The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Suggestions for Community Bakes

DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

Suggestions for Community Bakes

Ever since the influx of new bakers from the Corona Virus our Community Bakes have exploded in one respect and digressed in another. By that I mean that much fewer bakers have participated, but those that did were extremely active. In an effort to have more bakers join the event we are reaching out to everyone that may possibly be interested, and soliciting comments and suggestions.

  • What would you like to see in upcoming Community Bakes
  • In your opinion, are there any deterrents in past Community Bakes that prevented you from participation

The goal of all Community Bakes is learning together and from each other to bake a specific bread better. If anyone feels “unqualified” to join in, please understand, these bakes are not a competition. Every baker of any skill level is welcome and encouraged to join in. When it comes to flops and silly questions I am probably at the top of the list :-)

If you would consider participating in our Community Bakes, let us know how we can improve.

Danny

 

The following are links to our Community Bakes

 

idaveindy's picture
idaveindy

of the flatbread variety:

1. focaccia.

2. tortilla / chapati / piadina.  Flexible, thin, of the sort that can be used as a wrap.

3. pita.  With or without a pocket. Not wrapable like tortilla/chapati.

4. naan.

--

To those who might say that all flatbread should be lumped together, I would respond: "That's as silly as lumping all loaf bread together."

Ilya Flyamer's picture
Ilya Flyamer

Very good ideas. No lumping together! Focaccia and pita have approximately nothing in common, beyong being wheat breads.

Ilya Flyamer's picture
Ilya Flyamer

I was thinking would be nice to have some rye bread CB. The opposite of super-developed high gluten dough needed for Ciabatta :)

Tom M's picture
Tom M

I was thinking rye too, never having baked with it yet.  I’m more likely to participate if it doesn’t require much in the way of specialty ingredients, though.

Ilya Flyamer's picture
Ilya Flyamer

Great, I'm glad you would like that too! The variety of rye breads is huge, you can bake delicious breads with nothing fancy, as long as you have rye flour. Although they often include, for example molasses, or other slightly unusual things, I think we could define the CB widely enough not to require anything too hard to find.

Sean of the Bread's picture
Sean of the Bread (not verified)

1: Babka - is it bread or is it cake? This chocolatey yeasted bread/cake is delicious and there's some technical skill involved. Maurizio has a sourdough version. 

2: Challah - this enriched bread has a lovely plait design. Room for however many strands and different techniques one wishes to incorporate. 

3: Hamantaschen - an enriched dough with a poppy seed filling. Ilya's recent blog on his Grandmother's recipe is very similar. Traditional shape is a triangle. 

4: Pumpernickel - a long slow baked bread which uses coarsely ground rye. The process creates a sweet but dense bread.

Ilya Flyamer's picture
Ilya Flyamer

How about a rum baba then? :)

All sounds great though!

Sean of the Bread's picture
Sean of the Bread (not verified)

Sounds like a nice contender. Babka however is leavened and has elements of both bread and cake so thought it might be nice as a change from bread alone and it has room to explore and make one's own. Chocolate babka is the traditional however fillings can be up to the baker. Rum too! 

Ilya Flyamer's picture
Ilya Flyamer

Rum baba is a yeast cake - basically, a soft bread soaked in syrup (with rum or another spirit/liqueur, or not). So it's also leavened, and cake-y in function :) I'm not pushing it, just a thought.

suave's picture
suave

Baba au rhum and babka are two different things.

Ilya Flyamer's picture
Ilya Flyamer

Completely.

BXMurphy's picture
BXMurphy

Danny,

You are doing one helluva good job with the Community Bakes! Top notch. I love your patience and gentle guidance.

There are so many great (and advanced) bakers here. A few of you are so good that you've baked the same loaf a handful of times as you searched for perfection. And you shared what you learned amongst yourselves for all to see. Wonderful!

The last ciabatta bake comes to mind as I thought... gee, thats kind of overwhelming... I'll never be able to keep up with THAT! :)

What do you think of maybe a blog for advanced bakers and another for beginners? I think blogs might cut down on front page clutter at the least, so questions on other topics don't fall off the front page so quickly.

And, I think a beginner-friendly version for questions on basics can be handled by the different levels of "beginners"... from newbies to long-time occasional bakers.

Beats me how that would work but it's a thought. 

One thing for sure, though... Wow! Bread sure is cooler than I ever imagined! Reading the Community Bakes takes the Cool Factor up to levels never before seen by mankind!

Great job, everyone! Thank you for adding to this writer's knowledge and for providing an escape from all the worries of the world.

Yours truly,

Murph

idaveindy's picture
idaveindy

I always browse the full comments page (forums plus blogs) instead of just the comments part of the main page:

http://www.thefreshloaf.com/comments

 

BXMurphy's picture
BXMurphy

Idaveindy... how'd you do... oh, wait... the "More" link at the bottom of the Comments section on the front page!

Hmph. Neat! :) Who knew?

Thanks for pointing that out! I wish I was smart. Like you. And not dumb like they say... (Godfather riff. And then Fredo gets one in the hat.)

Murph

DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

Murph, “ What do you think of maybe a blog for advanced bakers and another for beginners? I think blogs might cut down on front page clutter at the least, so questions on other topics don't fall off the front page so quickly.”

I’m not sure I understand the Advanced/Novice separation. The Community Bakes (CB) are not targeted towards advanced bakers. Although it could certainly look that way. The large percentage of skilled bakers on the CB are simply due to mostly super avid and skilled bakers opting to join in. Also, many of the “Advanced Bakers” became “advanced” as they actively participated in the CBs. Take Dr. Benny Chang (aka benito) for example. He soared to stardom in the last year. By his own admission, the CBs had a great deal in assisting his learning process. The primary focus of this post is to determine how we can get more beginning bakers involved.

Your suggestion of moving the CB to a BLOG post is a great suggestion, with a single exception.BLOGS are setup in such a way as to NOT send email notifications to active participants in a particular topic when new post are made. I was very excited about that suggestion until I thought about the lack of email notifications. Bummer!

