Sweden has a new world champion in baking.
Håkan Johansson, 32 , from Falkenberg, is the best pastry chef in the world. Representing Sweden against seven other nations at the World Baking Championships in Paris on Wednesday, the Swede won gold after an eight-hour bake-off in the sweet bread category.
What made the victory all the more sweeter for Håkan Johansson was that he beat the French on their home patch making such pastries as croissants and pain au chocolat.
"This still feels a bit surreal but absolutely amazing. I felt pumped up for the World Championship and was aiming for gold. My training period has gone from October last year until now, and for the last two months I baked the full range of pastries 5-7 days a week," he says.
“To make good sweet bread there are no shortcuts, there are only natural and fresh ingredients that apply. When starting in the morning, you always start from zero. There are no limits to what you can create with just a little flour and water - that’s my gold recipe,” says Håkan Johansson to the Swedish Association of Bakers and Pastry Chefs which runs the Swedish team.
The work of the particpants in the sweet bread category were judged on weight, volume, taste, form and technique.
“Håkan is a master of bread, he was outstanding in all assessments. He showed innovative tastes and his pastries had a glow about them. To beat the French on their home ground over croissants says it all. Swedish bakers are of international standard and Håkan is the best of any in the world. He was well worth gold,” says Martin Lundell, president of the Swedish bakers and pastry chefs association.
World Champ Håkan Johansson in Paris.Photo: Coupe Louis LeSaffre.
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