I have baked bread off and on since I was in Mrs. Warner's Texas history class in seventh grade. That first time, my mother did most of the stirring and measuring, and I mostly learned that bread was hard to handle. The recipe we made that time was for yeast rolls like my great- grandmother used to make, then my grandmother, and now my aunt. If you're lucky and you happen by her house around one occasion or another, you might get to have one of those rolls straight from the oven, dripping butter.
When Jason and I moved to Fort Worth, I looked at Molly Katzen's drawings and description and thought for sure I could make bread. I have perhaps too much faith in what one can learn from books. I tried and I tried to make bread like she said, but the twenty to thirty minutes of kneading it on the counter as she recommended never turned out anything worth sharing with friends. And there was also the unintended lesson about how to explode Pyrex bakeware. Then, around that time, one friend got a bread machine that made better bread than I could and another began making sourdough that put my bricks to shame, so I put away Molly and the Tassajara cookbook someone had given me.
Sometime after I started staying home, I again tried my hand at bread. I had a bit more luck, but I still don't think I quite had it figured out. One day, when I was in a hurry, I did not knead it long and I left it in the bowl to knead it. First of all, you can have MUCH wetter dough if you are not trying to knead it on the counter. Additionally, whole wheat soaks up water in the first rise, so it is MUCH better for it to be pretty wet during the first rise. Finally, twenty minutes of kneading is WAY too much kneading; you can not knead at all and still have yummy bread.
The most recent innovation for me has been a switch to making sourdough, which I feared for so many years. I discovered sourdough is more reliable than yeast packets and easy enough to tend if you're making bread for five people.
And last but not least, I have yet to taste 100% whole wheat bread that was worth a bit of butter. Don't be too pure or "right"; use some white flour.