Keep thinking, Murph. Even though these ideas may not be feasible, your thought process is excellent. We need all the valuable input we can get.

The goal of the Community Bakes are to reach out and benefit all bakers in any stage of their baker adventures.

Thanks...
Danny

BXMurphy's picture
BXMurphy

Danny, thank you for being so kind and gentle with me and everyone else! Its more than I deserve. You're perfect for rounding up all the cats.

I share your passion to get even beginners like me involved.

It excites me to see the kind of crowd we have here from humble salesmen like me, to moms and chemists and doctors like Dr. B. It is just so very cool that everyone can let their hair down and just bake. Something. Even if it's just bird food.

For me, a CB is sensory overload. The emails crushed my inbox such that I mass deleted them. Yes, I suppose I could get a burner account from Gmail or figure out how to get a filter on my Samsung phone. I looked into the filter option and couldn't find it. Eh!

I'm probably at yellow-belt level baker. The heavy hitters, like you and others I think are Ninjas.

My thought was that white-belts through black-belts would muddle through and help one another as best they could. The Ninjas would deign to step in from their advanced moves and straighten out the mistakes of the black belts and below. And then the Ninjas could go back to their mountain-top enclave and incant words like, "bassinage."

After all... I am certainly not going to bake ten versions of the same bread in order to perfect it. I'll do two, max. And then give up and go back to my 123 No Knead, Do-Nothing signature bread (or whatever your signature is).

As I organize my thoughts (thank you for your patience), I think the issue is the emails. And you can't shut 'em off.

Maybe just a warning in the introduction along the lines of, "If you make a remark of any kind like, 'Wow, that looks delicious!,' you have opted in to the CB. As such, you agree to receive 300 emails in a joyous manner."

But, let's say you're a beginner and wouldn't mind 300 emails as long they don't include the words, "sprouted grains," or "scalded flour," or "5 days, 3 hours, 150 slaps and 37 folds later..." weeeellll... now I might jump in!

See what I mean? There are emails and then there is spam. It becomes spam from a CB when I'm a beginner and the email explains how to grow an acre of rye... because its the only way to make a ciabatta like they're doing in the community bake. And silly me,  I thought that I might like to try a ciabatta because I thought I was ready for it.

And now I'm humiliated and consigned to my signature 1-2-3 No Knead, Do-Nothing Bread. And I never want to see an epic Community Bake again. Ever!

So, how can we fix that? Can't we have a beginner CB and an advanced one?

All this with the greatest respect, love, and awe of this site and you, personally. I don't deserve your attention much less your reply. But I would receive either or both with humility and understanding.

Murph

 

Ilya Flyamer's picture
Ilya Flyamer

I don't know what the difference in the settings is, but I don't get emails about all posts in the CB - only replies to my posts or comments. Maybe it's the selection just below the comment entry area?

BXMurphy's picture
BXMurphy

Ilya... I'm going to choke you! :)

Why didn't I think of that? (See Godfather and Fredo riff above.)

<heavy sigh>

Thanks for solving my email problem!

Community Bakes need instructions (and warnings) for beginners.

I think part of the CB introduction should include concepts/skills and equipment necessary as a prerequisite.

Thoughts? 

Murph

Ilya Flyamer's picture
Ilya Flyamer

The CBs start with an example recipe and procedure, I think that's a good indication of prerequisites - but also I doubt there are hard requirements of equipment for any bread. Some tools might make your life easier, but when I started baking bread I had zero specialized equipment. Proving bread in a towel lined bowl. Scoring with a knife, and then upgraded to a snap-off blade box cutter. Now I have some nice kit, but people baked bread long before there were special baskets for proving, Dutch ovens or razor blades.

For the concepts and skills - well, that's what the CBs are for, aren't they? To learn and master new skills! I understand where you are coming from, I was really intimidated by the baguette CB (it had accumulated many pages and stunning bakes when I started hanging out here, and my baguettes were coming out flat as a pancake). But after I posted once here asking for help, well what do you think, my next baguette bake was spot on!

BXMurphy's picture
BXMurphy

The CBs help build skills. Absolutely correct! And you're also quite right that all you really need is at the end of your arms... heck, I just put a 123 bread into an old t-shirt, stuck it in a bowl, and shoved it into the fridge. 

Not quite according to instructions but it'll be fine...

What can I tell you? Danny wanted feedback on getting newbies into a CB. I'm new-ish. My eyes glaze right over when I see these teeny-tiny spreadsheets at the top of the post with even smaller half-point text, too many words, arithmetic, and multi-colors. I ain't doing it.

I have a powerful-enough laptop to handle video editing and a college degree to get through formulas. I've been around. But I'm just not that hard core enough that I'm willing to pound my head past the introduction and through the spreadsheet to actually start a weekend bake.

I can't even imagine a soccer mom juggling a job, kids, after school activities... and sleep. That is Uber Woman.

Want feedback to attract newbies? Gotta be simpler, more accessible, and less technical. But then, it wouldn't be any fun for Ninjas like you.

That's why I think separate CBs are important.

Here's what a newbie does. I did it....

"Hmph. Chiabababatta! That sounds like fun. Wonder what it is?? Might taste good, though! Scroll, scroll... spreadsheet... alquwatt jar.... sprouted bread... leave on counter overnight for mold... nice picture! Look at all these words! Buh-bye."

Maybe Danny should recognize that attracting newbies is left up to the newbie to decide?

But... I can tell you this... you have some of the best posts on here. They are well-considered, concise, and so very helpful. I can that tell you know what you are doing.

But, so far, I haven't dug deep enough into a CB to read some of your BEST!

My very warmest, 

Murph

Ilya Flyamer's picture
Ilya Flyamer

This is great feedback, and must be exactly what Danny was looking for! I don't know how the CBs will develop from here, but it's surely great food for thought.

