LAB - Specialty Breads from France and around the World

Course Description:

This course module introduces students to a wide variety of products from famous bread-producing regions and countries around the world. Students learn how to make the famous Fougasse aux Olives from the south of France; a Jewish rye bread; Italian semolina bread; American cranberry pecan bread; plus Mexican jalapeño cheddar corn bread, as well as Bolillos mexicanos and Conchas. With each new recipe they explore, students compare and contrast it with others they’ve learned to date, focusing especially on the production methods involved as well as the unique taste, texture, and appearance profiles in crumb and crust. Students also learn to create Italian Biga, a type of pre-ferment, and how to use it in producing a variety of regional breads. Students collaborate in focused teams to meet the demands of a fast-paced “bakery production” atmosphere the instructor establishes during the module, which further prepares them for launching into the professional baking industry.


Students the Course is Expected to Serve:

This course is a necessary component to completing the 10-week L’Art de la Boulangerie – The Artisanal Bread Baking Program.


Pre-requisites and Co-requisites:

Pre-requisites for this course include Food Service Safety & Sanitation, Food Service Theory & Basic Skills, and Fundamentals of French Breads, or consent of the Dean for Student Affairs. Co-requisites include Pre-ferments: Poolish and Sponges; Levains & Starters: Techniques and Applications; Specialty Whole Grain & Organic Breads; Breakfast Pastries & Viennoiseries; and Advanced Breakfast Pastries & Viennoiseries.


Training Objectives:

  • The student will learn how to make a wide variety of products from famous bread-producing regions of Europe and other countries around the world, including the famous fougasse aux olives from the south of France; a Jewish rye bread; Italian semolina bread; American cranberry pecan; and Mexican jalapeño cheddar corn bread plus bolillos mexicanos and conchas.
  • The student will compare the taste, texture, and appearance of crumb and crust in each of these varieties, and learn to appreciate the nuances of each.
  • The student will learn how to make biga, an Italian pre-ferment, and incorporate it into a variety of recipes. 4) The student will collaborate in a team to facilitate a bakery production of a broad variety of specialty breads.


Student Learning Outcomes:

  • The student will make a wide variety of products from famous bread-producing regions of Europe and other countries around the world, including the famous fougasse aux olives from the south of France; a Jewish rye bread; Italian semolina bread; American cranberry pecan; and Mexican jalapeño cheddar corn bread, plus bolillos mexicanos and conchas, meeting saleable production standards for each product.
  • The student will be able to compare the taste, texture, and appearance of crumb and crust in each of these varieties, and describe the chemistry behind the nuances of each.
  • The student will be able to make biga, a type of pre-ferment, and incorporate it into a variety of recipes they create to saleable production standards.
  • The student will work proficiently, effectively, and efficiently in a team to plan and produce the assigned recipes for a practice bakery production.


Course Outline:

  • Jewish rye bread; Italian semolina bread; American cranberry pecan; Mexican jalapeño cheddar corn bread plus bolillos mexicanos, Fougasse aux Olives and conchas.(5 hours lecture; 7 hours lab)
  • Analyzing and comparing the taste, texture, and appearance profiles of international breads.(3 hours lecture; 5 hours lab)
  • Understanding biga, a pre-ferment, and its incorporation into recipes. (2 hours lecture; 4 hours lab)
  • Assimilation of techniques acquired during the program, practicing bakery production. (5 hours lecture; 9 hours lab)


Methods of Instruction*:

  • Lectures
  • Whole-group discussions facilitated by the chef instructor
  • Technique and recipe demonstrations by the chef instructor
  • Chef instructor-supervised production of recipes by students


Methods of Evaluation*:

  • Appropriate and accurate responses to instructor’s questions during demonstrations and class discussions
  • Chef instructor observations during recipe production