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That sweet, beautifully full aroma that permeates your sense of smell, tantalizes your palate and piques your interest is the scent of homemade bread baking in your oven. How did it get there? Is it a dream? It may be now, but it doesn’t have to be. Making bread is simple with quality ingredients, fine baking tools and help from your friends at Breadtopia.

We suggest if you’re new to the rewarding world of bread making that you consider utilizing the no knead method, which involves virtually no “hard labor,” yet yields superior results. After you get started, you may want to expand your repertoire by creating a traditional European style whole grain sourdough or other more challenging breads.

We offer recipes, baking classes on video, premium ingredients and much more for those wishing to create bread that a connoisseur of fine baking would find superior in every way.

Video instruction is one of the most useful teaching tools we can offer. To get instant notification of our newest video, please take a moment to fill out our short “Video Notification” form located near the top left column of this page. The videos are free, the benefits are great.

Here at Breadtopia, you will find everything that you require to ensure successful bread baking and more. Our site is designed to make bread baking easy, fun and healthful.

Baking perfect bread has never been easier.

{ 55 comments… read them below or add one }

Tom June 9, 2012 at 1:28 am

Congratulations to your great blog / webpage, love it. Just getting into bread making recently (no good bread over here in China) and your page will certainly be an inspiration for my readers as I will add your site to my blogroll. Continue the good work.

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Breadtopia June 9, 2012 at 4:36 am

Thanks Tom!

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Rebecca Siu April 26, 2012 at 12:36 am

I used 390g bread flour, 1 tsp salt, 1/2 tsp instant yeast & 300g water. After mixed 7 hours it raised 4-5 times large and my mixing bowl was not big enough if I continue to let it ferment, so I baked it. But it was not success, the crust is very hard. I think it was because the room temperature was too high, almost 30。C. Please tell if I place the dough into the fridge (4。C)can it be done? I really want to have my own hand made bread, thank you for your opinion.

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Leigh December 2, 2011 at 5:58 pm

I have a question about the oblong clay bread baker which I just received (Thank you!). I will use this for making bread. I have an electric oven and usually keep a large clay pizza stone on the bottom shelf. Should I remove the pizza stone when I’m baking bread in the clay bread baker and put the bread baker on the wire rack? Or put it on the pizza stone? Or leave the pizza stone in the oven and put the bread baker on the second rack? Does it matter?

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Kim November 19, 2011 at 6:42 pm

I love the recipes!! I found a place to get all my baking boxes, cookies bags, etc… Box and Wrap. If you go to http://www.facebook.com/boxandwrap and “Like” their facebook page, you can get 5% off your entire order!

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Maxina June 14, 2011 at 12:47 pm

How do we get bon the waiting list for the oblong la cloche bakers? Please and thanks.

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Breadtopia March 10, 2011 at 8:54 pm

Awesome, Lori. Thanks for your nice post and pic.

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Lori March 10, 2011 at 4:58 pm

Just stopping in to say I am NEVER disappointed when making the “Almost No Knead Bread” recipe. I got lazy and started making bread in my bread machine again. Then decided to start making this wonderful recipe with my clay baker and remembered why it is SOOOO awesome! The flavor is outstanding, it’s EASY and always comes out PERFECT! I also save a small amount of dough for my next batch. Gets better each time. The smell of fresh baked bread is making its way through my house and my mouth is watering. I am just an ‘old’ friend visiting to say THANK YOU! :) Will post a picture of my newest loaf too.

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Breadtopia January 11, 2011 at 6:46 am

Hi Carmen,

You probably can reduce the amount of flour and water and still maintain a healthy starter. You’ll get so you know what works for you based on your baking routine. Sourdough starter management is just one of those things that takes a while to get used to. It’s not difficult but takes some practice.

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Carmen January 7, 2011 at 10:14 am

I began my starters 6 days ago. You mentioned in the video to use about 1 tablespoon but I since your little package had about 2, I did two batches (didn’t trust myself). They have grown quite a bit although I keep my house at 63 degrees. I’ve been using the 1/3 cup of flour. Since I have so much, can I reduce the flour and water I add each day? I’d hate to have to throw some away. I’m planning to give one to my son-in-law once I’m sure I won’t kill it. (I was surprised to receive the starter so soon after ordering. Thanks.)

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Breadtopia December 15, 2010 at 1:32 pm

Yup, 350.

