The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Best posts of 2009

Floydm's picture

Best posts of 2009

Which posts or discussions started in 2009 have been most influential on your baking this year?  Please share them with other community members here!

SteveB's picture
Crider's picture

Wink is a fount of sourdough info.

Nathan's picture

Debra's post was my favorite this year.


gavinc's picture

Debra wink's post was my high-light.


ejm's picture

    Thanks to HansJoakim's post, Video: Baguette shaping, I finally made baguettes that actually look like baguettes inside and out.

    And while it wasn't from this year's post, I did read and apply what I'd learned from it this year:

    EHanner: eye-opening-techniques

    I love using Richard Bertinet's kneading method for slack dough.

    In the comments section to EHanner's post, I wrote:

    Bertinet's "slap and fold" kneading method is fabulous.

    Thank you, FreshLoafians!


    evidence of success: baguettes and a ring <-- bread made using both kneading and shaping techniques

    Janknitz's picture

    If they qualify (I know they were first published elsewhere)

    I enjoy all of the posts here on TFL.  The other bakers are inspiring and amazing and I've learned so much in such a short time.  But I came to TFL vowing especially that I would NOT be delving into sourdough, most especially not making a culture from scratch.  It just seemed too fussy and I didn't have a total understanding of the process.

    Enter Debra Wink's Pineapple Solution posts.  They may be too detailed and geeky for some, but I'm a science geek and I really enjoyed the scientific approach and the interesting facts that were packed into those posts.  I learned SO much.  And it was such a clear explanation of the sourdough process that I couldn't pass it up, I HAD to try it.  I had success the first time out of the box, and because of what I learned in that article I feel I've had a good understanding about how to maintain and use my starter ever since. 


    Royall Clark's picture
    Royall Clark

    This thread! Thanks for posting this question Floyd. I'm new to this site and there is so much to glean from it. I'm finding a lot of great links being posted here to answer your question. I've been adding all the links to a "tutorial" folder for future reference. By the time all the "regulars" post there thoughts on this topic it will be one of the most read post by the "new kids" on the block!! Aloha, Royall

    Floydm's picture

    It was my hope that this thread would shake out some of the better posts that might have gotten overlooked or which new site members may have missed.  Glad to hear it is working!

    AnnieT's picture

    My vote goes to proth5 for her post "Couche Chronicles". Also her account of working as an intern with Mark - hit the spot with this old lady! A.

    rossnroller's picture

    For those of us who happened across TFL more recently, this is a valuable thread. I look forward to working my way through the nominated posts. Thanks and top of the season to you all!


    ehanner's picture

    David has provided so much good advice and detailed methods that have enabled me to make much better sourdough breads. His scoring tutorial is a great help.

    Then what can you say about the creative genius of Shiao-Ping? Every few days she brings us a completely unique masterpiece. I have learned so much from her posts and personal writings.

    Both Blogs are invaluable IMHO.


    longhorn's picture

    Best post and thread has to be Debra's lactic acid post for it provided major information to those of us who live the sourdough life.

    DSnyder adnd Shiao-Ping deserve kudus for being the most consistently inspirational for their BEAUTIFUL creations.

    Happy New Year!


    ananda's picture

    I found Daniel di Muzio's post and had a good read through, then replied.

    I'm with most other people so far on here: Debra's post!

    There are enough references to academic papers on here to keep any sour dough fiend going for years.   Her subsequent contribution to the ensuing thread was extremely generous.   For me, very rewarding reading: thank you


    Yumarama's picture

    A single "Best Thread" is hard to pinpoint since some are more specific to an issue than others. 

    Breaking it down a bit might help, so for "Most Inspirational Bakes" I am tossed up between DSnyder and Shiao-Ping who have produced and displayed countless beautiful breads that make you say "Wow, I gotta try that". 

    For "Demystifying Bread", gotta go with Ms Wink's essays. Actually knowing what's going on in that cup of flour soup is a huge step in knowing what to expect and why it does what it does. And the Pineapple Solution will be incredibly beneficial in helping novices overstep the big "false rise" stumbling block that causes many to give up.

    For "Most Helpful Member", well this gets difficult. There are a lot of folks on here with tons of great ideas and willing to pass on their knowledge. My personal faves are Mini Oven, eHanner and dghdctr, whose posts I look forward to and make a point of reading. They're all so well versed in this art, it's rare to not come away with a great new bit of info. 

    wally's picture

    I also have to vote for Debra's explanation of sourdough and lactic acid fermentation - even if it still makes my head spin every time I re-read it.

    But I want to express a special appreciation for Dan DiMuzio whose many contributions to this forum - and to its members - as a professional are invaluable.


    Paddyscake's picture

    I'm not even going to go there..

    For inspiration,originality and artistic presentation : Shiao Ping

    For encouragement, support and excellent examples of the classics : dsnyder

    For SHARING excellent instructional videos teaching technique and showing us a new bakery in progress : MCS, Back Home Bakery.

    No particular order, just the people who inspire and encourage me most.