I am glad my posts are helpful to you Murph, but I am no ninja! Especially in the latest CB, I am yet to produce an open crumb ciabatta after 3 tries.

DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

Murph, your comments are once again very helpful. They give me a perspective that I haven’t thought much about. I am very aware that these Community Bakes are unable to appeal to every baker in all circumstances. The picture you painted of an average home baker that wants hot bread prepared in the most simplistic way is not what the CBs are targeted towards. After reading your post, I can clearly see that the CBs are far more avid bakers that want to improve their skills at a particular bread and strive towards some degree of excellence. This is not a put down of those bakers. The Community Bakes can’t possibly fulfill the desires of every baker.

It maybe you hit the nail on the head... Since Covid a great influx of bakers joined the forum. That’s a great thing. Many of the avid old timers seem to have drifted away. I miss those guys and gals :-( 

My initial concern about lack of participation among the new group of incoming bakers was that the CBs were becoming cliquesh. That new bakers might be intimidated by the caliber of breads that were being baked. That the events were some sort of competition and that new bakers were possibly intimidated. After reading your post and giving that thought, that may not be a large issue. It may simply be that many of the newer bakers just want to bake good bread and enjoy the health benefits and great flavor derived from them. That is definitely a noble endeavor. 

But for those that want to sharpen their skills and strive for excellence the Community Bakes are a viable option. If any bakers, novice or pro wants to participate, know that you are welcomed with opened arms. You don’t need to be obsessed as some of us are. You can join in a bake a single loaf and bow out, or bake your heart out. There is camaraderie and help for everyone at any skill level and with any degree of desire of outcome.

For those that have actively participated in the latest Community Bakes, the activity has been phenomenal! The Baguette CB has recorded a whopping 2,170 post at this point and time and is increasing. The present Ciabatta bake has already grown to 380 replies. Participation is at an all time high, I was only hoping to have more individual bakers join in for the ride.

Thanks for the input,
Danny

BethJ's picture
BethJ

If I could upvote your comments, Murph, I would.  Your comments certainly represent my perspective.  I've often thought about a CB-Lite for the rest of us.  I'm an amateur baker, but no newbie.  I'm not looking to bake the perfect loaf, just a good loaf, eat it, and then bake again.

I would love to see any CB-Lite version in conjunction with a calendar.  The few CB's I've considered doing have come on so fast and exploded so quickly with highly technical information that I've basically bagged the idea of participating.

I would be looking for the "community" in community bakes.  See?  Here's my ciabatta.  See?  Show me yours.  I like the look of  it- how'd ya' do it?  Great idea!

DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

Why doesn’t one or more people get together and start an event that would better fulfill your needs? If you want, I am willing to provide hands off help. I am too busy to get intimately involved.

This could be the start of something great. Why not communicate among yourselves and enlist volunteers?

The Community Bakes as it stands serves a particular service to certain bakers. The purpose of this post was to gather useful information as to how we might enlist new bakers and gain more participants. It’s success goes back to September 2018. It seems many bakers on this post were not served well, but the thousands of post on past CBs overwhelmingly mention successful bakes and gratitude for the events.

The Community Bakes are alive and thriving, and everyone is welcome and encouraged to join...

alfanso's picture
alfanso

Hi Beth,

Point quite well taken.  As a principal in the prior CB - baguettes, I feel comfortable addressing your concerns.

Perhaps Dan is spacing the CBs too close together, one on top of another.  Which is okay for me and a number of others, but as you point out, doesn't leave some with time enough to come up for air.  

Of course, there is no "required" participation, no scolding or spanking of those who demur from participation.  I've probably skipped about half of them myself, so far without Dan getting on my case or me feeling the pressure of failing to commit ;-) .

You may well be aware that all prior CBs are still active, regardless of the distance in time since they were previously front and center.  Always referenced in the CB's introductory post.  And anyone who participated in those and did not specifically opt out of receiving notifications will continue to receive them.  Hence, the base of all previous participants is still intact and hopefully still willing to comment, assist and foster any care and feeding you may desire.

Unless someone steps forward to assume the mantle, I don't think that there will likely be a CB-Lite.  There may be a lot of clamor and "need" for it, but it surely doesn't seem to be a reality without a caretaker and lead person - or rotating lead persons.

A question may be how to segregate the "Lite" from the current?  How to stop folks who like to get into the weeds from doing so on a CB-Lite?  Folks are going to post what they want, ask the same questions and provide solutions and likely post multiple versions as they improve.  And that "spiraling effect may continue.

It is also true that while a core base of  the more dedicated participants have greater free-time via being retired or empty nesters, or with lesser work commitments, there are many whose participation may be limited to weekend warrior status and can feel overwhelmed.  A question may also be how to maintain a participation balance between these two quite diverse groups of bakers while attempting to separate the wheat from the chaff? (a sneaky little reference point designed to amuse myself!)

Unless there's a two post rule before shooing someone away, I'm not so sure that the concept will be sustainable.  Where does the facilitator draw the line between "here's my ciabatta, show me yours" vs.  sustained comments, corrections, suggestions, reworks, etc.

If you were to go the route of posting only the simplest of breads on the Lite pages, I think there might be even less interest.  Understand that I'm not making a judgement call or taking sides, but asking what I consider to be some questions that should at least be considered in advance of a launch.

By no means do I think that your suggestion is a poor one, or that I'm attempting to dissuade you.  Next steps would be to identify a facilitator and then engage with others to figure out a framework and "rules of engagement" to ensure that it isn't just a repeat of something that already has legs.

Dan has already graciously agreed to provide some limited training wheels so that the wheel does not need to be reinvented.

I'd like to read your further thoughts on the matter.

alan

BethJ's picture
BethJ

Hi, Alfanso and Dan.

Thanks so much for taking the time to read my post, and for the thoughtful responses. 

