The Fresh Loaf

A Community of Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts.

Dan Lepard's Sour Cream Sandwich Loaf

Anonymous baker's picture
Anonymous baker (not verified)

Dan Lepard's Sour Cream Sandwich Loaf

I was skimming The Guardian's website and found Dan Lepard's Sour Cream Sandwich Loaf.

Knowing I had a huge Costco container of sour cream, I decided to make it.

Result: Very pleased! So simple (a total of about 5 minutes of actual "work") and the "dough feel" was a revelation, especially after so little kneading.

Here's the Americanized recipe (+ an added retardation stage (overnight rise)): I wanted a fresh loaf that could go from fridge to oven to toast w. marmalade in ~1 hour.

 (recipe removed at publisher's request)

Thomaschacon: UPDATE (4/26/2012): Recipe can be found here.

shansen10's picture

Looks interesting.  I wonder if it would work substituting yogurt for the sour cream and using whole wheat flour?


thomaschacon's picture
thomaschacon (not verified)

That's far too healthy for me to contemplate. :D

I think full fat yogurt and 1/3 WW might work, but full WW would likely result in a brick. 


Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

to the guardian article.    ;)

thomaschacon's picture
thomaschacon (not verified)

There are about 100 versions across the internet.

kallisto's picture
kallisto (not verified)

what happened to all these posts in this thread???

rocketbike's picture

An account of the rather heavy-handed approaches of David Whitehouse is recorded at and in a surprising number of other places.  (Try Google!)  The thread - which centres on a take-down request from David in respect of one of Dan's recipes - makes interesting reading, especially when you get to the comments from Paul, who describes himself as a practising intellectual property lawyer and suggests

so long as there isn’t a ‘word for word’ transcription of at least a substantial part of the original recipe (and not trivial things like the names of ingredients) then it’s unlikely that any infringement of copyright has occurred.

This appears to cover most TFL contributions, where people do tend to avoid simple transcription, and want just to discuss recipes with a view to understanding or improving them. 

Mr. Whitehouse is clearly adopting a very active approach to the protection of Dan Lepard's income.  (I would have said reputation, but actually I think the effect he is having on Dan's reputation is probably in the opposite direction!)  I am quite certain that Dan is fully aware of David's activities, given that he is both Dan's partner and his business manager.   I question whether they're doing themselves any kind of service, as the bloggers they're going after have in general helped to promote awareness of Dan's work up until now. 

I stopped following Dan's own web site and moved to TFL some time ago, because of their stated policy of not allowing discussion of things that weren't to do with Dan's work.  For me Internet forums are about free discussion, and that's what I've been enjoying here for the past two and a half years.


P.S.  Along with at least one of the original contributors, I shall not be buying any Dan Lepard publications again.

lazybaker's picture

Wow. I just read the comments from that blog. LOL I'm boycotting, too. Using some kind of search software to search for his client's name and then asking people to remove the content but at the same advertise for them. That's so off-putting.

Never utter the name D-- L----- or any of the book titles again. LOL

gmabaking's picture

and really don't care if I do again! My understanding of recipe protection is like the bracketed one in rocketbike's post. I would argue therefore that the sour cream recipe met both criteria, modified by overnight retarding and credit given to Lepard. 

I hope this thread doesn't start another War of the Words. Baking is creative, fun and always has room for growth (could that be why we love the little yeastie beasties so?)

Floydm's picture

My understanding of fair use and copyright law in the US is, indeed, that recipes proper cannot be copywritten but the expressions of the recipes can.  So if proportions are changed and instructions paraphrased, that is typically considered enough to not violate a copyright.  

I do not know if the laws are the same in the UK, Australia, or Canada and I do not know how much copyright claims can be applied across international borders.  And I most certainly am not a lawyer and would not want to have to put any of this to the test in court.

Getting beyond the pure legality, many authors and publishers take a relaxed view toward bloggers who reprint or paraphrase their recipes and credit them because they see it as a good way of getting free promotion for their works.  Others do not and prefer to take a stricter stance about policing their copyright claims.  

The bread baking world is small and in the name of keeping things civil I honor the desires of authors and publishers who contact me as best I can.  I do not believe that the recently removed recipes published by community members violated copyright laws because they were indeed personalized versions of Dan's original recipe, not exact copies, but if Dan and his publisher or business manager prefer that recipes clearly derived from recipes in his new book not be published here without their consent I ask that we honor their preference. I do agree with community members that it seems like that would reduce the amount of buzz building around the book rather than help it, but it is their call on how best to promote it.


plevee's picture

This calm, sane answer is why I really hope you will continue to own and moderate TFL.


azelia's picture

Hi Floyd

I have always held The Fresh Loaf forum a site apart from other forums because whenever I've browse here I've never seen personal spats on threads.

