The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Floydm's blog

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Floydm

Since my previous post I've taken a number of steps to clean up the site and reduce the amount of personal information stored here. Most notably, just by removing accounts that never activated or activated but never posted and haven't logged in in years, I was able to shrink the user database by over 75% (!). That is a change that you won't really notice, of course, because those accounts were by definition ones that hadn't made an impact, but it makes me feel much better about the amount of personal information I have stored here.

Other changes, changes you will (or may) notice:

  • I've updated the privacy page to more accurately reflect the current state of affairs and technologies used here.
  • I've added a "I accept the terms of use" screen that you'll see the next time you sign in or when you first sign up. It is meant to comply with the GDPR requirement that explicit opt-in be recorded and is generally considered the right thing to do. I probably should have added it sooner.
  • I've granted all users the ability to delete their accounts.
  • I've removed the ad display code from a number of screens where it seems inappropriate such as the user login, user register, user account edit, and content creation screens.
  • I've configured Google Analytics, which is used to measure traffic here, to anonymize IP addresses and purge traffic information at the shortest interval allowed, 14 months.

I'm still figuring out how best to deal with accounts that have been idle for a long time that posted content of value to the community. I may try to contact them to get an explicit opt-in. Or I could remove their email addresses from the accounts, which I believe are the only personal information I have about them. Or I could close the accounts and associate their content with the "Anonymous baker" user. I'm not sure what makes the most sense yet, just that I want to respect people's privacy and honour current regulations regarding people's personal information while not losing the tremendous public resource we've built collectively over the years here.

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Floydm

You might have noticed you've been getting a ton of emails recently from companies that "care about your privacy". That is because there are new data privacy regulations coming into effect in less than a month that impact anyone doing business with EU citizens. I'm still getting a handle on what they mean and whether what TFL does constitutes "doing business" with anyone, but at the least it is a good time for some housecleaning here.

Today I started purging old accounts that never activated. There is no reason to retain anything about any of those accounts. 

After that I'll purge old accounts that haven't been active in a long time. 

Next it sounds like it makes sense for me to add a new Terms & Conditions screen that folks will need to acknowledge when they sign up or sign in. The GDPR states that site owners need to have a record of such a thing. And the T&C language needs to be understandable rather than in legelese, which is good. So I am working on putting that together.

After the T&C has been up and active site members have had a chance to opt-in, I can remove accounts that don't opt in. I don't want to retain anyone's info who isn't consciously OK with sharing it here.

I think I can also give people the permission to delete their own accounts and information, which is also part of the GDPR.

To be clear, I never sell, rent, share, or do anything with anyone's email address or any other personal information that is held here (and I wonder: does the kind of mixer or thermometer you use count as personally identifiable information?). Email addresses are used, at sign up, to verify that there is a human at the other end of the line and thus to cut down on the number of spam accounts that get created. After that, email is used for private messages between site members or to receive comment notifications, both of which you can opt out of. A handful of times a year I look up a user's email address and contact them directly, typically either because a site member asks me to get in touch with them and doesn't want to use the PM system or I have a concern about their conduct or content of a post. Your info here is not being shared or used for marketing purposes, and I put a great deal of effort to keep the site and server secure so it can't be accessed or misused.

Floydm's picture
Floydm

Almost everything in my garden plot died over the winter. The one exception is the sage. So I wanted to bake something that used sage, and recalled seeing Lazy Loafer's Sage & Onion Levain.

I used 50% bread flour and 50% AP flour because that is what I had handy.  It is extremely tasty.

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Floydm

Nothing fancy but I baked a couple white sourdough loaves this evening. Around 73% hydration, 65% AP flour, 35% bread flour.

It was sunny and beautiful but still cool today, so they rose too slowly to have them ready for suppertime. I'm looking forward to trying one of them in the morning.

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Floydm

Ever since trying Skibum's pulla this summer I've been meaning to bake one.  

