So I did a lot of bread baking back in early 08 but kinda burnt out on it. I loved the process but was always bummed out by the results. We got a new stove near the end of last year and I finally got around to using it to bake some bread.
The biggest switch was we went from gas -> electric oven specifically because we have had such bad results with gas ovens over the years. The annoying part of the switch was because the stove was dual-fuel we had to get a 240v line ran to the kitchen. Oh well. Day by day the effort and cost has been worth it.
I decided to try out a basic whole grain sandwich loaf from the Bread Baker's Apprentice that I have done before but really didnt enjoy at all. The previous attempt with our old oven was flat, had a 'raw' flavor (don't think the yeast really did its thing enough), lame crust and the crumb was limp and chewy.
This time I tried out the oven's 'bread proof' mode which offers a perfect 85degree temp that you can rise your bread in. this made rising the poolish (pre-ferment) and the main rise much easier vs a drafty cold PNW house in the winter. Loved this bread proofing mode and baked up both loves this afternoon.
After a couple hours of resting we cracked open one of the loafs. As my wife said 'wow, this is like, good normal bread'. The crumb was nice and moist, the crust was 'crusty' and flaky and the flavor was developed and tasty. Will probably be baking some more now.
update: got slashfooded: www.slashfood.com/2009/01/27/bread-success-feast-your-eyes/ :)