Quick quiz: this is a) my brain on beer; b) a relief map of some mountain range that Calvin made for geography class; c) my first bread machine failure.
If you guessed "c", you are correct. Usually when I try a new recipe, or mess around with a recipe as I did here, I watch the machine for a while to see if more liquid or more flour needs to be added as it mixes. In this case I was making a whole wheat flour bread and I optimistically substituted ground flax seed for oil, as the flax seed package claimed I could do. What the flax seed package did not tell me was I may need to increase the amount of water during the first kneading. And, because I followed directions and set the machine for the "whole wheat" cycle, there was a thirty minute warming/resting period which supposedly allows the whole wheat flour to absorb the liquids, which supposedly makes for a lighter product. But during that thirty minutes I got distracted, went away from the cook shed, and did not return until some time between the first and second kneading. What I found then looked a lot like what you see here; a mound of crumbly, dry dough. I added more water, but by then it was too late to affect the texture of the bread. It still smelled nice as it baked, however, and the birds or squirrels or rabbits or deer might enjoy it.
Ideally, I would not leave the task of making homemade bread to a machine. In the kind of life I want, I would not spend nearly fifty hours of my week away from home, earning enough money to buy my bread from the store. I would knead the bread by hand, and gradually learn the intricacies of bread making.
Despite what they say, machines don't always make life easier or simpler or create more free time.