Back to Basics
I don’t know about you, but after a month of pizza content in November and a month of holiday breads in December, I need something of a break from decadent, fat-bomb breads and pastries. Which is why I’m going to start the new year here focusing on more wholesome breads, lean ones and/or those with a high percentage of whole-grain flours (like the oatmeal soda bread pictured above, which I created for Camilla Wynne’s upcoming online marmalade workshop on 1/16 that you really ought to attend). And sourdoughs, since it’s been awhile since I’ve shared those here, and I know how much you all love sourdough breads. (Speaking of which.)
I’m still working on a few possible candidates for the first recipe of the year (including a sourdough marble deli rye that I just started working on today), so stay tuned for that. In today’s email, I wanted to outline what to expect this year from the newsletter and to discuss some changes to the format and content.
Here’s what you can look forward to:
More guest content. I started to share guest recipes and post here and there last year, and I plan to do so regularly in ‘22. I have some amazing folks lined up that I can’t wait to collaborate with here. And thanks to the generosity of my now 830 paid subscribers (🙏), going forward I will be compensating contributors a $200 honorarium each for their time and expertise.
Interviews. In some cases, the guest appearances here will come in the form of interviews with bakers and other grain heads that I think you should know. (If there are particular people you would like to see featured in an interview, please let me know!)
Fewer, but better recipes. I mentioned in my end-of-year wrap-up that I published 30 recipes here last year, which is a lot. While I’m happy with the quality of those recipes, that pace is really unsustainable over the long run, and I plan to dial it back to a more reasonable number this year. I can’t predict exactly how many recipes that will yield in 2022, but it’ll definitely be fewer than 30. The good news is that slowing down a bit will allow me to spend more time on individual recipes and flesh them out a bit more completely than I have done previously.
More subscriber-only recipes. The number of paid subscribers to Wordloaf has doubled in the past year, and it is now at a level that proceeds from the newsletter make up a not-insignificant portion of my overall income. Since that means I can devote more of my time to it, I plan to publish more subscriber-exclusive recipes than free ones. Going forward, paid subscribers can expect to see at least one subscriber-only recipe per month, and possibly more. Those recipes will take priority over free ones, which I’ll share when I have the bandwidth to get to them. Some of these exclusive recipes will be related to the subjects I cover in other posts, while others will just be ones I’m excited to share with you, like the Detroit-style pizza that has been languishing in my outbox for ages now.
More charitable donations. Another consequence of so many paid subscribers is that I can increase the portion of the proceeds that I donate to charity. In 2021, I gave $100/month each to the Greater Boston Food Bank and Food for Free, two organizations working to fight food insecurity in the Boston area. Those donations will continue in 2022, and I have recently added a $50 monthly donation to Project Bread, another local food insecurity organization, and the home of the annual Walk for Hunger.
But also more of the same! Despite all these changes, you can still expect to see plenty of all of the other grainy stuff you’ve come to expect around here, so not to worry.
Okay, back to that sourdough deli rye. See you all on Friday, when I somehow have to cram nearly a month’s worth of bread news into a single week’s basket.
Will you be sharing the Oatmeal Soda Bread recipe here?
Thanks so much for the update Andrew. I may be in the minority but fewer recipes is just fine with me. The reason I no longer subscribe to cooking magazines is that it’s just too much coming at me every month. There’s a feeling like I need to be trying multiple recipes from each issue and if I don’t (which I rarely did), well it just sets me up for a major ice cream eating jag!
Is the only way to the Oatmeal Soda Bread recipe through the workshop? That loaf has my name all over it!