decorative bread

The best part of my job, by far, is the rare occasion that I get to go “a little overboard” with bread dough.

Like this:

unbaked rose michegrapes and vines

baked rose miche"bullseye" bread

rose and vines braid next to marbe epidough wrapped around cone mould

sunflower breadcornucopia next to a parisian boule

painted braid and poppy fougassecornucopia close-up

I wanted to share these for a couple of reasons:

1. Maybe you, like me, have spent countless hours searching the internets for reliable decorative doughs (you crazy baker, you!) This is my offering.

2. This is an awesome lead-in to a pressing question of mine: anyone have a reliable miche recipe? Anyone? ‘ello?

I’m looking for something sturdy that takes kindly to scoring. Bonus points for deliciousness. I wasn’t happy with the dough I used for the rose miche–most of the boules turned out flat and bland, and blew out weirdly at the scores.


rose miche: miche with a ‘dead rye’ centerpiece. the dead rye is extremely easy to work with, and I was able to form the flower petals just like you would with gumpaste. Rolled out the dough, cut with a rose petal cutter, then shaped it with the ball end of a gumpaste modeling tool on modeling foam. Also cut leaves, floured just before baking, scored veins with small, sharp knife.

grapes and vines: light deco dough for the center, surrounding braid, and grapes. dead rye leaf and vine. i wrapped the ends of the vine around a dowel, slid the dowel out, et voila! they held their shape!

bullseye: dark and light deco dough rolled together into freeform loaf, very deep scores.

rose braid: dark deco dough. dead rye vine and flowers. mixed a very small amount of edible luster dust and vodka to paint highlights.

marble epi: dark and light deco dough rolled together into a baguette, then scissored.

sunflower: light deco dough for center, dark and light deco dough for surrounding braid. dead rye for leaves (floured and scored with knife). light deco dough for sunflower: pat a ball of dough into a flat circle, use scissors to make cuts all the way around almost to center, then turn cut sides facing up. later painted insides of petals with luster dust/vodka.

cornucopia: so. much. fun. instructions found here.

painted braid: light deco dough, painted with espresso.

poppy fougasse: light deco dough, eggwashed and dipped in poppy seeds.


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Light Decorative Dough (from wild yeast)

makes 1500 grams

875 grams bread flour

481 grams water

9 grams fresh cake yeast (3.5 grams instant)

13 grams salt

44 grams milk powder

39 grams sugar

44 grams butter, softened

Use dough hook to mix all ingredients until gluten is well-formed, about 10 minutes. Refrigerate until ready to shape.



Dark Decorative Dough (from wild yeast)

makes 1500 grams

828 grams bread flour

45 grams cocoa powder

486 grams water

9 grams fresh cake yeast (3.5 grams instant)

13 grams salt

44 grams milk powder

39 grams sugar

44 grams butter, softened



Same method as for light decorative dough.





Dead Rye Dough

makes all the dead rye dough you’ll ever need

750 grams rye flour

500 grams simple syrup

Mix using hook until dough is well-formed. Can keep at room temperature or refrigerate for long-term storage. Keep dough well-covered so it doesn’t dry out.


5 responses to “decorative bread”

  1. 1. Your website is great! I love how your personality comes across in all your posts!
    2. I’ve never commented before until this post, because, well…this post is freaking amazing! Seriously. I can’t imagine ever becoming skilled enough to accomplish any of those above breads (as making bread is my greatest fear), but bravo to anyone who can!

  2. Deborah says:

    These are some of the most beautiful breads I’ve ever seen! You’re an artist!

  3. Annette Smith says:

    Hi! I am totally thrilled to have found this page! Okay, here is what I am doing. I used to make sugar paste roses. I fell in love with breadmaking and saw Chef Hitz’s video on dead dough roses. Head over heals! So, I started searching the internet for decorative bread doughs and was fortunate to come to your page. I can’t thank you enough for posting your recipes for the doughs. I just bought light rye flour at the store today. I know that this post is from 2012, but I hope you see this. I would love to learn more from you.

  4. Annette Smith says:

    One more thing..I can’t find a recipe for your “simple syrup”…can you share? Thanks!

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