I agree that the feasibility of a CB Lite (for lack of a better term) is dependent foremost on someone willing to moderate it.  It would certainly be a task to keep any such board (for lack of a better word) true to its mission statement.  As I am not that person, I probably shouldn’t advocate much for its existence.

I enjoy TFL in all its aspects for what it is, and have learned much here over the years, despite not posting often nor participating in the CB.  I am a better baker as a result, and credit the TFL community with helping to make that happen.  Many thanks!

BXMurphy's picture
BXMurphy

Beth, in my view, that's the perfect way to approach the limitations and highlights of this place. 

Its very, very cool here. I love it! We even had a guy like Dan ask for suggestions!! Not bad, huh?

I'll tell you what, though... if you want to do a bread with a newer guy like me, I'm in.

I'm working my way through a 123 bread with a brand new starter. Its probably too weak at this point but I am doing it anyway because lurking ain't an option for me.

Danny says to don't be afraid of dredging up the old thread. If you are of the mind, ill see you over there. (That'll teach 'em! :) )

Murph

DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

Once you post your bakes we will receive notifications. If you want help we’re available. The origin of the 123 SD is interesting. It is in the OP.  The originator of this super popular bread is Flo Makanai. She posted during the initial phase.  Wishing you both great success!

Danny

DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

Thanks, for the instructions, Ilya!

Murph makes a very valid point. In an attempt to educate users to the email notification options I will add his instructions to the current CB, with the plan to add it to all future Community Bakes. I can see how aggravating it can be to be barraged with unwanted emails.

Thanks, Ilya...

UPDATE - Change has been made to the latest CB. Below is a copy.

******* PLEASE READ *******
Some of the Community Bakes get very large with many post. If a user replies to ANY post in the CB they will be receive email notifications for all new replies. If you post a reply and later you find that the notifications are more than you would like you can either (1) opt out or (2) recieve replies to your post only. See image below of what was added to the bottom of the OP.

BXMurphy's picture
BXMurphy

Danny and Ilya. Good work on that.

May i suggest pulling that out of the introduction and into a separate FAQ post? Do, however, stick a link to the FAQ in every introduction. 

For me, the opening of a CB needs less of a wall of words and more assuring words. For a newbie.

You know... sell it!

Danny is very, very close with the intro. Very close!!

I loved the intro to the 123 bread but then a link to detailed instructions pointed back to the post. The "recipe" was a bit helter-skelter that I missed the levain build instructions but I can build a 100g leavain. No problem for me. A newbie? Dunno. 

I can't remember if the ciabatta had a spreadsheet or not but some CBs do. They are so small and detailed as to be useless on a hand-held device. Might as well leave 'em out in order to make the intro more welcoming and salable.

I can't believe that folks as accomplished and serious as Danny and Ilya would even take these suggestions seriously. That they would even comment on them sends me over the moon! Your generosity will be forever etched into my heart.

With gratitude, 

Murph

BXMurphy's picture
BXMurphy

Hey, Danny... here's a thought, too.

What about a calendar of upcoming bakes? And a rating system?

I always find a CB start as abrupt. Because I'm newer and don't have a system, a comfort level, all the flours, pots, pans, techniques... I dunno. Its just intimidating when you're new. You don't want to look like a dummy or fall behind. I'm used to that but others maybe not so much.

Advance warning... maybe a blog or forum just for the calendar itself... discussion on what to expect... who the target audience is... history topics could be fun (about the region or something interesting...)

Then folks could pick a bake in advance, practice on their own... ask questions in preparation... and on bake day/week/month, be prepared to compare notes and perfect the loaf.

I know, I know... it destroys the notion of a community bake but peeps ask questions about particular breads here anyway.

Just a thought...

Murph

Ilya Flyamer's picture
Ilya Flyamer

Oh, another idea, even more out there, perhaps - not even baked (can it be part of Community Bakes?): steamed buns! Like Baozi https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Baozi

I definitely wanted to try them, and since they can have any filling it won't be boring to repeat the same "bake" over and over (and I mean not boring to eat, obviously perfecting a bread is fun for us, but constantly eating the same type of bread is less fun).

Tom M's picture
Tom M

Yes!

Benito's picture
Benito

Love this idea, other than using some Asian ingredients such as miso and koji rice and making a Hokkaido Milk bread, I’ve not made any Asian breads.  I’d be interested in making bao or other Asian style buns, that would be quite cool. 

You’re right Ilya, the variety of bao that one can make is limited only by one’s imagination.

Benny

BXMurphy's picture
BXMurphy

"Hokkaido Milk bread?" Koji rice? Hah! :) Can you imagine a newbie!?!

Yeah, Danny... consider giving up the idea about attracting newbies! I recommend that you keep doing what you're doing that keeps the site interesting to Hokkaido Ninjas. Newbies will salivate and figure it out on our own.

I tip my hat to folks who can even spell that!

Tapping out with a hearty nighty-night to all,

Murph

Bred Maverick's picture
Bred Maverick

perhaps I am alone in this issue but I do find it very difficult to navigate on the freshloaf website. For instance, I do not see a way to jump down to the very last post, but rather have to scroll page after page.

also, apparently a post is limited to one photograph. I do not see the mechanism for adding several photos per post.

DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

Diane, you should be able to post as many images as you want. What happens when you attempt to add a second image?

Site navigation -
Floyd set the forum up years ago, never dreaming it would grow this large. He stays busy working on “paying projects”. 

Bred Maverick's picture
Bred Maverick

it will only allow me to upload one photo. That’s it

DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

What happens when to attempt to upload the second image?

BXMurphy's picture
BXMurphy

Yeah... they use Drupal, I believe, for the software. It is scary powerful! Good choice! 

The problem is they need professional developers to beat it into submission. To get all the bells and whistles. And who has time and money for all that?

If it were me, I would export the database (nothing more than rows and columns like a spreadsheet) and import to phpBB. Even that is a bugger.