    Thank you guys!

    So when we have the TFLer awards, can I be a presenter?  :   )


    davidg618's picture

    ...I couldn't and wouldn't make a choice, and I don't disagree with anyone named above , nor yet to be named below. Yet they, the named, are parts, parts of something whose sum is greater than its parts: the named and the unnamed, and those yet to speak, the unspoken who come by daily, weekly, or only for a visit.

    All of us are parts in this larger sum. The Freshloaf: an idea, a website, a community.

    Thank you all. I've learned from all of you, and more than just about bread.

    David G


    Debra Wink's picture
    Debra Wink

    Thank you Steve, Crider, Nathan, Jan, Jay, Andy, Paul and Wally (I hope I didn't miss anyone). I'm very happy to know the articles have been useful. And I hope the information is helping you all to understand the microorganisms a little better, so that you can coax them to do what you want for your breads. 

    For me, I can't narrow it down to one post, or even just one thread. I don't get to read them all, but I do try and read something every day. It's the interactive dialog and sharing of information and ideas. As David G put it, the sum is greater than the parts.


    Edited to add that recently, my graphics disappeared from the lactic acid article. But I have fixed it, so hopefully, they won't go missing again.

    jacobsbrook's picture

    There are so many posts that are worthy of being mentioned and have already been by others.  Every one off them has helped me develop my technique.  While my journey into baking is more for relaxation and just the "fun of it".  It has been awarding to see my growth over time.  Thanks to the many artisans here.  Not all posts were from this year, but all helped me grow as a home baker.  Below is my daily sourdough and "short" baguettes with many thanks to Susan and David.  PS I do love my "home made" steam box :)

    Reading the blogs and thread questions and replies are always educational. 

    Happy 2010 baking to all!

    Mini Oven's picture
    Mini Oven

    Yippie's Blogs have left a deep impression.  Especially the work with the water roux. 


    janij's picture

    I have been following this thread and trying to decide who I would put down.  It is hard.  I am behind what everyone has nominated so far.  dsnyder and shiao-ping's blog just blow me away.  Back Home Bakery video's were really eye opening for me on shaping.

    But my big bread quest this year was getting a WFO built.  So I must thank Climbhi and Mini Oven for their help in tweaking my oven.

    I love this site.  It is so wonderful for inspiration. It is an open place to share victories and triumphs but also for finding understanding when things go wrong.  So thank you to everyone who visits and posts here.

    Debra Wink's picture
    Debra Wink

    I'm not sure this had any influence on my baking, but it was a good discussion, and provided a real aha moment for me:

    Click here: Why milk powder in milk bread, and not just milk? | The Fresh Loaf


    Edith Pilaf's picture
    Edith Pilaf

    another vote for Debra Wink's sourdough treatise. 

    But not just because it provided a definitive explanation of the process and method for getting a sourdough culture started, but, because I was a new visitor to the forum, with decades of cooking and baking experience and looking to expand my knowledge and skills now that I have the time to do it, having visited numerous cooking and baking websites and blogs, finding them generally not particularly informative  or well-informed, I stumbled across this one, and one of the first posts I read was Debra Wink's, thanks to a link in a post by Rainbowz, that suggested there were some pretty knowledgeable, credible, people on this forum that were not just self-absorbed "know-it-alls" and, perhaps, this forum was a bread-baking resource I needed to spend some time with.

    I since have found a wealth of information here in the archives from the past couple years (I could easily nominate a dozen for best thread, but they are not from 2009) and, after putting aside my initial skepticism, I have come to trust the posts and advice of quite a number of the experienced members, some of whom have been mentioned by others in this thread.  Many thanks to you all.  You know who you are.



    JeremyCherfas's picture

    I'd agree with many of the suggestions here, although I need to add that it is the sheer breadth of material that makes TFL such a wonderful site. You want microbiology and biochemistry? We got it. You want inspiration? We got it? You want a friendly place to find comiseration? We got it.

    For someone who joined only in 2009, I have to say that my favourite thread on TFL is TFL.

    Thank you all.


    gonzalezbrazil's picture

      I loved a lot the discussions about milk powder or just milk on yeast breads recipes. That post clearly my mind and solved lots of questions i had in my mind until read it!

    I´m a Brazilian bread baker and will be much more on line this season of 2010 year.


    I hope i could give you all my skills about artisan bread baking. The first of posts will be about  A Jewish Strudel, a softly bread made with Challah dough, plus sliced bananas, cinamon, walnuts and golden raisins with the aspect of a German Stollen!!

    A must!

    ques2008's picture

    My votes go to:

    a)  dmsnyder - for his guidance and tutorials

    b)  hansjoakim - creations that open my eyes and raise my eyebrows

    c)  shiao ping - for bringing a smile

    d)  debra wink - for her ultimate scientific bent and brain stretchers

    e)  special mention to:  marni, althtrainer, sylvia and xaipete (where are you, pamela) for being the first members who made me want to really work my hands on dough.

    thanks to all of you and the others i have not mentioned!