A baking-time story, or how “The Baking Sheet” came to be

Once upon a time, Brinna Sands and PJ Hamel were working together at King Arthur, trying to inspire Americans to bake. They knew that bakers are a sociable, intelligent, creative bunch, and realized that nothing gets people more excited about baking than a good recipe, and a good story to go with it.
How to reach these fine people? They bought a mailing list (128 names) for a newsletter called “The Baking Sheet,” and that’s how this particular story begins.

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These are the only known (to us) copies left of the original Baking Sheet. It was a 4-page newsletter, with a few baking toys for sale on the side. After King Arthur acquired the title, Brinna and PJ published it as a small, black and white, folksy collection of baking knowledge, information about ingredients, recipes, and stories.

They also doubled the size to 8 pages. PJ tells me it was printed on an office copier on 8 1/2” by 14” paper, folded, stapled, and mailed, all by hand. After a while, they got fancy and put it through a 3-hole punch before putting the stick-on mailing label on the back. It looked like this:

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One year, PJ and Brinna lost track, and put out an extra issue. This raised a bit of havoc with the issue and volume count, but we eventually worked it out. For those of you who love used bookstores and the like, we still have a few copies of these old issues on sale.

The following photos are from the mid ’90s; I thought you’d get a charge out of seeing some of our “younger selves” as they appeared in the catalogue at the time:

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Here’s PJ, with the timer she still wears to this day.

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Brinna gradually withdrew from her day-to-day writing duties after 1997, and

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Robyn Sargent came on to write the Bread Machine Bounty column.

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Sue Gray, our current product development director, was also a regular contributor by then.

As the newsletter’s readership grew, it became obvious that we had to have it professionally printed. At that time we added one color for type as an accent.

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See the purple?

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I joined King Arthur in 2002, to test recipes for The Baker’s Companion.

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After the book went to press a year later, PJ’s work with the catalogue and Web site increased, and I was given stewardship of “The Baking Sheet,” to my great delight. What better task could there be, than to bake half the time and write half the time?

I unleashed a lot of my favorite recipes, from Blueberry Buckle to Marble Rye , with stops at Butterscotch Snack Cakes and homemade Twinkies® (complete with how-to photos) on the way. Soon after, we made one of our big leaps: The Holiday 2004 issue was our first ever to have color photography.

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“The Baking Sheet” has been making friends and educating bakers of all kinds for a long time now. For the romantics and English majors like me out there, who are still thrilled at the feel of new paper and the wonders a printed publication can contain, “The Baking Sheet” is an affordable thrill. We like to think of it as a way to keep you company in the kitchen while you bake.

Once I know a recipe works, I bake it for its beauty shot. The food styling can be a bit silly-looking; that’s when my tweezers, paintbrushes, and Q-tips come out. A bubble in the wrong place can be brutally distracting in a food picture, and I’d rather have the food look as real as possible, instead of relying on Photoshop.

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There are no ads in “The Baking Sheet.” I test and revise every recipe. I also make sure that you can make every recipe with standard ingredients that you can find in the grocery store. Although I have to admit, when coconut milk powder first arrived in the test kitchen, I couldn’t resist writing a bunch of recipes for it, including Coconut Cake.

We graduated to a larger format in 2006, and went to all-color in Autumn 2008.

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Brenda Hickory does all the photography as well as the layout (she’s been with the newsletter since the days of the manual 3-hole punch). She and I got together this week to do the layout for the Spring issue.

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The recipes have been tested, written, the nutritional analyses done, and all have had their picture taken. They’re up there on the wall to help us remember what we have to work with.

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It’s our task to figure out which recipe goes where; how to get all the features in, and decide what goes on the cover. We often have more material than we have pages, which helps us create the next issues.

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Sorry folks, the Caramel Cake and Shrewsbury Tarts are going to have to wait for summer.

Brenda then puts everything together. The upcoming issue has a feature about baking with (and for) kids.

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Rebecca Faill contributed some recipes that she bakes for her daughter, Carter, and they happened to stop by a minute ago. They’re checking out the layout for their pages here.

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Once the layout is done, a couple of copies are printed for a last once-over by yours truly, and for proofreading under the watchful eyes of PJ and Angela Lavoy. Final corrections are made, we make sure the color is where we want it to be on the photographs, then the file is sent to the printer. Here’s the Autumn ’08 issue running on press.

