My solution, use the bread machine to just make the dough. I always use the french setting - it is versitle and a favorite of everyone in my house.
9 ounces water (usually use= amounts keifer if I have it)
1 tbsp butter
3 cups flour (i dont use bread flour and my white/wheat mix works just fine)
1 1/2 tsp sugar
1 1/4 tsp salt
1 1/2 bread machine yeast
- cinn/sugar mix
- italian dry seasoning mix
- grated parmesian cheese
Put everything in the bread machine and use the DOUGH setting.
When the dough is finished I split the dough into 2 loaves. Shape the dough as desired (flat, braided, bread sticks, rolls or in a loaf pan) and bake.
Doing it this way makes the inside soft and the crust crunchy. If you want, do an egg white wash on the crust before baking (one egg white with a table spoon of water brushed on the bread before baking.)