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— 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.


Eric & Denyce


189 thoughts on “About

  1. Maxina

    Since living in an RV the last 18mths it has take some adaptations. Here is my RV technique for the no-knead bread.

    RV adaptation to sourdough no-knead bread.

    The RV stove is 1/3 the size of a regular stove and it’s a gas stove; unlike most North American household stoves. The circulation of heat is the biggest aspect to consider.

    I’ve figured out the following adaptations to the Breadtopia method to work in the typical RV stove.

    Do the final rise on parchment paper.
    During the heat of the stove and the baking vessel (cloche, Dutch oven or whatever); omit the lid altogether. I actually use a 10″ cast iron pan instead.
    Place loaf along with parchment paper into the bottom half of vessel and bake on the lower shelf setting (closest to heat) for 15mins or approximately half the baking time at 450F.
    Then take loaf and vessel out, reset rack at the next level up away from the gas heat, reduce heat to 400F and replace bread in vessel to finish baking for the remaining 10-15 mins when the internal temperature of the bread is 200F.

    Cool as usual.

    Enjoy…..à la RV style…

  2. Jocelyn Hampton

    I am a big fan of Breadtopia. Who was who said “there aint nothing like the real thing.” I love the genuineness of your presenting.

    Thank you

    • Thanks for the nice feedback, Jocelyn. “genuineness” — that’s the best thing we can hear. Will try to keep it up.

      • Nice loaf too!!!

  3. Gerry in Australia

    Hi, Just in case you didnt know , you have reached Australia, love your videos
    Cheers from “Down Under”

    • Thanks Gerry!

  4. Hi Eric, Tomorrow I make some bread using your latest video instructions. I have been an avid follower of your news letters for a long time. I really feel like you and Denyce are personal friends. You took a trip to my beach a few years ago. Then you sent a couple of pictures taken by the ocean not more than six or eight blocks from me.
    How I wish I’d known! Love your recipes and all the equipment in your store. Only one problem I now own so many things there is nothing I need! Thanks for all your hard work.
    Betty PS: Gray is precious.

    • Hi Betty,

      The feelings are mutual. I think of you whenever I think of that lovely trip to Florida. Who knows, if we’re down there again, we can actually meet.

  5. Mary Manteuffel

    Hello Eric,

    I cannot thank you enough for your videos. Have watched so many times and now just found Episode 1. GREAT!

    I have a Bosch mixer. Would you suggest using the dough hook on the whole wheat sourdough bread recipe or is it best to
    “hand knead?”


  6. Judy

    I just discovered your website and have ground my own flour and baked bread for over 50 years. My sourdough always turned out great, but since we have lived here in KY it doesn’t turn out as well. Probably weather and sea level?

  7. Torbie Phillips

    Hi Erik:
    I’ve just returned from France, where I fell in love with their Pain au Sarrasin–Buckwheat Bread! What I found in the boulangeries was a peasant-bread-type, crusty-on-the-outside-with-lots-of-holes-on-the-inside, sour-dough-esque, wonderfully delicious bread–but now that I’m looking up recipes online (both in English and in French), the images I’m seeing just don’t match up–probably because most folks turn to buckwheat for gluten-free recipes. Although I’d love to have a great GF buckwheat bread recipe for my sister (who can’t tolerate gluten), for my selfish purposes I’d adore having a full-gluten, no-knead recipe that capitalizes on buckwheat for great flavor! I am familiar with your spelt bread recipe, which I like very much, but can you tell me how you would do a buckwheat sour dough no-knead? What proportion of buckwheat can I incorporate? Do I have to add gluten? Do you suggest mixing with white unbleached bread flour, or with some whole wheat, or with some spelt? Which combos of flours would provide enough gluten for a super-great buckwheat bread? Thanks again so much–you and your website have been such a great help for my bread-baking!
    Torbie Phillips
    San Francisco

  8. mike

    where do you get your plastic bags that you proof your bread in? Also do you know where I can get food grade plastic bags that a cookie sheet would fit in.

    THANKS – love the Sour Dough demo’s – been baking for a few years, seems my sour dough starter (from you) has lost its sour. DO I start over or is there a way to get it sour again.


  9. Wendy Smith

    Hi, Eric,

    I’ve watched many of the wonderful videos on your website and you’ve always reminded me of someone, but I couldn’t figure out who. I just finished watching an old film with Michael Wilding and realized that I had the answer. You bear a striking resemblance to him. Any chance you’re related?

    • Hi Wendy,

      I wish we shared some genes, but alas I’m afraid the chances are pretty close to nil.
      Now I’m intrigued to watch one of his films myself. :-)

  10. Mary Radu

    Love the Uuni 2 oven. We discovered it through a friend who was making pizzas at a beach party. That’s right! Pizzas on the beach in northern California in February.

