Our breads are hand-shaped, canvas-risen, and baked on stones. We grind our whole grain flours in-house daily and ferment every batch with Mama, our high-altitude sourdough culture – yielding loaves with optimal flavor, nutrition, and digestibility.
We often get the question, “Why do you make sourdough breads instead of regular yeasted breads?”
The answer is four-fold: Sourdough breads have improved digestibility, nutritional availability, flavor, and keeping quality.
Digestion – sourdough breads are easier for us to digest, because the bacteria in the starters begin the pre-digestion of some of the gluten and other compounds which are difficult for us to break down. As a result, many people who generally have trouble digesting breads are able to eat Mountain Oven bread without issue.
Nutrition – sourdough breads have higher nutritional availability than non-sourdough breads. This means that our body is able to assimilate more of the nutrients from the grains present in the bread when it has been fermented in a sourdough environment.
Flavor and Aroma – sourdough breads have more complex flavors than other breads, due to the acidity present from the bacterial growth (lactic acid) and the increased enzyme activity that occurs during the long fermentation. The mouth-watering aroma of sourdough breads comes from acedic acids developed by the bacteria growth.
Keeping Quality – the increased acidity of the bread acts as a natural preservative, lending a longer shelf-life to our breads without the use of chemical preservatives.
The brief science behind sourdough bread is as follows: most grains, nuts, and seeds contain phytic acid or phytates. There are very high levels of phytates in the bran (shell) of grains, including wheat and rye. Phytic acid is the primary storage form in grains for phosphorous, magnesium, calcium, iron, and zinc. When we consume grains, nuts, seeds, etc. that have not been processed properly to neutralize the phytic acid we are unable to absorb the minerals present (this is not a good thing). Phytic acid also acts as an enzyme-inhibitor – preventing our bodies from carrying out essential enzyme reactions that help us digest our food (also no good).
When we make our bread, we break down the phytates in the grain by fermenting them in an acidic medium (we choose sourdough culture for our breads, we use vinegar for soaking our oats for granola). The acidic medium activates the enzyme phytase in the grain, which in an overnight fermentation breaks down the phytates and results in a much more nutrient-available and more digestible product for us to consume.
We bake fresh loaves for wholesale and retail sale year-round. Bread is fresh on the shelf every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday morning. In the summer months, we also bake fresh bread for Saturday and Sunday mornings – come find us at the Crested Butte and Gunnison Farmers Markets.
Our breads are preservative-free and are best consumed fresh. Store fresh bread at room temperature in a closed container or bag for up to four days. For long-term storage, we recommend freezing the loaves – bag the bread in a sealed plastic bag and freeze it as fresh as possible. