I knead by hand, always. I have only ever tried kneading in the mixer once, with a very wet, enriched dough and it worked, but the only advantage, as I could see, was that it was an extraordinarily sticky dough and I could never have answered the phone if it rang, or answer the door!
Kneading by hand is quite therapeutic, a particularly good way of letting off steam after a frazzled day. It is also lovely to see the results of your efforts (and what effort is it to use a mixer?).
As to why bake bread in the first place, well it is cheaper, for one. Furthermore you know what has gone in to it.
Husband makes bread, as shop bought gives him indigestion. Home made deoesnt. He makes it much better using the mixer than by hand, it’s lighter, rises better, although he is experimenting with a little extra yeast. ( he uses the dried type) The bread is altogether better using the mixer for us, he kneaded it for a long time previously but it just wasn’t as good. Make sure sure you use good quality flour, strOMG bread flour, or extra strong for a slightly bouncier loaf. ( and don’t forget some salt, another one of his experiments! It needs salt ) 😀
I do both. I do a double load, start it off in the Kenwood until doughlike rather than a sticky mess then knead by hand. Why? It tastes better, it’s relaxing to knead bread, it fills the house with lovely smells. You can put what you want in it.
I've been bread making for a while now. I have always used a stand mixer.
I usually make about 5-6 loaves in one session, keeps down the cost of heating the oven. I have lots of bread tins! The bread freezes great. I make whatever I fancy, but usually standard loaf style for sandwiches and toast.
There are times when I have been caught short and bought bread from the supermarket and I think it's pretty bad. Once you've made your own and as someone above said,you know exactly what's in it,you'll never go back. And it's very addictive! I still get great satisfaction from baking bread and still don't understand how something so simple can taste so delicious. 🙂