Breads can be broadly divided into two types: those made with yeast and those made without it. Yeast bread includes wholemeal breads, rustic breads, the basic white loaf, French breads and brioche. Styles of Bread vary from continent to continent from sweeter and lighter to chewy and dense "gray" to crusty and crisp
Once you've made Bread successfully you'll probably never buy another processed loaf!
Bread made by hand is quite simple to do, although a little kneading is required (10minutes) and a good deal of patience while the bread proofs twice once in a bulk and once after knocking back and shaping. Bread making is not really an exact science as the type of flour used will absorb more or less liquid according to where it was grown, the milling process the quantity of gluten it contains this will also effect the kneading time.
Alternatively you can use a bread machine to make very acceptable bread certainly better than most commercially manufacturer varieties.
Ok so you'll probably have off days when the "experimental" loaf you are trying to make fails, but on the whole you can make the type of bread you want without the rather arduous job of having to knead and proove the bread with any degree of care.
Not only can bread machines cope with the standard loaf but they produce dough for pizzas, croissants, cakes, and pastas.
Bread machines range considerably in price depending on based on the complexity of their features. Bread machines can be somewhat inflexible and you are often obliged to us one of a number of pre-programmed cycles.
Before buying you should consider the types of feature you want including the types of breads you're interested in baking, the time you want to invest. Many people are happy with a few settings for which they perfect the recipes to their own taste while other want to continually try out new types. see Bread Machines