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From there it’s bound,

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drilled (gottta fit it into those 3-ring binders!), and mailed out to subscribers.

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That’s when the fun starts. I get the most wonderful emails and letters from readers, with recipe suggestions, questions, stories, and comments of all kinds. For me, that’s the best part of being the editor.

“I love the Makeover Recipes in the latest edition of ‘The Baking Sheet.’ Especially like what you did with the Pineapple Pound Cake in removing the manufactured ingredients. The layout with the old recipe card and the picture of the final product was great, too. Keep up the good work.”

Italian Sub rolls: “Thanks for the recipe in the recent Baking Sheet! I’ve been looking for a recipe like this one. They came out great the first time.”

Grandma’s Crunch cake: “Wow! I finally got the time to make the recipe last night and it was excellent! I am so thrilled. Thank you so much for revising this recipe. I think it is a very unique cake and I’m thrilled that it is going to be featured in ‘The Baking Sheet.’ ”

The recipes in each issue are all new: discoveries I and my contributing authors have made, some sent in from readers, or recipes from cherished, batter-flecked cards that have been handed down in King Arthur families (like contributor Mary Tinkham’s) for generations. Every issue has a few quick and easy meal ideas, a recipe makeover, how-to photographs,

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ideas for entertaining, bread machine recipes, and a feature called “Learn More About It,” where I get to put on my teaching chef’s hat and go over a baking technique or answer baking questions in depth.

Given this electronic age and the immense amount of information available online, there are still (thankfully) thousands of you that look forward to this little publication arriving in the mail every other month. It’s for those who love to turn pages, browse at leisure, and cozy up with some reading and a cup of coffee. I like to think of it as an “undiscovered gem” in the world of food writing. The Baking Sheet is looking forward to many more great conversations and shared recipes to come.

Susan Reid
About

Susan Reid grew up in New Jersey, graduated from Bates College and the Culinary Institute of America, and is presently enjoying her fourth career after stints in advertising, running restaurants, and teaching at the New England Culinary Institute. She joined King Arthur in 2002 to ...

comments

  1. Sandy

    I subscribe to the Baking Sheet and absolutely LOVE, LOVE, LOVE it!!! I have recommended it to many of my friends. I am so glad you posted this article because I want to thank you so much for putting Weight Watchers Point values on each recipe. I am so thankful for that! What a great service to those of us who are trying mightily to lose weight and get healthier.
    Sandy: Thanks so much for posting! I feel the same way about our readers. They’ve given me a lot of inspiration and encouragement over the years, and it’s a relationship I value more than I can say. Big hug back from here. Susan

    Reply
  2. Kathleen

    Wonderful article! I discovered King Arthur and this blog just this past December. I also discovered the Baking Sheet and quickly ordered the 2008 Editions set. I loved it so much that I signed up for my first one year subscription, your Early Spring 2009 will be my first. I can hardly wait to receive it. I enjoy your writing and most of the the recipes. I also made the pineapple pound cake that was referred to above and it was absolutely delicious.
    Here’s to many years of baking together to come! Susan

    Reply
  3. MaryJane

    The Baking Sheet was one of those items I always coveted before I worked for KAF. When I started here, I read back issues every chance I got and learned so much. I have a 3 year collection now, and snatch up any older copies whenever I get the chance.
    Hearing the back story, and seeing the photos was just terrific!

    Reply
  4. k8

    Please tell me that you have copies of the whole publication run archived somewhere! Or that there copies (paper or electronic) of those old issues. My MLS makes me think about preservation and archives at times like this.

    Hi – This is PJ. I have hard copies of all the Baking Sheets. Not sure if anyone else does, but at least there’s one extant copy of each issue… PJH

    Not to worry, I have half a dozen copies of each issue, and we’re working on finding a way to make them available in a digital format in the coming year. Susan

    Reply
  5. Nicole Shugars

    I too am a subscriber and love the educational value (plus great recipes, of course!) of The Baking Sheet. I anxiously await its arrival and usually pour through it as I’m waiting in the pick-up line at school for my 5 year old. The most recent edition looks fantastic and can’t wait to have a go at the muffin recipes. My kids love to bake with me and it is a great learning tool for them…part of the reason I wanted to stay at home with them!

