Growing up in my home, every Saturday there was the smell of freshly baked white bread. My mother made homemade baked beans and loaves or rolls of white bread each weekend. She grew up in Northern Maine on a farm, where bread baking, and even butter making was a weekly (at least) task. She very likely watched her own mother make bread - who likely watched her own mother bake bread. The scent of baked bread, and the taste of jam or butter on a warm slice can cause most of us to forget our carbohydrate consciousness!
Not too many years ago, I received a bread maker machine as a gift and after a few tries with it, I decided I preferred the old fashioned way. I somehow felt more connected to the generations of bread makers who came before me with my hands in the dough, not waiting for a timer to go off.
Using a stand mixer to do much of the kneading is certainly an option (and one I often use), but it's really not all that difficult to make a loaf or two of bread with simply mixing ingredients in a bowl and then kneading it on a floured counter top. Yeast breads can be scary because.... yeast? How does yeast work? Water at the right temperature, adding a package of dry yeast, adding salt or sugar (depending on type of bread) and watch the bubbles of the yeast activate and grow. Pour the liquid into your flour, blend and knead, and your bread should rise just fine.
A few years ago, I showed some coworkers how to make white bread and one friend thought something was wrong since the bread was rising and getting bigger in the bowl. This is actually normal and needs to happen!
Although there have been many types of bread over the eons of history, leavened and unleavened, flat breads and sour dough breads, and so many more - a basic yeast white bread is what I'm most familiar with making. So that's what a few ladies learned to make in our recent demonstration. Amish White Bread is a bit sweeter than basic white bread, so click here to find one recipe.
The Magic of Breadmaking is an interesting video to watch professionals making various types of bread. There are a lot of Youtube vidoes on basic bread making so let Google help you find one that works for you. Jenna Fischer (Pam on The Office) has an Instgram feed and has many Instastories on her bread making adventures.
Be brave -- give bread making a try! If you want to try a NO Knead bread, King Arthur flour has a great recipe that is so simple.