IN PICS | Bakers honour their moms with bread art - it's blooming gorgeous

10 May 2020 - 00:02 By Hilary Biller
'Adding cooked beetroot to my bread gives it a beautiful feminine colour and a soft texture,' says pastry chef Jenna Short.
'Adding cooked beetroot to my bread gives it a beautiful feminine colour and a soft texture,' says pastry chef Jenna Short.
Image: Supplied

Inspired by the bread art trend, we thought it would be fun to put a foodie spin on the classic Mother's Day gift of a bunch of flowers.

So we asked local bakers to adorn their loaves with colourful toppings in order to turn them into nature-inspired artworks as a tribute to their moms.

Here they show off the results, and tell us more about the wonderful women who brought them into the world:

JENNA SHORT

Pastry Chef, Pierneef a La Motte Restaurant, Franschhoek

My mother, chef Yvonne Short, is my root, my foundation. She planted the seed that I base my life on, literally. I have followed in her footsteps. In so many ways I am her copy-and-paste; the before to her after picture, as she always says.

She's the most enthusiastic, humble, hard-working and inspirational woman I know. If I could be half the woman that she is today, then I'll have been successful in my life.

Mom, thank you for all that you do for us. You truly are the glue that holds us together.

Follow Short on Instagram: @theindulgist

Hein van Tonder's bread art.
Hein van Tonder's bread art.
Image: Hein van Tonder
Sidudziwe Gerasch's bread art.
Sidudziwe Gerasch's bread art.
Image: Supplied

SIDUDZIWE GERASCH

Baker and bakery owner, Durban

I grew up in KwaNongoma, northern KwaZulu-Natal, the daughter of a priest. My mother, Thandiwe TD Dlamini, played a significant role in my life. She was an amazing woman who taught me a lot about life and she was (may her soul rest in eternal peace) and still is a big influence in my life.

She loved cooking and baking. We always had freshly baked goods because we always had visitors who came to visit my father, and being a good wife she made sure that the guests had a cup of coffee or tea accompanied by biscuits, cupcakes, bread or cakes. She was a really great baker.

Follow Gerasch on Instagram: @geraschbakery

HEIN VAN TONDER

Award-winning food photographer, stylist, creative director, Cape Town

Celebrations this year are bittersweet as we navigate a world that is so different to only a few months ago. My parents, Barry and Lorraine, celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary in April, in isolation, as they had to cancel their party. And Mother's Day will be no different. Although both of them are healthy, being in their 80s makes them high risk.

I wanted to keep the bread design delicate and feminine. My mom does a lot of needlework so I thought the detail of the herbs would suit her personality and craft. I like the idea of this bread bouquet as a thank-you for allowing me into the kitchen at a young age, sparking my love for food that would lead to my career as a food photographer many years later.

Visit heinstirred.com

Belitha Sithole's bread art.
Belitha Sithole's bread art.
Image: Supplied
Janine Walker Greenleaf's bread art.
Janine Walker Greenleaf's bread art.
Image: Supplied

BELITHA SITHOLE

Home bread baker, Joburg

I've been baking for 15 years and started making kitke for the Jewish family I was working for at the time. I work for the Sive family, who encourage me to bake and have sent me on different courses. I've been baking and selling my bread and cakes. I love baking and if I don't bake in a week I will go mad.

My mother passed away when I was very young and I grew up with my father, Mandla Sithole. I baked this bread with my late mother in my mind.

Contact Sithole on 079-888-6849.

JANINE WALKER GREENLEAF

Food and wine writer/consultant, Joburg

For me Mother's Day is not only a celebration of my own mother, Jennifer Walker, but also of my children, who made me a mother and now a first-time grandmother. My best roles ever. I made the bread - particularly the two red pepper hearts - in celebration of my mom and my daughter, Ashleigh. Both strong and beautiful mothers who have shaped the person I am.

Visit jagcomms.org

Bathandwa Nkambule's bread art.
Bathandwa Nkambule's bread art.
Image: Supplied

BATHANDWA NKAMBULE

Food writer and blogger

I dedicate this thyme and garlic focaccia to my late grandmother. She passed away when I was young and unfortunately I don't have many memories of us together. I recently found out that we share similar interests and I've adopted many of her hobbies. She enjoyed spending time in the garden and her favourite flowers were marigolds and poppies, so this floral arrangement is my gift to her.

She loved to cook and she used to come up with the most creative recipes so I feel like my food journey in a way is me picking up where she left off. I sometimes pray that when she is looking out for me, that she is proud of all the steps I've taken thus far.

Follow Nkambule on Instagram: @theearthycook

Nicola van den Berg's bread art.
Nicola van den Berg's bread art.
Image: Supplied
Jenny Kay's bread art.
Jenny Kay's bread art.
Image: Supplied

JENNY KAY

Food consultant, contributor to Lifestyle/Food, Joburg

This Mother's Day there will be four generations celebrating together. I am fortunate enough to have my mom, daughter and granddaughter with me.

My mom, Marge Yaman, 87, grew up in Orange Grove in Joburg. After marrying my dad she moved to Kroonstad in the Free State where she lived for over 50 years. We have happy memories of our house being filled with friends who were always welcomed by my mom.

