[ how and why we make the bread we do]
LOCAL GRAINS | STONE MILLED
ORIGIN Breads is proud to source our organic wheat, rye, spelt, corn and oats locally from Meadowlark Organics, a family farm located in Ridgeway, Wisconsin.
After growing, harvesting and cleaning the grains, Meadowlark send them to Lonesome Stone Milling in Lone Rock, Wisconsin for milling. Lonesome Stone grinds our flour to order using an old-world method of stone milling. As opposed to industrial roller mills, which process wheat kernels to separate the starchy endosperm from the wheat bran and wheat germ, stone milling keeps the wheat kernels intact, grinding the bran, germ and endosperm together. Why is this important? Because the wheat bran and wheat germ contain the healthy nutrients, fibers and oils, and keeping them together allows us to bake bread that is both nutritious and delicious.
NATURALLY LEAVENED | LONG-FERMENTED
All of our breads are naturally leavened with wild yeast. We mix our organic grains with water, salt and a healthy sourdough culture that is naturally populated by yeasts, bacteria and enzymes. After a long process of mixing, stretching and folding our dough by hand, we retard them at cool temperatures for at least 18 hours. This long fermentation is not only important in leavening and flavoring our dough, but it also provides time for the sourdough's lactic acid bacteria to neutralize the phytic acid that is found in the bran. Phytic acid locks in important antioxidants, folic acid, B vitamins and minerals, including iron, zinc, calcium and magnesium. A long fermentation results in bread that is more easily digestible and provides the lactic acid bacteria time to unlock these nutrients for our bodies to absorb.
A BOLD BAKE TO FINISH
After giving our breads plenty of time to develop prior to baking, we don't rush them through the oven. Using a small but powerful Belgian-made electric stone deck oven, we slowly preheat the baking stones to 500 degrees fahrenheit before we load the loaves in. After the bread has had a 20-minute steam bath, we cut the power and let the heat of the stones finish baking our bread to lovely dark caramelized colors. By baking our loaves dark, we can achieve the unique crust we're after while imparting more flavor to the internal crumb.
THE RESULT: REAL BREAD
What do we mean by "real" bread? We borrow the term from the UK Charity, Sustain: The Alliance for Better Food and Farming, which supports the Real Bread Campaign. Their definition says real bread is made without the use of processing aids or any other artificial additives. For thousands of years bread has been a simple and fundamental part of our diet, but most modern loaves are now made using methods that are not concerned with nutritional qualities or any environmental impacts of how or where the grains are grown and milled. With a focus on locally-grown and milled grains, our core loaf is made with nothing more than flour, water and salt. Our natural levain (sourdough culture) and long fermentation times then work together to make our breads more digestible and nutritious.