At Russell’s Bakery, we take special care with the ingredients and methods we use when preparing our breads, to ensure that taste, texture, and nutrition share equal priority.
We take into consideration the quality of each ingredient we use, selecting products that are as natural and unprocessed as possible, to ensure the nutritional value of our breads. There are five basic essentials needed to make bread:
Flour, Water, Salt, Yeast, and Time.
– Water –
The water we use is filtered to ensure the absence of chemicals designed to purify tap water.
– Yeast –
With the exception of our sourdough breads, we use basic baking yeast. For our sourdough breads, we make our own raising agent from either stone ground wheat or rye flour that we grind ourselves just before use.
– Time –
Our bakers take their time, nice and slow, letting the yeast do its job while they guide the way.
– Salt –
We use sea salt, because it is “all natural” and not processed like table salt. When salt is processed, it loses its mineral content. The health conscious know that sea salt is a good source of minerals, such as magnesium. Our bakers prefer sea salt because they like its bright, clear flavor and the gentle effect it has on the dough.
– Flour –
Depending on its degree of refinement, flour is a source of carbohydrates, fats, protein, fiber, minerals, and vitamins. Our bakers use a combination of at least three different types of flour of different refinement levels to produce breads which vary in texture and taste, without compromising on their nutritional content. Our breads contain flour from two main grain sources: wheat and rye. With the exception of the white baguettes, white ciabattas, white sourdough breads, and white challah breads that are made with 100 percent white flour, none of our breads contain white flour. The flour that we mainly use in our breads is a “rough” flour, which is high in fiber. This means that following the grinding process enough bran and germ remain in the flour to provide a high content of vitamins, proteins, and nutritional fiber. Our flour is supplied by “Hatachanot Hagdolot” millers in Haifa, established in 1921, and chosen in particular for its superior, high quality milling.
Ingredients are not the sole factor that determines the character of the final bread. The method used to prepare the dough also influences the taste and texture of the end product.
– The Method –
Our bakers use an artisanal baking process, which means that all our breads are made by hand and we don’t use any additives, preservatives, or enhancers. Our gentle technique is a combination of mixing the dough and allowing it to rest. Although labor intensive, this helps to achieve a beautiful, light crumb and a chewy crust, while maintaining the key nutrients. Next the dough receives a “stretch and fold” to finish its development. The bakers divide the dough and rest it some more, before the hand shaping begins.
Once shaped, each loaf is either placed in a banneton (a European cane basket), or wrapped in linen. The loaves are allowed to rise slowly in a climate controlled room for 12 to 16 hours. Once risen, the loaves are rested at room temperature for awhile. Then the top of each loaf is “scored” with its own distinctive pattern, and baked on the stone hearth of the oven.