British Columbia·Audio

Knead-to-know bread-making tips from B.C.'s reality TV baking champion

Former Great Canadian Baking Show champion Andrei Godoroja dispels some common mistakes people make when baking bread at home.

'Wetter is better' when it comes to making bread at home, says Andrei Godoroja

Stephen Quinn learns how to make the perfect loaf of bread with baking champ Andrei Godoroja in Vancouver on Monday, December 30, 2019. (Maggie MacPherson/CBC)

In the past few years, Andrei Godoroja has learned a lot about baking, and now he wants to share his tips.

When he joined season two of CBC's The Great Canadian Baking Show, he had never worked in a bakery or even taken a pastry course. 

"My degree in engineering physics helped ... because I always want to know how things work," he told Early Edition host Stephen Quinn, during an informal bread-making course in Godoroja's West End apartment.

Simple tips for making bread at home

Godoroja went on to win The Great Canadian Baking Show, and he has some simple tips to share for anyone making bread at home:

  • Mix all of the dry ingredients together first.
  • Don't let the yeast sit in salty water too long.
  • Start with wet dough.
Andrei Godoroja says, when it comes to making bread dough at home "wetter is better." (Maggie MacPherson/CBC)

He's learned that whisking all of the dry ingredients together first helps distribute everything. Leaving yeast to sit in salty water slows the process down, reducing the chances of the loaf rising successfully.

Godoroja says baking often involves trial and error.

"Recipes are often bogus. You have to find out how to do it correctly," he said.

One common mistake Godoroja sees beginners make, is leaving dough too dry, because it's easier to handle.
"The more you knead, the less sticky it will get. Sometime it will start by sticking all over your hands. But it will start coming off," he said.

Freshly baked bread is cut by baking champ Andrei Godoroja in Vancouver on Monday, December 30, 2019. (Maggie MacPherson/CBC)

Life after The Great Canadian Baking Show

His stint on television has changed Godoroja's life. "I'm doing more baking than working. I should probably get more serious about my software engineering career," he said.

Aside from baking and computer engineering, Godoroja is also an amateur astronomer, skier, and sailor.

Along with Bruno Feldeisen, host of The Great Canadian Baking Show, Godoroja has offered in-home bread making workshops as charity auction prizes.

For some lucky bread makers, those workshops come with lunch, and a show.

"I'm actually a trained opera singer as well," he said.

Freshly baked no-knead bread in Vancouver on Monday, December 30, 2019. (Maggie MacPherson/CBC)

Listen to the full interview, and a sample of his opera singing here:

The story lies beneath the kneading. 8:57

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