I use a bread machine, and it's one of the best purchases I've ever made. I have total control over my bread economy: how it's made, when it's made, and what goes into it, and I wouldn't have it any other way. My favourite, most-of-the-time recipe is based on one for bread machines by Beth Hensperger, but my version differs in several ways.
Ms Hensperger's recipe calls for canola oil, which I won't touch (I have read descriptions of how it is manufactured and seen a video on YouTube -- either one of which is enough to put anybody off for life). She asks for milk, but I vary that when I have the opportunity (yoghurt on hand). She adds four teaspoons of gluten (in powder form) to the yeast, but I never detected any benefit from doing that, so I leave it out. The yeast is perfectly adequate to raise the bread, all by itself. While she asks for 2 tablespoons of honey, I put in only one, but I double the salt, as I find that 'more is better' when it comes to flavour depth and salting.
Makes a 1½ -pound loaf.
3 cups flour -- either all bread flour or a mixture of bread and all-purpose flour (I like 2 cups bread flour to one cup all-purpose, but any combination is fine)
1/2 cup water (preferably spring, mineral, or filtered)
1/2 cup plain lowfat yoghurt, or milk if yoghurt isn't available
1½ tablespoons best-quality unsalted butter or extra virgin olive oil -- TIP: pour the oil out first, then the honey, as the oil slicks the spoon and the honey drips right off
1 tablespoon raw honey
2 teaspoons sea salt
2¼ teaspoons bread machine yeast
I like to run the knead cycle twice, if there's time: it results in better gluten formation and when the bread rises, the texture and height are ideal. The result of this particular combination is fabulous: an easy-to-slice, delicious loaf with just the right balance between fluffiness and density, which goes with everything but is also a treat served by itself with a scraping of butter!