Bread experiment number thirty billion turned out pretty acceptable. I think the main mistakes I'd been making up to this point flavor-wise were undersalting and undercooking. Dousing the thing in melted butter just before baking was a thing I did before that yielded a really lovely brown crust; I went with just a little oil this time and it tasted fine, but looked so pale. Separately I wish I knew how to get still more action out of the yeast. I don't think it's half-dead from being way past expiration date or anything like that, and I think I'm using sensible proportions (1/2c warm water, 1tsp yeast, 1tsp sugar, ~10-15m wait, which therafter combines with ~1.5c flour) but I can never get above a certain (acceptable, but not spectacular) level of bubbliness of crumb, even after like a 2 hour rise.