You can just add more flour to stiffen up a starter.

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liza December 15, 2010 at 12:49 pm

thanks for your reply,
so, if a recipe says to bake in a 350 oven, i should just follow it? it seems strange since i thought that the clay bakers needed higher temp. for some reason. i also preheat the bakers just like you do, thanks to your videos.
well, i’ll give it a try.
if i may, another question, how do you convert a liquid sourdough to a stiff one? i am working on glezer’s sourdough and would like to be able to use it for any bread that calls for sourdough starter.
thanks again,
liza

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Breadtopia December 15, 2010 at 12:14 pm

Hi Joy,

Just the other day I was reminiscing about a potato bread recipe I use to love but lost the recipe. What I’m planning on doing is pretty much following the basic sourdough no knead recipe but mixing in a cup of mashed up peeled Yukon Gold potatoes.

Only I won’t use as much water so the dough won’t be as wet. Just soft and very pliable and very easy to knead. So, strickly speaking, it wouldn’t be a no knead recipe as I would knead it for a few minutes. But otherwise the procedure is the same. I think it will end up fairly close to what I remember.

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Breadtopia December 15, 2010 at 12:08 pm

Hi Liza,

I don’t change recipes at all when baking in a Romertopf or other baker. Maybe it’s because I always preheat them before putting the dough in. If I was putting the dough in cold and then preheating, I’d just lengthen the time some. Maybe 10 minutes or so.

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Joy December 14, 2010 at 3:15 pm

Thank you so much for your video, it surely makes easy for newbie baker like me to start baking!

I wonder if you have made potato bread?

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liza December 12, 2010 at 12:53 pm

hi,
i am not sure whether you will see this or not since the last comment on this page was a couple a years back but i have a general question about baking in a romertopf clay baker i bought at this site. my question is as follows. most bread baking books insist on baking on a pizza stone, and producing steam. what i want to know is how to convert those recipes to the clay baker. i would assume that the temperature should increase since the bread is more insulated in the baker, and the time would increase as well, but is there an easy way to convert recipes? thanks so much for your help.
liza

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Breadtopia August 26, 2010 at 8:02 pm

Hi Pete. Interesting finding, I didn’t think there would be that much difference in a starter. Glad you came across it.

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Pete Mac August 21, 2010 at 1:26 am

Hi Eric,

Great site! I’ve been a fan for while, and now – after baking 50 loaves – I feel like I have something to contribute. If I had to do it all again, what would I do differently? Read on…

I began about a year ago with the No Knead bread. It was good, but didn’t have the complex flavors I sought. Then came CI version, which was better, but still not quite what I was looking for.

By this time – after 10 loaves – I had the confidence to try making some sourdoughs. My starter was made using organic flour and organic grapes. It took a while to get going, so the next 10 or so loaves where pretty solid and bland.

I had read that young sourdough starters don’t have much flavor, and that it develops over time. I was patient, feeding the beast every couple of days. After another 10 loaves, the flavor was more sour than before, but I wasn’t sure that I liked it. It was odd, not off, just a bit odd. And I didn’t like where it was going.

At around the 30 loaf mark, I purchased a commercial-grade proofing basket. I also purchased a sourdough starter from an “award wining baker” here in Australia.

The difference between the new starter and the old one was like night and day. The new one was so much better. Much better taste, much better rise. I was now baking bread better than anything I could buy – even from specialty bakeries.

Looking back, my first 30 or so loaves were kinda ho-hum. The next 20 were better than anything I expected. While I don’t regret trying my own starter, I do regret not switching earlier.

I know there are many variables that go into making bread. I experimented with different flours, techniques, hydration, everything. But in the end, it was changing my starter that made the real difference.

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Lydia May 10, 2010 at 2:09 pm

Greetings Eric,
I’ve really been enjoying this new method of making bread. Reading all the tips and comments have helped a great deal, as has watching your videos which give me such a clear idea of what expectations should be.

One of the best tips I’ve run across so far here in the comments is to line the proofing baskets with parchment paper. It’s really reduced the fear factor I had of plopping the proofed loaves into the bakers. I can just pick up the sides of the parchment and gently, and safely, put them in the bakers. VERY easy and no mess as well. Another “cheat” I’ve just started experimenting with is adding Vital Wheat Gluten, particularly on the whole wheat multi grain doughs.

