Carrot Bread (BBB October 2013)

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BBB: Let's Get Baking summary: recipe for Carrot Bread; a Bread Baking Babes project; revelations about cooked carrots; submission for YeastSpotting, Twelve Loaves and BYOB; (click on images to see larger views and more photos)

Bread Baking Babes (BBB) October 2013

Carrots are good for us, aren’t they? :stomp:

Carrot Bread This month, Heather (girlichef) chose the BBBabes’ project. As soon as she said what it was, I immediately started singing:

“Carrots grow from Carrot Seeds, I planted one…”

“Mothers know a lot of things … ”

“Nyaaah nyaaah! It won’t come up! Nyaaah nyaaah! it won’t…”

“Fathers know so many things…”

“Carrots grow from Carrot Seeds, I planted one, I grew it!”

– Norman Rose, adapted from The Carrot Seed by Ruth Krauss, Children’s Record Guild

This was one of my favourite records when I was little. I couldn’t stop listening to it, singing along and revelling that the carrot came up after all, in spite of the parents’ cautions and older brother’s nyah nyahs.

And yet, carrots are not my favourite vegetable. Unless they are raw and freshly picked out of the garden. But cooked carrots? No thank you; unless they are in carrot cake. And carrot juice? Bleah!! It’s just too earthy! It tastes “good for you”. Perhaps I’m wrong, but I prefer things that simply taste “good”.

So when Heather announced that we were making carrot bread, I confess that I blanched.

Yes, it’s true; I’m a BBBaby.

But being a very obedient BBB as well, I got out the carrots and made the bread. With my fingers crossed that it would be like carrot cake.

BBB Carrot Bread diary:

26 August 2013, 14:55 I like the idea of the sunflower and sesame seeds. And I really like the idea of the crackle glaze. I’m trying to decide if I should substitute something else for the carrots though…

10 October 2013, 23:10 Look at me, getting started early!! Apparently, this makes a LOT of bread so I decided to make half the recipe. I just mixed the starter dough.

Stiff, isn’t it? :lalala:

It’s in the oven with just the light on now and I’m expected lots of bubbling action tomorrow morning, first thing, when I start mixing the actual dough.

This afternoon, we rode our bikes to the market to get a few things for Thanksgiving dinner this weekend. This included carrots and I wanted to make sure we had extra carrots for the BBB bread. Yes, that’s right. I steeled myself and decided that it was time to grow up and try cooked carrots again. I WILL learn to like them!

Imagine my surprise when I saw that the carrots for sale in the vegetable store were from the USA! At this time of year? That’s ridiculous! I nixed getting the carrots there and insisted on going to a different store. Sure enough, a few doors down at another favourite vegetable/fruit store, there were giant bags of beautiful reasonably priced Ontario carrots.

Day 1: Make the Poolish […] Whisk in the flour until smooth – if it is very thick, continue whisking in more water until it is the consistency of a thick batter.
-Heather, BBB Carrot Bread recipe

Carrot Bread Thick batter? It’s supposed to be the consistency of thick batter?? Oh, oh. My starter looks like a block of clay. I guess I had better go and add some more water.

23:34 Well! That wasn’t easy. I started off by adding 20gm more water. It didn’t even make a dent. So I threw in 40gm more to make the starter a 100% rather than the 66% in the recipe. I managed to break the clay ball up with the spoon but it wasn’t until I plunged my hands into the bowl that I could get the thing to absorb the new water.

Hmmm, it’s not exactly thick batter but it’s a little closer….

[L]et sit at room temperature for 24 hours
-Heather, BBB Carrot Bread recipe

Does that say 24 hours?

oH oH oH Do you find yourself wondering when I’ll remember to read ahead? I do.

But fiddle-dee-dee. What difference can 16 more hours of fermenting do? (Here’s hoping that there will indeed be bubbling action tomorrow morning. My window for making this bread is small – it HAS to be made tomorrow or I will be late late late late.)

Friday, 11 October 2013, 11:00 Can this be right?? There’s NO water in the actual dough? It’s just this piddling amount of juice? I raced upstairs to look at Heather’s recipe again.

Nope. No extra water. Well, that’s just dumb. I’m adding some.

