Hello, Here are my impressions of IBIE, attending as a "tourist" and non-professional. I was able to attend at the end of Tuesday and some of Wednesday and am overflowing with enthusiasm for the whole experience!
Thanks to proth5 for the exceptional day-by-day reporting on IBIE 2010, and to Sam Fromartz for his comments and photos:
This exhibition was BIG and mainly focused on professional bakery installations, but I was happy to find lots of interesting things for a home baker like myself. I wouldn't hesitate to attend one of these exhibitions again!
Upon arrival, I headed straight for the SFBI booth, where one of the SFBI instructors, Miyuki, was in action carefully measuring ingredients and preparing to mix, and others were loading the deck ovens. I'd never seen a deck oven up close before - how they loaded and steamed! A thing of beauty! (My eyes may have misted over for a moment or two). There lots of breads on display, and some for tasting - I tasted Ethiopian teff for the first time, delicious (dark brown bread on the left, in the bottom right picture below). Mr. Suas was within arm's reach but I was too shy to talk to him but did get to chat with others there.
Next up was the BBGA booth, where I overcame my shyness to shamelessly plug the virtues of Vancouver, BC or Seattle, WA as great locations for Guild classes (much closer to home for me!). By the time I found out about IBIE, the workshops I was interested in were sold out - but the lady at the BBGA booth said more spots had been opened up (a measure of luck for me in Vegas, to be sure!!!). I rushed back to registration to sign up for Ciril Hitz's Breakfast Breads and Pastries seminar the next morning.
There was another BBGA baking area where one of the Team USA members, Mr. Michael Zakowski, was serving up tastings of rye breads made by Mr. Hamelman himself. I regret that I didn't know Mr. Zakowski was competing for Team USA (I didn't get a chance to read the competition program until today), or I would have congratulated him on his achievement in the Lesaffre competition. I did talk to him for a few minutes about the Amazingly-Good (and I mean Amazingly-Good) 40%-rye-with-walnuts bread Mr. Hamelman made that I got to sample (a bread master like Mr. Zakowski having to listen to comments of mine such as "Really? You mean I'm actually eating bread made by Jeffrey Hamelman?!").
Michael advised that Mr. Hamelman was on the exhibition floor, and not too long after that Mr. Hamelman walked past me and I got the chance to introduce myself and tell him how much I loved his book and the opportunity to taste his bread!!! Here's a picture of the Amazingly-Good bread!:
BBGA also had book signings, and I got the opportunity to meet Eric Kastel, whose book I just purchased. I was so happy I'd actually made some of his breads and was able to talk to him in person about them!!! Mr. Kastel graciously autographed and gave me the display book cover he had set up for his book signing.
Well, that was Day 1. Huge. I never thought in a million years I'd get a chance to meet such great talents in the bread world.
The next morning Ciril Hitz presented "Breakfast Breads & Pastries: An Artisan Approach". The writeup by proth5 on this seminar was spot on.
The seminar was an incredible learning opportunity for me, to be able to hear firsthand about these doughs from a baker of such calibre.
I didn't have either of Mr. Hitz's books and was able to purchase both that day (kindly autographed of course! :^) ).
The seminar was so informative - Mr. Hitz covered laminated and enriched doughs, ingredients, mixers (on friction factor: "Heat is not your friend in any of these doughs"), freezing, mixing, gluten development, preferments, hydration percentage, preparing butter and dough for lamination and the lamination process, his recommended sequence of events for controlling dough and butter temperature ("Work the dough colder than 64F"), tips for shaping, filling and proofing, and baking. I look forward to reading his books while referring to the notes I took and putting it all together when baking!!!
I enjoyed Mr. Hitz's teaching style, and his voice of experience combined with photos and video. Some other things he suggested were:
- Laminating with compound butters, sweet or savory, for varied flavors.
- For those of us without sheeters!, and to maximize evenness in the lamination, Mr. Hitz recommended creating a very even butter block (even suggesting you could weld up an aluminum butter block frame for rolling! Now that's an idea!), trimming the ends of the dough trifold to expose the butter so the trifold is very rectangular before elongating the dough, to be very gentle with the folds and don't create tension, and to do every layer the same way (direction of rolling and turns).
- For adding inclusions to enriched doughs, to add them after proper gluten development is attained so the dough membrane coats the inclusions. This helps proper distribution of inclusions in the dough, so shaped pieces have even distribution of inclusions for consistent heights when proofing, and also protect the inclusions from being exposed and burning during the bake. For wet inclusions, to roll the dough thin, spread inclusions over and jelly roll to distribute the inclusions, to maintain a clean dough state.
What a morning!!!
I toured around the Coupe Louis Lesaffre competition area and took some pictures of the pieces but in my haste in capturing images didn't capture every country's artistic piece, and in some cases missed the country's name in the shot:
As a Canadian, I hope you'll forgive me for wanting to put Canada's picture first, although Team USA is the very worthy team moving on!!!
Here is Team USA:
Chile, Costa Rica, or Mexico???
I am very grateful for the opportunities to meet the bakers, industry and association representatives and vendors, who were also very generous with samples and other goodies, and distribution/supply information. I left the exhibition hall loaded down with all sorts of good stuff, nut flours especially, and was also grateful for the opportunity to buy some things from exhibitors. And special thanks too to Lesaffre, for giving me a precious brick of SAF Gold osmotolerant yeast. With the knowledge gained from Ciril Hitz, and some good yeast...I can't wait to get my hands in some sweet dough.