Learn how to make bread with natural leaven

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Learn how to make bread with natural leaven

Breadnz is a site dedicated to making real bread, in a wood fired oven using only natural ingredients, wild yeast and traditional methods. The bread house can be found tucked away in the small rural town of KatiKati in the north Island of New Zealand.

While New Zealand is a land of fresh produce and open space someone with a French/Mediterranean background is bound to harbour some nostalgia towards the way bread use to taste. The souvenir became an obsession until finally at the end of February 2003 I decided to return to my roots and learn the very ancient art of bread making. I found myself working with Henri in a remote village in the Pyrenees. My Maître Henri (Opain.com) is not only an accomplished baker but also someone who doesn’t accept compromise and has a passion and respect for nature and the very essence of life itself.

"He explained to me what I came to understand."

It was an extraordinary experience and I was caught up in the magic of natural leaven bread and all that I could create in "The oven and it’s fire."

On my return to New Zealand I worked on improving my bread making skills, building my oven and the very frustrating task of trying to source the perfect raw materials: Spring water, sea salt and Organic flour. Originally I had dreamt of building a large wood oven in our little town where I could make traditional bread as well as create a meeting place. A place where regardless of your background, origin or age you could be united around a warm oven. Though I was very motivated by this project I soon realized that both the financial and physical demands would be too great.

I have now my own bread house with its wood oven just opposite my front door and every week I fire it up and make the week supply of bread for my family. I also use it for Pizza, baking, roasting and barbecues.

Now I feel ready to take the next step, which is to pass on what I have learnt, and experienced.
Before you embark ponder this: I suppose we could compare this revival of the old traditional ways with the much talked about café culture or the latest slow food chains but I hope you will see it as a way forward in your own personal development. You can take up the challenge of trying to control the reaction and interaction of very basic elements: Water, Fire, wild yeast and wheat or you can simply enjoy the nourishing food you produce. The choice is yours, have a wood oven built or adapt your existing oven, make your bread by following the steps outlined on this web site or commit yourself to a one day or two days course. You must create your own journey.

"Bon voyage!"

Copyright © 2005 Henri Saurat - All rights reserved