11:30 Adding extra water was a very good idea. I added about 60gm (4 Tbsp) and now the mess actually looks like dough.

The dough was good and sturdy (Elizabeth…your arms are gonna get a decent workout), so start with the lesser amount of flour, and add as needed.
-Heather, email to BBBabes

No kidding. Even with the extra water, the dough is “good and sturdy”. Thank goodness I’m making half the recipe…

And it sure took me a long time to mix and knead it! I admit that I started a little late, at around 9:30. But I had to fight with the juicer. First, I cut the carrots too large and they got caught in the entry shaft. Then, I was so careful to cut the carrots up small enough so it wouldn’t choke on them that the juicer refused to juice them. I finally got it going though. Yay. I weighed my meager amount of carrot juice and saw that I was shy by about 10 gm. So, instead of opening up another of the giant carrots we bought yesterday, I decided to add one of the small apples in the NotFarFromTheTree harvest. Perfect!

I was obedient and toasted the sesame and sunflower seeds and just as I was about to turn on the heat, I suddenly decided it would be nice to have some pepitas too.

Carrot Bread The most thrilling part of the procedure was that I got to use our beautiful NEW (to us) mezzaluna to cut not quite enough parsley (I was shy by more than half) that I collected from the garden. This is what comes of trying to grow herbs in the shade. There isn’t the biggest amount of growth.

Later, as I was squooshing extra water into the brick of dough on the board and then finally actually kneading in the toasted seeds, I couldn’t help thinking about sending a note to my sister’s grade 10 home-ec teacher who stated categorically, “There will be no guesswork in our kitchen.” Here is my first draft:

In re: no guesswork in our kitchen
Dear Ms. H-----
Elizabeth M.

Do you think that’s okay, or is it too harsh? Should I remove one of the exclamation points?

12:43 Ah. How nice that it was so easy to turn the dough. And look at me not washing the rising bowl! Again! (Eeeeek, the BBBabes have a very bad influence on me. Which of their other bad habits will I adopt next? :-))

Place the dough into a large, lightly oiled bowl or container and cover.
-Heather, BBB Carrot Bread recipe

hahahahahahahaha!! :-) …as if. As usual, I refrained from oiling the rising bowl.

17:57 The bread rose beautifully (although a little more slowly than I’d hoped) and plopped cleanly right out of the rising bowl with only the tiniest nudge from the side of an index finger. (Excuse me for the “I told you so” but… see? There really is no need to oil the rising bowl.) And it was very easy to shape. I didn’t make the oblongs that Heather told us to make – sorry, Heather! – I find it way easier to make rounds.

[The glaze] should be spreadable, but not runny.
-Heather, BBB Carrot Bread recipe

Oh oh. Again. This might explain why I had some difficulty with the glaze pooling around the edges of the bread. :lalala:

Glaze the loaves generously with the crackling glaze (you’ll have a lot of leftover glaze)
-Heather, BBB Carrot Bread recipe

oOOOH! And THAT explains why I have leftover glaze! What should I do with it?? Put it in the fridge? Glaze the loaves again just before baking? :lalala:

(Really, when will I learn to read ahead?)

19:55 Ah, baked at last!! We are now going against all the rules and cutting into just baked bread because it’s (past) time to have dinner now.

Carrot Bread We served the bread with chili and steamed green beans. The bread was pretty good. It was moist but not too moist and the crumb had a lovely nutty flavour. But I have to be honest. It’s not my favourite bread. I’m afraid just couldn’t get over the cooked carrots in it.

And I was really surprised that I wasn’t wild about the glaze. It was quite dry, sandy and just a tiny bit sour. Blah. I won’t do that again. It reminds me of the 1970s when Mum was first learning how to make gluten-free baking for Dad when he was diagnosed as being celiac. (Do you think it’s tricky to be gluten-free now? You have no idea until you’ve attempted to get gluten-free food in the wheat belt of Canada in the 1970s!)

Sorry, Heather! Still, I’m really glad I tried it. And for anyone who likes cooked carrots, I’m thinking they’ll love this bread.

