Given all of my other experimentation, you wouldn't think that I'd be intimidated by something as simple as bread. It's almost as though the concept of bread has taken on a nigh-mythical importance to me. This goes beyond enjoyment or entertainment or even philosophy. Here is the place where one stops playing in the kitchen and sets about the very serious business of creating nourishment. Here is the place where one steps away from the pre-treated, the pre-sliced, and the pre-packaged and begins to embrace self-sufficiency, satisfaction, and simplicity.
The line is crossed.
Strangely, it doesn't seem like such a big deal on the other side.
Update: My loaf is a little misshapen (it almost looks like it wanted to be round, free of the bread pan) but otherwise serviceable. As an added bonus, the house smells fantastic. Come visit. We'll explore more.