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Peter’s Blog: Bread Symposium update

Hi Everyone,

By this time next week we will be wrapping up the first Johnson & Wales University International Symposium on Bread. But, as I write this, we’re still in the final stages of preparation, tweaking the logistics, the audio visual systems, the meals, and the special features that we believe will make this a very special gathering. By the end of this week I should have the log-on for you so that you can watch the presentations via our live-stream feed, and you will be able to even download the app that will give you the whole program, bio’s abstracts, and speaker schedule. The welcome ceremony will be at 9 AM Eastern Daylight Time on Monday, May 22nd, but check back here before then for the links to the app and to the Facebook Events Page where we will host the live-stream.

In the meantime, enjoy this bread sculpture created by Johnson & Wales Master Baker Harry Peemoeller, a former Coupe du Monde Team USA member who has become known worldwide for his show pieces made entirely out of bread dough.

Original Wright Bros. blueprint re=created on pastry dough.

Original Wright Bros. blueprint re-created on pastry dough.

Because we’re hosting the event in Charlotte, North Carolina, Harry decided to give his showpiece a North Carolina theme. He told me that his inspiration came when he noticed on NC license plates the state slogan, “First in Flight,” referring the Wright Brothers invention and demonstration of their first airplane at Kitty Hawk, on the Outer Banks of the NC seashore. Harry was able to recreate the original Wright Brothers blueprints for their design on “parchment paper” that he made with puff pastry and other thin layers of dough, using food grade “cocoa ink,” painted on by silk screen, to show the evolution of the brother’s idea, from blueprint, to bicycle technology (they owned a bike shop in Ohio), to final prototype.

From blueprint to bicycle to plane.

From blueprint to bicycle to plane.

Everything you see in these photos was made with edible bread dough, either yeasted or unleavened, and then treated with, again, edible “paints”and “varnishes” and “glues” made with natural ingredients and sugars. I’ll interview Harry in a future blog to bring his whole creative process to you but, for now, I just wanted to give you a tease of the level of creativity that will be present at the Symposium.

From ideation to realization.

From ideation to realization.

Needless to say, I’m so over-the-top excited about this event that, in the words of the 2,000 Year Old Man (Mel Brooks), “I could plotz.”   I’ll be back next week with a wrap up — probably a day or two later than usual (I try to post new material early on every Tuesday, but I’ll still be in session then, so look for my post probably on Wednesday, May 24th. However, check back by Friday of this week for the links, and I hope you will join us via live-stream or, eventually, via our podcasts and videos on YouTube, to watch all the exciting presentations.

Even the leather seat is made of bread dough.

Even the “leather” seat is made of bread dough.

Till then, I’ll leave you with the “Baker’s Blessing” (which I made up, as a reminder to myself to always stay resilient): May your crust be crisp and your bread always rise!

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Pizza Quest is a site dedicated to the exploration of artisanship in all forms, wherever we find it, but especially through the literal and metaphorical image of pizza. As we share our own quest for the perfect pizza we invite all of you to join us and share your journeys too. We have discovered that you never know what engaging roads and side paths will reveal themselves on this quest, but we do know that there are many kindred spirits out there, passionate artisans, doing all sorts of amazing things. These are the stories we want to discover, and we invite you to jump on the proverbial bus and join us on this, our never ending pizza quest.

Peter’s Books

American Pie
Artisan Breads Every Day
The Bread Bakers Apprentice
Brother Junipers Bread Book
Crust and Crumb
Whole Grain Breads

...and other books by Peter Reinhart, available on