Artistic breads are made with dead doughs (no yeast) and are used for decoration only, typically as centerpieces. I have the pleasure of working daily with Ciril Hitz, whom I consider to be the world leader in this particular discipline. The wine bottle bread upthread was his demo for a class project at Johnson & Wales. The dough is a live dough with bread flour, whole wheat flour, rye flour, and buckwheat flour as well as water, salt, yeast, etc. This dough has many applications, left only to the baker's imagination
First, let me say that I clicked on your site and enjoyed it very much. Your desserts are most intruiging to my Western sensibilities. I also appreciate your use of whole grains.
To glaze the artistic pieces, we use a food grade spray shellac after the pieces have been baked and cooled.
A basic dead rye dough to start playing with is 3 Kg of medium rye flour and 2 Kg of simple syrup (cool). Mix with a dough hook until incorporated. Keep covered or wrap tighly when not in use.
A basic live dough is 2 Kg. low protein bread flour, 100g medium rye flour, 1.3 Kg water, 40g fresh yeast, and 30g salt. You can play with that and begin to exchange flours and grains within that framework. Depending on the flour available to you, you might need to add a small percentage of shortening to gain extensibility and to make the dough a little more pliable; the amount of shortening used is quite small. Also remember, with different flours in different parts of the world, water is variable. Mix on low speed with a hook to incorporate. Mix for about 4 minutes on second speed. Primary fermentation of one hour. Divide, preshape, rest dough, shape, and proof covered for approximately one hour (we put the larger pieces inside a large plastic bag and moisten with a spray bottle. Bake at 450 degrees F with light steam in the beginning. Vent at the end of the bake. For more strength, you could preferment up to 25% of the flour. If you look at the wine bottle piece, you will notice that it is generously dusted with medium rye. The amount of dusting varies from project to project and whether the object is to highlight or accent. Us a very fine sieve....
I have a question. I need to make some little tidbits to eat as part of a larger exhibit. They need to look like wheat stalks, like little braidy looking little wheaty things. Just the illusion of wheat of course. There will be a vase with wheat stalks on the table so something just to further the idea. So I thought about messing around with pretzel dough but then I thought I could do a decorative centerpiece too.
So if the centerpiece with the bottle upthread was made with a yeasted dough, what is the advantage to using an un-yeasted dough for a centerpiece? The recipe listed is with rye flour and simple syrup for the dead dough. Is rye flour better to use than wheat?
If you were making a little tidbit to eat what would you make it out of?? Pretzel-y or bready or what formula if you have one??? How it looks is more important than how it tastes but it needs to be tasty.
Any and all help/ideas welcome.
I would love to get the cd's and stuff but this is for early May so I'm just gonna wing it with y'all's input/help.