The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Starting a bread notebook/diary

HeidiH's picture

Starting a bread notebook/diary

After the initial novice's joy of getting bread from a bowl of flour, yeast, salt and water -- but not being very precise and being surprised by the results with each loaf -- I figure it's time to start a bread notebook and figure out how to predict the outcome by controlling and then recording the input.   My first entry in the notebook is for Oat Bread Sweetened with Honey and can be seen at  There's a "Bread Notebook" tab at the top of the page.  I'd love any suggestions or comments you might have.  Thank you.  Heidi

Chuck's picture

... a "Bread Notebook" ... any suggestions ...

One thing I've found helpful is to write down everything (the kind of flour, the kind of yeast, what tool was used for scoring, the weather, etc. etc.), not just what seems important at the time. Virtually every time I've gone back through my bread diary trying to figure something out, it's been a question that I "didn't think was important" when I originally wrote those entries.

The other thing I've found helpful is to once in a while (every six months? every year?) "summarize" a bread diary ("issues grappled with", "lessons learned", etc.) then put that diary away at the back of the bookcase and start a new bread diary. At first it seems like the darned thing will never grow beyond a few pages  ...but after a while you'll be awash in so much material you can't even easily read back through it.