From grains to breads
At Poilâne, we use only carefully selected stone-ground local grains, and follow an ancestral slow fermentation technique with our natural sourdough leaven. We take our duties as bakers seriously: each handmade batch showcases our passion for transforming nutrient-rich grains through fermentation, creating healthy breads with unique tastes.
EXCEPTIONAL STONE-GROUND FLOURS
We hold the flours used at Poilâne to the highest standards of quality. Our millers select and stone-grind a variety of French grains, all cultivated with a respect for the environment and stored without the use of pesticides.
Poilâne’s wheat flour blend is made exclusively from these stone-ground grains. The process of stone-grinding preserves the nutrient-rich wheat germ, and allows for removal of the impurity-susceptible wheat bran. Our wheat flour is also unbleached, retaining more nutrients from the kernels than white flour.
In addition to wheat flour, we offer products made with buckwheat, barley, corn, millet, oats, rice, rye, and spelt.
SLOW FERMENTATION WITH OUR NATURAL LEAVEN
Poilâne breads are created through a slow fermentation technique with our natural sourdough leaven.
Fermentation is a phenomenon that naturally occurs after exposing a mixture of quality flour and water to a favorable temperature. The act of initiating and carrying out this process of fermentation is of utmost importance to the baker: it gives life to bread. This process of natural leaven fermentation has continued at Poilâne across generations, as a piece of dough from the prior batch is incorporated into the next to initiate the fermentation process.
THE ARTISANAL SAVOIR-FAIRE OF POILANE’S BAKERS
A kneading machine is the single mechanical tool used in the creation of our breads. Our bakers perform every other meaningful gesture by hand—shaping, weighing, placing in the oven.
At Poilâne, we use our five senses to bake, shedding standardization and calibration and choosing instead to acknowledge the life present in our flour and sourdough ingredients. No loaf of bread is identical from one batch to the next. The consistent quality of our creations, however, is the result of our true artisanal craftsmanship.
BAKING IN A WOOD-FIRED OVEN
The baking of all Poilâne products takes place in our wood-fired brick ovens.
The refractory bricks that make up their interiors allow for a gentle baking of the bread, due in part to the bricks’ high water absorption. Exposing our loaves to this dry cooking environment creates the particular Poilâne crust. The long baking times release the aromas of the flours, leading to the unparalleled tastes of Poilâne breads.
We use exclusively recycled wood to fire our ovens, namely non-treated scrap wood for which paper and furniture creators no longer have a use.
In Antiquity, quality artisanal bakers proud of their savoir-faire would mark their breads with the help of a wooden or ceramic seal. Through their unique signatures, bakers were held accountable for the quality of their breads, and customers would seek out the loaves branded with the mark of the best.
In 1999, Poilâne reestablished this long-forgotten practice and replaced the traditional square-shaped scarring of our loaves with the P of Poilâne. Our sourdough loaves are still signed and recognizable today… And as was the case in ancient times, one signature can stand apart from the rest.