I also got my love of cooking and baking from my mom, who encouraged my sister and me to bake as often as we could. The first items I learnt to bake were cheese scones and eclairs.

My father was Lebanese and my grandmother taught Mom to prepare many traditional dishes, which she in turn taught us.

• Follow Kay on Instagram: @pinkpomegranatessa

NICOLA VAN DEN BERG

Chef-in-training Prue Leith Culinary Institute, Centurion

I baked this bread for my mother, Madelein van den Berg, who is a very important and special person in my life. No matter what, my mom has always been there. Through laughter, tears, celebrations, oopsies, 1am or 11pm and anything else, I could and can always count on her. She is my best friend, a strong and independent pillar and a gentle and caring soul. We adore sharing food experiences together. Even though almond and orange cake is her favourite, this beautiful bread is second best. I love and adore her and may she have a blessed Mother's Day.

• Follow the Prue Leith Culinary Institute on Instagram: @prueleithchefs

Christoph Hoffman's bread art.
Christoph Hoffman's bread art.
Image: Christoph Hoffman

CHRISTOPH HOFFMAN

Food photographer Lifestyle/Food, Joburg

My grandfather was an artist, so my mother, Annette Hoffmann, grew up around art. Vincent van Gogh was a favourite. When I was slicing the beetroot, I noticed concentric circles and it reminded me of Starry Night by van Gogh. I figured this would make a great Mother's Day item, nostalgic of my mom's time spent with her father.

I naively set out to try and create it on the top of the bread, not realising that the items would separate and change in nature while baking - thereby changing the picture. The result is more abstract than post-Impressionist.

Follow Hoffman on Twitter: @Christoph_foto

Riana Swanepoel's bread art.
Riana Swanepoel's bread art.
Image: Supplied
Nileshen Kolapen's bread art.
Nileshen Kolapen's bread art.
Image: Supplied

NILESHEN KOLAPEN

Chef-in-training, Prue Leith Culinary Institute, Centurion

My mother, Cheryl Kolapen, has always been a loving, caring and admirable woman. Mummy has taught me many things but what stands out is how unconditionally my mother loves. She has simple tastes yet appreciates the finer things in life, like spending quality time with family.

I kept the bread simple as a tribute to her - the flowers symbolise my mother's loving nature. I tried to incorporate as much natural colour while also keeping a simple feel.

To call her my mummy is a privilege. Thank you for always believing in me. Happy Mother's Day.

Follow Kolapen on Instagram: @heyderchef

RIANA SWANEPOEL

Pastry chef, Prue Leith Culinary Institute, Centurion

I decided to make a bouquet of daisies because they are my mother, Yvonne Pieterse's, favourite garden flowers and I would really want to give her the actual flowers.

April was a difficult month for her as my father passed away recently. It is their wedding anniversary and her birthday, so she had to be alone on both of those days. Luckily she is a strong woman.

My mother is always there for me. I can phone her any time of the day or night and she will always have the answers to my questions. She is the one who raised me to be the woman I am today. 

Dehandri Pretorius' bread art.
Dehandri Pretorius' bread art.
Image: Supplied

DEHANDRI PRETORIUS

Chef-in-training, Prue Leith Culinary Institute, Centurion

Growing up in a household with five siblings, I've seen my mother, Sonja Pretorius, put an exceptional amount of time and effort into giving us the best life she could. Mother's Day is about giving back, showing love and appreciation, and pampering! That's why my floral flatbreads will be a delicious treat with our Mother's Day brunch, in celebration of the strong woman my mother is.

Lungile Makiza's bread art.
Lungile Makiza's bread art.
Image: Supplied
Babette Kourelos' bread art.
Babette Kourelos' bread art.
Image: Supplied

CHEF LUNGILE MAKIZA

Lecturer, Capsicum Culinary Studio, Pretoria campus

My mother, Letta Peete is the most amazing woman on this planet and is a pillar of strength to many. I am delighted to call her my mama. Her love for her children has never fallen short. My mama is always there to support us and her loving heart is always giving. I look forward to hearing her say 'Hello nana' every time I call and afterwards, my day is brighter.

I consider myself one of the luckiest people on Earth because of my mother's love. She also taught me how to make the best dombolo!

Follow Makiza on Instagram: @cheflungi

BABETTE KOURELOS

Owner of Babette's Bread, specialist artisan bread baker and teacher, Joburg

My beautiful mother, Theodora Drummond is the strongest woman I know. She's been a source of support, inspiration, music, love and good food. She introduced me to the magic of cooking and baking and the beautiful flavours of lemon, garlic and rosemary.

My mom makes the best garlic bread in the family and usually uses my French baguettes to make the garlic bread. This bread I've made for her is a slight twist on the old classic. It's a pull-apart garlic bread that can be served at a braai as a low-key but still impressive side or even act as a beautiful centrepiece on the Sunday lunch table. It is wonderful to mop up the beautiful flavours of Greek lamb, groenboontjie bredie or a simple napolitana or bolognese sauce.

Visit babettesbread.co.za