Here is the BBB October 2013 Carrot Bread recipe. And here is what I did to it:

BBB Carrot Bread
adapted from a recipe in “Artisan Breads: Practical Recipes and Detailed Instructions for Baking the World’s Finest Loaves” by Jan Hedh


  • 1gm (0.25 tsp) active dry yeast
  • 180gm water (0.5 c) at 90F ¹
  • 180gm (1.25 c) dark rye flour


  • 120gm (0.5 c) carrot and apple juice (110gm carrot juice; 10 gm apple juice) at 90F ²
  • 5gm (1.5 tsp) active dry yeast ³
  • 24gm (~8 tsp) brown sesame seeds
  • 50gm (~6 Tbsp) sunflower seeds, hulled
  • 20gm (~2 Tbsp) pepitas 4
  • 25gm (3.5 tsp) honey 5
  • 30gm (2 Tbsp) sunflower oil
  • 70gm (5/8 c) grated carrot
  • 15gm (.25 c) chopped parsley (I only had 5 gm)
  • 445gm (3.25 c) flour: 400gm unbleached all-purpose, 25 gm whole wheat, 10 gm vital wheat gluten 6
  • 12gm Kosher salt (~2 tsp fine salt)
  • water, as needed (I’m afraid I didn’t measure – I’m guessing it was about 60gm (.25 c))

Crackle Glaze 7

  • 1.5gm (0.5 tsp) active dry yeast
  • 105gm (105ml) lukewarm water
  • 57gm (~6.5 Tbsp) rice flour (I used 57gm white rice flour and 9 gm brown rice flour)
  • 4gm (1 tsp) sugar
  • 4gm (7/8 tsp) sunflower oil
  • 2gm (3/8 tsp) Kosher salt
  1. Starter In the evening of the day before you will be baking the bread, pour 120 gm 90F water into a largish mixing bowl. (why 90F??) Whisk in yeast until it has dissolved. Stir in the rye flour and notice that that the brick you see there isn’t even close to being “the consistency of thick batter”. Squoosh in 60gm water. Cover and leave on the counter overnight. Just before leaving the kitchen, notice that the recipe says to let the starter sit “at room temperature for 24 hours”. Take a moment to jump up and down, silently cursing that you still haven’t learned to read ahead, then walk calmly to the counter and put the starter bowl into the oven with the light turned on and hope that 8 hours will be enough to start the bubbling action.
  2. Actual Dough In the morning of the day, you will be baking the bread, heat the juice until it is 90F. Pour the juice into a large mixing bowl and whisk in the yeast until it has dissolved. Set aside as you toast seeds, grate carrots, chop parsley and measure out the flours. Notice that you don’t have nearly enough parsley. Decide that you don’t care, that there WILL be guesswork in this kitchen and that the parsley is only there for decoration anyway. :stomp:
  3. Using a wooden spoon, add oil and honey into the yeasted juice. Dump in the starter, noting with relief that it is a bit bubbly. Add the carrots, parsley, flours and salt and stir them in. Realise that there is no way all this flour will be absorbed by this paltry amount of liquid and pour in some water. Don’t bother measuring the water; just eyeball it.
  4. kneading Dump the mess onto an UNfloured board. Breathe a sigh of relief that it feels like dough. Sure, it’s a bit stiff but it will be fine. It’s because of the rye flour. Yes! That’s it! It’s the rye flour. Hand knead until it’s smooth (5 to 10 minutes). Press the dough out into a rectangle and pour the seeds overtop. Fold it over and gently knead the seeds in, trying not to break the pepitas too much.
  5. Place the kneaded dough in the UNwashed mixing bowl (really?? Defying Julia Child’s instruction to always wash the rising bowl? Again?!), cover with a plate and put it into the oven with only the light turned on to rise until double.
  6. Crackle Glaze About an hour before you will be baking the bread, put the yeast for the glaze into a medium sized bowl. Pour in the water and whisk until it is dissolved. Whisk in the rice flours. Cover with a plate and leave to rest on the counter.
  7. Shaping In the afternoon, note with happiness that the dough has doubled beautifully and that it is lovely and smooth. Gently turn it out onto a lightly floured board. Cut the dough into two pieces and shape each one into a round. Place them seam side up, well apart on parchment paper. Use a pastry brush to slather them with the crackle glaze mixture. Don’t worry if some of the glaze mixture puddles at the edges. Also, don’t worry if you don’t use all the glaze mixture. Suddenly decide to scatter sesame seeds over one of the loaves. Cover both loaves with large bowls placed upside down overtop (the bowls should be large enough to easily clear the loaves after they have risen) and leave them in a no-draft area to rise to double and the glaze cracks.
  8. baking: Put a baking stone onto the middle shelf of the oven and preheat to 400F. Transfer the loaves, along with the parchment paper, onto the hot stone. (If you don’t have a stone, bake the loaves on a cookie sheet.) Don’t be overly concerned if the glaze hasn’t cracked. So many things have not gone as planned already; what’s the point of adding to your worries?
  9. Bake 30-45 minutes in total, turning the loaves around once half way through baking, to account for uneven oven heat. After about 20 minutes of baking at 400, lower the heat to 375F and bake they are golden and the internal temperature is around 105F.
  10. Put the baked loaf on a footed rack to allow it to cool completely before cutting into it. It’s still baking inside! (Even if you’ve ignored the instruction about using hot water from the tap, please do not ignore this step.) 8