    We’ve been using ours for several months for both regular pizzas and gluten-free crusts. Practice definitely is important to get your techniques down! We find cooking the crust on one side first before removing it from the oven and adding the ingredients for the final bake works the best. For gluten-free…which is very tricky….cook the crust in a regular oven first to firm it up and dry the dough which tends to be very wet/soft. Next, bake on one side in the Uuni. Remove and then add sauce and toppings. We love the smoky flavor that comes from baking in the wood pellet oven! Thanks! What a fun discovery. We’ll be taking it camping later this summer. MR

  11. Rebecca

    I made my first Artisan Bread using the La Clouche i purchased from you and I must say it was a hit with my family! I love your blog! Thank you!

  12. julia siler

    Where can I find a Breadtopia coupon. I just recently discovered your website and love your products.

    • Hi Julia,


      Our aim is to offer all of our products at a reasonable price all the time. That way we don’t have to run promotions all the time and our customers know they are getting a fair deal any time they order, rather than us send a steady barrage of promo emails to clog your inbox.

      So, in answer to your question, we don’t have any additional discounts available. However, if you can wait until around Thanksgiving, we’ll likely offer a 10% off deal then as everyone expects a “Black Friday” promo.

  13. Stuart

    I just thought to give you some results using the products we picked up Friday. The bread was made with your Kamut ground with the Fidibus 21 as well as some white wheat also fresh ground and some KA AP. That some starter, water and salt. After an overnight refrigerated fermentation it was proofed in the oval brotform with the liner and baked in an oval DO. Although somewhat misshapen it turned out better than expected since I’m not used to the oval loaf shape.
    Thanks for the warm reception when we visited.

  14. Dee dee

    I’m a beginner, and I don’t have a nifty proofing bowl. You showed flouring a towel, but
    how does the towel differ in the end? Will it be in a ball shape like using the bowl. Will I
    just turn it upside down?

    Some further instructions would be appreciated. Thanks for your site!

    • If you drape a well floured towel over a bowl to proof your dough in, the dough will conform to the bowl shape. Then, yes, you’ll just turn it upside down.

  15. After several weeks using the fridge method for the No-knead dough mixture, the dough became soupy and though attempts were made to recover it by kneading and reproofing there wasn’t any success excepting pancakes. The starter should have been viable as it was fed the previous day and placed in the refrigerator. One site mentioned that the fridge temperature may have been too cold. Any input is appreciated. And thank you for this great site.

  16. Betty

    Thanks for the sourdough starter. After it is in the refrigerator and when it needs to be fed, does it have to be fed at room temperature or can it be done right out of the fridge.

    • Right out of the fridge is fine.

  17. stewart

    Great web site

  18. Robert Hall

    I was looking at your whole grain prices and wondered if you sell oats and barley or know where I can find them?
    Robert Hall

    • Hi Robert,

      We don’t but I would sure think that a Google search would find a lot of places.

  19. Tom Deardorff

    I’ve visited your site many times. Have gotten a lot of great info. I’m not sure but I THINK I bought my La Cloche oblong baker from you. I hope to be able to support your business by purchasing more stuff.
    I’ve been baking bread for about 45 years. I started with the Tassajara Bread Book. Remember that? My kids grew up being the envy of all their friends because they got home made bread. When the kids were young, it wasn’t unusual to have a half dozen neighbor kids hanging out on baking day, waiting for the loaves to come out of the oven.
    I’ve moved a bit beyond Tassajara. I’ve learned a little about the science of bread. In all these years, I never tried wild yeast (sourdough) bread ===until this past week.
    I watched your videos ==so clear and easy to understand . I took a look at my Peter Reinhart book. He does like to make a production of things. Then I followed your steps. SUCCESS FIRST TIME!! Made some bread. My wife and I ate the loaf in two days.
    Eric, it’s your fault if I get fat.
    I’m afraid I’ll have to limit myself to baking bread once a week. Or start giving loaves to friends and neighbors.
    I really like your site. Glad to officially become e meber of your community.
    Tom Deardorff

    P.S. My wife teaches canning and preserving. You might enjoy visiting her website:

  20. Mark

    What’s the difference between the Le Cloche Clay Baker and the Bread Dome? They seem similar in purpose, but they’re both made by Sassafras. Do the sides of the Bread Dome give no knead bread a better shape?


  21. Christine Bartholomew

    do i need to flour my bread pans after greasing? Love your site.

    • It’s easy enough to do and your loaves would probably release a bit better. So, yeah, might as well.

  22. Christine Thiessen

    Love your site.

    • Thanks!

  23. Diane

    What is your return policy

    • Hi Diane,

      Here’s the link to our page that includes our returns policy – If there’s a product in particular you are contemplating purchasing or returning, I can answer any specific questions you might have about it.

