Epiphany Masaganda, executive pastry chef of The Sailfish Club in Palm Beach, Fla., came to learn about innovative breads because her restaurant is starting a bread program. Rachel Lawson, a baker at De La Terre Cafe and Bakery in Jordan, Ontario, Canada, wanted to sharpen her bread baking skills.

These bakers and more than a dozen more learned creative ideas and sound fundamentals for producing “Old World and Innovative Artisan Breads” in a hands-on Saturday session at the International Baking Industry Exposition (IBIE), conducted by Julien Otto, chef instructor and master baker for The French Pastry School in Chicago.

Among the bread formulas demonstrated by Otto included Alsatian rye beer bread, Beaujolais red wine and salami rye bread, onion and potato levain bread and Madras curry and raisin loaf.

For his onion and potato levain bread, Otto mixed in instant potato flakes with bread flour, dry instant yeast, salt, liquid levain and water to start the mixture. Then he followed by gradually adding olive oil and one minced red onion, prior to letting the dough rise for an hour.

“With potato flakes, olive oil and a lot of water, here you have something very moist,” Otto said. “Mix until the dough is just moving from the bowl.”

The chef instructor for the bread and pastry programs at The French Pastry School, Otto demonstrated time-tested methods of leavening techniques, mixing and shaping doughs and added a fresh twist by incorporating different flavors.

The Madras curry and raisin loaf was prepared with a double-hydration method, meaning water is added in two stages. Then he mixed in Madras curry powder and raisins (any type will work) and kneaded for two minutes in first gear.

Once baked, Otto sliced the bread, and participants in the class gathered around in eager anticipation. The flavor of the yellow slices of bread was amazing. Everyone was excited that they had learned a new bread to impress their customers.