This is how we make our bread

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Why do we make bread at Sunseed?

We all love to eat bread. Homemade bread, wholemeal. Wheat bread, rye bread, gluten-free. Maybe spiced with garden plants, with onions or garlic, maybe something sweet to accompany breakfast in another way. We also love bread during the afternoon snack, the break from work, during dinner. It goes without saying that satisfying all these needs for twenty or so hungry people by buying bread from a foreign shop is far from being sustainable or even self-sufficient. This is one of the reasons why we at Sunseed knead and bake our own bread twice a week. On Tuesdays and Fridays we normally bake an average of four one-kilogram loaves per day for twenty people. We use wholemeal flour that comes from organic and nationally grown crops, water from the rain and springs in the area, sourdough that is two years old and full of love.

Another very important reason why we make homemade bread is health with sourdough. Our intestines and their flora deserve the diversity in products created by bacteria that keep them healthy: sourdough is ideal for this. These sourdoughs have become members of the community, we feed them and care for them daily as if they were one of us. In the sourdough we find yeasts – the same ones that exist in wine and beer – Scharomyces cerevisae, bacteria and fungi; unlike industrial yeast where we only find a single strain of yeast. This diversity of yeast, bacteria and fungi helps to process the ingredients differently and thus enriches our intestinal flora improving digestion and therefore the overall health of the body. Another aspect of making homemade bread that helps our health is that we can choose the ingredients and add different seeds, flours, etc. depending on the nutritional properties we want to enhance.

What is sourdough?

Sourdough is originated naturally by the fermentation of organisms present in the flour and the environment. It is enough to mix flour and water in equal parts daily during approximately one week to produce it, but it is very important that you do not forget to feed it – with flour and water in equal parts – daily! It is like a pet! Another fact to take into account in this process is the use of wholemeal yeast, since it is in the external part of the cereals where there is the greatest amount of this yeast.

What happens in the bread?

In bread made with sourdough we have two types of fermentation. The first is caused by the yeasts that feed on the sugars in the flour itself. In this fermentation, ethanol is generated, which evaporates when the bread is baked and CO2 responsible for the bread growing when it is captured by the gluten network. The second fermentation is created by lactic acid bacteria and is the reason why this type of bread has a more acidic taste than bread made with industrial yeast.

What is the famous gluten?

It is a mixture of two proteins: glinine and gluteine. One cohesive and the other provides extensibility. This is why gluten is an elastic network capable of retaining the CO2 generated during fermentation and thus making the bread grow. To create this gluten network we need kneading and hydration. The amount of gluten also depends on the flour we use.

Types of bread at Sunseed
At Sunseed we bake three different kinds of bread:

1. Wheat bread: Rich in gluten, so we double – kneat it. We add all kind of herbs. seeds, vegetables and etc.

2. Rye bread: It has less gluten and also contains pentosa (a carbohydrate that makes it difficult for the gluten network to form), so it is not necessary to knead it, with the mixing of the ingredients (flour, water, salt and love) served. Due to the proportions that this type of bread requires, it turns out to be more humid and therefore we always add a mixture of toasted sunflower seeds and sesame.

3. Gluten-free bread: With rice flour, buckwheat and corn. To achieve a gluten-like net, we use soaked and beaten flax seeds.

What steps do we follow?

The night before the bread is baked, we mix the sourdough with wholemeal flour and water. The proportions of these ingredients are different for each type of bread. In the gluten bread, the sourdough is made from rice flour and rice flour and water are added. This mixture is left to rest overnight in our straw box in order to create a larger amount of sourdough for the next day’s bread.

On the day of baking, the first thing we do is to recover a small amount of sourdough from the breads so that we can continue producing them in the future, and we feed them.

Then we mix the sourdoughs with flour, water, salt and the ingredients required for each type of bread. In the case of wheat bread, we knead it and let it rest for an hour. In the case of rye and gluten-free bread, we simply shape them and put them in their corresponding containers. After an hour, we return to the wheat bread, knead it individually until the desired texture is obtained, add seasoning and place it in the moulds. We let all the breads rest for an hour inside the straw box with heat.

Next step we heat the oven to 200 degrees celcius and we start to bake. It takes around 40 mimutes to bake the bread properly, but it depends strongly on the oven. For example our oven bakes stronger on the inner bottom side and less on the front top side. Therefore some breads are baked sooner and other rather later. A properly baked bread will have a nice crust which will give a nice knocking sound when you knock on it.

Finally we take out the baked bread, cover it and leave it to cool down.

We keep our bread in baskets, that are stored in dark ventilated room.