Over the past year we have seen a number of home cooking trends and crazes across the internet. From banana bread to sourdough starters, it seems as though we were all trying to tap into our culinary skills (some more successfully than others!).
One of the most popular food trends to hit social media was bread art. Whilst for some, just mastering the art of making bread will be a hard enough task, others can take their home baking to the next level by creating wonderfully artistic loaves!
We'll take you through 3 different ways of creating your baking masterpieces.
Creating Bread Art by Scoring
Cutting or ‘scoring’ your dough will produce really effective bread art. From beautiful geometric designs to eye-catching swirls and patterns, there are so many ways to create baking masterpieces with this technique.
The best time to cut into your dough is when it is chilled just after it has finished proofing. Before you get cutting, try and practice your pattern a few times with a pen and paper, just to give yourself an idea of what you’re going to be doing!
Your dough should be hydrated but not too much, if it is too hydrated the pattern won’t be as defined whilst a slightly lower hydration will make the dough easier to handle and easier to cut into.
For your scoring, you can use a sharp razor or scalpel, double-edged is best. The sharper the blade the better. It is possible to use scissors or a kitchen knife but they would need to be very sharp for best results, a blunt blade will drag and tear the top layer of the dough and result in a messy pattern. An extra tip is to hydrate your blade, either with water or some oil, to help with cutting through the dough. Make sure you cut confidently! Don’t hesitate and don’t go too slowly.
If you aren’t feeling too confident, start off with more asymmetric shapes and graduate onto more delicate patterns once you’ve got the hang of it!
Once you’ve done your scoring, just pop into the oven and bake for the usual timings!
Decorate Bread with Food
Another way to create bread art is through decorating the loaf. From colourful vegetables to delicate herbs, you can create truly beautiful bread art in a number of different ways.
To start, once you’ve made up your batch of bread dough and allowed it to double in size, get it prepped for decorating by kneading it on a floured surface. Our natural stone worktops are ideal for baking prep, as they’re naturally cool.
Next, shape your dough into a canvas for your bread art. A flattened loaf or focaccia-style shape works best for this kind of bread art as it provides you with a good amount of surface area. The optimum depth for your dough is about 5cm, if the dough is too deep / thick the bread won’t cook properly.
The creative part is where you have to show some artistic flair. Use anything at your disposal, from colourful vegetables like peppers, spring onions and beetroot to different herbs for texture, to create beautiful art. From nature-inspired designs to floral patterns, let your creativity guide you!
Make sure you press your toppings firmly into the top of the dough so that they don’t shift during baking, but make sure you don’t squash them too deeply into the bread as you don’t want the dough to rise and cover them.
Tip: brush your vegetables and toppings with oil to help them stay put during the baking process and help them retain their vibrant colour!
Dust Your Bread Using a Stencil
If you’re just beginning your bread art journey, then stencilling might be a good place to start.
A little less daunting but just as effective, you can cut tracing paper or greaseproof paper into the pattern of your choice. From beautiful leaf designs to geometric chequered patterns, there are plenty of shapes you can get creative with.
Don’t just limit yourself to plain flour either, there are plenty of other flours and vegetable powders, such as beetroot powder, that can help add colour and contrast to your loaves.
Our natural stone worktops are the ideal baking prep surface. Completely resistant to water, stains and heat, you can flour the surfaces to your heart’s content, giving you all the freedom you need to create your very own bread art at home! Discover our collection of natural stone worktops here.