FLOUR. WATER. SALT. YEAST.
At Heritage Breads we are proud to use only 4 ingredients in our artisan breads.
Heritage wheat from Sunrise Flour Mill is the main ingredient in all our breads and baked goods. We use several different types of flour that are all ancient grains grown in organic soil and tested for 100% purity.
Filtered water that is free of chemicals and other contaminants not only give you and your family a healthier bread, but it helps the dough rise and tastes better too.
Himalayan salt is free toxins and impurities. It contains 84 of the natural minerals and elements found in the human body, making it easier to assimilate. It is the only salt we use in all our products.
Naturally occurring yeast in our leaven makes our bread rise. We use a sourdough starter made with wild yeast and bacteria rather than commercial yeast. This gives our bread a rich flavor profile and makes it readily digestible.
IT ALL STARTS WITH 100 YEAR OLD STARTER
Legend has it that our starter originated in Italy when two expat families from America and Denmark merged their starters together. Each starter had been passed down from their grandmothers, who had baked bread with it for over 50 years. This merged starter found its way into the hands of an Italian theater director who kept it in his family for 30 years before giving some to a woman who later immigrated to Bolivia. She continued to bake sourdough bread in South America for a over a decade, judiciously sharing the starter with serious bakers and fostering a small community of artisan bread lovers. The beloved starter was gifted to us from a friend who been living in South America who is passionate about baking with ancient grains. In our possession, the starter has been back to Italy two times while visiting family in Tuscany, soaking up the rich nuances of the Mediterranean sun and air once again. Truly, good things come full circle and la vita é bella- life is beautiful.
OUR 3 DAY PROCESS
Our bread begins when we make levain by taking a bit of our 100 year old starter and mixing it with equal parts of water and flour.
This mixture is covered and left to rest.
A pre-fermentation of the bread occurs due to the natural yeast in the levain.
On the second day we make a mixture of water and flour and let it rest. This process is called autolyse. After 45 minutes salt and water are added and mixed. The result is an unstructured dough that is put into a container to rise.
During the rising process, the dough is stretched and folded by hand every 45 minutes a minimum of 3 times, giving the dough structure. The dough is then put onto a table called a bench, where it is portioned and preformed, and then set to rest for 30 minutes.
It is then shaped and formed and put into a banneton, bread pan, or onto a couche and refrigerated for a minimum of 12 hours. This process is also known as retarding the dough and allows the dough to ferment slowly and develop flavor.
On the third day the bread is taken out of the refrigerator and begins to proof, or rise in a warm area. Proofing times vary depending on several factors, such as temperature, humidity, and size.
The bread dough is then slashed with a sharp lame to let steam escape during baking. It is then put on a wooden peel and loaded into a stone hearth in a steam injection oven.
While baking, steam is injected into the oven once or twice depending on the size of the loaf. This creates a shiny thick crust and a deep mahogany color.
I was gluten free for 2 years because of migraines. I watched the documentary Cooked and learned about ancient grains. I was skeptical but decided to try it anyway. I was OK! I couldn't believe it. I bought 5 or 6 loaves and ate only this fermented bread all week. I even kept some in my purse, it had been so long since I'd had bread that tasted good! All the time with no migraines. One day I did get a migraine and I had a piece of bread and it went away. I still can't believe it, but I know now the power of ancient grains and fermentation.Melissa
Literally, the best bread in the world.David