1.) Water: For the starter, the BBB recipe says to use “120gm (0.5 c) + more as needed”. I started with 120 gm. It was clearly not nearly enough so I added 60gm more.

And, please, do not use water from the hot water tap. Even though the other BBBabes mock me for this, I will continue to harp on this… (How old are your pipes? How old is the solder? When is the last time you flushed the sediment from the hot water tank? How many toxins want to leach out? Do you really want those in your bread?) Instead, heat the water in a kettle or microwave. To create lukewarm water, add cold water until it is the correct temperature of 90F (32C). If you are allergic to using a thermometer, you can do the baby bottle test on the back of your wrist. Please note that before the yeast is added, the water temperature must be BELOW 120F (49C) because yeast begins to die when the temperature is higher than 120F.

2.) Juice The BBB recipe calls for carrot juice only. The reason I added the small amount of apple juice is because I didn’t feel like cutting into another carrot and we had some small apples on hand.

3.) Yeast: The BBB recipe calls for only 4gm (1.25 tsp) yeast in the final dough. I decided to add a tiny bit more, to make sure that the dough would rise in time to bake the bread early the same evening.

4.) Pepitas: The BBB recipe only calls for sunflower and sesame seeds.

5.) Honey The BBB recipe calls for “golden syrup (honey or maple syrup)”. We have golden syrup but I’m not the biggest fan of it. (I have too many childhood memories of our pediatrician’s remedy for flu symptoms: golden syrup diluted with warm water. Ewwwww, I can still conjure the taste.) The only things that I think golden syrup belongs in are butter tarts, pecan pie and poppycock. The idea of mixing it with cooked carrots and carrot juice made me reel. I chose to use honey. I like honey….

6.) Flours The BBB recipe calls for 416-445gm (3-3.25c) bread flour. I don’t know why I was so foolish to simply use the larger amount of flour when calculating how much vital wheat gluten to use. Especially after Heather had specifically warned us to use the lower amount of flour first. My excuse: the thought of carrot juice must have addled what’s left of my brain. :lalala:

7.) Glaze This makes about twice too much glaze. Reduce everything by half, and you’ll still have plenty. The BBB recipe simply calls for rice flour. We had some brown rice flour so I threw some of that in. It’s my feeling that using brown rice flour was an error.

8.) But I LIKE warm bread just out of the oven!! N.B. Of course you will want to serve warm bread. Reheat it after it has cooled completely. (It is still baking when it first comes out of the oven!) To reheat any UNsliced bread, turn the oven to 450F for 5 minutes or so. Turn the oven OFF. Put the bread in the hot oven for ten minutes.

Carrot Bread We lightly toasted the bread the next morning for breakfast. I tasted a piece untoasted. It was FAR better than it had been the night before when we sliced it directly out of the oven. This just proves that as tempting as it is to slice into just baked bread, it really is better to let it cool completely.

(With the memory of the previous night’s dinner still fresh, I allowed myself to imagine that I could still taste the cooked carrots though. :lalala:)

Carrot Bread Newsflash We pulled the second loaf of bread out of the freezer yesterday and served it last night with goulash. We reheated it just before dinner to rejuvenate the crust.

