I've long harboured an interest in breadmaking. I eat a lot of the stuff and really appreciate the good stuff. When an old flatmate had a bread maker, I was very very happy. I'd always vaguely considered baking my own, but it always seemed like it would be really hard.
Well last week, thanks to the Nigella book Julie gave me (yes, the Domestic Goddess one -- that must be me), I made my first loaf. It was surprisingly easy and the results were delicious! I've since made a couple of more batches and it's really fun.
Mabye I'm a bit weird, but I do enjoy cooking and bread seems much less difficult to make and experiment with than I initially thought. The kneading by hand part isn't anywhere near as taxing as I thought. Ten minutes of actually quite therapeutic kneading and that's pretty much it. The only hard part is waiting for the dough to rise, which limits the times I can make it.
So now, as soon as I get hold of the ingredients, I'm going to try making some multigrain breads and the like. I think I might need a book just on bread making, particularly with regard to shaping.
One thing I'd like to try to make is sourdough. However I'd be a bit worried having lactic acid-generating bacteria in the house. Could end up contaminating my beer brewing, and I could do without a lactic acid sour beer...
Oh, and Julie, I guess I owe you a loaf of bread. I did say I'd make you something out of the book when you gave it to me.