At Breadtopia We Know We’re Lucky!

If you’re lucky, your passion becomes your job or business. In founding Breadtopia, I consider myself to be extremely lucky. I virtually cut my teeth on sourdough French bread in San Francisco, California, where I was born. And for many years I have loved baking.

Eric & Denyce enjoy the Beach Pea Bakery in Kittery, Maine.

Eric & Denyce enjoy the Beach Pea Bakery in Kittery, Maine.

In 1994, I was fortunate to marry Denyce; we shared many of the same interests and passions. For the next decade, I was involved in several corporate endeavors and in 2004, Denyce, who is a freelance graphic designer and former operator of the Busy Bee Bakery, and I, a website developer, Internet marketer and avid baker, formed Rusch Advertising Design.

Along with taking on various freelance projects, we developed our personal projects with our major baby being our baking website and store—Breadtopia.com. At Breadtopia we’re dedicated to ensuring that baking perfect bread has never been easier. If we can aid in the development of a baking community—composed of new, veteran and constantly developing enthusiasts—all passionate about creating great, homemade baked goods, then we will count ourselves successful.

The thing about Denyce and me is that we are a lot like the fine folks who visit Breadtopia. It’s not just the fact that we love baking, but here in Fairfield, Iowa, we’re into a range of community and family oriented experiences, including sports, meditation, wildlife, the arts and nature. Denyce is the mother of Galen, who is a professional freelance photographer and operator of a gourmet coffee equipment website. We are so happy that he, his multi-talented wife, Liza, and our terrific grandson, Gray, have recently moved to our town from Dover, NH. We are looking forward to more of their involvement in Breadtopia, since they like bread as well as coffee!

With Breadtopia we’re looking forward to creating and developing a community of home-based bakers all enjoying the natural riches inherent in sharing baking recipes, stories and knowledge—an extended family of sorts.

How do we survive? We offer a lot of important information for free and baking supplies at often bargain prices. So please take some time to browse through our store and to contact us if you have any suggestions, can’t find a baking item that you need or want to share a recipe or a humorous or interesting baking anecdote.

We hope you enjoy our site. Denyce and I are looking forward to getting to know you and serving you. If you’re ever in Fairfield, please stop by our physical store at 907 W. Burlington Ave. We’d love to meet you in person.

Sincerely,

Eric & Denyce

105 thoughts on “About

  1. Elina

    Hi Eric, video and recipe links (menu) don’t work on iPad. Is it something that will be fixed? Thank you :).

    • Gayle

      All the links and videos work on my iPad. I have problems with videos from some other sites, but so far no problems with Breadtopia.

  2. Hi Eric

    I am trying to find a NKR recipe posted by Lori I think sometime around 2012-13, she also posted a picture of the finished loaf.
    It contained mixed flours, honey , white vinegar, and old dough.
    I loved this recipe and would love to bake it again can you help to find it for me.
    I’m not entirely sure how to navigate around your new website?
    Marian.

    • Hi Marian,

      Sorry, but I’ve been searching around for it too and can’t find it. I suppose it was in here in the comments area, but could be on another page and there a so many comment. I should have linked it from the main article when she posted it.

  3. George Pappas

    Eric,
    First, I would like to say, I really enjoy your very informative videos on bread making. Your recipes have turned out outstanding. A question I have is that when I make ‘No Knead Bread’ and I let it cool down , the crust becomes soft with the escape of the steam because of the high hydration content of the dough. How can I make it with a harder crust? Sometimes with certain dishes, a crusty bread is required. Thanks for your help.
    George

    • Hi George,

      This morning I tried something a professional baker friend of mine suggested for just this purpose – a thicker and harder crust. Instead of taking the bread out of the oven after baking, I turned the oven down to 200F and left it in for another 15 minutes. I turned it down a couple minutes before I would have normally taken it out so as to not totally torch it.

      The crust thickened considerably (much more than I ordinarily get) and remained a hardened shell after cooling. It worked much better than I expected.

  4. sharon

    Do you carry the GOLD package yeast. Its supposed to work better rising the bread because of the sugar ?

    • The Gold is for enriched doughs like you would use for making pastries. Not normal bread dough. We get very little demand for it so we don’t carry it.

      • sharon

        Thanks for your reply :)

  5. jeremy

    hello im having problems with mt sourdough no knead method the loaf loses it height once i transfer it to the la cloche i falls not sure fi maybe im not mixing it enough or if my starter is the problem here is a picture of the bread thanks for the help

    • Hi Jeremy,

      It’s typical for very wet dough recipes like no knead bread to flatten out when it’s baked in a vessel without sides to shore up the dough. If the dough is proofed too long, it tends to lose its shape even more.