I think phpBB is more suitable for an out-of-the-box forum solution. But, again, who has the time and money?

In fact, I bet phpBB wasn't available when this place first started up. Certainly, it wasn't as good as Drupal. And then you have to consider how long phpBB will be around and actively developed... Drupal is solid and time-tested.

This place is great, though. I don't think you can find this quality of knowledge and community anywhere else. You just have to work at it. No biggie. Back to baking...

Murph

idaveindy's picture
idaveindy

You can do multiple images, both in a main post and in comments.

It's the 7th icon from the left at the top of the edit box.

The "image" text  button  above the subject line of an original post (ie, not a comment) is a "primary" image.  That 7th icon over can be used instead of or in addition to the "primary" image. 

The "primary" image is the only one shown on the line of images on the front page labeled "bread browser."

--

To see the new comments on a thread which you commented on, go to the Track tab of your user account page, and click on the word "new" 

Some people will leave a comment that says "follow", just so as to use this feature.

--

To see the last comment on a thread that you did not comment on, there are several ways:

1) if it is active, go to the comments page ("more" link at the end of the comments section of main page), and just scroll down until you see a comment on that thread.

2) bookmark the thread on TFL, and view your bookmarks to go there. 

3) bookmark the thread on your browser. If it goes over one page, create a new bookmark for the last page, delete previous bookmark.

4) you may have to scroll down and use the page navigation tool bar of multi page posts.

--

FloydM is open to suggestions, but remember this is not his paying gig.

Bred Maverick's picture
Bred Maverick

Thanks idaveindy for the comprehensive Explanation on how to navigate the website. It’s possible because I use my iPad that the interface is different enough to cause A challenge. However, I will print up your directions, and go from there.

And yes, I am totally cognizant and appreciative and grateful for all the hard work Dan puts into this website! I have been baking  bread for decades and decades and decades, way before it was popular. it is gratifying to be part of a community where politics is not an ingredient.

idaveindy's picture
idaveindy

Web developers, such as Floyd, are tech-nerds.  As a tech-nerd myself (firmly "on the spectrum") I am comfortable in this style of web site.

Based on your profile photo, and communication style, I'm guessing you are an English-major/artist type. If so, I am aware of your frustration in this environment, as I have had to train a lot of non-techies in my various jobs. 

The world needs all kinds.

Bred Maverick's picture
Bred Maverick

It’s a long spectrum, and yes, having taught English for 35 years ++, you could say I am on the English major/artist type. My late husband, a brilliant engineer, approached everything by assessing “what could possibly go wrong”. definitely an important mindset to anticipate potential problems. However, all my breads were baked to “perfection”!  :-)

Artist type, yep. I recently taught myself macro photography, not realizing how incredibly challenging that is for someone who never took photographs before. Now I am slogging through Adobe Photoshop Elements.

Dan, If you’re reading this. My ciabatta was baked at 460°, and never browned. I’m glad I tried the recipe, but it’s not a repeat for me :-) 

alfanso's picture
alfanso
DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

Alan, I don’t think your link is correct. But when searching Google as you suggested it RETURNS THIS.

alfanso's picture
alfanso

Search google for hamelman sourdough seed bread and select the link that starts with "app.ckbk.com".  See if that works.

idaveindy's picture
idaveindy

that link goes to a page that appears to require membership to view. If you are not logged in (it checks for a cookie), then the website takes you to the main page where you can log in or join.

IOW, it's behind a "paywall", even if membership is free.

Alan is apparently a member. Dan and I are not.

alfanso's picture
alfanso

I had visited the website previously, months ago, and probably not for this bread.  But I did try out the suggestion just above for veracity,  and it worked for me.

Oh well, try my post on for size...  

* As Groucho said "I refuse to join any club that would have me as a member"

isand66's picture
isand66

A nice deli Jewish deli rye would be a good idea.  I get more views on my blog for my Jewish rye than anything else.  I also agree hat Challah would be a good one.  I think pretzel rolls would also be a good idea.  

MTloaf's picture
MTloaf

A semolina/durham bread or since the weather is cool croissants. 

I would like to think that there are many people who follow and learn from the CBs without posting and that they become a reference for bakers in the future.

idaveindy's picture
idaveindy

"A semolina/durham bread or since the weather is cool croissants. "

With all that good durum wheat they grow in Montana, why would you have wheat or flour shipped all the way from North Carolina?  That's just bull. ;P

(Sorry, couldn't resist.)

MTloaf's picture
MTloaf

All the semolina grown in MT gets exported. In fact I haven't seen it on the shelves here since March. Of course we are a minor league market;-)

DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

From what I’ve gleaned from the comments on this topic, the choice of bread wouldn’t make a huge difference in attracting more participants. If we feature “bread A” a few people will be thrilled, but most others won’t. Same with “Bread B”. It seems the obsessive tendencies of our CBs are off putting to some.

  • It seems that many of the bakers that have voiced their opinions are not striving for excellence like some of us that are obsessed with perfection. No problem with that for sure. A number of replies stated that they would like a different approach and/or goal. My suggestion to this concern is to have members of this post get together and start an event that meets their needs.
  • Some have elected to bake a loaf or two and are satisfied with their results and want to leave, go on and do other things. Their irritation is the constant barrage of email notifications that won’t stop as a result of replying to the CB. For that issue, an illustration and explanation will be provided on future CBs to educate the users how this can be easily stopped.

****************So, are there any volunteers willing to take the reins and head up an event that satisfies the desires of this different type of bakers?****************

MTloaf's picture
MTloaf

You raise them however you like. If email notice was auto off vs on it would be less of a hassle. Some of this could be improved I suppose with better software that kept us from dominating the home page.

I enjoy learning to make better bread through a collaborative process and sharing what I have learned along the way. If it's the intimate group that we have that sustains it, fine. We always welcome new bakers and encourage participation. I'd rather be doing it here than some Zuckerberg facepalm kingdom.

