I have a fascination with bread. I find it to be amazingly beautiful with the different textures, shapes, crustiness and the natural designs it makes when baked. I'm talking about artisan breads of course, not Wonder bread. Baguettes, ciabatta, focaccia to name a few, some times they just take my breath away. I watch most cooking shows about bread. I've always been terrified to make it, until recently when I found the best cook book ever. "Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day", written by Jeff Hertzberg, MD., and Zoe Francois, they have made bread making so simple. I guarantee once you start baking you wont stop. There is a basic recipe for "Boule" bread, it only requires four ingredients. There is no kneading involved, quickly mix all of the ingredients and you're done. Let it rise a couple hours then your ready to go for two weeks, no need to punch it down and rise again. The authors suggest limited handling of the dough, for better bread. Also, the longer the dough sits in the refrigerator the bread tastes better. I made some of the "Olive Oil Dough" today, it's just as simple as "Boule" bread. Here is the baguette I made.
If you're interested in making artisan bread, Barnes and Noble has the hardcover listed for $17.71. Also, if you love bread just as much I do, go to Poilane. This bakery in France has gorgeous decorator bread. When you visit the site click the "English" tab to the left. Next, click "Bakery Goods", then click "Bread". This site is just fun to look at, you can buy if you'd like.