      You can simply add more flour to stiffen up the dough some. It might not have as open a crumb (large holes) as when more wet, but it will typically rise more provided you don’t over proof it. Or you can bake it in a baking vessel that has sides closer together to shore up the dough which forces an upward rise. People ofter use 4 qt Dutch ovens, Romertopf bakers or oblong La Cloche bakers for just this purpose.

  6. Hey Guys,
    I found your site through youtube videos. I have been using your pizza dough recipe for years now. Its great fun to do with the kids. I use your recipe as a base now and sometimes doctor it up with honey or beer. Anyways your pizza dough recipe is a fail proof recipe, it works everytime!
    Will you please make a video explaining yeast and the different types of yeast. I don’t understand why their are different kinds, and I also don’t understand why sometimes yeast is put into a cup of warm water and other times its added directly to the flour??

  7. Frankie Wise

    I love love love my items that I got yesterday. Of course I haven’t had time to use them but they are sitting on my counter nice and pretty. I ordered proofing baskets with covers, bread flour, yeast, lame, basting brush, towels, emilie Henry bread baking/soup pot, french bread shaped cooker and much more etc…

    Thank you for all the great quality of products,
    Frankie Wise / Pensacola, Florida 32534

  8. AuntJunie

    Received my order today (2 days after I ordered) — Merry Christmas to me! Quality of all items (parchment, flour sack towels, Danish whisk, couche and lame, butter bell) is top notch; I’m very pleased…and tempted to order a few more items, naughty girl that I am. Can’t wait to try the Romertopf clay cloche…maybe tomorrow? And as another customer commented, the handwritten thank you was a lovely touch. Thank you!

  9. Elina

    I love your website, great recipes, tips and instructions. I made rye bread another day and we loved it. Also thank you Erik for quick shipping of my order and good wrapping. Everything came as excepted. Also I though your handwritten note was a very nice touch. :-) Thank you!

  10. Thank you, thank you, thank you. Your website is great. I recently wanted to get started on sourdough baking and after a lot of trouble and simply not knowing if I was doing something wrong at all, I baked my first beautiful loaf today. My starter had produced that brownish layer of separated liquid and I was able to fix it with your videos.

    From now on I don’t have to search loads of websites on random advice, just come straight here for solid tips that work.

    • sandra

      My starter regularly turns color. As long as it smells good there’s no problem…just mix it up to re-incorporate the liquid with the solid and bake away with it. Sandy T.

      • sandra

        And don’t forget to ‘feed’ it each time you use it.

  11. kimberly

    I’ve enjoyed bread baking for 35 years, thanks to a ‘farm’ mother-in-law who was a dump-and-pour cook and allowed me to watch for endless hours as she mixed, kneaded, and proofed dough. (my actual first batch met the standards for ‘lethal weapons’, as pitching it at someone could have killed them.) I’ve come a little ways since then, trying many different grains and loaves, mixers, and such…but have just recently fallen in love with sourdough, once believing it to be too difficult. Via this site I have discovered it’s ther purest form of bread creating. I have been trying different methods of baking, having the fortune to live with a mom who never got rid of anything just because the fad passed, I have access to an iron enameled pot, a cast iron covered dutch oven (the top doubles as a fry pan), and a Romertopf clay baker. I’m infatuated with dough and producing this magical bread- the enameled iron pot produced a high, crusty loaf somewhat lighter in color, next I’m trying the cast iron pot. I’m eager to do the whole grain sourdough you featured, as well as the rye. I’m very appreciative of your site, and truly enjoy the videos. I’m here to say this is something anyone can do- even from a wheelchair, since you can totally mix and knead in the same bowl. ;) Bread creating is the one thing that remains a constant in my life through anything that happens- it just makes life better!

    • sandra

      Thank you for your story, it’s quite interesting. I baked my first loaf of bread almost 50 years ago. There were many years I left off of it but the hankering for a wonderful aroma in my kitchen and the taste of fresh bread would revive my baking skills. I’d leave off again and go back once more. After not baking bread for about I have to say that I’m here for good. I’m much older now and truly appreciate what a fastastic ‘art’ baking a beautiful loaf of bread is. Bread IS the staff of life as they say. Last June I pulled out my Kitchen Aid and began supplying neighbors with several types of bread. And, of course, I make bread for myself every couple days. Sourdough is just about my most favorite. Sandy T.

    • sandra

      Beautiful loaf of bread there.

  12. karencolleen

    Have baked 2 round loaves of sourdough. Great flavor but both loaves fell when transferring from proofing basket to baking stone. End result is that loaves were flat & dense. I guess you could say lousy crumb. Any ideas?