I seem to remember back in the day at TFL that some of the posts would organically turn into community bakes that proceeded along the lines of what the CBs are doing now. I like the concept as it is but if you wanted to make it interesting we could turn it into a Survivor Island Great British Baking, Iron Chef elimination battle royal of the bakers with celebrity judges! 

Stay safe and watch out for the greek alphabet hurricanes 

Sean of the Bread's picture
Sean of the Bread (not verified)

What was the original question again? Becoming unnecessarily complicated. What would you like to see for the next community bake? I think it was! 

Seems like all that's needed is to pick a recipe and run with it. Those who wish to join in can and for those who this particular recipe doesn't appeal won't. 

I like Alfanso's reply. Not because if the recipe itself but because of how the question was answered.

Isand66 has an excellent response too. Straight forward and to the point. 

Cannot begin to decipher what else is going on. 

BXMurphy's picture
BXMurphy

The OP asked two unrelated questions and got unrelated answers in a single thread.

But we still love him...

Murph

kendalm's picture
kendalm

I would be into this if it were a CM - https://youtu.be/stoPYwdPU-E

kendalm's picture
kendalm
ifs201's picture
ifs201

I like the rye idea mentioned by others! 

gavinc's picture
gavinc

I like the suggestion of Hamelman's sourdough seed bread. I baked it in August this year, but I had room for improvement. Would love to learn from the experienced bakers.

Cheers,

Gavin.

CelesteU's picture
CelesteU

Would love to see a rye community bake---or buckwheat.  I've got a supply of both flours sitting in my freezer and need some inspiration to get baking with them.

albacore's picture
albacore

Rye gets my vote. I've made a few rye loaves, but always struggle to make something I'm really happy with. So I need practice!

Probably something not too hard core, so it has a wider appeal; as others have mentioned, a Jewish deli rye might fit the bill. But I think it should have a proper rye sour starter.

Lance

Benito's picture
Benito

I’d be interested in a rye bake too, I’ve never done a rye bread.

peacecow's picture
peacecow

As someone new and less active on the site, I appreciate the wealth of information in the community bakes. I don't think there's necessarily a need to change the set up except maybe more notice before a new bake and instructions on using the site as mentioned.

For me, the limiting factors are time and interest. I'm usually baking or cooking something more elaborate on the weekend, so when the community bake is active isn't necessarily when I have the time to do it.

I am interested in making some of the community bakes, and plan to go through the threads then. Thanks for running them!

BXMurphy's picture
BXMurphy

My suggestion is to do a dabrownman bread. Any one will do.

That man's breads are so imaginative, free-wheeling, fun, and... challenging. I'll bet dollars to doughnuts that even the best bakers here couldn't beat him for on-the-fly, technical skills.

Do a sprout, scald, and yeast water all at once.

Murph

albacore's picture
albacore

I had a thought about the community bakes which I'd like to share.

Danny has spent a lot of time and effort building up the community bakes and they are extremely well supported as can be seen from all the comments and actual bakes that members do.

This is great, but I do think that sometimes the result is that the CB garners so much interest that other new posts don't always get the attention that they otherwise would have done, had a CB not been running.

Just my 2d.

Lance

alfanso's picture
alfanso

Dan and I have been mulling over how to minimize or eliminate the overhead on the Recent Comments section.  We think that there is a workable solution that Dan is hot on the trails of.  I'm just an interested bystander.  Dan is the Man!

albacore's picture
albacore

That will help Alan, but I also think there is an element of minds being elsewhere.....

Lance

BXMurphy's picture
BXMurphy

Dan works very, Very, VERY hard at building the overwhelmingly successful Community Bakes into one of the most popular features at The Fresh Loaf!

Congratulations and gratitude are most appropriate.

He asked for, received, and is acting on the feedback of 3-4 users at TFL. It would be unfortunate if a handful of non-participants upset the bakers that have made the CBs the success that it is.

He might consider soliciting feedback from the participants in his recent and active Community Bake as well.

Murph

Abe's picture
Abe

I'd like to see a rye bread community bake perhaps something from The Rye Baker who is on TFL and he can advise. Another idea is to get a TFL'er to come up with their own recipe. 

BXMurphy's picture
BXMurphy

Abe,

I love this idea and proposed a Dabrownman Special per above. He had the skills to pull off something esoteric like that and kick it up a few notches with 25% rye, 75% bread flour, caraway seeds and 3% espresso powder to hit the bottom notes.

He'd toast and powder some walnuts and dry some apricots from the tree in his backyard (of course!) and find a way to work those into a moist crumb, thin, crisp crust bread that could soak up gravy and push mashed potatoes around a Thanksgiving plate.

And he'd it have on the table in short order - he has a week to figure it out!

Dabrownman has the chops to do that, too. Do you know anybody else who can do that?

But, given that Thanksgiving is fast approaching, why not do a Community Bake on the always-requested dinner roll?

This CB will introduce sourdough bakers to enrichments and instant dry yeast bakers to sourdough. Where the two seldom meet.

The best part? Dan could work this into an annual calendar of bakes where November's bake is done. It's a template. Rinse and repeat. Year in and year out. Never giving it a second thought. Should Dan take a breather, someone else could run a November Dinner Roll Community Bake.

This is short notice for this year but... if it needs rising... shouldn't a natural yeast be able to raise a loaf just as well as instant dry yeast? Can the two camps learn something from each other?

Murph

DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

Alan (alfanso) has agreed to take the helm of our Community Bakes. I can use the break and Alan is an accomplished baker. 

I hope that everyone who submitted suggestions will actively participate and make a successful event even more successful.

Danny

Ilya Flyamer's picture
Ilya Flyamer

Danny, thank you for organizing them until now, it was greatly appreciated and very well done!

I am sure Alan will have a hard time replacing you, but he is such a great baker, it is an exciting new beginning!

Abe's picture
Abe

...in the community bakes Dan. Is this just a break? We appreciate all you have done and hope to see you back soon! 

