How we make our bread

It makes our bakers very happy that
our customers enjoy those little
differences in taste and structure.

Flour, water and salt, these are the three ingredients that bakers work with throughout their lives, every day. Dimitri Roels traded in his chef's jacket for a baker's uniform years ago, but still looks at these ingredients with the creativity of a top chef.
Step 1

The rare Campremy breed

It starts with selecting the best grains for the flour.

Just as a chef is always on the lookout for the market merchant who can offer him the best ingredients, Dimitri went in search of a grain supplier who could supply him with the 'grand cru' among wheat breeds. He ended up with a French cooperative that grows the rare 'campremy' wheat; a rare breed that turns out to be perfect for flavorful sourdough bread.

Regular wheat is grown with a high protein content so it has to rise for a shorter time, but this results in rather tasteless bread. The 'forgotten' campremy grain has a low protein content, so the dough has to rise much longer. Not really convenient if you want to bake bread quickly, but this type of grain does give the bread an unparalleled smell and taste, a yellow, buttery crumb and a crispy crust. And the long rising times are no problem for real bakers.
Step 2

From a good source

The cooperative that supplies the campremy grains of Vlaamsch Broodhuys works entirely according to the 'recolte trace' method.

This means that for each bag of grain, it is known which farmer it comes from (even from which parcel), whether pesticides have been used, where the grain has been stored and which mill it has been milled in. This cooperative guarantees that the amount of microtoxins is at least 50% below the legal standard, so that not only taste but also food safety is guaranteed.

The other grains Vlaamsch Broodhuys works with, such as spelt, rye and oats, are milled by Piet Voogd in Ouddorp and the beautiful mills of Schiedam.

Step 3

Celtic salt

In addition to aromatic grains, salt is also an essential ingredient for delicious bread, and as with grains, it is necessary to make an informed choice when selecting it.

Vlaamsch Broodhuys only uses Celtic sea salt that is harvested manually in the Guérande region of Brittany. This salt is known among gastronomists as the best salt in the world. Not only the taste, but also health plays an important role here. This salt is rich in minerals and trace elements and contains a relatively low content of sodium chloride. This gives it a soft and friendly character, and it is less impactful on the body.

Step 4

A source of quality

Vlaamsch Broodhuys wants to make the tastiest sourdough bread, and with this objective in mind, they even looked for the best water for the dough. Ideally, the bakers of Vlaamsch Broodhuys would like to make the dough with spring water, but due to the lack of a source under the bakery, they had to look for other possibilities.

Dutch tap water is already of good quality, but it turns out to be even tastier when vitalized. With vitalized water the water gets back its natural frequency with the help of an 'aqua vitalizer'. Okay, that might sound a bit vague, but at Vlaamsch Broodhuys the choice for this water is mainly based on its taste. It tastes just as soft as spring water, and is therefore perfect for making the dough for the tastiest sourdough bread.

Step 5

Sourdough

At Vlaamsch Broodhuys almost all our breads are made with sourdough, even the sandwich buns and the hamburger buns.

For breads where a combination of sourdough and yeast is used, we only add the minimum amount of yeast needed for the bread to rise properly. Sourdough bread is not only more nutritious than yeast due to the enzymatic development of the fermentation, but also gives a nicer smell and taste to the bread. By playing with fermentation times and temperature, the activity of the lactic acid bacteria is influenced and different results can be achieved for different breads.


Step 6

Mother dough

The mother dough, also called the sourdough "starter," is made of just flour and water, in which a culture of wild yeast and lactic acid bacteria naturally develops after a period of rest and refreshment.

Nice to know: At Vlaamsch Broodhuys, the sourdough starter is still from the same culture that was used for the very first breads.

Step 7

Mixing

All raw materials then go into the dough bowl; Sourdough, Celtic salt, vitalized water and our flour. These raw materials are mixed so that the proteins that are contained in the grains become elastic and stretchy. In this way the carbon dioxide from the lactobacteria will be able to be retained.

If we were to knead this, oxygen is whipped into the dough. This gives an oxidizing effect and actually slows down the enzymatic developments. We don't want this and that's why we mix.

Step 8

Bulk rise

After mixing, the dough goes into bins of about 60 kilograms. Making good bread is about time and temperature. We give the dough a decisive push and know exactly when to process it.

Step 9

Modelling

Each piece of dough larger than 140 grams is still modelled by hand at Vlaamsch Broodhuys. 

Step 10

Rising in reed baskets with linen cloth

Subsequently, the loaves are placed to rise for a second time in bannetons; wicker baskets lined with linen. These are very characteristic of our bread process. The second rising is done at a low temperature and takes a long time. A very long time. So long that the bread arriving warm in the stores today has actually already spent two days developing its taste and smell.

Step 11

Oven with a heat-resistant stone floor

After the long rising, the loaves are cut with razor-sharp knives, and baked in the oven on the heat-resistant stone floor. When the raw dough falls freely on the stone floor at 260°C the crust starts to form immediately in the steamy heat.

While the crust is forming, the core heats up and the lactobacteria emit another third of the volume of carbon dioxide. The crust tears open in a controlled way thanks to the sharp notches and not much later the loaves are ready to go out into the world. Where real bread lovers can taste that the bottom of the bread tastes just a little bit different from the rest of the crust due to the stone floor. And that our customers enjoy those little differences in taste and structure, that makes our bakers very happy.

Step 12

Expedition

Out of the oven, the loaves go directly to our own stores, restaurants and hotels where real bread lovers enjoy our delicious fresh loaves every day, everywhere.

And that our customers enjoy
those little differences in taste and structure,
makes our bakers very happy.

Come work with us

We are always looking for talented bakers, patissiers, Baker's Cafés employees and more to grow our business and spread our artisan culture to new cities and countries.
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Join us for lunch or order something for take away
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Any questions?

Please feel free to stop by or call / email our bakery. We are happy to help.