    • Rick in Atlanta

      Hi karencolleen
      What I have started doing is letting my loaves proof on some baking parchment paper on a sheet pan. I bake my bread in a cast iron dutch oven. When time to put in the loaf, i score, dust and just pick up the parchment paper with the boule and gently set in the dutch oven. So far i am getting very decent results. And I am also using very high hydration dough.
      Rick
      Atlanta, GA

      • sandra

        Exactly what I’d say, let the dough rise on the parchment then just pick it all up by the corners and set it into the cloche or whatever you’re using to bake it in.

    • D Anderson

      Hi
      You may have over-proved your dough, i.e. left it proving/proofing for too long. During proving the dough is expanding as the “gas” bubbles and structure of the dough develops. However, the structure of the dough will start to become unstable (or weakened) if left for too long. Moving the dough from the basket to the stone could cause a dough in this state to collapse – the structure fails.
      Remember the dough will proof faster in warmer temperatures, so don’t always assume the same proofing time.
      Happy Baking!
      Darren, UK

      • karencolleen

        Great explanation! Thanks so much.

      • sandra

        Yes, warm is good, but I get great proofing results in the fridge also if I make my dough the night before. Take it out of the fridge and let it warm up. Punch it down and let it rise for it’s second rise and then bake. It comes out terrific.

    • Carolyn

      Hi Karen
      My sourdough experience was exactly the same as yours.. exactly. So much so I was about to flush my starter down the sink, until I started using the clay baker descibed by Eric. Mine is an oblong schlemmertopf similar to the Romertopf. The results of my bread are incomparible and so delicious. I posted a photo on the sourdough no knead page. Maybe try using a tin if you don’t have a clay baker? Happy baking! :)

      • karencolleen

        Thanks for the good info. Will check out your photo.

  13. Hi Eric,

    I found your site thru the thesis forums and wow what a find. I am a huge bread lover, so much that my wife gets on to me about eating so many carbs. Along with the bread, I can’t seem to get enough pasta and rice, too. I have read several of your posts and have bookmarked your site as a reference. Light 100% whole wheat bread here I come!

    Dean

  14. Autumn Kirby

    Dear Eric,
    I love this site, its rustic authenticity and the mutual love of bread that we share. I just watched your pizza dough and sourdough bread receipe videos and enjoyed them both. I will be making the pizza dough tonight for my fiance and I (his name is Eric, too) and I will be gaining some needed ingredients and confidence to create the sourdough bread soon. I will also be signing up for emails so I can receive the occasional video, receipe and letter.
    Thanks again and love the site!
    Autumn

  15. Owen

    Hi Eric
    it was great to talk to you the other day on the phone. About a year ago I started experimenting with sourdough for the first time. At the beginning it was quite frustrating as I had to throw heaps of bread in the bin. But after a few months I came up with a fantastic seed bread which is made out of part wholegrain and 1050 spelt flour with a combination of pumpkin seeds, sunflower , sesame and linseeds and of course my sourdough starter. And as well I have made a walnut bread and small fruit loafs based on my recipe.
    We live in a part of Germany where bread is a big part of their tradition and therefore I see it as a big compliment that people really like my bread. When I first started baking I got a lot of tips from your website on how to bake bread with sourdough.So thanks a lot for putting such valuable information on the net so people like me can carry on the tradition of baking with sourdough.
    Greetings from the New Zealander living in Germany.
    Owen

  16. Hi Eric/Denyce,
    I am wondering if you have any advice about how long one can let sourdough loaves proof in the fridge before baking. What would you suggest as the maximum allowable amount of time? Is 24 hours in the fridge too long? Or can the unbaked loaves go longer than that without trouble? At a certain point, will the yeast–I assume–just run out of gusto and the loaves deflate? (I ask this because I find myself without the opportunity to bake today/tonight, but I have a couple of loaves that have been in the fridge 24 hours already. Yikes!)
    Thanks very much,
    Jane

  17. heidi hofkes-kay

    Dear Eric and Denyce,

    I have received my live starter two days ago. So far there is little bubbles and I am optimistic. I have just bought a dry starter as a backup.. Thank you for your swift and friendly service. I loved the personal signed delivery note..

    Happy baking,

    Heidi

    • It was a long trip for live starter to make to England. I hope it does well for you.

      Cheers,

      Eric

  18. TexasBelle

    Your company is AWESOME!!!!! On Monday, I searched the Net for containers to hold my starter…..this is Thursday afternoon and I’m already using the jars I ordered Monday afternoon!!! You have the best products and obviously the best staff around. Thank you so much….I can hardly wait to use my new Danish whisks. I have a feeling your store may ruin my credit card!!!!!

