Making the dough - i do not use a bread machine. However, I have large stand mixer, with a dough hook, which I do use. I hate to knead so it makes my life easier
Recipes I have a cookbook I use. It is this book It was not cheap, but has been a very helpful. It was recommended to me and I will always recommend it to others.
Flour and yeast - I always use bread flour. Normally P.illsbury. The only time I use all purpose is if a recipe calls for it, and some do. Like the pretzels I make. Yeast, I buy it by the jar and keep it in my fridge.
As for shelf life. Most of these recipe will last 3 to 4 days. They have no preservatives so they taste better, to me, but because of that, they go bad quicker. However, the loaves are smaller, so I can eat one alone in a few days. And bread will freeze well.