    Nicole: Watch for the “Baking with Kids” feature in the Spring issue: it’s due in home in Early April. Susan

    Reply
  6. Cindy Grob

    While I enjoy Bakingcircle.com and love the blog, there is just something special about holding the latest issue of the Baking Sheet in my own two hands… unlike any digital format, it transports me to a place where I can feel and taste and smell all the wonderful possibilities that are presented to me within those sheets of paper. My latest issue arrived just a few days ago when I was feeling particularly cranky. I didn’t have the patience to actually bake anything – that would have meant being sociable with my husband and explaining what I was doing as I puttered about the kitchen. I supposed I could have thawed a brownie from the batch made from the recent blog entry – tho the guilt over munching that (ok – those 2 or 3) would have only contributed to my bad mood. Instead, I found a quiet corner and poured over the Baking Sheet, feeling the texture of the sweet dough and imagining the aroma of the cinnamon and apples surrounding me. When I finally rejoined the real world of time-to-make-the-dinner, thanks to my Baking Sheet I felt every so much better.
    Thank you for letting us see what it takes to put this Sheet together, and please share my appreciation with all members of this valuable team. My dream job is to be part of this endeavor… Until then – thank you, thank you!

    Cindy: I can’t think of a nicer thing to say to an English major whose Dad wasn’t sure how the heck she’d ever support herself with that “unmarketable” degree. Thank you, thank you, thank you. Susan

    Reply
  7. Jackie

    2008 I started getting my Baking Sheet. I love it !!
    Would you consider doing a petit four recipe on the blog like Sue Gray has in her picture ??
    Keep up the great work.
    Hey, there, Jackie. We did one many years ago, but I reckon you’re right, it’s about time we showed how to do it once more. Thanks for the suggestion! Susan

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  8. Ginger

    Thanks for telling us how The Baking Sheet came to be. I’m a subscriber and I love it. 2 years ago, for part of her Christmas gift, I gave my 83 year old Nana a Baking Sheet subscription. She loves it. So I’ve renewed it for her ever since.

    Reply
  9. Madhavi

    Greetings from India! I discovered your site a few months ago and even though I have no access to KA flour or ingredients (any plans to distribute outside the US?), I have tried out many of your recipes that have turned out perfectly and are now staples of my weekly baking routine. This article was lovely and inspired me to post. Thank you for all your hard work!
    Madhavi: Thank you so much! What a pleasure to know we can reach bakers all over the world with what we do. we’re honored to have our recipes keeping you company in your home. Susan

    Reply
  10. Kathleen Schuller

    Thank you for the history and the how-it-happens for each issue. I love my Baking Sheets and have been collecting old issues. I’d be thrilled to have a copy of the issues in volume 1 and the first issue of volume 2. It is a thrill when I find a new issue in my mailbox. I thoroughly enjoy the colored photos of each recipe.

    Reply
  11. Terri

    I used to subscribe to the Baking Sheet but had let my subscription lapse several years ago. I was interested in resubscribing but can’t locate the price. When I clicked on the link in your article, I needede to fill out a subscription page still not knowing the price. I don’t want to be a cheapskate, but in these tight times, price matters.
    Terri: If you subscribe to our promotional emails, there’s a limited time offer coming out today for a “mini” subscription: 3 issues for $9.95. The one year price is $21/95; 2 years are $39.95. Susan

    Reply
  12. keri

    “It’s for those who love to turn pages, browse at leisure, and cozy up with some reading and a cup of coffee. I like to think of it as an “undiscovered gem” in the world of food writing”

    heheh, this is how I treat the catalog! I’m always excited when even that shows up in my mailbox. Oh, I really want to subscribe to the newsletter! :)

    Keri: hang on for the email that’s coming later today for a discounted price on your first “taste”. We can’t wait to have you join up ;-) Susan

    Reply
  13. Amy

    I love your blog, catalog and products. I admit I’m not a subscriber to the Baking Sheet–but I think about it every time I get the catalog. Did I dream it, or did you publish and newstand magazine a year or so ago? It was great!