  19. Jac

    First, I have to say that I used to burn water, couldn’t cook I leave that to my wife. However, since locating your “Great Site” I have been having a ball making no knead bread. If fact my neighbors all love me. I just finished my 8th it was olive and parma cheese, it’s great. I used King Arthur 16oz with 1/4 yeast 2/3 cup bk olives and 6oz of cheese, all I had. Water was 1 3/4 cups, 1tb salt. I let it proof 17 hours, did the fold, and another 1 1/2 hrs in your proofing basket which is really the best, 30 mins at 500 10min at 450. I’m attaching a photo. I have to say I enjoy reading all the posts on your site, I have gleamed much info, thanks for sharing with us, Jac

    • That’s awesome, Jac. And thanks for the very nice comments.

      • Jac

        re: olive and parma enclosed after cutting, I should have started from the other side. I mixed the olives when wet, should I have mixed them in dry to spread them more evenly because most were further inside. Jac

    • Holly

      Jac,

      Your bread looks DELICIOUS and your presentation is FABULOUS! I can’t wait to sample your creations. Keep experimenting with different ingredients and spices and I bet you will come up with the BEST tasting bread ever. Next we want to see a video of “Jac the Breadman” in action.
      Tastefully Yours,
      Holly

      • Jac

        Thansk Holly but I’ll never compete with Eric in the video department. Maybe in the near future you can advise me with the ingredients and spices, then I might make some dough $ c u soon, Jac

        • Just thought I’d mention that I’d love to post videos from anyone who wants to do so. I guess the best way would be to upload them to Youtube and then send me the link and I can add it here.
          I’m on the lookout for easy to use software that would allow visitors here to upload their videos directly to Breadtopia but apparently it’s not all that simple.

  20. Hi Eric, I love watching your sourdough receipe voideos, and a friend of mine gave me some sourdough, and I did produce quite a nice loaf of bread with it, but I can’t find the La Cloche Clay Bakers in thr UK, How muchnwould one cost in English money, as I don’t understand the American currency, wonder if you could translate it for me into English pounds. Thanks Dawn

  21. sheila caviness

    Dear Eric,
    Just bought the Romertopf Clay Baker 111, the oval proofing basket, and the dough whisk. I am looking forward to trying your no-knead recipe for sourdough. I have my starter in the fridge! Since I bought the oval clay pot should I shape my dough different or just use the tri-fold? I love your site and I’m feeling very excited to try the bread once my clay baker arrives. Sheila Caviness

    • Hi Sheila,

      Good idea on going with the tri-fold. I think that will get you pretty close to the final shape you’re looking for.

  22. Hi Sandy,

    The only thing I’ve ever heard about that in relation to bread is that sourdough leavened breads supposedly have a lower glycemic index than breads baked with commercial yeast. Otherwise, I don’t really know.

  23. Sandy Cohen

    Hi,

    In my search for low glycemic index breads to bake, I came across one of your videos. I enjoyed it particularly because it expressed the fun of baking and the unexpectedness of the result. Thank you for Breadtopia.com.

    I would like to know if you have any suggestions for low glycemic breads.

    Yours,

    Sandy

  24. Guido

    Dear Eric and Denyce,

    I’ve been baking bread for as long as I can remember, and though I was familiar with many recipes and had my own spin on things, your site really helped my bread making along. Attached is an image of a selection of breads, some of which are based on your recipes, which my mom asked me to bake for her birthday, because she prefers me baking bread over cake or antyhing else.

    Thnaks for your incredibly helpful site and instructions, and kind regards from the Netherlands,

    Guido

  25. Hafsteinn

    Hi, I found your website while I was browsing for an information to make sourdough bread. And what a find – your website and the information you give are outstanding and practical. I have learned a whole lot and starting to make my own wonderful sourgdough breads. I find myself lucky and thankful for all the information you share at breadtopia.
    Many thanks from Iceland.

  26. Tim Billingsley

    Eric,
    Re sending the photo of my first sourdough loaf baked in my new La Cloche clay bakers. Thanks once again,
    Tim Billingsley

  27. That’s awesome, Tim. I wish the photo uploaded. Maybe you can try again?

  28. Tim Billingsley

    Eric and Denyce,
    I have been baking my own bread for many years now so I had a pretty nice bread bakig technique in the bag. But after receiving the La Cloche clay bakers from you, I can honestly say my bread baking skills have risen to another level. Attached is a photo of my first sourdough loaf baked just three days after receiving my order (had to rejuvinate the starter). Not only did the loaf look fantastic, the taste rivals anything I”ve had bought right off Fishermans Warf in San Francisco. Now I will have to order a super peel in time for charcoal grill pizza season.
    Thanks again,
    Tim Billingsley
    Wheatland, CA

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

clear formSubmit