The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Bread Database

bshuval's picture

Bread Database

First, I have to say that TFL is an excellent site and a fantastic resource.

One thing that I think would be very beneficial is a bread database. Let me explain. I have several books on bread, each containing many recipes. Sometimes I want to bake a certain bread, and would like to compare recipes for it. For example, several of my bread books contain a recipe for Vollkornbrot. I don't, however, remember off the top of my head which ones, and I don't want to start looking through all my books to find which. If we had a database of bread recipes in books, I could do a search through the database and find out quickly which books have it. 

Of course there are two sides to this database. One is the supporting software; I have no skills that will help write it, except for giving suggestions. The second side is one that I can help with, entering information to the database. The database should be user-populated. I obviously don't own all bread books out there, but I own quite a few, and I can enter the information about my own books. Others can enter information on their books.

(At a later stage, people can also upload pictures of their execution of recipes, and those may be helpful as well).  

I think this could be a fantastic resource that should be integrated into the site. As I mentioned above, I will be happy to volunteer my time and help populate the database.

As an example, origami enthusiasts have a similar database, of origami models in published books. It, too, is user-populated. That database is also online. Check it out here: 

What do you guys think? Floyd, is this something you can do?


(And while I'm making site suggestions, before the holidays there was some discussion of a TFL book. Is that going to happen anytime soon?) 

Floydm's picture

Technically, that would be quite doable. The difficult thing for me would be finding the time to code it since it would be a couple of days work.

As far as interest: personally, it doesn't excite me much. I really enjoy flipping through my baking books and comparing similar recipes, so I think even if there was a digital database I'd do it the analog way. But I say this as a single member of the community here, not as admin, so if it interests other people, please say so. I'd be interested in gauging other's interest in something like that.

Yes, back in November I posted about us putting together something more structured here, something like a book. I'm still in favor of getting it started just, again, carving out time to do so is difficult. I'll try to pick it up again soon.

bshuval's picture

But sometimes I want to bake a certain bread, and I want a quick way to find which of my books have it.  

For instance, just yesterday my attention was captured by a recipe for limpa rye bread in a book. I wanted to see which other books of mine had recipes for this bread to compare.  

My bread blog:

Thegreenbaker's picture

Why not keep a set of reference cards?

Going by recipe name in alphabetical order. Then, beneath the name, write the book and page it is on.

That way, even if a digital database doesnt happen now or later, you still have a reasonably quick cross referencing system :)




KipperCat's picture

bshuval, I keep my personal databases like this in Excel. Not fancy, but they do for my purposes. Of course there is the problem that not everyone has the same versions of Excel. But, I was thinking that if you want to do this, people could email you the info for books you don't have, and you could compile it and post the file somewhere for people to download - or just upload to TFL the most updated listing by Bread Title occasionally. Off the top of my head, headings of Recipe Title, Main Grain (whole wheat, rye, white, spelt, etc.), Sourdough or Not, Book, Author and page no. would be a good start. It would be very easy to sort by any of those headings. I realize you could get a lot more detailed with database software. This is the kind of thing I might use if it were there, but am not excited about the chance for it.


~ KipperCat, in cold-induced stream of conciousness mode.

pumpkinpapa's picture

I like pouring over my books too and a database sounds nice but since I only did one small one on a site I could see doing a book would be much more interesting. For me even an ebook would be more enjoyable than a database.

Now I don't use the system TFL is working in but does it not plug into a database?

Floydm's picture

Yes, it does. MySQL.