I'll make bread in the cold weather. I, too, have found the bread machine good for its "dough" setting but not so good for a finished product. When I take it out of the tub I'll give it a few pats and cuddles, then let it do its second rise on the counter.
Had an artisan bread bakery two towns over but they closed a couple years ago. We have a local grocery store that makes some nice sturdy breads, but now they're opening a Panera's just a couple miles from our home. If they do one thing right it IS bread!
"Cooking is the art of adjustment." ~~~Jacques Pépin
“A party without cake is just a meeting.” ~Julia Child