Decades before homemade bread became in vogue, I was baking breads for my family. I can boast a 10 year old sourdough (yes, it does make sense to keep a SD going because it can take weeks to make a good one), and usually I no longer follow a recipe. I simply gauge the weather, my mood, and my ingredients (not necessarily in that order) and then start from there. If I run out of ideas, I browse through my ridiculously large collection of bread cookbooks. I use my Bosch Universal Mixer for my hefty loaves.
I was a stay-at-home mom when my children were very young, so I had lots of time to experiment with baking breads. I tried just about everything it seems. I don't bake quite as much anymore since it's just my husband and I. I got a bread maker several years ago and it makes the job easier by far, but there is nothing quite as satisfying and even cathartic as the act of kneading dough by hand.
Thank you for this website. I think it will be one that I'd like to refer back to again and again for more recipes!