rather than 'half baked' serial apologist.
who's fergus henderson?
imo packet mix is ok for plain white bread, done in baking machine mr gong gong,....it is a short cut to warm fresh bread. but home made bread goes stale so quickly, unless it's all eaten, so typically some gets shown the bin. it's when manufacturers attempt 'fancy' that it tends to end in tears.... and it all goes in the bin. therefore pointless and disheartening for beginners, often enticed by lovely packaging.
bread making does give an idea of just how much preservative we're actually eating without even noticing. (bearing in mind some sliced loaves are still soft after a week)!
though oven baked and raw ingredients is always going to taste better - just more time, therefore the bin option is perhaps more of a disappointment.
though a lot's down to nifty prep - as ever with cooking. 18 hrs + is an awful long time to wait if you just fancy a ciabatta butty & cheese, or two!
on herbs, i never thought that much of oregano till growing some last year ...it's obligingly come back this year, having self seeded. poppy, cumin, etc seeds are tasty, but eg poppy is high in cholesterol apparently. plus my bread maker seems to send seeds into a 'surprise wadge' at the bottom of the loaf - rather than dispersing evenly throughout. oven bake's superior in this sense, and another bonus is that you can coat the entire crust, not just the top.
i can't quite see the point of putting fresh herbs in a loaf, prefer adding them to butter, &/or cheese accompaniment, on a slice of warm bread. i like raw garlic, but appreciate that it's not always best, unless everyone's eaten it, and sometimes it makes me hicough uncontrollably ...about an hour later i'm often ravenously hungry, so may feel obliged to eat an entire loaf, so as to 'tidy up'. consequently personally speaking, garlic's best avoided.