I am a great supporter of Dan and David but I hope that fact will not cloud over how you and others on here read what I'm saying and read this without prejudice.

I first noticed this thread over the weekend while I was away and it sadden me greatly reading it as it disintegrating into a personal tone against David.  By all means debate the subject, it is what lawyers and courts do, but there's a line for me between discussing a contraversial subject and making the argument personal as this thread became.

Dan and David are not the first ones to ask for their work to be removed and won't be the last, and I'm sure this debate will continue, what I was hoping for in this otherwise great space was some decorum from those posters.



dabrownman's picture

at all with someone wanting to protect their original work from duplication without permission.  They too should not have any problem with someone boycotting their site, not purchasing their books and telling the Internet world why they are doing so and asking other like minded folks to do the same.

It's a free country for everyone - or no one.


sandydog's picture

I joined this site to enhance my knowledge in making great bread, by listening to better bakers - Not to learn about Patent or Copyright Law.

Our pages have been clogged up with this for a little while now, it is becoming tiresome, and is unlikely to lead(er) anywhere pleasant.

I think fermento's last sentence sums it up for me, and also Floyd wrote earlier "I ask that we honor their (Dan Leader's people) preference"

What's wrong with that?   We all would prefer it if our own requests were honoured without too much hoohah.

Happy baking,



blacktom's picture

There's an interesting article on a similar subject from The Guardian website:

In any case, it would seem to me that there are two excellent reasons for including the actual recipe in a post, and not simply a link:

  • Pages get updated, and links get broken.
  • As a user, I don't particularly want to make a new connection to retrieve a recipe that could just as easily have been included in the original post. Anyone with a less-than-lightspeed network connection and a creaky old PC will understand this.

Don't sue me.

hanseata's picture

I'm sorry to see that a ( in my opinion reasonable)  request to not just copy, but rather include a link to the original recipe can lead to such partially acerbic discussion.

I read Dan Lepard's recipes in the Guardian's online weekend edition regularly, and made several of them with very good results. He answers questions and comments in a friendly, and sometimes very humorous way, and he even replies to tweets or on facebook (other food authors often don't bother).

Only because of this positive experience I just purchased his book "The Art of the Handmade Loaf" (as if I didn't have enough baking book already). And his dessert book is on my wish list.



G-man's picture

What bugs me is that they're extending their copyright claims into areas that are traditionally free of that, and with good reason. Recipes are edited, people have difficulties with them, people use them as they wish and they share the good ones over and over again. Now that we're allowing copyright goons to sniff down and kill anything that does more than mention the recipe in the exact manner they dictate, it's really only a matter of time until you can't repost a recipe, even one you created, if it vaguely resembles the work of another person who happens to have a Mr Whitehouse clone waiting in a vat to pull out whenever they feel an itch.

This same thing has happened in every area where trademark, copyright, and patent laws are involved. The problem is that the burden of proof rests on the accused, in a total perversion of legal standard. This means the accuser can (and will) make claims against anyone and everyone they view as even slightly threatening. If you need an example, google something (anything) and scroll down to the bottom. Google tells you how many pages were removed from your search results because of copyright claims. Note, they have removed these sites from the results because of a claim of copyright infringement, not because that claim has any merit. They do so to avoid legal expenses, because they would have to prove there is no infringement. The accuser doesn't need any proof. It's a witch hunt.

Mr. Lepard, in his haste to claim that his material is his pure creative work (despite the existence of many sour cream sandwich loaf recipes, which Mr Lepard must have been completely unaware of), has really just made the problem worse. This site isn't really big enough to make fair use claims and fight a copyright battle, even though the way the recipe was posted was a fair use and everybody (even Mr Whitehouse) knows it. The only reason (the ONLY reason) he cracked down on it was to get more hits filtered through the Mr. Whitehouse-approved site, which very likely paid him.

And that's really it for why it bothers me. Mr Whitehouse is abusing legal precedent for personal gain. It's cynical and disgusting. That Mr Lepard approves of Mr Whitehouse tarnishes him through association.

(Edit: cleaned up a little bit, clarified a point.)