    Hi, Amy! Thanks for the good words. Yes, we did a trial run of a newstand magazine a couple of years ago; it was tabled and we redirected our efforts into upgrading the look and length of The Baking Sheet instead. Give it a try with the mini-sub; it’s a low-cost way to get a feel for what’s in it. Susan

    Reply
  14. Pam

    What a great article, it’s so interesting to read about how the Baking Sheet started. I’ve only subscribed for about two years and I love it. I also LOVE that timer that PJ is holding. Mine is going right now to remind me to take the clothes out of the dryer!

    I’ve used my timer-on-a-string to keep track of dough rising when I’m out in the garden. They’re mighty handy! Susan

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  15. Nel

    OK, I’ll ask what I thought was the obvious question everyone would ask: When are you coming out with a ‘facsimile edition’ BOOK of the Baking Sheet, year by year? I’m thinking of something along the lines of those Time/Life series (‘The Old West’ – that kind of thing). They’d probably be fairly slim volumes – especially in the early years – but for those of use who haven’t subscribed over the years and droop at the thought of becoming a collector (finding and buying back issues and collecting them in binders) this would be so convenient. One could see the evolution of the newsletter year-by-year and have all that great information in a set of books.

    This would be a boon to those people who have never subscribed, who tend to want ‘the whole set’ of whatever it is (that collector gene kicks in), but who don’t have time or energy to gather together binders full of back issues.

    Sounds to me like an idea that has to happen sometime…

    Nel: I am intrigued with your idea; I often wonder in this age of electronic delivery how big the appetite is for print anymore, which is why I had thought to try a cd of everything out first and see how it goes. I’ll be sure to run this idea up the flagpole here, so to speak….Susan

    Reply
  16. cindy leigh

    oh my….. subscribing could be a dangerous thing.
    Just from the blog alone, I now bake all our sandwich bread (pain de mie) and bagels. Add to that the sourdough baguettes I make from the KA sourdough starter I bought years ago. And the hamburger/hotdog buns I got off the recipes section of the KA web site. And weekly english muffins. Let’s not forget sourdough belgian waffles (recipe from KA). And scones. (also a KA recipe). And pasta, made with my KitchenAid stand mixer with pasta rollers, using KA flours.
    I’ve got so many flours and ingredients that DH got me a rolling cart to hold them all. I keep it in a cool pantry and wheel it out to the kitchen when I’m baking. Otherwise my flours might have to sit on the counter full time, I use them that often. My dream kitchen would have a built-in “flour cooler”!
    My desire to 1) eat a high fiber whole grain diet, 2) control ingredients, 3) beat the recession, has me baking 3 or 4 times a week, or several hours over the weekend. but you know what? It just kind of fits in with my oher activities.
    For instance, I’ve got an english muffin starter bubbling away in the oven (no heat on!), a batch of bagel dough is about to go into the Zo, and a friendship cake is planned for later today. In between that, I’ll be doing my usual housework, weekend chores, etc. And I work full time, and find that baking truly does not hog my time.
    Today I sent the girl scouts off on a trip to NYC to see Phantom, and I sent bagels and cream cheese, and a sour cream bundt cake for breakfast for the drive down. Oh- and they earned the $ for the trip by having a bake sale- they did the baking at my house. What fun I had!
    Tonight we’ll have pizza on home made dough.
    My Zo and my KitchenAid are getting near daily use, and all my supplies are KA. OK, so I have not lost 20 lb yet, but DH’s cholesterol levels have improved significantly, I’m saving $, my creations taste good, and I feel content. I also feel connected to the bakers in my family who are gone now. What a good feeling!
    I nearly had a cow when DD bought a box of a dozen small “snack cakes” to take to a meeting- 4$ for essentially nothing! I have become a baking snob! Doesn’t matter what it is- if it’s a baked good, with KA’s help, I can make it! And make it BETTER! And cheaper!
    Ahhh…. if I subscribed to the Baking Sheet, it would be treasured like my old Organic Gardening magazines, and I would have to stay up nights baking!
    Thanks for everything all of you at KA do to make baking easy. And of course, for the great products.

