Derek and I make all of our own bread. It started when we lived in Denver and I could walk to an excellent french bakery (if you live in Denver go to the Trompeau Bakery immediately). On a regular basis (read every other day), I would ride my bike or walk to this bakery and get a baguette. The bakery smelled like Paris, the bread was usually warm, and it was super cheap.
I grew accustomed to fresh bread.
Then I moved out to live with Derek in Chapel Hill, NC. I had to say goodbye to my neighborhood French bakery. Carrboro, my new hometown, does not have a french bakery. The local coop has pretty good bread, but not really that great. Then we received a book from my brother-in-law and his wife gave us Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day by Jeff Hertzberg and Zoë François. We totally embraced this, it is and was delicious.
These bagels were made with a recipe from the Artisan book.
We have tried a couple of different recipes from that book, then for Christmas we received another bread book, My Bread by Jim Lahey (incidentally, it was from the same people). It is even more amazing. I am not going to post the whole recipe, because the New York Times has the basic recipe online.
I just wanted to talk about easy homemade bread. Make it. Today.
The book also has pizza, which is pretty much the best pizza we have ever had.