The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Hello from Vietnam

huycao's picture

Hello from Vietnam

Hello everyone

I am an only 6 month-experience baker, from Vietnam. At workplace, I make baguette, burger, sandwich...At home, I don't have any mixer, so I knead the dough by hand for about 25mins, every 700g of flour, I get 2 loaves of milk sandwich (10cmX10cmX20cm). Now I want to try with muffin, it sounds hard for me to bake them.

I think this is a good site where I can learn from and share experience with you. I also wish to work as a baker in many different countries someday to study more about their local interesting breads.

Nice to meet you all.

bnom's picture

Welcome to The Fresh Loaf.  I'm sure you will find lots to teach and inspire you on this site.  

Where in Vietnam do you live?  

BakerBen's picture

Welcome to The Fresh Loaf.  You are correct in thinking that this is a good place to learn a lot about baking.  I have been a participant here for only about six months or so and have found everyone extremely friendly, knowledgeable and more than willing to share their expertise in baking.  I am sure you will find the same thing.  Baking is a good way to seee the world - everyone always like to eat no matter where they live - baking a skill without borders. 

Good luck and happy baking,


Candygirl's picture

Hello there!  What a coincidence, I'll be in Ho Chih Minh this week.  Looking forward to trying your local breads.  What would you recommend I try first?

huycao's picture

Hello, thank you all for your welcomes.

Hi Bnom, you impressed me by saying hello by Vietnamese, wow. I live in Ho Chi Minh city now.

To Candygirl, welcome you to Ho Chi Minh city. I'd like to introduce you the most famous bread shop, right center of the city. That is NHƯ LAN bread shop 50 Hàm Nghi, Bến Nghé ward, district 1. From BẾN THÀNH market, one of the most famous markets of HCMcity, you can ask any passer-by for BÁNH MÌ NHƯ LAN, (bánh mì = bread) and get there just about 20 minutes walk.

I try to look for speciality and I think about baked chicken bread with grated cheese on top, yummy! You can try these breads at 99 Võ Văn Tần, district 3, less than 10 minutes taxi from BẾN THÀNH market.

I hope that helps and wish you have a very good trip. Any question, don't hesitate to let me know.

bnom's picture

I only know a few phrases but I need to learn more because I'll be making my second trip there next year. I'm glad to know where the good bakery is!

I'm proud to say that my husband is there now doing some good work on behalf of Peacetrees Vietnam.  It is a nonprofit group that is based here in Seattle. They sponsor demining work in Quang Tri province and this last week they dedicated the opening of two schools, and a library. Maybe you saw something about it on the news?  Here's a link to a nice news story:

huycao's picture

Hi Bnom

Hopefully, those good work can help give back a land without mines to children of Quang Tri, thank Peace Trees Vietnam.

Like learning a new recipe, it's interesting to learn a new language. Food and language are two of things that help you to understand culture and people from a new land. I hope you find interesting learning Vietnamese. Let me introduce you one :

"Bánh mì thịt", these three words are very popular to Vietnamese since they often have this for breakfast. "Bánh mì" means bread, "thịt" means meat. We add Vietnamese mayonnaise, paté, pork meat, pickle, red pepper, coriander, pepper and salt, soy sauce...inside a 25cm long baguette and that's what a "bánh mì thịt" is.

Candygirl's picture

Thank you for the recommendations.  I'll be leaving for Ho Chi Minh City tomorrow.  I hope these bakeries will be walking distance from our hotel. The baked chicken bread sounds good!



ritarizkallah's picture

Hi Huycao,

I am travelling on Friday tovietnam and i will be in saigon on the 20th.

How i can meet you? because im am planningto open my own lebanese bakery and i was thinking if you come to lebanon and work with me in my new bakery.

This is my e mail adress if you want to reply:


huycao's picture

Hi Ritarizkallah

Thank you for your job offer, I sent you an email with my contact details.

See you later.


mido_mijo's picture

Chao Anh,

Welcome to The Fresh Loaf, from a fellow Vietnamese!!

I hope to visit Vietnam while doing my externship in Taiwan in November.


mrfrost's picture

Welcome huycoa.

Hope you get a chance to share your baguette recipe. Me, and others, are always on the lookout for that perfect, authentic, Vietnamese baguette recipe. Would be nice to try one directly from the source.

Thank you.

huycao's picture

Chào Mido_mijo

Welcome you to Ho Chi Minh city.


Hi Mrfrost

In the last century, traditional Vietnamese bread was almost empty inside, but Vietnamese favoured it because of its crisp crust. However, in the past ten years, many foreign companies came to Vietnam and introduced their style of bread which was more solid inside. At present, although, some still like traditional bread, many Vietnamese gradually get used to the new one. Since I worked in a foreign bread store in Ho Chi Minh city, here below the recipe of 60cm long baguette.

Flour : 25kg

Fresh yeast : 750g

Water : 15,5litres

Improver : 250g

Salt : 400g

Mixe in a 40kg mixer, 4min at low speed and 8min at high speed. When the dough comes, devide dough into 9 lumps, keep deviding each lump into 20 square smaller lumps by a dough divider, shape them by a long baguette moulder and 180 long baguette loaves ready to be baked. Bake at 220oC, 15-20minutes. Sorry for big volume.

Unfortunately, I don't have any Vietnamese traditional bread recipe. However, I heard that Vietnamese bakers added citric acid or bromate, that may not allowed to use in some countries, to dough. Secondly, they used more yeast and finally, they mixed the dough longer in time. All for one purpose, make the dough rise as big as possible. And the result is the bigger the bread, the more hollow inside.

Hope that helps.


mrfrost's picture

Thank you. I do expect that the improver is the "secret ingredient" that makes it so difficult to get the exact texture of your baguettes.

Thanks again.

HCMCbread's picture

Most improvers found in Vietnam have bromate (even though it is not mentioned on the bags). This allows bakers to have big volume, less crumb, still using rather small amount of yeast (1,5 / 2%)

A large majority also adds Vit C (small pills found in the market, but that is not an issue)

Mixing time in traditional bakeries in Vietnam is about 3-4 mn (they usually have only one speed on their mixer) and proofing time is about 3hours.

They usually put only 1% salt (1% compared to flour weight)

As Huycao says, people tend to go (slowly) for "crumby breads" now, especially as many international bakeries have opened over the last few years. If traditional breads had big volumes, they were also tastier than today's big and empty breads (mainly because of the increasing production costs and stiff competition). However, the market is slowly going back to tastier breads and Vietnamese bakers understand that quite well ; they are willing to give up some volume, as long as they can get nicer bread.