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Introducing the 'Last Wednesday Mailbag'
Yet another Wordloaf new thing
Way back when, I used to include more “practical” items—links to tools, techniques, recipes from elsewhere, etc.—in the Wordloaf Friday Bread Basket, but over time that weekly slot has evolved to only cover bread- and grain-related “news” instead. I realized today that it would be useful for us all to have someplace else to share the former sorts of things, many of which come via correspondence with all of you. To that end, I’m to use the final Wednesday post of each month to share a grab bag/mailbag of odds and ends that don’t fit into the Friday Bread Basket format.
In other words, welcome to the inaugural monthly Last Wednesday Mailbag.
Another new idea: share your #wordloafbakes
The first item I have to share is yet another new idea for the Wordloaf universe: recipe shares. Monday’s open thread was an invitation to share all of your recent bakes with us here. Someone asked how they could post pictures of their breads, but unfortunately it is not possible to add pictures to a comment on Substack. But the question inspired an idea: How about instead I periodically share a post with pictures and details of your bakes for others to ogle over and applaud?
Here’s how it will work:
Post images and details of your bakes to Instagram, tagging @wordloaf and using the hashtag #wordloafbakes. Obviously many of you—including Rhianna, aka @onehollowleg, whose recent al taglio-style pizza is pictured above—have already been doing this sort of thing for ages. Adding the hashtag will let me know that you’d like me to share your post here. (Feel free to retroactively tag recent posts if you’d like to have them included.)
Or, if you aren’t on Instagram, email me an image or two, along with all the salient details, using Wordloafbakes in the subject line.
Once I receive a decent amount of responses, I’ll devote a Monday email to sharing them, pictures and all, probably on a monthly basis. Sound good?
Classified Ad: A gently-used Nutrimill impact mill
Wordloafer Corrine J. emailed me to say that she had a gently-used tabletop mill to sell and asked if I’d be willing to mention it during my recent gingersnap/home milling workshop. I said I’d be happy to, but in the chaos of teaching, it slipped my mind. So instead I’m sharing her request here. It is a Nutrimill classic, not one I have any personal experience with, but one I know many people use and like. She said she is willing to sell it for $150 including shipping to anywhere in the US, which is about half the price of a new one. If you are interested, email me and I will forward your email to Corrine.
Another Challenger challenger?
Wordloafer Joshua B. emailed to say that another friend had recommended the Golden Spike Oval Roaster as a low-cost alternative to my favorite Dutch oven, the Challenger Bread Pan‡. I’ve not seen one up close, and the website is a little light on sizing details, but it looks a lot like the Pit Boss cast iron roaster I tested and liked awhile back, so it might be a good option if you are still in the market for one. If any of you tries it out, let us know how it goes.
Email newsletter vs. email
Finally, I wanted to make a request to you all, a version of something I have mentioned before, but that bears repeating. Wordloaf now has more than 6500 subscribers/readers, which is an astounding number, far beyond what I’d ever expected when I first launched it.
But: That is also a lot of people to keep in touch with. If you have a question, especially one related to something I have written about before, please ask it as a comment on a post whenever possible rather than emailing me directly. (Both the Wordloaf Index and the search box are useful for finding previous discussions of particular topics.) You are more likely to get a quick response, especially since I know that way others will benefit from the information it contains. (I try my best to keep up with comments here, but if I don’t respond, it just means it fell through the cracks and you should just ask it again.)
I’m not saying you shouldn’t ever email me directly, especially if you don’t know where to post your comment, or if your question is not appropriate as one. (Obviously I’m not saying that, because this new “mailbag” email business is all about people emailing me.) Plenty of people do, and I tend to respond promptly when they do. Keep in mind however that just because I respond does not mean I’m game to carry on an extended conversation, particularly if it’s not related to the initial query. If I don’t reply to your reply, it’s likely because I had to move on to someone else’s question.
One extra detail: When I do get emails from people here, I tend to be more quick to respond and more liberal in my willingness to engage when I know that the emailer is a paid subscriber. Not because I consider that the price of entry—as I said, I try to respond to every question I get—but because I know that the person in question has contributed financially to what I am doing here, and I want to return the favor. So if you need further incentive to becoming a subscriber, you might like to know that “priority access” is one of its unadvertised perks.
Speaking of which: Paid subscribers can expect to see a recipe for that sesame-spelt sourdough pictured above in their inboxes before the end of the month. It’s nothing complicated, but a nice one nonetheless. It’ll include a gif or video clip demonstrating how I like to coat my loaves with seeds.