The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

For our school project - I am interested in finding out how people connect through making bread

Breadstudents's picture

For our school project - I am interested in finding out how people connect through making bread


I am a primary school student doing a project. I am interested in finding out how people connect through making bread. This website looked like a good place to find the answer. Obviously you all connect through this fabulous website. What other ways does bread making connect you to communities. I would love it if some of you, including professional bakers and bread makers would mind answering my question in the next few days as I don't have much time to work on this. I am thinking maybe you connect with other people doing jobs or roles at the bakery, does one person do the whole process or do separate processes get done by different people? Hopefully you can help me get the answers I need.

linder's picture

My experience is that bread is such 'primal stuff'  almost everyone relates to it in some way.  When you bake bread and bring it to a friend's p0tluck or gathering, you hear lots of stories about their experiences making bread, eating bread, remembering breads a favorite relative made, etc.  I've taught friends to make bread, traded loaves of bread for dozens of eggs with other friends, brought homemade bread and cheese to potlucks and generally enjoyed my companions (those with whom I break and eat bread) through the experience of bread. 

As far as connecting with other bakers- this site has been my primary way.  Bread bakers can tend to be a rather nerdy, focused, almost obsessed bunch, in search of the ultimate bread experience, and in this current world of fast food, bread is one of the slow foods that we bakers enjoy and share with friends and family.  I don't know if I answered your question, but it did make me stop and think about bread and it's place in my world.

PaddyL's picture

Sharing bread with neighbours and friends is natural, or should be.  I share the bread I bake with everyone around me, and today I asked the local patisserie, where I often buy bread when I don't have time to bake, if they would slice my homemade loaves on their big professional slicer.  Yes, they will.  Now they know I bake bread and I will even share it with them.  I live in a small town, and almost everyone I know also knows that baking bread is a big part of me.  I would think, in a bakery, that certain parts of the bread making process are handled by different people.

ehanner's picture

I connect to my neighbors and friends by sharing the products I make. I also bake breads for families who I know are having a hard time now and a friend who is recovering from an accident and has 3 small children. I bake the breads and my teenage daughter delivers most of them. She likes helping and connecting with the families. Bread has been an important part of the human existence for thousands of years and I enjoy continuing the craft. Hopes this helps.

Eric Hanner

Mukwonago, WI


tananaBrian's picture

Very nice of you, Eric... helping folks out like that!



ehanner's picture


I really think that's what most of us do in one way or another. Sharing with the neighbor next door or helping a friend with his tomato plants thousands of miles away. Thank you my friend.


tananaBrian's picture

I'm not sure I helped much ...

I like seeing people help people ...grass roots person-to-person caring about others is the way to do it too.



RobynNZ's picture

My father was a professional baker as was his father and his maternal grandfather, who had emigrated with his family of bakers bringing their baking methods with them from Scotland to New Zealand in 1860. None of my generation bake bread professionally but we all enjoy baking it at home for friends and family, using skills & formula learned not only from our father but from other bakers too, and we are now enjoying passing these on to the next generation, as a key thread for our family.

When I travel overseas, I enjoy learning how to make different local kinds of bread, this gives me a much more personal connection with other cultures.

Best wishes for your school project.


Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

likes and dislikes of bread.  Yes, dislikes.  I dislike mass produced factory bread, so I get together with those who like to bake their own looking for tastier and more nutritious bread.  There are also those who connect looking to share notes and pictures of specialty breads to gather ideas and try something new.  The variety of grains & flours available from all over the globe is new and interesting and many times bound in local tradition.  Learning about breads in other countries first hand from those living and eating, sharing their experiences with making bread in different environments can connect people from different cultures.  Always good to understand other cultures and it can be so interesting.  Like a Geographic magazine for bread but here we can interact with each other.  

Many people come to this site to solve a problem with their baking and others are here because they like to help others solve their problems.  It's a learning environment.  People just naturally start coming together as information is sometimes hard to find in the real world if you are isolated or the only one in your area that likes to bake and talk about it.  

whosinthekitchen's picture

I am a teacher as well as bread baker.  In my many moves around the country meeting new people family stoires are always a part of the 'get to know'.  More often than not some one shares a childhood memory of Mom's ______ or Grandma's ________-.   I got into doing research for a bread recipe for a new friend in the 70's before the internet and our good friend google!  I did a few trials and got feed back, tried again until I hit the mark.

I have been researching recipes for various people ever since.  I connect with people through connecting them with the aromas and flavors of their past.  This web site is now the best source for such research.  Most people do not make bread so when someone mentions missing a bread once made by family, here I am..... I love that a young person is doing a project on the connections through bread.  The best souvenirs I bring back from travels  has been recipes ; most often they are bread recipes!

clazar123's picture

This is an ancient ritual present in almost every culture I can think of. It is a way of inviting social interaction and establishing a guest/host relationship.

First and foremost-check out Mark here:      and

He has connected with a lot of people through bread! He would have some great perspective and would most likely respond to an email.

Freerk and BreadLab is a great demo of how modern technology helps people connect through bread. I hope he weighs in here. Search for his name in the search box here and take a look at his videos. They are great!

Look at some of the videos linked above. Try just searching "video" in the search box.You can find videos of all kinds of bread related subjects from all over the world.

