This is a recipe I came across in a book on bread making. It's simple, to the point, and has awesome, abundant flavor. It's also a whole wheat bread, which helps with flavor, and with glycemic load. The ingredient list is a little more involved than basic white bread, but the process is just as simple.
-3 Cups all purpose flour, plus extra for kneading
-3 Cups Whole Wheat Flour
-2 Tsp salt
-1 package (or 2 1/4 Tsp) of quick acting dry yeast
-1-2 Tbsp grated lemon peel
-1/4 Cup Honey
-3 Tbsp Shortening (I use Melted butter... no trans-fat issues.)
-2 Tbsp Brown Sugar (for priming)
-2 1/4 Cup of warm water
Some bread books will advocate adding ingredients slowly as the dough is being mixed. I don't. Mixing the dry ingredients early on ensures that there won't be lumps and pockets of one thing or another. Kneading the dough will help mix everything else in, and there's nothing wrong with kneading the dough for a while if you feel like it. It's a lot easier, and more rewarding, to work with kneadable dough on the counter than it is to mix a sticky mess in a bowl.
After the initial rise, cut the dough in half, knead each piece a little bit, to get out some of the bubbles. This helps mix things up just enough to put the yeast back in touch with new, untapped pockets of food. You may notice that the dough has become more elastic as the gluten chains have formed. Let the dough sit for a minute or two, and then shape each lump into a ball, ("boule," is the bread term) tucking ends and edges underneath. Then set the boules aside, covered, and let them rise at room temperature for an hour or two... the goal is for the dough to double in size. If your kitchen is really warm, keep an eye on the dough; the yeast will be very active, and you don't want the dough to rise too much. Pre-heat the oven to 425 degrees towards the end of the rise.
Warm, fresh bread is hard to beat. Even bad home-made bread is generally much better than store-bought. But either way, keep practicing. More practice will help you to learn what dough should feel like, how long it should rise, and give you a sense of what 'normal,' bread making should feel like. Gradual refinements will come with experience, and application of the scientific method. I've read of bakers who record everything: kitchen temperature and humidity, oven temps at various stages of baking, weight of the ingredients and the resulting dough, and so on... and in observing all of these variables, they begin to understand more about what's going on, and what contributes to better bread.