Tecumseh baker earns first specialty baking certification in country

By: 
JACKIE KOCH

Arlo Brandl inside Tecumseh Bread & Pastry at 115 S. Evans St. Photo by Nanci Heiney

Arlo Brandl is dedicated to his work, which benefits the taste buds of residents of Tecumseh and beyond. A baker’s dozen in years of professional experience, combined with the drive to open a local bakery, stirred vigorously with the energy of he and wife Aliysn, kneaded together with continuous learning, resulted in the popular Tecumseh Bread & Pastry shop at 115 S. Evans St. that opened a year ago. Certified as an Artisan Bread Baker by the Bread Bakers Guild of America (BBGA) in September 2018, Arlo now holds the distinction of being the first Certified Viennoiserie Baker in America through the BBGA.

He first began sharing space with 3 Dudes and Dinner in 2016 to produce his baked goods, then created a home commercial kitchen space  from which to work. His path to becoming a Certified Viennoiserie Baker followed a process that included many years of professional baking, then testing and a two-day practical examination among baking masters in the country to be first certified as the seventh in the U.S. for bread as an Artisan Bread Baker.

“Once that was accomplished and I moved forward, my Viennoiserie took much the same in terms of practical and standardized testing, but had me preparing for over a year for the final examination at the beginning of October,” he said. “I was judged by world champions and other masters when it came to the craft.” He said the process was that of more than five years of professional baking in over a decade of work in his career, and he appreciates the fact that his learning is never finished.

Arlo describes Viennoisierie as the meeting point of bread and pastry, where dough sweetened with sugar or enriched with butter and eggs makes a crossing point between beautiful and practical application. It can refer to laminated dough, which is the process of folding butter into dough multiple times to create very thin alternating layers of butter and dough, or nonlaminated dough, or a product that creates light and flaky pastries through the use of time and temperature and large quantities of butter. “Our croissants and Danish are such product, but so is our brioche and many other great products,” he said. “I like to think of it as the use of butter and light sweetening to create that memorable flavor and taste in baked goods. Typically it requires the skills more commonly associated with that of a pastry chef in terms of visual composition, uniqueness of flavor and presentation.” 

As one of only nine Artisan Bread Bakers in the country and now the first Certified Viennoiserie Baker, Arlo said he is excited that he and Aliysn will be teaching laminated pastry classes across the nation next year for the guild. “No matter in what, it is wild to be able to say you are ‘the first in America,” he said. “We have no secrets and love what we do and enjoy sharing our knowledge.” Tecumseh Bread & Pastry welcomes visiting bakers from across the country each month, and Arlo said he is excited to see more bakers further the age-old craft of baking.

Tecumseh Bread & Pastry mills organic, locally grown grains to use in more than 20 kinds of fresh baked bread each morning and 30 to 40 kinds of pastries each day. They create cookies, brownies, cakes and soft loaves of bread, as well as traditional bakery staples of croissants, Danish, hard crusted breads, and their popular breakfast cookies, scones and coffee cake using well-sourced, local ingredients where possible. “Everyone has had a chocolate chip cookie, but have you had one with flour grown three hours away, milled fresh that morning and using butter and eggs from down the road?” Arlo asked.

Since Aliysn gave birth to their daughter, Penelope, in August, Arlo went from working six 13-hour days a week to five 13-hour days a week to allow him to be at home an extra day each week to be with his family, and for that opportunity he said he is grateful, as he is for the community’s support.

“Tecumseh has been able to support our dream and keep us growing at a comfortable pace for three years now and we are thankful,” he said. Every week he has new people come to the bakery who say they live in town and just discovered the shop. “Our customers are wonderful, and our interactions with them equally so,” he said.

The bakery is open Wednesday through Saturday 7 a.m.-3 p.m., and the menu, including special order items for the holidays, can be found at tecumsehbake.weebly.com. Tecumseh Bread & Pastry is on Facebook and Instagram, but Arlo prefers to receive communication and orders from customers by phone at 517.301.4664, or in person. “It allows us to continue what we love, which is interacting with the folks who love baking,” he said.

Category:

Tecumseh Herald

 

110 E. Logan St.
P.O. Box 218
Tecumseh, MI 49286
517-423-2174
800-832-6443

Email Us

FacebookTwitter

Latest articles

Please Login for Premium Content