I used jarkkolaine's recipe as the basis since it had metric weights.  The one notable difference is that I used a tangzhong to try to get a fluffier crumb. Did it help? Mmmm... I'm not sure it did, but I may not have nailed the timing quite right.

I did a five strand braid, which might not have been the best choice but that is the way the dough divided.

Like Skibum I eggwashed and sprinkled some almond slices on top.

Overall a success and one I'm likely to do again soon.

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Floydm

I was working at home today, so as well as making a pot of soup I managed to get a couple of bakes in.  The skinny ones are roughly based on these poolish baguettes, though I added a bit too much salt which is why they are kind of chalky looking. The rounds are my standard sourdough loaf. I used the Brød & Taylor proofer again when I wanted to pick things up with the sourdough loaves and it worked like a charm. Very handy. 

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Floydm

After a two month break, I finally am baking again.  

This summer was hectic. I've been working a ton, plus there was a two week road trip around BC and western Alberta, including a few days exploring Banff and Jasper.  Truly a stunning area.  One highlight of being in that region was getting a chance to meet Skibum and try his pulla, which was fantastic.

Right before summer began and before things got super crazy, I got ahold of a Brød & Taylor folding proofer.  During the summer our place is pretty warm, but as the nights are getting longer and colder, the days shorter, cooler, and wetter, I've been expecting it would come in useful.

So I finally got around to reviving my starter last weekend. I fed it Saturday night and tried baking with it Sunday.  It was a cool day and things were progressing extremely slowly, so I decided to give the proofer a go.

I was very pleased with the results.  My loaves which were taking forever to rise at our ambient room temperature around 18C (65F) perked up considerably at 82F.  My starter wasn't dead, just a bit groggy after such a long slumber.  The final loaves came out very well.

I also made a batch of yogurt in the Brød & Taylor, which I'd never tried before.  It too was a success.

It's a neat new toy that I'm looking forward to playing with this winter.

ALSO, I don't know if you get it in the US, but in Canada and France today this is the Google Doodle:

It is celebrating the 22nd anniversary of the Décret Pain, which defined a traditional French baguette.

Floydm's picture
Floydm

12% rye, 12% whole wheat, around 73% hydration, baked in my enamel pots.

Floydm's picture
Floydm

As I mentioned in my last post, I've been working on a Polish Rye recipe.  I baked it again this weekend and this time took notes.

Preferment

  • 180g AP flour
  • 120g water
  • a pinch of salt
  • a pinch of instant yeast

Final dough

  • All of the preferment
  • 120g rye flour
  • 460g AP flour
  • 40g potato flour
  • 12g sea salt
  • 30g barley malt syrup
  • 3g yeast
  • ~360g warm water

The colour comes more from the malt syrup than the rye flour.  Still not perfect, but we really like it.

 * * * 

Unrelated, but I also realized this weekend that TFL is 10 years old as of yesterday.  The first post is here.  Kinda neat... I certainly did not foresee that it'd end up growing to be such a rich community of bakers from all around the globe. 

 

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Floydm

I hope everyone's new year is off to a great start.

Winter weather has lead to winter colds, which unfortunately reduces the sensitivity of my already not terribly refined palate, but I have been baking when I can.  Two of my recent efforts are worth mentioning.

Above and below are pictures of my recent attempts to make something like the Mazowiecka loaf that a local Polish bakery makes.  It has a bit of rye, a tightish crumb, and a sweet, malt-y flavour.

Right now I'm using around 20% rye, with a few tablespoons of malt syrup.  I also tried using a pâte fermenté to give it a bit more depth and longer shelf life.  It is good, though I don't feel like I've totally nailed it yet.

 

The other one I've been baking regularly is my standard sourdough (72% hydration, 15% whole wheat, 7% rye flour, 2% salt) but also adding 200g (20%) of soaked grains.  I've just picked up a few different cereal mixes, like Bob's 6 Grain, which I soak a cup of overnight in one cup of water, then mix into the final dough.

It's nice. Not a drastic change, but it adds a bit of crunch and texture to my daily bread.

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