Organic Wholegrain Bread
Our bread is made the ‘old fashioned’ way, starting the dough overnight to allow a proper fermentation process. The grain opens up to give its full natural sweetness and flavour and releases the minerals bound up inside it. During this natural way of leavening the bread also becomes more digestible and has a better flavour as well as staying moister and keeping fresh for longer.
As dedicated organic wholegrain bakers we mill our flour fresh before each bake. Our wholegrain Rye and Wheat flour is made from certified organic grains and includes the best parts of the grain - the germ and the husk - which contain B-vitamins, minerals, germ oil, lecithin and roughage.
Some grains are not available whole in NZ due to Bio Security regulations and in that case we buy certified organic flour.
What Makes it Rise?
We make all our own starters in the bakery and they vary according to the bread being made. Rye breads have a rye sourdough starter and the gluten free breads have a gluten free starter. The Four Seed and Hazel & Walnut breads have a different backferment process which has it's own special starter. Much of the skill of the bakers rests with understanding how the different starters work and behave - they do sometimes have a mind of their own and respond differently at different times of the year and with different batches of flour.
Starters are made by mixing grain and water and allowing it to ferment. This means no yeast or other raising agents are needed.
We think we have made up a word - Proventarian - meaning ( to us anyway) that we care about and understand the provenance of where something comes from.
For us it means knowing where and how our grain is grown, or where something is imported from. As a commercial, albeit small, enterprise we do have to consider the need to proivde consistent supply of products for customers and from time to time that might mean that we have to buy non-organic ingredients to continue production. And to be honest there are some local producers who are not 'certified' organic but who we trust a lot more than some of the imported, allegedly organic produce. It's an interesting conundrum.
On a personal level it means that we always find out where our food comes from before we buy. It isn't always easy and the lack of labelling in NZ doesn't help - Country of Origin Labelling would certainly throw up a some surprises for lots of people. Consider the lack of transparacy that was revealed in the pork industry which has forced NZ pork producers to consider their stance on labelling, all summarised here.
As a business who strongly believe that customers should know what they are buying, this is an area we want to be more active in.
Meantime, have a look at this if this subject interests you;
As Proventarians it naturally follows that we prefer to buy locally grown food whenever we can. The current surge of Farmers Markets is revealing a whole load of Kiwi's growing and making food that they now have an outlet for, which is fantastic. We are always looking for new suppliers for our bakery and hope to be able to build some new relationships based on this idea. It is always going to be easier ( and cheaper) to buy bulk, commodity grown ingredients, but that's simply not what we are interested in. As a small business we love supporting other small businesses and buying from like-minded people.
The increasing availabillty of Fair Trade ingredients is another option that we want to take advantage of for those ingredients that can't be grown here.
We are incredibly proud that we source as many grains as we can from New Zealand growers. The challenges for those who choose to grow organic crops are significant both in terms of effort and returns. It always seems sad to us that NZ does not invest more into organic farming as it would seem to be a great point of difference for a country which promotes itself as '100% Pure'.
Climate change is, and will continue to be, a significant factor for all farmers and there will be times when our first or even second choice of ingredient is not available. For this reason we are not a certified organic bakery as we have a need to be able to use non organic ingredients if the organic supplies are not avaliable, as can happen if there is a significant weather event. If this happens, we will clearly sticker all products so that customers can see that a usually organic ingredient has had to be substituted with a non-organic one.
ALL our rye is NZ grown within 100km's of the bakery by the lovely, hardworking people at
Milmore Downs Scargill, North Canterbury
Terrace Farm, Rakia, Mid Canterbury
Our corn comes from the fine people at Broadlands who are dedicated to producing natural, gluten free products. They farm on land which has been in their family for more than 60 years and have been supplying The Breadman for many years. You can read more about them on our blog here
Where we can't get an NZ grown product we buy from a certified organic supplier, usually Ceres Organics . By doing that we can be assured that the products we are buying are what they say they are and are properly certified. Inevitably some ingredients come from China and Ceres go to much effort to ensure the integrity of those products.
You can read more about Ceres organic certification on their website here
All our hazelnuts and walnuts are grown locally, they are not organic, and this is an example of where we have chosen a local product over a certified imported one.
All our products are made from real and wholesome ingredients, just like you would make at home, if only you had the time!