I’m experimenting with flavored recipes and have finally hit on a couple of flavored breads the office feel are worth repeating as often as I care to for them. One is a diced sharp cheddar and jalepeno loaf, which was awesome with some homemade chili last weekend. Another is blue cheese and cracked pepper. That’s better untoasted, with some unsalted butter. We made a lovely loaf of the lavender bread, with a whole multi-grain dough and a touch of honey. That’s quite yummy too.

Of course, nothings quite as good as the original white bread recipe you have. All the flavor experiments in the world won’t top the simple scrumptious loaf of goodness.

Thanks so much for the time and effort you put into this site!
Lydia

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Mac April 29, 2010 at 7:36 pm

How do you store sourdough starters?

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Breadtopia April 29, 2010 at 8:08 pm

Typically in a non air tight container in the fridge.

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Gabrielle March 14, 2010 at 9:46 am

For me, this NK sourdough is perfect in every way except one: the consistency of the dough itself turns into a giant sponge of starter with no hope of shaping. Great holes, chewiness, flavour and crust, it just looks like a giant, slightly rounded english muffin!

So far substantial additions of flour have not resolved anything; my starter is intensely active… what should I do? Less starter? More flour?

Full but mystified,
Gabrielle

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Steve March 2, 2010 at 12:03 pm

Doing the no-knead method and the bread has been consistently better each time. I’ve got great spring, nice crumb, and crust is awesome. Sourdough, a bit of rye, and spent grains from homebrewing beer give a wonderful complex flavor.

One last issue: The bread is consistently what I would characterize as being overly moist. I’ve made bread before that wasn’t cooked enough and the interior was doughy. This rises all the way through and there is no wet dough, but the interior moistness is in excess of bakery bread.

Is there a trick to drying out the interior a bit more?

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Eva J. February 14, 2010 at 12:38 pm

Hi Eric-
I recently became a fan of the no-knead bread method and have been baking many loaves since I received a book for Christmas. My husband recently ordered the bread whisk from you – and I just made my first bread dough using it. It definitely made it much easier to incorporate the water. Very solid and very reasonably priced!!

I see that you have a spelt sourdough recipe. I became a fan of spelt after eating great dinkel breads in Germany (dinkel is the German word). However, it wasn’t using a sourdough base. Any suggestions as to ratios for using spelt in non-sourdough recipes?

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Greg Schultz January 17, 2010 at 5:38 pm

Is there an optimum “moment” to add sourdough starter? Let’s say I’ve refreshed my starter several times in the last few days. It doubles in about four hours. Should I add it to my dough recipe at the peak of its activity (doubling), when it is exhausted, or does it matter, as long as it has been refreshed?

Second question: My starter smells sweet (not particularly yeasty), but when I taste it, it is very acid-tasting on my tongue. I’ve been trying to make slow, refrigerator-risen sourdough, and though the rise has been so-so over two days, the baked bread has virtually no sour flavor. What variable might I be missing in getting the sourest possible result?
Many thanks for any ideas.

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Breadtopia January 13, 2010 at 5:39 am

Hi Pete,

I’ve had so many favorite recipes since I mentioned the “2 cups sourdough” one that I’ve long forgotten specifically which I was referring to at the time. I do know it came out of Ed Wood’s Classic Sourdoughs book as there’s a number of recipes in it that call for 2 cups of sourdough. It’s not a bad book to have for the sourdough aficionado.

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Pete January 13, 2010 at 1:52 am

Eric, In one of your starter videos, I believe the one you rescued an old sour dough starter , you mentioned that one of your favorite breads used 2 cups of starter. Is this recipe somewhere on this site or are you going to put it on?
I would really be interested in having it… I like you, cut my teeth of SF sourdough bread more specifically at Fishermans Wharf.. Keep up the great work,. Breadtopia is a God send for all of us aspiring I was going to say young bakers, but alas am well past my youth but love to bake bread.. Pete

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Merle Borg November 21, 2009 at 11:26 am

Thanks for your advice. The problem that I was having with the bread not rising enough seems to be solved. I was letting it rise in the oven with the light on for 18 hrs, and the yeast was spent by the time it came to baking. I’m letting it rise now in a cold oven for 18 hrs, then while I fold it for the second rise, I put the oven on and let it warm up a bit. I then put the cold dough in this warm oven and let it double in size. I take it out while heating the oven and the clay bakers to 500 degrees and then put the dough in the hot bakers for 30 minutes. I take off the clay tops and let it brown a little while longer. Usually less than 10 minutes. I think it now has the light texture that it should. I put a couple of tbs. of butter in the mix and love the taste and the fact that the bread stays moist longer.

