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How we bake

If you’ve had the chance to sample our loaves, you may have noted the distinctive quality and diversity of our range. This is a result of using only natural ingredients (no preservatives or additives) and traditional baking techniques that take time and care - the way bread has been baked for generations.

We bake two types of traditional bread - plain fermented and scalded. Plain bread ferments overnight but needs to be kneaded for a long time, while scalded bread fermentation takes over 24 hours. Scalded bread is more easily digestible and stays fresh for longer.

Each bread is handmade using long traditional processes to create a distinctive taste and look. The mixing process is closely monitored to ensure the dough absorbs the right amount of water, while shaping is all done by hand to aid optimum steam release. During baking, we watch it closely to get the ideal colour and crust.

We use a long fermentation process, where our natural doughs are left for up to 24 hours to develop. This results in bread with improved depth of flavour and a wonderful texture. It also provides for easier digestion as during fermentation, the natural yeast starter begins to break down the gluten. In addition, the long fermentation process allows the bread to stay fresh for longer. As a rule, the length of time taken to produce a loaf with no artificial additives (like ours) dictates its shelf life. Thus, the longer process allows for longer shelf life at home.

Sourdough (or more formally 'levain') refers to the process of leavening bread by capturing wild yeasts in the dough. Sourdough has a distinctively tangy or sour taste (hence its name), due mainly to the lactic acid and acetic acid produced by the yeast. Levains are made using a small amount of "starter" dough (sometimes known as "the mother"), which contains the yeast culture, along with flour, water and salt. Part of this resulting dough is then saved to use as the starter for the next batch. It is not uncommon for a baker's starter dough to have years of history.

We use scalding, a technique introduced at the end of the 19th century, in making some of our loaves. Once the flour has been scalded the gluten starts to break down in flour making the bread softer for the digestive system, also the natural sugars present in flour start to develop and become more pronounced. Therefore, scalded bread has a distinctive sweet-sour mellow flavour and a softer and more moist crumb. It keeps the moisture in and stays fresh for longer. Sample our Lithuanian Scalded Rye or Borodinsky to experience the difference!

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