If I hadn’t become a photographer, then the life would have most probably brought me to a bakery. I like to deal with dough, I like smell and taste of freshly baked buns,  I like to eat them while hot, although I know it’s not that good for my health. But if I’m lucky to find hot bread, I always buy it and eat, while it’s hot. And it’s also great to just drop by a bakery and enjoy that tasty smell…

Campagne Bread Recipe
Recipe Type: Baking
Cuisine: French Cuisine
Bread is simple. Bread is a living thing we can connect with. It’s a bread made of rye flour, wheat flour, salt, water and natural sourdough.
  • 450 g rye flour T170 (hydrated in water for 12 hours)
  • 550 g wheat flour T80
  • 820 ml water
  • 27 g sea salt
  • 550 g firm sourdough (80% hydration)
  1. Mix and knead the dough, allow to rest in the fridge for 18 hours.
  2. The next day, scale, shape, proof and bake at 210C for 45 minutes.

Today I’ve been in a very nice bakery here, in Hong Kong. And although it’s located almost on the outskirts of the city, on a 23d floor of an industrial building, facility A, unit 3, whatever it might mean, and it’s rather difficult to find it, it’s one of the best in the city, supplying bread to the most popular Hong Kong restaurants.

It means, that if you’re staying in InterContinental or Four Seasons, or drop by any famous restaurant, as people like to say here, then you may be almost sure that a bun, you’re spreading butter over, has been baked in Bread Elements.

And when in some restaurants I said, I was going to have a shooting with Gregoire of Bread Elements, chefs, even those having Michelin Stars and lots of other awards, were excited, saying that was really great. And I saw my rating improving by several points in their eyes…

Pastry chefs are actually a separate  caste, these are people who normally remain in a shadow, and there are so few of them that they are just like gold dust. It’s really hard to craft a tasty bun. Very hard. For example, in Odessa, my native city, there’s no tasty bread at all.

But let’s come back to Hong Kong. Restaurant customers do appreciate pastry, and it’s also quite popular thing to buy a bun and eat on the way home. Bread is expensive, but it’s tasty in almost every place, where I bought it. I found a small bakery in Wan Chai, and this is four metro stations from the place where I live, with marvelous croissants. Sometimes, I walk there on purpose – to buy 12 of them for a breakfast. And while I’m walking back to the area where I live, I usually eat a half. They are extremely tasty, I’ll miss them, when I come back to Ukraine.

This is my kind of confession of love to pastry. Now you know my weak point and can use it to harm my figure. And meanwhile, I’m happy I’ve become a photographer, and not a baker, otherwise, no diets would work among those aromas of brown bread…

Gregoire Michaud, Chef at Bread Elements-1