Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Basic Bread Painting Technique







I was recently approached by the James Dillon the editor of Baking Business magazine in Australia. He asked if they could do a feature article on the bread painting technique. Aside from being amazed and flattered, I realized that this could benefit several thousand bakers across the continent of Australia and perhaps help them add some new products and cash to their bottom line. If all goes well, this will be in the August issue reaching close to nine thousand in the baking industry. Best wishes to all the hard working bakers. God loves you. I also would love to be featured in http://www.wildyeastblog.com/. We'll see if they think my baking is up to snuff.

Well, the time has come once again for our Tutorial Tuesday. This is one I have been practicing for several years. I originally saw it in a French baking book (though I really had to dig to find out what they where doing) and knew I could make this work for me. The book is called "Special and Decorative Breads" by A. Couet and E. Kayser. The book was a gift from my mother and it spoke to my creative spirit...in every way. This week I wanted to show something that adds a whole new dimension of elegance and charm to any loaf of bread. Some have called it breathtaking. I adore it. It is basically a tinted egg wash that gives the appearance of being baked on the loaf. It is called loaf painting. I do it using an extract of wheat or barley. When I saw it in the book it was done using instant coffee granules and water. I prefer using the natural colors of the grain. I have a few other techniques for yellow, green, reds, and whites. I thought we could start with the basics here. Hopefully you will return again and again for more ideas on natural coloring. In the meantime, lets just jump right into this exciting technique!



For the wheat or barley, take the 1 cup whole grain and put it dry in a frying pan. Toast it until it is almost black. Add 1-2 cups water and steep as you would for coffee, about 15 minutes. Drain, reserving the liquid.
Return the liquid to the stove and continue to reduce until a concentrated form.
You will also need one egg yolk, a few new paintbrushes, and a loaf of bread, already baked. I bake it just until it reaches an internal temperature of 165 degrees. Keep your oven on. 350 degrees.



Mix a small amount of the egg yolk with the concentrate. The more you add, the lighter the color on your bread will be.


I keep a darker and lighter shade for contrasting colors. I also have a container with just egg yolk. Reserve the white for the final step!

Make your initial design with the lighter color. Then return the loaf of bread to the oven for 5 minutes.

Remove from the oven and paint with your darker color for contrast and details. I use the egg yolk for the lightest areas that I still want to have a little color.


Return to the oven and bake an additional 5 minutes. This will set the color. Remove from the oven and lightly brush with egg white. Return to the oven again for 5 final minutes. It will have a nice gloss.


Here is another loaf with the initial lighter color.

Baked for 5 minutes. I then added the finer dark details with the darker shade and returned it to the oven for 5 more minutes to set the color.


There you have it. The simple basics of bread painting. I hope you will share your successes with me! I'd love to see your work! Imagine the possibilities!

There you go.


Oh, as a side note I wanted to add that my Advanced Pastry instructor from SCI would probably love to see this. It's been 14 years and I was one of her first students, but Tracy Dewitt, thank you for inspiring my creative spirit. I think of her often with great fondness. Check out Tracy here (http://forums.worldpastryforum.com/forum/topics/team-dewitt-2009-nationals ).


22 comments:

Midodi said...

I AM going to try this and will email you pix. I am SOOOO excited!

Chef Tess said...

Go for it!

La Table De Nana said...

Thank you! I like your way..way better! Easier to paint on baked..Thanks so much.Your breads are beautiful.

clan of the cave hair said...

Somehow I missed this post the day it went up. I need a creative day to just work in the kitchen. Its been SO long. I'm working on quitting my job...lol
When do you do this? Do the boys actually just let you create without having to get in on the action? My kids want to participate in anything creative, which I encourage, but I end up locked in a war between perfectionism and loving-mother-ism and end up just skipping doing the parts that will make me happy because I know I'll end up mad at the kids when they draw dinosaurs all over my pretty landscape which apparently wasn't complete until it had dinosaurs all over it. Not that I have anything against dinosaurs. But seriously, when do you do this? And have you ever painted an Epi loaf to look like wheat? Cuz I want to see it.

Chef Tess said...

Oooo you know I do this when the kids are in school. It doesn't happen much when they are home during the summer...and then it is usually at two in the morning so I don't go insane. Sometimes if I don't create, I feel like I will die. Literally die. I feel your pain too, since yours are much smaller than mine and I had several years on end that I thought I would never have time alone again. It's okay to have them paint during the day and then take an hour or two after they go to bed to make your own loaf. There's no shame in admitting you want your own art. I do it all the time. I love your soul Lisa!

Chef Tess said...

Epi loaf to look like wheat! Now that is one I really need to do!

Bergamot said...

Wow...this is amazing. Just love your art...will try this out.

Susan/Wild Yeast said...

This is incredibly gorgeous!

Cindystar said...

I just came along from YeastSpotting's round up and your decorative painting on bread is fantastic!
thanks a lot for all tips and infos, great work!
think I will try, it's really gorgeous!

Tracy said...

Your breads are exquisite! I saw them on Wild Yeast's Yeastspotting.

Moira said...

This breads are beatiful, i must try this :)
Could it be possible do it with strong coffee it is almost black too.

Miriam said...

This made my jaw drop! I saw you on Yeastspotting and I loved the bread painting, I've got to try this, definitely!

MC said...

Breath-takingly creative and so poetic! I'm all set for the next lesson.

Mimi said...

You are so talented. All of the loaves are so pretty!

I'm curious: does the "paint" leave a flavor on the crust?

Chef Tess said...

Mimi, the paint does leave a slight flavor. The darker the color the more pronounced. I don't drink coffee, but I've been told it has a similar taste, though not bitter.

Johanna said...

that looks amazingly beautiful - would love to try it so will let you know if I manage to attempt such gorgeous bread

Laura said...

Stunning!!!!! So beautiful and so creative.

Heather said...

This is totally cool!

martinem said...

Hi,

It's amazing, I dont know the words in enhlisk to describe this what you are doing, beautiful!!!!


Thank you ror your recipes and photoes.

Martyna

Brenda said...

I'm a little late in finding this, but I hope you'll still see my comment because I'm wondering if you've ever tried this using food coloring. Maybe the gel colors mixed with the egg? I love the loaves with 3D flowers and leaves. That would look so pretty on the Thanksgiving table. I think I'll have to give that a try too. Thanks for sharing your talent and secrets with us!

Chef Tess said...

Yes, you can totally use food coloring. It works wonderfully. I use the natural extracts because most of my clients are all about all natural colors...but the food color works fine. No need to even use it with egg. It will stay fine without baking.

Cake Student said...

Thank you Chef Tess, this was an awesome and unique tutorial. I gave it a shot, and definitely need some more practice. I made a blog post about my experiment and wanted to share it with you. Thanks again, I just love your work!