At one time, Floyd had a list of all the countries that posters were posting from-it was impressive! I think there were more countries on the list than are in the United Nations! Imagine all those people interacting in a positive way-what a wonderful impact it has on World Peace!

How about World Bread Day?

A recent book by some of our frequent members-Stan and Norm "Inside the Jewish Bakery" . A good excuse to buy the book for the historical significance of how bread ties all the Jewish immigrants who came to the US from all different parts of the world-they were all different and yet the same. Bread and bakery connected them all and provided a source of dialogue and the sharing of a common experience. Looking at  the history of ethnic bakeries of all kinds in immigrant settings-it shows how bread connected even strangers to each other that shared bread.

Good luck! Use the knowledge you gain to help you form connections in your life! If you are ever in a crowd of people you don't know and are desparate for a conversation topic-bread and food are great starters-we all need and love food!

Frequent Flyer's picture
Frequent Flyer

...get together when we can.  We share a common interest, so we meet at bakeries and farmer's markets to buy ingredients.  There's a gathering in the UK being organized now. 

Those like me that are interested in eating healthier run into like minded folks at places that sell whole grains, nuts and other supplies.

My daughter is a fan of whole grain breads and drops by at lunch most workdays for a sandwich on some of my bread that's always out on the counter.  That brings us together more than we would otherwise.


jcking's picture

Before you decide which bread to bake, decide who you will share it with...


ehanner's picture

Before you decide which bread to bake, decide who you will share it with...

This statement is to profound to slip through the gears of our presence in only a few days.

Thank you Jim, for expressing this thought so well.


jcking's picture

Thanks Eric, I do a lot of reading and read something similar somewhere, so I can only say it's a semi-original thought.


GrapevineTexas's picture

three years ago, and I was immediately smitten with everyone's enthusiasm.  A few days later I found myself at my local booksellers reading through the pages of Peter Reinhart's, The Bread Baker's Apprentice.  I didn't make the purchase immediately, because I wasn't sure that I could really tackle the daunting process of sourdough.  Long story short, I kept looking at Floyd's, The Fresh Loaf site, and found myself encouraged by the wonderful folks that were, and are, so willing to help.  Today, I have a bevy of bread baking books, but my foremost formula's come from the 'tried-and-true' bakers that share their experiences via TLF, or their personal baking blogs.  

My journey continues.   Bread baking has broadened my horizons, and I'm forever grateful for not giving up, but rather for giving in... 


highwaymanco's picture

reading your request i was thinkin many of the things said above....

i have lots of friends that share their friendship in many ways

and my bakin bread and sharin it with em has become a part of that...

The Bible is filled with answers for ya !!!

sharing your bread with the hungry

and of course

matthew 26: 17-30

doesn't get much more "connected" than that...

all the best with your project

foodslut's picture

Different variations on the same theme....

1)  I use home-made bread to connect to people in my local geographical community by using it to connect directly person-to-person:  as a gift or a "thank you" for a favour done, as a "thinking of you while you handle a crappy bit of life for the moment" token, as a "baked too much and thought you could use it" gesture, as a contribution to a pot luck, as a prize to a fundraising raffle, whatever.  It's an extension of the "feeding people because you care" meme.  Jews and other groups must have a reason for giving (at least) bread and salt as a traditional housewarming gift.

2)  I use home-made bread to connect in a different way with the local farming community as well.  I use a lot of locally-grown and -milled flour in my bread, as well as locally-produced gouda cheese.  This way, I share some of myself (via the effort and love I contribute) and some of my community (via the ingredients) when I share home-baked bread.

3)  I use home-made bread to connect with other bakers and/or cooks, either through this forum or just talking and baking a bit with other fellow home bakers and food nuts.

Breadstudents- if your team is doing an essay or web page presentation, feel free to share it here as well.  I know I'd be interested in seeing what you've ended up collecting.  Thanks, and good luck!

Breadstudents's picture

Your responses to our question were very helpful because you gave us some other perspectives to add to our research. We found out 7 different ways people connect through bread from your answers. These were: sharing strong interest in bread making, sharing meals, passing on traditions, sharing stories, teaching and learning bread making, broadening cultural awareness, trading and buying, meeting new people. The most common connections in your answers were teaching and learning, and sharing a meal. Thanks, from breadstudents in Tasmania, Australia. We are having our exhibition next week - so will share your thoughts then.

tananaBrian's picture

There are people here who I've connected with as a result of my interest in baking, and finding the wonderful resource that TFL is ...but more importantly, there are several family members and friends that I have grown closer to, stronger relationships, because of their interest in baking and our working together in learning and doing dad for instance, is one example where baking has bridged the distance gap (he lives 2800 miles south of me) and strengthened our relationship.  Another is my step-grandmother with whom I have spent a lot of time with learning her "old school" ways and recipes (that's called "tradition"!), and my grandfather on my dad's side who taught me to make the best shortbread and johnny cake on earth as well.



ActiveSparkles's picture

It has made me more popular among family members, I can tell you that

Its been nice when I have been babysitting my youngest niece, she loves to sit on the side counter and help me measure out flour and knead.


Also, you type incredibly well for a primary school student.