SERIOUS ISSUES TO PONDER - Please Read & Respond.

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SERIOUS ISSUES TO PONDER - Please Read & Respond.

Postby Paul » Mon Feb 20, 2012 12:25 pm


During the last week or two, I have been trying to find previous discussions of the book, particularly on and I'm struck (a little surprised, actually) to find NO MENTION of the book or its recipes anywhere on there. I understand from some one who used to be an active member on that forum that Dan & David (Dan's business partner) have deleted all conversations around the book and specific recipes so we don't have anything to refer to for hints or even previous experience. So if there were typos or other errors found in the recipes, we are on our own without any errata and likely to just note everyone's breads coming out funky.

The fact the book's existence has been effectively wiped from Dan's own website also strikes me as a bit odd. Coupled with David's very vigilant perusing of the web to eradicate or monitor uses of the recipes has put a bug in my head and makes me wonder if we've chosen the right path to take for a Mellow Bakers venture. To wit, I'm a little uneasy about this specific book now and, since I'm the one who would end up target of any action, I have to admit this development, even if much of it happened a while back, is new and odd to me and leaves me a little cold on the book.

I'd prefer to not forge ahead if we're going to run into trouble. There are other alternatives (and Mellow Bakers did have a second selection when we picked this book from a list) which we might want to switch off to before getting any deeper. Specifically, Ciril Hitz's Baking Artisan Pastries and Bread was the second choice.

I'm in no way wanting to denigrate Dan's book or certainly not his skills or him as a person, author and baker. But based on a couple of private email's I've gotten from people I do trust greatly, I'm getting quite uncomfortable with the idea of continuing work on Handmade Loaf. I neither want to get into a "big deal" over this choice or run afoul of Dan & David around what is simply a selected book we can do when there are less problem-prone ones we could just as easily work through.

We are not BOUND to bake through this book and could as easily bake through it on our own should any of us choose to. I think I would need a really, REALLY GOOD reason to move ahead on this one, at this point. And yes, it means we'd want to re-schedule a start for whatever book we select but that's not really an issue other than "it would have been nice". Switching books means a bit of work re-tweaking this forum for me but that's not a big problem.

Your thoughts, please.
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Re: SERIOUS ISSUES TO PONDER - Please Read & Respond.

Postby Naomi » Mon Feb 20, 2012 1:07 pm

Hi Paul,

I just received the book yesterday by mail and was quite excited about beginning it. But what you write for sure has a point, and if you feel uncomfortable with this while being the 'drive' behind this whole project, we should definetly consider other options. I'm not sure I would go out and buy another book right away - for budget concerns - but these developments don't seem to go well with the Mellow character of this forum.


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Re: SERIOUS ISSUES TO PONDER - Please Read & Respond.

Postby garlicbuddha » Mon Feb 20, 2012 1:30 pm

Hi Paul,

I'm happy to carry on with the current book. Dan Lepard's site is his own and he is free to organise it as he wishes. There are quite plausible reasons why he might have chosen to delete a thread. You have had some contact with David, Dan's business partner, other than requesting that we did not publish the recipe's did he express any other concerns? Could you contact him again to gain some reassurance about that this venture is not going to run into any trouble?

I have to say that I was looking forward to trying these breads!


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Re: SERIOUS ISSUES TO PONDER - Please Read & Respond.

Postby throup » Mon Feb 20, 2012 1:57 pm

Hi, Paul.

I too am looking forward to baking through this book and, whilst I would respect any decision to drop it, would be disappointed not to do this group bake now.

To play Devil's Advocate: if we posted the recipes then we would be in clear breach of copyright but, surely, writing about our experiences baking the bread is fair commentary under most copyright regimes; even if Dan wanted to stop us (why would he?) on what grounds would he be able?
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Re: SERIOUS ISSUES TO PONDER - Please Read & Respond.

Postby sanfranbaker » Mon Feb 20, 2012 2:37 pm

Hi Paul -

I would say if you have good advice that suggests that David & Dan won't look favorably on the venture, then let's choose another book. I don't have the Hitz book but would be open to it.

I do think it's a good suggestion that Ray makes, to confirm with David under what terms they would be comfortable with the project.



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Re: SERIOUS ISSUES TO PONDER - Please Read & Respond.

Postby Yooperchicks » Mon Feb 20, 2012 3:46 pm

I see no reason we can't bake from a published book. I paid for the recipes, and whether Dan has them on his website or not is immaterial. I have made a few of the breads, and his leaven, and there were a few minor issues, but isn't that why we're doing this? To learn, adapt, and help each other? I don't have the other book anyway.

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Re: SERIOUS ISSUES TO PONDER - Please Read & Respond.

Postby polly » Tue Feb 21, 2012 12:30 am

Hi Paul

I agree with Brett.

I was looking forward to baking through the book, but if David & Dan are not in favour of it and it could cause trouble then I think we should just pick another book.

I appreciate this has costs implications for everyone but it is not worth starting if it is going to cause problems.

I will follow the general consensus!


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Re: SERIOUS ISSUES TO PONDER - Please Read & Respond.

Postby Misk Cooks » Tue Feb 21, 2012 3:39 am

Paul, I assume that you've written to Dan directly, and confirmed that a problem might exist?

I'm not fussed about the book we use. I've baked most of what's in the Handmade Loaf, but not the other one that you mentioned. For that reason alone, I'm leaning toward the latter.

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Re: SERIOUS ISSUES TO PONDER - Please Read & Respond.

Postby Leavened_Heaven » Tue Feb 21, 2012 6:02 am

Hi Paul,

I'm new here (I'll post a howdy ASAP), and so I can't comment or judge based on the Mellow Bakers experience historically. I am quite excited about baking through this book specifically, as I have it, and have had some good results thus far, but have only baked a few of the recipes, which is, in part, what drew me towards this bake-along.

I sympathise with your concerns, especially as you're the one most exposed to any recourse, but I agree with those that have said there would be little risk. As long as we avoid breaching copyright (which as far as I've gathered does not even extend to an ingredients list) we would be simply discussing our experiences baking through the recipes. We are well within our rights to do that!

I have had dealings with David regarding a blog post I made around a recipe Dan posted on his forums. In that instance, I had mistakenly taken the forum post to be public domain, and reproduced the recipe as Dan described it (a rookie error and no mistake). David's contact was polite and his subsequent interactions understanding and encouraging, and not averse to people writing about their experiences, even putting me in touch with someone (via their blog) who has written quite a lot about Dan's recipes. And having interacted with Dan on twitter, he seems very engaged with, and enthusiastic about, the internet baking community. He has, for example, helped out with advice for the "url=]Short and Tweet[/url]" bake along, and there are blog posts describing the bake, without copying the recipe word for word from the book, which do not appear to have caused any issues. Therefore I would urge you to check with Dan & David what their boundaries are, and balance that with what you hope the bake along to be, before making a decision not to continue as planned.

I would consider a bake along based on another book, though buying another book would be tricky at the mo, as I'm not currently working.

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Re: SERIOUS ISSUES TO PONDER - Please Read & Respond.

Postby TonyI » Tue Feb 21, 2012 6:28 am

I can't comment on what happened in the past with this particular book but I am currently baking Dan Lepard's Short and Sweet which Dan is fully aware of and there have been no issues with that. I think the best course of action would be to communicate with him or David via their web site and if they are not happy then we look at doing something else.


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