Right, so I guess a good first post is just a multi-role all-environment utility bread. I'm going to copy roughly from the Laurel's Kitchen Bread Book, one of my favorite bread books, and add my thoughts.
Make the sponge
So, when I make this, I've never used the milk powder. That stuff scares me a little bit. If you leave it out, it'll be OK, and if you want to just replace some of the water with milk, that's cool too. Milk powder is apparently popular where using milk would throw off the consistency, but really, if you're adding milk powder and water, just add milk and water.
Personally, I like to use a quarter cup yogurt and just over a half cup of water, or some combination of yogurt and water, since that's given me the tastiest bread.
Regarding flour, I also like to use rye flour here, since the acidity of the yogurt will break down the harsher parts of the rye and let it make nice bread (all rye bread should have a sour element to it to make the flour behave). One cup rye and one cup whole wheat is what I've been doing lately, though always remember that rye absorbs less water (or is absorbed more readily into water, whatever), so the fluid ratio will be a little off. This doesn't matter as much in the sponge, though, since you'll just work it into the bread later.
And in case you're afraid or think you misread that, yes, you leave a yeasty sponge on your countertop for at least half a day. This is totally cool. It should triple in volume in that time, so make sure you've got something large enough. Using a pre-ferment like this makes the bread extra tasty.
Anyways, on with the show.
Well, that's kind of the bulk of the work right there. For adjusting the water/flour, you'll just figure it out in time, but if you can knead it without too much work, and it's not too sticky to handle, you're probably in the safe-zone. Kneading is a bit of a learned skill as well, and there are plenty of things online that ought to be able to do a better job of explaining that than me, such as this semi-reputable looking article. The important part of kneading is to stretch the dough without tearing it (too much), so you work it into nice long sheets of gluten which will trap the gasses from the yeast and let your bread rise. If anyone is unsure about kneading technique, I am totally happy to come over/have you over to make bread sometime. It really isn't that hard, but baking is a fun thing to do with people!
For shaping, I like to make one or two big round things on my baking stone, or just do simple loaves in pans. Loaf pans usually come out in about fifty minutes. As for page 106, well, I brought the book back to the library and didn't copy that page down. I just put an old pan on the bottom rack of the oven with some water in it when I heat the oven, and set the oven to 400ºF for the first five minutes, then drop it down to 350ºF for the rest of the time. When you think the bread is done, the easiest thing to do is to pop a loaf out, and knock it on the bottom. If it sounds hollow, it should be done, but you can certainly reserve the right to take it out before it sounds hollow if you think the crust is getting too dark.
One of the best loaves I've made was this recipe with garlic and olives in it. I coarsely chopped the stuff up, then added it while kneading the dough. The garlic was obviously delicious and the little bit of residual juice on the olives worked through the dough to give it a nice, subtle olive flavour throughout.
Anyways, I am tired now, so I'm off to bed. Happy baking! I'll try to keep this thing up weekly.