Prep time includes dough sitting and rising time, hands on time is about 10 minutes. When it comes to breadmaking, simplest can be best. this recipe has 4 ingredients (or 5 if you decide to use some whole wheat flour). I learned this in a breadmaking class, and have made it before for neighbors for Christmas. Many people are surprised that it is homemade... it's not difficult, it's just a matter of learning. Variations are listed in directions. If you would like to learn more about making great bread, I recommend Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes a Day, Amy's Bread, and The Bread Apprentice. Hope you enjoy this!