I love my bread machine and have definitely gotten good use out of it. I'm surprised it still works because it's over 15 years old and gets a workout regularly.
Steakhouse Wheat Bread (My personal favorite)Makes one loaf
1 cup warm water
1 pkg (.25 oz) yeast
1 Tbsp white sugar
1/4 cup honey
1 Tbsp softened butter
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp instant coffee granules, pressed with the back of a spoon to powder it
1 Tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
2 cups white all-purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
Mix yeast in the 1 cup of warm water and 1 Tbsp sugar until the yeast activates and the top becomes foamy, about 5-10 minutes. Add the yeast mixture and rest of the ingredients into your bread machine pan. Use the basic bread setting and light crust setting.
Note: I've started activating my yeast like this lately after several failed batches of bread this past year. It just wasn't rising properly for me. I've had no trouble since I've started doing this and then adding it to my machine with the other ingredients.