In stark contrast to my recent experience in gluten-free eating, I am now the proud owner of a bread machine. The new toy I got for Christmas is fun and easy. I made bread the old-fashioned way, and let me tell you, it is tough. Ingredients have to be the right temperature and mixed in certain orders and for long periods of time. Making one loaf of bread literally took all day, what with kneading and rising, and punching down and rising again, and then finally baking. The bread machine pretty much does all the work. You put the ingredients in (in the right order) turn it on, set it, and it churns away for a few hours and you come out with a loaf of bread. Take that Sara Lee. The whole wheat bread recipe that came with the machine turned out a little bland, but I think the next round will be better. The texture is great though, soft with a chewy crust. Although I think hand-made is still the ultimate in bread, the bread machine is a close second, and a whole lot more likely to happen.