I get one out and let it come to room temp before I use it. When I load the bread machine, I put the wet ingredients in the bottom, add the stuff from the jar, then put the yeast on top and turn on the machine. I keep my jar lids labeled with the type of bread, and the bread recipes are taped to the inside of my kitchen cabinet so I can check the measurements quickly without dragging out the recipe books.
I spend one morning loading up the jars, then it only takes me a few minutes to get the machine ready when I need a loaf of bread and don't have time to measure, knead, and watch the dough.