[quote=pacanis;513535]Super! That's just what I needed to know.
So is making your basic bread and various rolls pretty cut and dry.... just follow the recipe, or is there a certain learning curve? Other than potatos or pop-up muffins, I've never baked a think in my life.[/quote
I can only speak from my experience, as someone who has only recently begun to try and learn to really cook and bake, as opposed to reheating and nuking.
When you get a bread maker, buy a box of Krusteez country white bread mix and make sure you have a measuring cup with good markings and a food thermometer. The only big thing you can mess up in baking yeast breads is the measurements and the temps. With a box mix, everything comes in it and all you add is water. The temp is very important for the yeast to activate properly. The reason I say get a box first is that while you will eventually make much more spectacular breads, this is instant success and it will get you hooked. There are other brands of mixes but some are dreadful IMO. The only one I remember that is good and available everywhere is Krusteez. Maybe the others here will be able to recommend other brands.
What I do is this - set the bread machine for dough. Put the water and then the mix and finally the yeast on top in a little well you make with your finger. Turn it on and go away. It will beep when the dough is done and has risen. Preheat your oven to 400. Take the dough out and divide it into 12 fairly equal pieces. Roll each piece out into a stick, about a length to fit side by side on a baking sheet. (If you line your baking sheet with parchment paper or a silpat baking mat, you will never have to wash it.
) Once they are rolled out and laid out on the baking pan, you can brush them with melted butter, if you like. You can dust them with garlic powder,too. But they are yummy without anything. Bake for 10 minutes and you will have some fat, delicious bread sticks - similar to the ones at Olive Garden.
I'd also recommend buying a couple of bread maker books. Used book stores are full of them and they all give you lots of info and recipes. The one I use most is called Electric Bread, I think. If you read them carefully, they list all the potential pitfalls and recommendations for brands of flour, etc. Soon, you'll start making your own "mixes" from scratch because they taste great and are really inexpensive.
BTW, if you're trying to sell your house or impress a date, the smell of baking bread is a real turn-on for pretty much everyone!
HTH, Pacanis. Let us know how it works for you.