So...how did you get started in all of this?
It's clear that there are many here are very passionate about baking bread. So, how did y'all get into it? I started dabbling in baking breads because my wife and I like a nice loaf sometimes and use to just buy it at a good bakery. But when we discovered that our boys had food allergies to nuts/sesame seeds/poppy seeds, our trips to a bakery were no longer an option. There was/is too much of a risk of cross-contamination, i.e. the bakery makes a batch with seeds/nuts and then another batch without, so there is no way to be absolutely sure a stray nut or seed doesn't crosses over into loaves that are listed as nonseeded/non-nuts.
But, my wife and I still occasionally craved a nice loaf (especially rustic Italian breads, like ciabatta). We had a bread machine, but we liked rustic breads. So, I tried to just bake the dough in the oven. This was OK, but not great. Well, one day I look at a Cooks Illustrated article on rustic Italian bread and I think, I can do this. And although my methods and recipes are much different now, I find that I like baking bread. So, even if my boys outgrow their food allergies (which isn't a given, sometimes this happens, sometimes not), I'm pretty sure that I'm hooked and would continue to make my own bread.
By the way, my boys love the fresh breads.