And guess what? I LOVED the bread. I even liked the glaze. There wasn’t even a hint of carrot flavour; the bread just had a wonderful nutty quality and went perfectly with the goulash.

So there it is. Let just-baked bread cool completely before slicing into it; it’s still baking inside. Really. It makes a difference.

Thank you BBBabes for encouraging me to take off my blinders and bake carrot bread. And thank you, Heather, for choosing it!! You’re right; it’s delicious!

Bread Baking Babes Carrot Bread (BBB October 2013)

Heather (Girlichef) the host of October 2013’s Bread Baking Babes’ task. She wrote:

I chose this bread because it was one that I’ve had marked in a book to make for ages (or so it seems). […] It does need 24 hours for the poolish AND it needs three types of flour (rye for the poolish, bread flour for the loaf, and rice flour for the glaze).

I loved the flavor that it developed from the poolish and the heartiness from the seeds. The dough was good and sturdy (Elizabeth…your arms are gonna get a decent workout), so start with the lesser amount of flour, and add as needed. I mistakenly went with the full amount called for in the book right off the bat…my dough could have stood to be slightly looser. Still delicious, though.

I used bottled carrot juice – but if I had a juicer, I would have made my own (either will work).

I know that hardly anyone else is a BBBaby like I am and that everyone loves carrots, whether they’re cooked or not. Not to mention that if you let the bread cool completely before slicing into it, it doesn’t taste like carrots at all. Hence, you too will WANT to make carrot bread! To receive a Baking Buddy Badge to display on your site: bake whipped bread in the next couple of weeks and post about it (we love to see how your bread turns out AND hear what you think about it – what you didn’t like and/or what you liked) before the 27 October 2013. If you do not have a blog, no problem; you can also post your picture(s) to Flickr (or any other photo sharing site) and record your thoughts about the bread there. Please remember to email the Kitchen of the Month to say that your post is up.

For complete details about this month’s recipe, the BBB and how to become a BBBuddy, please read:

Please take a look at the other BBBabes’ October bread:

Yeastspotting - every Friday ( image)
Each week, Susan (Wild Yeast) compiles a list of many bread-specific recipes from across the web. For complete details on how to be included in the YeastSpotting round up, please read the following:

Twelve Loaves
Twelve Loaves: For the love of bread
#TwelveLoaves is a monthly bread baking party created by Lora (Cake Duchess). She wrote:

Whether you bake along with us every month or just once, we want to inspire you to love baking your own bread one loaf at a time. […] Twelve breads. It’s just a different bread a month. A bread baking revolution!

Each month, a different theme is put forward. The theme for October 2013 is “root vegetables”. Participants are encouraged to share their Root Vegetable Bread (yeast or quick bread) by the end of October. This month, Twelve Loaves is being hosted by Rosella (Ma che ti sei mangiato).

For more information and details on how to participate, please read the following:

Bake Your Own Bread (BYOB)
BYOB is a monthly event that was hosted by Heather (girlichef) and has now been taken over by Carola (Sweet and That’s It)

[BYOB] encourages you to start (or continue) getting comfortable baking bread in your own kitchen. Anything from simple quick breads to conquering that fear of yeast to making and nurturing your own sourdough starter. All levels of bakers are welcome to participate.

And Carola wrote:

Homemade bread is healthy! As healthy as you decide: choose the best ingredients (if you can afford it, organic and GMO free) and you’ll be surrounded by the most delicious scent and fascinated by the most delicious taste.

Let the adventure continue!

For more information about BYOB, please read the following:

  • BYOB: Bake Your Own Bread (Scroll down to “Monthly Link up Summary” at the bottom of the post)


World Food Day: 16 October 2013 World Bread Day: 16 October 2013

For more information about World Food Day and World Bread Day, please see and

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9 responses to “Carrot Bread (BBB October 2013)

  1. Heather @girlichef

    No need to apologize, Elizabeth…I’m just happy that you wound up really enjoying the bread! I would’ve hated to see two beautiful loaves go to waste. And I really DO love reading your adventures, they’re always sure to bring a chuckle. And no, don’t remove the exclamation points; as a matter of fact, add another ;).