Welcome Alan. Looking forward to see what ideas you have in mind. 

gavinc's picture
gavinc

Danny, thanks for your effort and inspiration. I hope you keep joining in the CB's.

Cheers,

Gavin.

Benito's picture
Benito

Dan, I want to thank you so much for your time, energy and endless enthusiasm you’ve shown here.  It was because of the CB that I really learned to bake sourdough bread.  I hope this is just a temporarily break that you’re taking and that you’ll still be involved with TFL, it wouldn’t be the same without you.

Benny

alfanso's picture
alfanso

A huge thanks to Dan, who dreamed up and organized each of the dozen or so bakes on TFL.  It is clear that many of those who participated, still do and will do so in the future, even just those peeking it to take a look, prosper.  As such Dan has had a significant influence and impact on the community at large.  We two have had a lot of communication between us, as I’m certain he has had and will continue to have with many of you.  In those most recent conversations Dan asked if I could step in and organize a few Community Bakes, certainly to take us to the end of this year and into 2021.

And thank you everyone who was kind enough to offer your suggestions.  The range was wide and varied.  There are an endless number of bread possiblities for the CB.  However, I'd like to select something that can be viewed as universally appealing.  Given our past CBs and your input, I am asking you to vote on one of these 4 bread categories.  There is no specific bread here, however, if I get a clear interest, I’ll select something from that category for our next CB.

  1. pain au levain style bread
  2. rye based dough, along the lines of an American or Jewish-style rye.
  3. seed/nut and/or fruit based dough
  4. grain based dough


I’m certainly willing to entertain the consensus, but please don’t offer anything more specific than one of the four categories above, or any bread type other than one of the four choices above.  And please reply only once. 

At the end of next week, I’ll review the feedback and then consider a bread in that category that I hope most will enjoy trying their hand at.  Unfortunately, it is impossible to please everyone, but based on past CB enthusiasm, we can hopefully continue to want to participate.  And grow.

There has been discussion about how to best corral the number of responses to the CBs that on more than an occasion “clog up” the Recent Comments half of the top page.  With input from and Floyd’s blessing, at this time we’ll continue on our current course.  Floyd has expressed pleasure at the enthusiasm displayed and sees no reason to alter the course at this time.

Once more, by end of next week, please submit one category that you would like to explore for the next CB.

Thanks,
alan

Abe's picture
Abe

Thank you Alan for narrowing it down. I'm torn between the rye as we've never done one before as a community bake, and I do love a good rye bread, and the seed/nut and/or fruit based dough as you know how much I like those too. 

After I bit of thought I'll vote rye. It was my original choice with the fruit, nut or seed bread just distracting me for a moment there. 

I do like this open vote. No room for accusations 😉

Benito's picture
Benito

Alan, thanks so much for taking the reins of the CB, hopefully you’ll have no regrets about it.  I know you’ll do a great job with running the CB, hopefully it won’t be too much like herding cats!

I agree with Abe, let’s do a rye bread of some sort, I’ve never done rye and it would be a good thing to learn.

Benny

Tom M's picture
Tom M

A vote for rye.  Thanks, Alan!

—Tom

gavinc's picture
gavinc

I vote for rye-based dough CB. I originally thought a seed bread, but on reflection, I like the idea of rye. We have recently baked a Pain au Levain with whole-wheat flour to kick off the baguette CB.

Cheers,

Gavin.

 

Ilya Flyamer's picture
Ilya Flyamer

Thank you Alan for stepping up to run the CB in Danny's place!

Seems like there is a consensus so far, and I proposed rye in the beginning, so I'll also support that. Not exactly sure what American or Jewish Deli Rye bread is, but if it has rye it must be good!

alfanso's picture
alfanso

Rye flour in itself is an unwieldy animal.  In any great percentage of the overall four, it can become a difficult and sticky trick to handle well.  Rye also doesn't possess the standard combination of gluten proteins.  If you have access to Jeffrey Hamelman's Bread he writes up the characteristics of the flour on page 40 of the 2nd edition, but it should be easy to find this info elsewhere.

My reference to European types of breads like some French and German style rye breads which may be difficult to handle, request atypical ingredients (rye chops for instance) "need" a loaf pan, require baking for extraordinary periods of time at very low temperatures or "must' settle for 24 or more hours prior to slicing.

My idea of finding something that can be universally appealing rather than universally appalling would be to steer clear of the above types of bakes.

Ilya Flyamer's picture
Ilya Flyamer

How much rye is in deli rye? Whole, medium, or light? There seems to be a variety of recipes for that, not sure which one people generally expect...

I understand the issues with high % rye flour - but IMO that would be the main point, to learn how to deal with rye dough better, which requires different techniques (like baguettes required special shaping and scoring, and ciabattas require well developed gluten and high hydration with minimal handling of the dough). And you can make delicious 100% rye with no special ingredients (although mostly would be baked in bread tins, but it's also not necessary, plenty of rye breads are traditionally made as hearth loaves, and even the famous Borodinsky, apparently, was baked free standing originally with 100% rye).

But then again, I don't know what people like, and what you as the helmsman think should be the goals of a CB. In Russia and Eastern/Northern Europe very rich (close to 100%) dark rye breads are the norm, with anything in between 0-100% also widely available and popular - so I'm open to anything, of course, and I am sure deli rye bread is also delicious! Just my 2 cents.

idaveindy's picture
idaveindy

In Ginsberg's ITJB, Inside the Jewish Bakery,

Old School Jewish Deli Rye is 41% rye,

Mild Jewish Deli Rye is 20%,

New York Sweet Rye is 48% white rye flour, and yeasted not sourdough.

That's not even touching on Pumpernickel and Black Bread.

In Greenstein's Secrets of a Jewish Baker, "Jewish Rye" ( no "deli" in the name), is 25% white rye flour.

