However, I am an expert at the smothering it with butter and eating a whole loaf of crusty bread in one day thing.
The whole activating yeast, rising and kneading process is still new to me, but it has become a great learning experience.
Mmm.. nothing smells better than fresh bread
With cooking I can adjust the flavours, throw some more sauce in, add some more spice. With bread measurements need to be exact and you need time and patience to let the yeast do its thing.
Don't let this intimidate you though, just take your time, know that the bread needs a little more attention than, say, cooking a stir fry would.
In the end, I think you'll be surprised at how simple it is to create, from scratch, a beautiful loaf of whole grain bread. Even if the bread is a little dense, has some brunt sports on top or didn't rise as much as you hoped, it is totally satisfying to eat something that you created with just a few ingredients.
This whole grain loaf is dense and flavourful, it was a little crumbly but it worked perfectly for toast, grilled cheese and sandwiches.
The grain mix listed in the ingredients is something you can play with, you could add rolled oats, flax seeds, wheat bran, cooked quinoa or millet etc. or a combination of all or some of them. The grain mix I used had wheat bran and flax seeds in it. If you do not have anything on hand, just add an additional 1/2 cup of whole grain flour.
In a large bowl combine water, yeast, honey and salt. Let sit for 5 minutes to activate the yeast.
Begin adding flour a cup at a time, stirring until the dough becomes too stiff to continue stirring easily. Add a little more flour and begin kneading. I used my mixer to knead, I had it on a low setting for about 5 minutes. If kneading by hand it may take up to 10 minutes. Knead until the dough becomes smooth and elastic.
Let dough rise in a greased, covered bowl until doubled, about 1 hour, depending how warm your kitchen is.
dough after its first rise
With floured hands knead again and begin forming into a loaf, place in greased loaf pan. Cover with wax paper sprayed with oil. Let rise until loaf is tall, about 1 hour again.
on to its second rise
Preheat oven to 350F. Once loaf has risen, bake for 25 minutes. Take out and let cool on wire rack for 5 minutes then take loaf out of pan and place on wire rack until cooled.