THE BREAD

Why the simplicity makes it different

Real Local Bread

The Queen of All Bread

She’s strong. She’s nurturing. She’s patient. She’s dynamic. She’s giving. 

That’s why sourdough is the queen of all bread.

The mother of the bread is the starter, or levain in French, masa madre in Spanish, Zakwas in Polish. 

Sourdough is used as both a verb and a noun. It is a word to describe the process of fermenting flour, water, and salt. And the same word is used when talking about the bread. Quite unique! 

Making sourdough is addictive. It is the oldest way of making bread, and there is nothing better than pulling a handmade loaf out of the oven.

Making bread using a sourdough starter also gives you better bread. The texture and flavor are far superior to that of a yeasted loaf.

Sourdough is also fundamentally better for your body.

The bacteria in sourdough help break down the flour, which makes it more digestible and nutritious. It is this microbial fermentation that is transformative and sadly missing from commercially made bread.

The process of baking sourdough nurtures both the mind and body, and requires a thoughtful and spiritual approach. You must be present and focused to make a loaf of sourdough.

It's both scientific and artistic and is truly a combination of passion, patience, and craftsmanship. 

So yes, sourdough is the queen of all bread.

Hand-Crafted

Hand-crafted really is hand-made.

From day to day, week to week, the product at Voyageurs Sourdough can vary. This is largely due to the variables of fermentation, and also the nature of hand-crafted products. No matter how hard someone tries to do something exactly the same way, time and time again, there is going to be some level of variance.

At Voyageurs Sourdough, hand-crafted truly means that it is hand-made.

Naturally Leavened

It all starts with the starter

The mother, the queen of all loaves: the starter: flour and water. That’s it. Nothing more, nothing less. Merely a naturally fermented mixture of these two simple ingredients.

There is certainly some alchemy when it comes to the starter. How can something so dynamic and impressive come from such simple ingredients? There is a beautiful mysticism and spiritual awe of mother nature when creating this concoction.

Lovingly named after St. Jude Church (a shared kitchen where we got our start), Jude is the mother of Voyageurs Sourdough. She continuously gives life to each delicious loaf of bread.

The Grains

Locally Grown by Farmers That Care

Quality ingredients, quality product.

This seems obvious, right? However, when it comes to bread it seems this is too commonly overlooked. Not all grains are created the same or grown with the same level of care and cleanliness. 

Another important element that is often overlooked is the freshness of the grains. How long has that bag of flour been sitting on the grocery store shelf? And before the flour was put into that bag, when was it milled? Instead of wondering, we’ve gone straight to the source to meet the farmer growing the grains so we know when the flour was milled. 

We are very fortunate that here in Wisconsin, there's a growing movement of artisan farmers that are organically growing and milling rare and ancient varietals of grains. 

Stone ground vs.
Commercial ground 

The way it's milled matters too

Stone milling is nothing new. It’s the way flour was made for thousands of years before electricity was common and affordable. But as electricity took over and higher levels of production were needed, stone milling took the back seat.

However, in many pockets of our culture, we are returning to more traditional ways in many aspects of food preparation, stone milling included.  

So is using stone ground flour just the new trendy thing, or is it coming back for good reason? 

Flour comes in many different varieties. The type of flour that is used to bake a product is vital to the finished product's look, taste, texture and nutritional content. This is especially true for making sourdough.

That's why we found the best ingredients from our local Wisconsin farmers. Lucky for us, our main flour supplier, Meuer Farms of Chilton, uses stone ground practices to mill their flour. Below is a picture of the actual mill that is used by Meuer Farms. 

So how does stone ground milling work? Stone ground flour differs from industrially ground flour in a variety of ways. The whole grain is ground slowly between two stones. It is ground in a cool and gentle way, which helps to retain the vitamins and nutrients of the 3 parts that make up the grain: the bran, the germ, and the endosperm.