The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Decorated loaf

Uberkermit's picture

Decorated loaf

Hi folks,


Poilane bakery sells miches topped with decorative dough patterns. You can see an example of what I'm talking about here (in this case a thanksgiving turkey):


What I'm wondering is has anyone tried this or a similar technique at home? From what I can tell, the dough looks like it's been given some sort of wash to make it shiny. There is also a contrast between the rest of the loaf, which definitely looks like it's been dusted with flour. So this all leaves me with a few questions. Maybe you guys can help me pin down some answers.


1) What kind of dough is used for the decorative pattern? The poilane website says it's "made of leaven tamped with flour". Not too enlightening. I suppose "leaven" means that it does not contain salt (right?), but I'm not sure what "tamped with flour" means.

2) What kind of wash is used for the decorative pattern? Egg wash, melted butter, or something else?

3) How is the pattern attached to the rest of the loaf?

I plan on doing my own experiments, but was wondering if anyone out there might already have some insight.


Regards, -Chris


Cooky's picture

You can get that high shine on bread by painting it with a mixutre of water and cornstarch. I think the result it shinier than egg wash.


"I am not a cook. But I am sorta cooky."

browndog's picture

Those are the most beautiful breads I have ever seen, (and around here that's saying something.) How could anyone ever bear to take a knife to them?

Paddyscake's picture

Am I correct in thinking that the plaques aren't palatable? They are visually very appealing!! artistry!!

Uberkermit's picture


 Your instructions seem very clear and easy to follow. I will have to experiment and keep you posted on my progress. Thanks again, -Chris