1. If possible, use a mixer when adding the first 3 cups of flour to beat the dough. This helps the gluten develop and makes kneading easier.

2. During cool weather, heavy ceramic bowls retain heat and keep dough warm longer while rising.

3. For easier slicing, lay bread on its side and slice with a serrated knife.

4. Store bread at room temperature in something breathable: a clean kitchen towel, for example. Refrigerating bread dries it out.

5. Let bread cool completely before freezing. The average sandwich-style loaf takes five hours to cool thoroughly. Wrap in freezer-weight zip-top bags, or both plastic wrap and heavy-duty foil. Freeze one to two months.

6. Dough rises much faster at high altitude, so watch rising time carefully. If you’re baking at an altitude over 5,000 feet, increase oven temperature 15 degrees to 25 degrees.