[img]CIMG1368.JPG[/img]

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Breadtopia November 17, 2009 at 4:30 pm

Hi Merle,

It’s easier to get a better rise with stiffer (thicker) dough. So you might try adding more flour at the beginning and/or less water. Just experiment a little and see what happens. Also, sometimes shortening the proofing time from 18 hours to 10-14 (depending on room temperature) can help a lot, and reducing the second rise to not more than 60-75 minutes or so. The yeast may be more potent earlier in the proofing cycle.
And if you’re not already doing it, place your dough in the cloche after you’ve preheated it. That will give you better oven spring.

Hope this helps. Let us know!

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Merle Borg November 14, 2009 at 2:46 pm

I love this bread!! My neighbors love me because of this bread. I follow the directions exactly, (except I put in a couple of tablespoons of butter) and I’m wondering if there is any way to get the bread to rise just a bit more? I’ve tried varying the water and the rising time, but these don’t seem to have much effect. I’m using King Arthur bread flour, SAF instant yeast, purified water, and clay bakers yet I’ve never gotten the large holes that many pictures show. Does anyone have any suggestions?

Thanks

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Hans October 13, 2009 at 8:56 am

For you No Knead Bread enthousiasts who don’t have or don’t want to invest in a Dutch oven, I have been working with a very economical alternative.
I purchased a clay plant pot underliner, which measures 8.25” at the bottom and a stainless steel salad bowl measuring 9.25” across the rim.
I preheat them in a 450 degree oven and tip the bread in it when it has risen enough. The benefit here is, as with a cloche, that you don’t have to plop the dough into it but gently lay it on the underliner.
Attached is a picture with the result. This is a odified version of the NK bread with steel cut oats. I just used more whole wheat instead of white. I also use this contraption to bake bread using more convential methods, such as the multi grain based on the recipe in Nancy Silverton’s book “Breads from the La Brea Bakery”.
For me the big advantage of baking in a dutch oven, cloche, whatever, is that, for the same end result, you don’t have to spray the oven with water which eventually will cost you $300/$400 in repairs if you have an electronic ignition system for the oven. (I have first hand knowledge of that).

Happy Baking

Hans Leenhouts

[img]P1030728.JPG[/img]

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Breadtopia July 1, 2009 at 12:08 pm

Hi Kate,

I would like to do that at some point in my life. There’s a recipe for sourdough croissants in Daniel Leader’s book Local Breads that’s been calling to me for some time.

My wife is really the one to ask. She used to make croissants when she had her bakers and still shudders at the thought of how much work they are. Of course there’s a big difference between making something for yourself and making it commercially. Maybe your request will move it up on my “to do” list but with all the other things on that list, I can’t see it happening anytime soon.

Thanks for asking though.

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Kate June 30, 2009 at 7:40 pm

Hi, Eric! I’ve been a fan of your site for awhile now, but I just wanted to send you a suggestion and cross my fingers that it’s possible to do… What I’m hoping to see is you making sourdough croissants!! Here’s hoping you’ve done it, or plan to soon! Thanks for all the great recipes and videos, my family rejoices when they see me watching a vid on Breadtopia! In fact, I’m about to get started on the w.w. banana bread, mmm.

~ Kate

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Breadtopia May 31, 2009 at 7:23 am

Hello Fahriye,

I would stick with 1 cup = 5 oz flour. One cup of water is equal to 8 oz and whilst I suppose it’s possible to compress 8 oz of flour into a cup, I think the more accepted method of measuring flour consists of sprinkling it into a cup and then leveling it off. When that’s done, you end up with more like 4½-5 oz of flour.

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Fahriye May 31, 2009 at 6:02 am

Hi, Thank you for your wonderful bread recipe. I am going to make it soon but confused about the conversion.
Above, on your video recipe, it says 1 cup of flour ( 5 oz ) but my conversion on the net says 1 cup = 8 oz. Can you help on this please, thanks.

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Kristal L. Rosebrook May 15, 2009 at 4:43 am

Great Site.

