A few weeks ago I started making my own bread. From scratch. By hand.
This is, of course, because of a desire to eventually have a homemade pizza that actually tastes like pizza.
Anyway, I started off with a basic recipe that needs two rises. It worked well, so after a few loaves, I got a bread recipe book and started using a new recipe. The new one needs three rises, and 20 minutes of kneading.
Now, using the simpler recipe, I could start a loaf at six p.m., and be happily munching on hot, fresh bread by nine. Last night, I used the new recipe. I forgot the bread had to rise three times.
I didn't get to bed until almost midnight. For me, that's really, really late.
Making bread does involve some hard work, but not much more than making cookies. It's mostly a lot of waiting and being close to home. I find it pretty enjoyable, particularly the kneading and punching down. Oh, and eating it afterwards. If you haven't had homemade bread recently, you need to make yourself some.
Incidentally, a PB&J on homemade bread with fresh ground peanuts, homemade jam and bananas is pretty close to divine.
Now I just gotta find a good pizza dough recipe...