Of course I've tried to make the very popular 'no-knead' bread, it has a fine texture but a one-note flavor (fermentation). I've tried some long resting, starter type fermented sourdoughs, which to me always taste sort of strange and are completely rejected by the little fusspots. I've made the occasional sandwich loaf, but we have a local bakery that makes the most amazing whole wheat bread, they are way too cool to be on the web, but if you are ever in Putnam, they're called Priscillas and will render making your own sandwich bread irrelevant forever after.

Today, because we are homeschoolers and this is the kind of thing we get to do while you are commuting back and forth to school, we're baking bread.

I'm going for a European-style loaf but I'm hoping to avoid a painfully pretensious screed on artisan bread and home baking and oven temperature and superior yeast and the merits of wine-vinegar and rosemary. Here goes...

Right now, I'm going to make a starter of 1/2 packet Fleischman's rapid-rise, 1 cup of water and a 1/2 cup of King Arthur Whole Wheat Flour. I'm going to feed the yeasties about a tsp of agave nectar (which I know is really pretensious) but it doesnt have a very specific flavor and I dont have white sugar handy. This will sit for about 30 min. The boys are ecstatic to learn that the bubbles are the 'waste products' of yeast.

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