The Fresh Loaf

A Community of Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts.

Happy Birthday, TFL!

Floydm's picture

Happy Birthday, TFL!

The Fresh Loaf is 18 today!¬†ūüéāūü•≥

Hard to believe, isn't it? At least for me it is. Part of the reason I started the site (and baking so much) was because I had lots of time around the house when the babies were napping. Both of those babies are in university now.

I realize I have not been very active here for the past few years. The site needs to get a technology upgrade done in the near future. Yes, I've been saying that for a while now, but it is truer now than it has ever been. So you'll be hearing more from me about that before too too long. 

I do still enjoy seeing what people are baking and appreciate how you all help one another out. It is still a really neat community to be involved with.



GaryBishop's picture

This site is great. I run a few sites with large communities and I know how much work is required. And yes, mine need technology upgrades as well. 

Thank you for this great resource.


Benito's picture

Thank you Floyd for everything you’ve done to get this community started and to keep it running. We are lucky that TFL exists, so happy belated birthday.

WatertownNewbie's picture

Floyd, without you this site would never have been and without you it would not continue.  Thanks on many levels.


alfanso's picture

to where "we" are today. One of several "definitive" lists.

Congratulations Floyd. Without you none of this would be possible.


Our Crumb's picture
Our Crumb

Your labor of love has spread a lot of it Floyd, providing so many with a welcomingly civil and always enriching refuge from internet noise. 

Thank you for keeping it going.  Looking forward to the next 18 years.  Your hands-off approach is spot on.  Indeed, TFL's absence of a periodic "New Look!" is one of its most precious charms.  Reliably consistent in format and quality content.

Happy Baking!


pmccool's picture

It's been a blessing in so many ways--new friends, new ideas, new skills, help with trouble-shooting, breads I'd never heard of, and so much more.  Thank you, thank you!

Welcome to the empty-nester life.  There are a lot of benefits that help to offset the absence of the kids, as I'm sure you are beginning to appreciate.  And, hey, you have all of us hanging around, too!


Another Girl's picture
Another Girl

TFL is both¬†resource and refuge. I've seen it called "the nicest¬†place on the internet" and couldn't agree more. Thank you for making it so! ¬†‚ÄďAG

CalBeachBaker's picture

Many Thanks Floyd. It's has been great being apart of the community. Having this site as a resource for sharing information and experiences has been excellent.


squattercity's picture

Just to say: Someone asked, in a thread a few weeks back, who our biggest baking influences are -- like are we Reformed Reinhardians or Hard Hammelmaniacs or Faux Forkish-Followers or the like. I'm a FreshLoavian. I've learned pretty much everything I know about bread from this site. You slid open the door and fostered a warm and welcoming community. Massive thanks.


alcophile's picture

I discovered this site a couple of years ago as I was easing back into baking after a long (30+ years) hiatus. I have received so much good advice and inspiration from this site. And it is the only enthusiast site on the internet that is free of the other "stuff" that I find on the other hobby sites I frequent.

You should be a proud father of The Fresh Loaf.

Thanks again!

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

It's after 1am in the morning here in Europe.

There is this old question...."If you were stranded on a small island and could only have three books with you, what would they be?"  

Upgrade:  Same question, home office (island) but you had only three sites you could call up on limited internet, what three sites would they be?

Ummmm  "The Fresh Loaf" is definitely one of them!   :)

Thanks for 18 years, Floyd.

Isand66's picture

Thank you Floyd for creating this amazing bread loving community.  I’ve been proud to be part of this experience for over 11 years and I never tire of it.


clazar123's picture

TFL has been a fresh breath of sanity in a world gone crazy. Floyd, you have provided an anchor point. TFL is a place that is "safe" and holds people to communication standards of decency and respect. I am grateful-every day- for this site. 

Thank you!


mwilson's picture

As a long standing member, some 11+ years now, I happily call this place my social home, I am simply not present anywhere else online! I agree with other comments The Fresh Loaf forum is unique and genuine. Thank you Floyd for making TFL happen, I know we all appreciate it and your service to it.

I look forward to hearing about the updates you've got planned.



leslieruf's picture

many thanks Floyd for hosting us all.  Sitting here as yesterday’s dough bakes I think back over just how much I have learnt from this site and all the generous TFLers over the years.  it is an amazing site!


foodforthought's picture

TFL would simply not exist. Thanks so much for your dedication and ongoing support.

Floydm's picture

It is the kindness and generosity of you all that continues to make this site a community.

jkandell's picture

I've come back after a decade, and it's still all here!  The community seems to have shrunk considerably, which is odd to me given how bread has taken off. Maybe I'm missing other forums, but I haven't found anything better for we home bakers. What a breath of fresh air it is not filled with commercialization and monetization here. But the culture of assistance and positivity is still shining bright.

Floydm's picture

I've been meaning to make a post about the traffic trends here.

Generally speaking, traffic has been trending down since about 2015 or so as people moved most of their conversations onto other social networks. Those sites are much better optimized for mobile posting than TFL has ever been, and traffic became majority mobile around that time too. 

There was a huge spike of traffic during the COVID sourdough boom. A number of new members too, yes, but mostly people tapping into the rich archives here. Once COVID subsided, so did that traffic spike.

Traffic now has resumed its gentle slide downwards, which makes sense to me. When is the last time you signed up for a single topic forum site? Personally, I haven't done it in over a decade. But a community of helpful and knowledgable bakers remain active here.

Trying to revamp the site so it uses newer software that is better optimized for mobile remains on my to-do list, but that is also what I do professionally.  I have not been willing or able to give up enough of my personal time to make it happen. Futzing with CMSes is the last thing I want to do on my days off.


RyeSmile's picture
RyeSmile (not verified)

Discourse is a nice platform and I think there's an option for them to help with migration. As examples, it's what they are using at Breadtopia's forums, the Hungry Onion (started 2015, and now where lots of Chowhound users went to), also places like Codecademy and the Atlassian dev community. 

Hungry Onion is similar to TFL in that there's one admin (and some volunteer moderators). You can see their site stats here, and they cover most/all of the costs with Amazon referral links (no ads), to give you some idea of how it works for a forum with similar focus.

Floydm's picture

Good to know, thanks.

jkandell's picture

What's priceless here is the repository of knowledge.  The new sites seem obsessed with large holes and tartine style, whereas the folks here, in very broad terms, were more open to different grains and styles.

Back then when someone posted it was for love of bread, not to sends people to their web site to make money.

The answers had knowledge and integrity.  I miss those folks I relied on in the past!

I'm using the blog to track my breads as I start baking again.