    Cindy: you are obviously our kind of people! You could always drop a hint for Mother’s Day that a subscription wouldn’t be amiss…we’re doing a feature on baking with kids in the Spring issue. I’m so glad you’ve taken baking into your life and enhanced it in so many ways. Your family will always treasure the fact that you put that extra care into feeding them. Thanks for writing. Susan

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  17. Caryn Hart

    I just want to let you know that I recently made a recipe from a very old issue of The Baking Sheet- March-April 1993 Vol IV, No. 4. It was the recipe for Maple Walnut Spice Biscotti and it really is a fabulous recipe. I have many recipes for Biscotti, but this one is really special. I tweaked it a little, using butter in place of the shortening and added 1/4 teaspoon of salt since I thought it odd that the recipe had no salt at all. I always wondered if that was intentional. Maybe you could find out!!

    In any case it is an example of a recipe that is different than any that I have come across because of its wonderful spicey flavor and great crunchiness.

    Hi, Caryn! I will have to haul my binder down (1993 is at the very top of the bookshelves over my desk) and take a peek at the recipe. I’d add a pinch of salt, too; it just brings out the other flavors. Thanks for bringing this recipe to my attention: it’s easy to get lost, paging through all those old issues. I just counted, and there are over 3,000 of them! Susan

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  18. Caryl

    I enjoyed reading the history of the Baking Sheet. I have subscribed forever and really enjoy each issue. This week I have been baking through the Early Spring Issue and so far have made the Scottish Reels, English muffins, Cheese Blitz and the Buttermilk-Sage Biscuits which I baked over Chicken Pot Pie – delicious! Every recipe has been a winner! Thanks so much to you all!

    Reply
  19. Lynn

    Susan: Just wanted to let you know that I far prefer the printed word over electronic delivery. I fully acknowledge that electronic delivery can be very helpful in some situations, but, for this type of information I would far prefer to curl up in a comfortable chair with the warm sun on my back and browse to my hearts content.

    Lynn: That makes two of us, as the groaning bookshelves in my house will confirm! Susan

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  20. Phyllis Wight

    Thanks for sharing your very interesting story; I enjoyed reading it.
    I love the Baking Sheet and always look forward to finding one in my mail box. I would really like to be able to read the older versions, but, like several of the other bloggers, prefer to have a hard, rather than an electronic copy.

    As the daughter of a professional baker, I was raised around, and cut my teeth on the “best of the best.” I appreciate knowing that I can find the best at King Arthur, and hopefully resurrect my father’s wonderful recipes.

    Thanks! :-)

    Phyllis: How wonderful, to be brought up around all those wonderful smells, flavors and textures! Let me know if I can give you a hand with converting any of your dad’s formulas, if you’re willing to share. Thanks for the input. Susan

    Reply
  21. Terri A.

    You have intrigued me and I have put in an order for the ‘test drive’ edition. I’m looking forward to getting them!

    Reply
  22. Béatrice H.

    Though I am a regular reader of your blog, I was not aware that you issued such a newsletter. I subscribed right away! Should you decide one day to target the French-speaking audience (very interested in baking & cooking), please contact me! (I am a professional English-French translator and a food lover).

    Reply
  23. Gayle

    I am a regular subscriber of your newsletter, and I LOVE it–so much so that I ordered copies of earlier issues. I noticed that occasionally corrections are made to recipes, usually in the following issue. But since not all of the issues are available, I don’t have the following issue for each newsletter. How can I learn if any of the old issues I purchased have corrections? Thank you!

    Hi there, Gayle. I think the best way to check is to call or email our customer service department. We keep an electronic file of issues and corrections here internally, and they can quickly look up the recipe you have in mind and let you know if there’s an adjustment to be made. And while you’re here, change the salt in the English Muffin recipe in the Early Spring issue to 1 teaspoon, not 1 tablespoon ;-) Susan

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  24. Janet T.

    I, too, enjoy the Baking Sheet. I’ve been scaling back on subscriptions , but this one is a keeper! If you locate the recipe for Maple Walnut Spice Biscotti for Caryn, please post it. It sounds yummy. I just started making biscotti when I came across your American Style Vanilla Biscotti. I took some to my very Italian mother -in-law who gave it two thumbs up. Even my non-sweet eating husband asked for more!

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  25. Yvonne L.

