Real Local Bread
We specialize in naturally leavened, artisan sourdough made in Green Bay. With freshly stone ground flour from local farmers, our bread is a true taste of Wisconsin.
Voyageurs is proud to provide the Green Bay, Appleton and Door County communities with real handcrafted 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.
Handcrafted really is handmade.
What does it mean to be a handcrafted artisan product? In essence, it means that the product has been cared for by hand instead of a machine, which generally means that each product has a slightly unique aspect to it.
Perfect uniformity is not the goal when making something handcrafted. Instead, truly caring for each and every product is the number one priority.
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 handcrafted 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, handcrafted truly means that it is handmade.
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.
Locally Grown By Farmers That Care
We believe that the difference in our bread comes down to the fact that every person involved in the making of the bread puts care and passion into their part of the product.
A great example being John and Halee Wepking of Meadowlark Organics in Ridgeway, WI. The Wepkings are pictured here on their farm.
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.
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 suppliers, Meadowlark Organics of Ridgeway & Heartland Craft Grains of Lodi, use stone ground practices to mill their flour.
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.
On the opposite end of the spectrum, industrially ground flour is ground using high-speed rollers that heat the wheat.
In this process, the bran and the germ are taken away, and in doing so important minerals, fats, fiber, and vitamins are also eliminated.
Stone ground flour is also better for digestion. The fiber of whole grains is especially important as it contains a high level of prebiotic fibers that fuel the good bacteria in the gut, driving their growth. This is essential for good gut health.
Pictured Left: An actual stone mill used by Wisconsin farmers.