Bread machines rock! i was a skeptic (having made loaves strictly by hand for years) but when I get too busy, the machine saves the day.
Here’s one of the recipes I came up with…works both with bread machine and conventional methods. Great sandwich bread, and makes really great toast.
3 cups bread flour
1/2 tsp vital wheat gluten
1 tblsp dark rye flour
2 1/2 tsp malted barley flour
1 tblsp ground flax seeds (I like ‘golden’ flax, but regular is good too)
2 Tblsp melted butter, ghee, shortening, or oil (olive oil is pretty good here)
1/4 cup spent grain (I dry it out on a pan in the oven, grind it up a bit in the food processor, and keep it on hand stored in a big jar)
1 1/2 tsp salt (sea salt or kosher salt is best…or if regular salt, non-iodized)
2 tsp dry yeast (rapid rise is best in the bread machine)
1 1/4 cup warmish water
Put all ingredients in the bread machine, set the cycle of your choice (I like to use the “French bread” setting…it takes slightly longer–about 3.5 to 4 hours-- but definitely worth it. In breadmaking longer generally means a more flavorful loaf. When making this bread the conventional way, I use less yeast (or some of my sourdough) and let the initial rise go for about 12 hours.
Once you get to know your machine, you can make some pretty darned good bread in it. These days I use a machine for probably half the loaves I make.