All non-rye flour is usually "first clear flour" which is a high extraction, high protein wheat flour. "first clear flour" can be approximated by a mix of white bread flour and whole wheat flour, but I don't know the ratio.

--

In the two books, Jewish Kornbroyt, or Jewish Corn Rye, is from 25% to 50% rye. 

--

The rye chapter from ITJB is $2.99 US in Kindle format, normal price.

--

"Secrets of a Jewish Baker" goes on sale for US $4.99/Kindle on a regular basis.

alfanso's picture
alfanso

in people's choices, it will be rye.  I'm thinking about using three separate formulae as starting off points, allowing the burgeoning CB cognoscenti on TFL to either follow the leader and/or determine in which direction they'll want to take their mixes and bakes.  And then to make it their own.  

The likely list of choices to work from as of now...

  1. A "one day" NY Deli style rye that uses a sponge
  2. A "true NY Deli style rye with a three stage rye sour build
  3. A faux NY Deli style rye with 100% AP levain

The handling of the dough between the first and the third is worlds apart!  So if you want to find out what it's like herding cats, #1 ain't a bad place to find yourself in!

gavinc's picture
gavinc

I usually grind my stone-ground rye flour, however, I've been reading Hamelman's Three Stage 70 Percent Sourdough Rye that I was thinking to do for the next rye CB (if that's what's chosen). However, the formula states "medium rye flour". I've baked the Deli Rye Bread recipe with good success by adjusting the hydration to compensate for the stone-ground rye. But, the three-stage rye sourdough development is more complex. I'm thinking of either increasing the bread flour and lowering the rye or adjusting the hydration at each stage of the sourdough development.

What is your suggestion?

Cheers,

Gavin

 

 

albacore's picture
albacore

I Mockmill and then use sieves to get lighter grades of rye flour.

I have a #40 sieve and a #50 sieve. I work on the theory that #40 gives me something like medium rye and the #50 gives me light rye. I can also go for darker versions by using non-graded mesh kitchen sieves.

Sifting does seem to loose a lot with rye though - with the #50 you need to go through the #40 first or the #50 blocks up quickly.

You can always use the middlings for dusting bannetons and the bran for Nukazuke.

Lance

gavinc's picture
gavinc

Thanks Lance. Great suggestions. I'll look-out for a #40 sieve.

Cheers,

Gavin.

 

albacore's picture
albacore

Well done Danny for your tireless dedication to the Community Bake. I know whenever I submitted my latest bake, whether good, bad (often!) or middlin, it would get a constructive response from Danny within minutes and the same was true for everybodys' bakes. You have really built up the CB from nothing to being a very revered and highly appreciated item.

And well done Alan for being willing to take up the reins. I know the CB will be in expert hands - the consistency and quality of the loaves you produce is second to none!

Lance

alfanso's picture
alfanso

Thanks.  No rush, but you didn't voice a category in your comment.

albacore's picture
albacore

I was going to do it in a separate post and - no surprise - it's rye!

MTloaf's picture
MTloaf

So that is how a transition is supposed to work! Well done to both of you and to the republic for which it stands.

It looks like rye is the choice of the lumpenproletariat so maybe the rye chapter in Hammelmans' Bread. To paraphrase another deposed ruler, "Let them eat Volkornbrot"

alfanso's picture
alfanso

Mlle. Antoinette, but the guillotine blade was rusty and needed sharpening.  Instead, I filed a false report to the FBI of Dan's collection of Bread Porn on his computer.  We won't be bothered by him anytime soon!

Actually Dan just needed a break from being point man, and in conversations ask if I would like to take the reins/reign for a while.

In consideration of his considerable contribution coinciding coincidentally with conjoining cooperation, no covert conspiring, rather concurrence. 

Our Crumb's picture
Our Crumb

Thanks Alan 👍 and Thanks Danny 🙏.

I vote RYE.  Not a hard core Borodisky but more like a Tzitzel -- one with just enough Secale cereale in it to introduce the special handling it requires.  Maybe you could convince Varda to make a Special Guest Appearance.  Or Stanley G for that matter.

I'd been wanting to nominate Bagels for a CB.  Maybe someday.

Good and safe holiday to everyone.

-Tom

alfanso's picture
alfanso

considering it seems to require a "unique strain" of the SD starter.  However, it might be fun to introduce the rye sour technique, if the prevailing voices so far continue with their rye obsessiveness ;-) .  

I've only made the true rye sour a few times based on the Snyder/Greenstein method, although I regularly bake a "Jewish-stye" rye bread from my 100% AP levain.  

Our Crumb's picture
Our Crumb

Yep. Basic deli sounds like the ticket. Something like Eric’s.  TFL sort of  had a CB with that when he passed.

t

pmccool's picture
pmccool

Using Eric's Fav Rye would be excellent, either the original or the onion version.

Paul

alfanso's picture
alfanso

But the time the ferry I was on pulled into port at Isle TFL Eric, sadly, was already deceased.  So I never saw any interaction between him and others, although I had the suspicion that he was a most popular inhabitant of the Isle and one who the other occupants sorely missed.

If the vote continues to be a Hugo Chavez style lopsided election victory for rye, perhaps a tribute bake to Eric would be in order!  Always willing to acknowledge those whose footsteps we now tread on.  My "true" deli rye short history begins and ends with David's adaptation of Greenstein's Rye Sour:

pmccool's picture
pmccool

But I think that Eric's imprint on TFL has been deeper.  Not that that is a reason to use his bread for the CB, mind you.  It's a good touchpoint for both the old-timers like me and for newer arrivals, too.  Oh, and the bread is really good, too!

I could make a case for Reinhart's NY Deli Rye from BBA but I'm not so certain that it would be an accurate representation of the category.  Besides, I think it calls for white rye flour, which is not easy to source.  I typically use whole rye, instead, which means that I'm making a somewhat different bread.

Whatever selection you make will have an enthusiastic response, I'm sure.

Paul

isand66's picture
isand66

That would be my vote.