The Fresh Loaf

A Community of Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts.

This one's for you Eric

mcs's picture

This one's for you Eric

Back in the day, many twists and turns ago, there was a member of this forum who was quite generous with his time and knowledge. His name was Eric, aka ehanner. 

Some of us knew him personally as a friend and communicated with him through this forum, emails and phone calls.  

During that time period, the most popular post on this forum was his own, in which he shared his recipe for a Jewish/deli rye, known as "Eric's favorite rye". I think everyone active on this forum tried it at least once.

He and I spoke about it and as all bakers do, I made a few minor changes to suit my style and equipment and to make the recipe my own. 

It was at that time in 2008 that I started my own bakery, to which I added the rye to my menu.  It became very popular with those who were nostalgic for bread they had had long ago, and also quite popular with people who had never had 'a good rye'.

A few years later as a result of many life changes, I decided to close the bakery and begin a new one in another part of the Montana. This time, it was going to be a mobile bakery that I designed myself. Unique and challenging in every way, I was quite nervous about this gigantic leap that I was about to make, seeing as a mobile bakery of this sort existed nowhere else in the world. There were so many questions about timing, workflow and production, not to mention the actual baking, that had never been answered.

Eric called me one day, right before I left on this journey to encourage me with words I'll never forget, "Mark. This new bakery of yours will succeed beyond your wildest dreams. It will be better than The Back Home Bakery ever was. If anyone can do it, you can."

And just like that, two days later, Eric passed away.

That was it.

I began my new life with his words in my head, and they are still here. He was right.

He was a great man, and this is his Rye.




Isand66's picture

What a touching story Mark.  Your passion and perseverance in making your business a success is a strong testament to Eric and I’m sure his spirit and friendship live on in you.

Best regards,


trailrunner's picture

I feel so lucky that we were able to visit you and your bakery in Montana and share conversation and your baguette fresh from the oven and a beer! You are truly an artist. c

alfanso aka Vito Scoreleone's picture
alfanso aka Vit...

In Nov, 2020 I had the pleasure of organizing and hosting the above named Community Bake.  It was the 8th anniversary of his passing, and before I found TFL.  By all accounts Eric was extremely well liked.  

You'll find it here .

It has been a long time since you last posted, welcome back Mark.

WatertownNewbie's picture

Mark, it is so great to see a posting from you.  My wife and I toyed with a trip to Spain a few years ago when you were there, but we will have to make a trip out to Montana someday now that you have returned.  That remains a hope for me to do.

Your story about Eric (whom I never met -- he passed before I joined TFL) echoes what I read about him previously here.  Must have been an absolutely outstanding human being.  We need more like him these days.

Your bread looks wonderful.  Was it made in the mobile bakery that I saw in the video?  That is an amazing bakery, and you use it so well to produce fabulous products.  Hope all is well for you in Montana.

Please continue to post.  Happy baking too.


clazar123's picture

Mark-I have been thinking of you lately and here you are! So nice to hear of your continued success. Erik passed on knowledge, wisdom and a great kindness but so have you. Your videos are inspirational and I have viewed them many times.You also used to sponsor interns, as I recall. I'm so happy you dedicated a bake-and such a beauty- to Erik and shared it with us. There are still a LOT of the same crowd who may not be posting as much but are still following this great site.

Good to hear from you.