  24. Eric, have you pasted a recipe/method for no knead baguettes?
    I love baking bread but the two of us can’t eat a whole loaf before it dries out…have not frozen any of my bread to date…but thought baguettes might be a solution ….smaller ….easier to use up?

    Carol in landaff

    • Hi Carol,

      I’m working on it, but still a couple weeks off. It’s not exactly a no knead recipe in the pure sense, but it turns out this one involves a series of brief stretch and folds which is still far quicker and easier than traditional kneading, so shouldn’t scare too many people off ;-). Stay tuned.

  25. carol

    Hi Erick,
    With my confusion regarding my order you were great! Your patience was so appreciated. I look forward to my order.
    Thanks again Carol

  26. Thomas

    FYI I just sent the following feedback to UUNI about my UUNI 2 that I purchased from you. >
    ”I just received my Uuni 2 from Breadtopia here in the US yesterday and spent last evening putting it together. What a beautiful piece of workmanship! Can’t wait to light it, but it’s –10C here so it might wait a day!!!! Smile

    I was very impressed that you have protected all of the shiny surfaces with the sticky covering. Not many manufacturers would do that. However, after contributing heavily to a pellet stove forum for 4 years now, I can with certainty tell you that some people WILL NOT take it off!!! Yes, they do live among us and breed. Somewhere on your instructions, you should tell them to remove all protective covering.

    While speaking of protective covering, I wish you HAD put protection on the peel since it came very heavily scratched and gouged from shipping. I will have to use 600 or 400 grit sandpaper to smooth it enough to use and then it will no longer match the beauty of the UUNI.

    Also, in your instructions, Step 2 shows 2 M5x16mm screws being inserted through the two holes in the bottom of the oven. They go nowhere and are attached to nothing. Also, IF they actually were needed, I would not have had enough screws to assemble the unit. I had one too many 16mm screws and one too few 8 mm screws.

    Of course, the pellet bag had been ripped and pellets were scattered everywhere. A heavier bag or a box would be suggested as well.

    Overall, I am very pleased with the workmanship and design of the UUNI 2 and can’t wait to start mastering the art of pizza making!


    Thomas Witman

    [email protected]

  27. Sue

    A bread baking newbie here.

    • Welcome, Sue. Dive in, have fun and enjoy some great homemade bread.

  28. Margaret

    How can I bring a more savory sour dough flavor back into my dough.

  29. Please include me in all your emails and videos…after a nine month hiatus, I am back to making my own bread…life gets in the way sometimes…
    Rye bread before final proof…

  30. Bonnie

    Do you have recipe for marbled rye?

    • Hi Bonnie,

      I haven’t added one to the site. I don’t recall anyone else posting marbled rye recipe.

  31. Eujenia Darakchieva

    Hi, I got sourdough kit and starter, everything perfect. The is time to make some bread! I liked the idea for spelt bread. I can’t open the video for any recipe. Please advise and may I have a written one.
    Best regard Eujenia

  32. Chit

    I am excited to be in your mailing list! Thanks!

  33. Dan

    Hi Eric,
    I am on my third day of building a sourdough start from yours that you mailed to me, and man, is it going gangbusters. Now, I understand that the sourness of sourdough is the result of bacterial action rather than the biology of the yeast in the starter. If so, how long after initiating the start can I expect that sourness to really occur in my bread making?

    • Hi Dan,

      I wish it was that simple. Sour starter doesn’t necessarily translate to sour bread. Longer fermentation times for the bread dough at cooler temps (I think mid to upper 60’s F will favor acidic acid production over the less sour lactic acid) is more likely to produce a more sour bread. But even that is not formulaic. Some experimentation will be required. I’ve read that a stiffer (lower hydration) starter also favors more sour. You could try that too.

      Please let us know how it goes.

  34. LuAnn

    Love reading your recipes and will be trying sourdough for first time. Have been baking bread for over fifty years.

    • Welcome to our sourdough world and cheers to another 50 years of baking!

  35. Joe Delasko

    I have a question. The Sicilian bread recipe calls for durum flour, which is impossible to find… even in the 4th largest city in the US. Would it be possible to run semolina flour through a grain mill to get the finer grind of durum flour? …. or is that a silly idea? Semolina is pretty easy to find.

    • Hi Joe,

      It’s a great question. Semolina is durum wheat so double milling it to get a finer grind is a good idea. But if you really want a nice flour for the Sicilian bread recipe, double mill the semolina and then bolt it by sifting it through a 30 then 50 mesh sifter

      I do this with Kamut berries (close relative of durum) for truly amazing results.

  36. Virginia DuVall

    Please add me to your blog-

    • Looks like you’re all set, Ginny. Thanks for signing up and welcome.

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