Kristal L. Rosebrook

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Don Paul March 21, 2009 at 4:06 pm

I just tried the no-knead recipe using steel-cut oats and absolutely love it. Thanks for sharing it with the world.

Don Paul

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deana February 1, 2009 at 1:16 pm

why do you have an aluminum foil covered sheet pan in the bottom of your oven??
when i made the cook’s bread from their recipe, the bottom was burned even though the temperature was correct.

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Breadtopia January 30, 2009 at 9:54 am

Hi Ellen,

I’ve never seasoned mine. Not even sure how one would go about seasoning stoneware. I suppose it might be necessary for baking meats and such but it’s definitely not necessary for bread baking.

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Ellen January 30, 2009 at 9:19 am

Hi.
I just purchased a clay bakeware.
Do I need to season it and how, please?
Thank you.

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Breadtopia October 31, 2008 at 5:52 am

Hi Anthony,

Thanks a lot for the heads up on the search engine problem. I wasn’t aware of it. I’ve taken it down until I figure out what’s wrong. I’ve have the darnedest time trying to find a simple and effective search engine that doesn’t conflict with something else.

As for the rye recipe, it this the one? http://www.breadtopia.com/bread-recipes-dry-yeast/#Ricks_Rye

Coincidentally, I’m going to be posting another readers rye recipe later today so you can check back tomorrow. It will be on the home page, just scroll down a bit.

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Anthony Burich October 30, 2008 at 11:46 pm

Your site is great but there is a problem with the search engine. I’ve tried a few different recipe searches and the results window opens and pretty much freezes up the browser. It keeps refreshing itself and I am unuble to click on any of the links; in the end, it is not possible to close the browser window. I am looking for a rye bread recipe that I previously saw on the site. Thanks for everything!

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breadtopia August 14, 2008 at 3:15 pm

Excellent!

Please email the pic to me and I’ll post it. Thanks.

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Judy Nevitt August 14, 2008 at 3:00 pm

Update on my sourdough .. I cut the rise time to 10 hr and added a bit more flour … viol’a … magnificent … and How do i at a pic to this blog … thanks agian Judy

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breadtopia August 7, 2008 at 1:26 pm

Hi Judy,

During the warm summer months it’s easy to over proof bread so the yeast has kind of run its course and there’s no oomph left at the end of the second rise. So a lot of people are finding the solution in shortening both the long rise from 18 hours to 12 or even 10 and the second rise to 30-45 minutes.

Try it and see how it goes for you.

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Judy Nevitt August 2, 2008 at 2:44 pm

I am having some Problems with my no knead sourdough ! Simular to Linda .. My dough rises up nicely in the second rise , yet doesn’t rise in the La clloche . how do when it is done rising the hour is i think to long . .. thanks Judy in WA

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breadtopia August 1, 2008 at 3:24 pm

Hi Marsha,

If it’s particularly warm or especially warm and humid where you are, you can try cutting way down on the long proofing time. From 18 to 10-12 hours or so. What might be happening is your yeast (or sourdough) may be petering out so there’s not much oomph left to give you the oven spring you’re asking about.

If you make them again and try this let me know if it helped. And, yea, by all means adapt the recipe to steak ;).

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Marsha August 1, 2008 at 3:14 pm

I used the no=knead recipe to bake rolls. After the second rise (it rises out more than up) I baked the rolls. They pretty much came out of the oven looking just as they did when I put them into the oven, except browner. Were they supposed to rise again during baking? Not that I actually care, because they are freakin’ great!!!! Nice and crusty and we’re thoroughly delighted with them. So I’ve done the bread in the dutch oven thing, and then an adaptation as a loaf in a loaf pan, and now the rolls. All wonderful. So, can you now adapt that recipe to make, oh, i don’t know, steak?

Thanks for the great website.

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breadtopia July 16, 2008 at 12:00 pm

Thanks Sylvia.

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Sylvia July 16, 2008 at 11:54 am

Eric……Great new look…I love the bread photo.

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breadtopia July 14, 2008 at 12:56 pm

Thanks Tom! I really appreciate it.

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Tom Maynard July 14, 2008 at 12:41 pm

Eric,

I love the “new look” you’ve given the site. It was a very pleasant surprise on my visit this afternoon. I’ll be making your Whole Grain Sourdough starting tonight and wanted to watch your excellent videos once again — well, probably 2-3 more times before I get it underway.

Tom.

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