    Hey Fellow Bakers,
    Thanks so much for the blog post on the “Baking Sheet” and it’s history. I’ve been wondering how the newsletter came to be and what the older issues looked like. Would you consider publishing (NOT Electronically) the first issues from 1989??? I love, love love “The Baking Sheet”–and I always look forward to the evening when it’s there, waiting for me when I get home from work. I’ve managed to collect most of the back issues except for the very first ones… I’d love to see and read them in person. Does King Arthur Flour have a library? Can we visit it???
    What issue was the Twinkie article in, by the way???
    Thanks and happy baking!
    -=^..^=-
    Hi there, Yvonee! The famous Snack Cake article was in the Autumn 03 issue. We’ve had several requests for a printed facsimile of the earliest issues. I’ll see what I can do about turning them into an incentive to sign up and renew….Susan

    Reply
  26. cjsmama

    Great article about the Baking Sheet. I’ve often thought what a good idea it would be to have it available digitally for a few reasons — aside from being a new profit-maker for all of those back issues, KAF could save on printing, paper, and postage for those who preferred a digital subscription; mistakes or typos could easily be corrected; and it would be easily accessible for your customers who can’t always lay their hands on the recipe they know they read somewhere (ahem, me). You could offer it on a subscription basis along the lines of Cooks Illustrated. I, for one, would sign up in a minute to be able to see the old issues. I hope you really do consider it!

    Your input is much appreciated: I’m doing the research right now to see what it would take to make just what you describe happen. Thanks. Susan

    Reply
  27. AmyEmilia

    Your idea of a CD might be a very good one. I’ve been trying to cut way back on paper – it has a way of accumulating! – and would love the ability to read recipes on a screen. Or, have you thought about offering a Kindle subscription? My Kindle is never far from me…
    Amy

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  28. Manette Rogers

    What a great article and what a great response from readers! I have baked bread for my family for 20 plus years and subscribed to the “baking sheet” two years ago. The baking sheet has expanded my baking repertoire significantly both in skill and variety. I used to clip recipies and use all kinds of cookbooks, but after years of hit and miss success with recipies I now confine myself to only about three sources, one of which is the baking sheet. With my most recent order from KingArthurFlour.com I ordered several back issues.

    Thank you for mentioning the engliish muffin salt correction, as I read my most recent issue and was planning on making them soon! Do you post corrections online so subscribers can check before making a mistake before the next issue comes out?

    With a family of five going in all directions I use my bread machine for mixing and baking when ever possible. In a recent issue you responded to a subscriber that you had written about bread machine vs oven baking the baking sheet loaf bread recipies. I looked through my past issues and found a few bits and pieces on this, can you tell me which issue to refer to? Or perhaps you could have a permanent article online to refer to. I looked at several bread machine articles online but did not find anything specific to converting recipies or if the baking sheet recipies work wonderfully baked in machine or oven.

    Noticed your comment on upcoming “cooking with kids”. I teach an afterschool cooking class for elementary students. My biggest challenge is that the class is only 1 hour long! We often measure ingredients in one class and bake in the next in order to get it out of the oven before they go. I conduct this class with my 11 year old daughter as assistant because the kids just love to cook and I feel strongly that cooking is becoming a lost art. I look forward to your issue on cooking with kids!

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  29. Jess

    Our whole family looks forward to getting the Baking Sheet in the mail! I love curling up with my three kids to look at “yummies,” & when we get time, to bake them together. Please do make the archives available. I’d prefer the printed page since it’s hard to get cozy in front of the computer, but would certainly not turn down digital either. I can’t wait to see what you guys come up with!

    Reply
  30. Ann Perry Evans

    I just finished reading my first issue of The Baking Sheet. It was like a really good visit with an old friend. What a happy surprise to find this blog detailing the history, and to see pictures of y’all. I’m so glad your catalog appeared in my mailbox a year or so! Thanks for a great publication, Ann Evans

    Reply
  31. Lyne Vendely

    As we speak, the current issue is waiting on the counter for today’s production of the blueberry breakfast bread and the chocolate malted cookies. Could not find malt powder locally so had to order that from KA, while on the site got caught up in the blog! I’ll be lucky to get back to the kitchen before dark…

    Wanted to add how much I, too, appreciate curling up with the newest issue. Probably good that it comes only 6 times a year. It’s been said several times already in this blog – how nice to cozy up with print on real paper. Also, thanks SO much for the WW points info (though a little depressing at times) and for giving measurements in weight – my cooking, esp baking, has improved immensely since I began cooking this way.