    I’m really happy that I liked the bread too, Heather. And haha!!! It’s very tempting to add another exclamation point – maybe two or three. – Elizabeth

  2. Kelly

    Hahaha! And all the way at the end, I am having visions of those old “Mikey likes it!” commercials for Life cereal. Love your post, glad you decided you liked it!

    Thank you! I’m really glad too, Kelly. I know what you mean about Mikey but I couldn’t help thinking of Sally Field: “You like it! You really like it!” – Elizabeth

  3. MyKitchenInHalfCups

    Obedient … ok if you say so …
    Block of clay: what a perfect description, just what I got, must have added a full cup more water.
    No Elizabeth you and I will never learn to read ahead … even when I do it somehow doesn’t compute.
    No guess work … no not too harsh, add another !
    Great bread Elizabeth and usual you give me pause and a good laugh.

    I don’t know what you mean, Tanna. I AM obedient. Very obedient :-) -Elizabeth

  4. Lien

    Glad you liked the bread, breads (or cakes) with veggies in them hardly ever taste of them is my experience. Love the shape of your loaves, like giant pumpkins.

    I was so surprised that the carrot flavour came through, Lien, when we cut into the just-baked bread. How remarkable that it proves that the bread really hasn’t finished cooking at that point. -Elizabeth

  5. Ckay

    Why o why did I eat all the carrots two days ago! I’d love to start preparing this wonderful bread straightaway… Patience! Let’s go shopping first!
    You know how it is, when you are in the right mood (and you’d have the time as well) to do something and then you cannot: how frustrating! ;-)
    I live in the northern part of Switzerland, in the Canton Aargau (but grew up in the South: the beautiful and sunny Canton Ticino) . The Canton Aargau is also called “Rüebliland”, which means the land of the carrots… I think you WOULD NOT LIKE to live here Elizabeth ;-) (not for the place but for its “surname”! … or maybe yes, since in the end you loved the bread… :D). So glad you loved it!

    I’m sure I’d love living in Rüebliland, C. As long as nobody made me eat the carrots cooked…. i hope you love your bread when you make it. I can’t wait to see how it turns out made with those lovely local carrots. -E

  6. barbara

    You can hear the entire Carrot Seed recording here: The Carrot Seed: A live version of the song. ( (

    I recommend just listening, and not watching the fairly silly film that someone has made to go with it. It’s kind of cute in a way (for instance, the actor who plays the brother), but it’s unfortunately sophomoric in a couple of places, and that ruined it for me.

    Ewwww, that film is horrible, Barbara! I’m afraid I couldn’t manage to look at it long enough to see the brother. I had already happily listened to this: Childrens Record Guild “The Carrot Seed – Elizabeth (If only I could find a recording of “The Four Bears”!)

  7. Katie

    I’ve never heard the carrot song… nor will I now with our slow internet. But isn’t is nice that we can still learn stuff – even if it’s not to cut into warm bread? I haven’t learned that yet LOL
    Well done for persevering (and to whining too much)

  8. Baking Soda

    “it tastes “good for you”… very pictorial! I enjoyed and chuckled through your story, glad to see that yes you needed lots more water than I did with that brick of dough! Our rye usually makes a swamp so that’s why I held back on water in the poolish but had to add it back in (plus some) when kneading. For me the flavour of cooked carrots wasnt overpowering but then again I don’t hate cooked carrots. And can I confess here? I used Ice tea to fill up teh amount of carrot juice. yes. Ice tea. I thought I grabbed orange juice but it turned out to be ice tea. Never understood the color coded packaging on ice tea and it shows.


    I loved the bread. And your glaze looks a lot like mine…

    Iced tea, K?! You used iced tea? That’s hilarious! No wonder your bread didn’t taste of carrots. -E

  9. Elle

    Trying again in Chrome to see if the browser is why I again got a message “This page can’t be displayed”.
    Love both your Carrot Bread and the Daily Bread for World Bread Day. Reminds me to be grateful for the bounty all around me. Love the Dangers of Bread link, too. Hilarious!

    Thank you. We really liked the carrot bread too. I’m so glad you got in, Elle! How strange that you got that “this page can’t be displayed message”! I wish I knew what was causing the error so I could fix it! -Elizabeth


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