I'm descended from a line of flour millers on my father's side and bakers on my mother's side - so I must be genetically predisposed towards bread making. Yesterday I made a loaf of bread.
I activated some dried yeast granules with a little sugar and warm water. In a bowl I mixed together seeded white bread flour and salt, and rubbed in some butter. To this I added the frothy yeast and stirred in some more warm water. I hand mixed to a soft, sticky dough and kneaded for 10 minutes or so on a floured surface - until I had the right elastic consistency. I shaped the dough and placed it on a greased baking tray, then put it in the airing cupboard under a tea towel. After about 2 hours the yeast had done its magic and the dough had doubled in size. I stuck it in a pre-heated oven and baked it at a very hot temperature for 35 minutes. Finally I let the finished loaf cool and firm up for a while on a cooling rack, after checking it was baked properly by tapping it underneath (if it sounds hollow it's done). We ate it with butter, cheese and pickle, and washed it down with red wine. It was absolutely delicious.
I do urge everyone to make their own bread - at least now and again. I feel strongly about it. The above recipe is just a plain old basic one - but there are countless recipes and variations. I'm interested generally in food and drink, and in cookery - but making bread is the best thing. It's healthy, it's physical, it's sensual, it's easy, it's creative, it's fun, and...
... it's pure alchemy.