bread loaf

Saint Paul Bread Club

We knead to bake!

Home of the Saint Paul Bread Club (SPBC)

This is the official web site of the Saint Paul Bread Club.

We are also have a group on Facebook, but that is not our official home.

Members of the SPBC are on our contact list and receive e-mails about upcoming club events.

The club is FREE. (The club has always been free.)

About the SPBC

Membership

See Joining the SPBC for more details.

Membership in the club is free and open to anyone interested in bread. Bread bakers with any level of experience are welcome. The SPBC charges no fees or dues.

You do not need to live in Saint Paul, or even near Saint Paul, to join the SPBC.

We are always looking for volunteers to work in the interests of the club. Volunteers for organizing and running monthly meetings, field trips, and events like the annual picnic are always welcome.

You might ask, where are members of the bread club?

I now have some tables that break down the known locations of bread club members.

History

See SPBC History for more detail.

Dan “Klecko” McGleno founded the Saint Paul Bread Club in 2003 to share his knowledge of breads and baking with home bread bakers. In 2003 we met in the Community Room of the Mississippi Market Co-op.

Starting in 2004, we have had our quarterly meetings at the St. Agnes Baking Company.

In 2005, we started having monthly meetings at different locations around the Twin Cities. Some of these meetings have continued, although at changed times and locations.

Our Bread Club Compared to Any Other Bread Club

We are the largest bread club we know of, at least in the sense of being a group of individuals with a common interest in bread. We have been listed as high as first or second place on Google, Yahoo, and Bing if you search for “bread club”. We are pretty much always on the first page of any “bread club” search.

(There are other “bread clubs” that we have seen, but these are typically associated with customer rewards programs at retail bakeries or the Salvation Army Bed & Bread Club)

Meetings

St. Agnes Meetings

Sometimes the bread club meets at the St. Agnes Baking Company (644 Olive Street in downtown Saint Paul, two blocks east of I-35E and just north of University Avenue) whenever the club founder and CEO of St. Agnes can fit it into his schedule.

St. Agnes meetings for 2014 will be announced as soon as Klecko schedules them.

Monthly Meetings

The bread club also has subgroups that meet approximately monthly around the Twin Cities area. (We call these subgroups slices, and we often refer to these subgroup meetings as slice meetings.)

At this time we have two meetings in Saint Paul, one in Eden Prairie, and one in Saint Louis Park,

If there is enough interest in a new meeting location, and a volunteer (or a committee of volunteers) to lead it, we will gladly create a new monthly meeting in hopes of serving another geographical subset of SPBC members.


New monthly meetings should aspire to avoid dates that existing monthly meetings use.

Use the 2014 MEETINGS AND EVENTS tab above to see the schedule for future monthly and St. Agnes meetings and other SPBC-related events.

On-Line Forum

If you can’t get to a St. Agnes meeting or one of the monthly meetings (or you live out of town), you can still participate with bread club members by joining and contributing to the on-line forum (there’s a link to it on the right).

Send e-mail to me to let me know that you want to participate in the forum, and I will register you. (Manual registration is required because of the number of spammers who tried to register when automatic registration was enabled.)

Other Bread Clubs

Tell Me If You Know of Any

If you know about any other bread clubs, we would be overjoyed to know about them. Please send e-mail to me and I’ll add the other club’s information to our list.

Here and Gone

I did discover that there had been a “bread club” at Johnson and Wales University with Richard Miscovich as their faculty advisor. He told me that the organizers of the club graduated, and the club basically doesn’t exist any more.

There is a group on Facebook called Bread Club but they don’t seem to be very active there.

Further search shows some other bread clubs on Facebook, including the Central Vermont Bread Club which claims to be the largest bread-specific club on Facebook. On the other hand, nobody seems to be active in it any more (only one post in 2010).

Still Here

There is another group on Facebook called Bread Making Club and they have been active and growing. (Most members are in England.)

Chicago, IL

A group in Chicago got organized on The Fresh Loaf They now have their own Meetup page.

Tacoma, WA

Also on The Fresh Loaf a group in Tacoma, Washington is trying to form.

Vancouver, BC

Again on The Fresh Loaf a group is trying to organize.

Los Angeles, CA

I discovered that there is a bread club based in Los Angeles, CA. They have a Facebook group. They also have their own Meetup page. They are quite active.

I have added a page that collects links to “bread clubs” as part of the Bread Links pages. You can navigate there directly by using the club link.

Starting a Bread Club

If you would like to start a bread club, we would be glad to be of any help we can. Please send e-mail to me and I’ll help you however we can.

As of February, 2010, I have been contacted by people interested in forming bread clubs in several states and other countries.

I have started a board in our on-line forum for the discussion of this topic. If you would like to participate, send e-mail to me and I’ll register you on the forum.

Klecko

Klecko wrote a chapter about forming your own bread club in the cookbook that is very useful.

The people at the Minnesota Historical Society Press suggested that I put this wording on the site:

“For information on how to start your own bread club, check out the chapter by master bread baker, Klecko, on this topic in the book Baking with the St. Paul Bread Club.” This is on pages 144 and 145 in the book.

Kim Ode

Kim Ode has this to say about starting your own bread club:

I encourage people to think about a bread club the way they think about a book club. Gather people around a common interest and let them help guide the direction as to topics and approach. Bread by bread? Cuisine by cuisine? Flour by flour? Etc.

If you don’t have a welcoming commercial bakery, consider the other large kitchens around you, such as community centers and church kitchens. Chances are, they’re going unused a night a month, or a night a quarter. If your group aims to be large, that’s necessary. If you want a smaller group, a private home may be all you’ll need.

The key is to keep it simple. Invite guest experts, but also discover the expertise within the group - or welcome the chance to become experts together in the best way possible: baking again and again.”

Ovens

We are on a Quest for Ovens. Members of the bread club have baked at ovens in Historical Ft. Snelling, and participated in building a clay oven at Gale Woods Farm Park.

We also built stacked-brick ovens at Murphy’s Landing and Gale Woods, although these have all now been removed.

We are especially interested in hearing about ovens where members of a community can come and bake. Please let me know if you are aware of any brick or clay ovens in operation, but especially ones where we can bake.