    Carry on!

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  32. Pchien

    After trying out some of the recipes from your blog, I now realize that I really don’t know much about baking. Where do I start? Which book do I need to start with besides subscribing to The Baking Sheet?

    Hi – Here’s the best baking book you’ll ever own (she says modestly): The King Arthur Flour Baker’s Companion. It’s 600+ pages of recipes, tips, primers, technical illustrations, and lots of good hand-holding. Susan (one of my fellow bloggers) and I wrote it a few years ago, and it won the James Beard North American Book of the Year award – which is the equivalent, in cookbook world, of best picture at the Academy Awards. Check it out of your library, if you’re hesitant to buy; give it a test drive. I guarantee you’ll love it. And learn a LOT. Stay in touch here, too – there’s so much you can learn. Oh, and BTW – did you know King Arthur is the largest educator of home bakers in the world? Seems unusual for a little company in Vermont, but it’s true… education it’s our mission. Enjoy the journey – PJH

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  33. Tory

    All this talk about facsimiles puts me in mind of This Old House. Years ago, their monthly publication looked wonderfully ‘antiquey’ like your early ‘Baking Sheet’ (complete with 3 hole punch). When they had enough available, they produced a large, softcover, facsimile ‘Compendium’. It’s great for those who never got to see the earlier issues and for those of us who misplaced one or two (!!). And, as so many have said, MUCH nicer to curl up with than a disc….. :-)

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  34. Charles Garrod

    Thanks for the History. I have all kinds of sizes and I still have to punch holes in every “Baking Sheet” that I receive. I even had a special 3 ring binder just for the Baking Sheet and then You changed sizes on me. Now have two different sized binders and none of the holes match up.
    Am looking forward to when You make all of the Baking Sheets available on line so that I can print off the copies that I am missing.
    By the way the “Dusty” in my email address refers to flour dust as I am always baking something. It also refers to the fact that I build custom hardwood furniture for discerning customers. Hence Flour Dust and Wood Dust.
    Keep up the good work. I also bake a lot of Limpa Bread, what is your version.

    Chuck

    Hi, Chuck! Funny you should say about Limpa; the Spring issue that’s about to go to press has a Vort Limpa that I reworked from a much larger recipe in the 200th anniversary cookbook. It’s a little bit sweet, has some orange zest in it, and also uses beer. Stay tuned! Susan

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  35. claire

    Susan and/or PJ– I am a Baking Sheet Junkie, and would love to be able to get a copy of the first few volumes. I start at Vol 2, No. 2 and would love to get the first few— like I need more recipes. Yes, in fact, I do. Thanks for taking the time to listen/read/respond. Your company is one of a kind. Thanks, Claire

    Hey there, Claire! I’m doing my best to make the earliest ones available by next fall (it’s part of my budgeting process now). Most likely on a cd, possibly as part of having an electronic subscription with access to every single Baking Sheet on line. We’re thinking about you, so stay tuned! Susan

    Reply
  36. cj florence

    please, please, please seriously consider publishing the back issues of the baking sheet. i only recently received a few copies, and i really enjoy baking from them. hard copy is so much easier to follow for someone that is older. i have an old fashioned kitchen, with many cookbooks at my fingertips, and would dearly love to have ALL the issues of the baking sheet. thank you for your consideration.

    Reply
  37. Corisande

    I’d like to second the request of other readers. It would be so great to have more hardcopy earlier issues of the magazine, if they’re available. (The link to older issues in your blog no longer seems to work.) As an older, but very junior baker who only took up baking (and the Baking Sheet) in the spring of 2011, I’ve snapped up every back issue you’ve offered, to the point where I’ll soon be needing another binder, and love reading them. Thank you for the history of this unique magazine (the only one specifically for home bakers as far as I know), and congratulations on your ever-evolving color and layout, your charming writing style, and your way of celebrating the seasons and diverse regional baking traditions.
    Corisande, thanks so much for your nice words! We print extra copies every time we go to press, and generally after its printed most issues have an “afterlife” of roughly 3 years before the back issues sell out. Reprinting is really cost prohibitive, but all of the older material is available on our CDs. Susan

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