How we make our bread
It makes our bakers very happy that
our customers enjoy those little
differences in taste and structure.
The rare Campremy breed
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.
From a good source
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.
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 by hand in the Guérande region of Brittany. This salt is known among gastronomists as the best salt in the world. Not only because of the taste but also in terms of health. 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.
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. When vitalized, the water gets back its natural frequency, this is achieved through 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.
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.
Nice to know: At Vlaamsch Broodhuys, the sourdough starter is still from the same culture that was used for the very first breads.
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 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.
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.
Each piece of dough larger than 140 grams is still modelled by hand at Vlaamsch Broodhuys.
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.
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.
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.