Pain à la coupe

4 Apr 2019


Pain à la coupe

In the Middle-age, bakers were selling breads by the loaf like we see today. However, because some loaves were lighter than others (purposeful short weighting or ingredient differential) but sold at the same price, laws were enacted requiring bread to be sold by weight. Today, more and more bakeries are applying this concept to sell bread on a weight basis and therefore the consumer can ask the exact weight he or she needs and doesn’t have to buy the complete bread. In France, it is called “Pain à la coupe”. At Puratos, we are convinced by this approach and the opportunities it represents for the baker.

How can you implement the Pain à la Coupe concept in your bakery? Here are some golden rules established with our Technical Advisor, Martin de Poorter.

#1 Bake big loaves: 2kg +/-

  • More visually impactful, big breads are also easier to handle in the bakery. Their cut possibilities offer many different breads formats and appeal your customers as they are made in a more rustic style (e.g. score it with flour).

“Traditionally, breads were big because families were big and the baker was only coming around once a week so you had to have enough. Let’s go back to those big and impressive loaves of bread” M. de Poorter

#2 Differentiate yourself by

  • Using authentic ingredients such as sourdough and grains turn a regular bread into a great premium “Pain à la coupe”. “Go crazy when baking your Pain à la Coupe : sourdough, grains or even beer instead of water – you have all the possibilities in the world to make your imprint on your bread” M. de Poorter 
  • Creating a story around your breads: “This rye bread has not only rye grains but it also contains a rye sourdough. We let it ferment for 16 hours to ensure a complex and delicate taste“. Showing your ingredients can also make the bread and its story even more appealing for the consumer. 
  • Bringing a solution to waste : You can show your customers how this baking approach helps reduce waste, both for at their level and yours.

#3 Make it fresh

  • Big loaves, by essence, lose less moistness. Adding a high percentage of water and a pinch of O-tentic will increase freshness even more

“If you make a big loaf of bread with O-tentic, you have the assurance of long-lasting freshness and therefore less waste” M. de Poorter

#4 Adapt your process

  • Long mixing in 1st speed and over-night fermentation. Thanks to the longer mixing in 1st speed, you will be able to add more water and have a nice, fresh bread. Next to that, working with overnight fermentation will help the bread develop a whole bouquet of flavours and make it even more enjoyable for consumers

“Overnight fermentation is the key when baking Pain à la Coupe breads” M. de Poorter

Martin’s favourite recipe

The Apple, Apricot & Figs Pain à la coupe is the favourite bread of my grandkids. For my colleagues, I toast it with cheese.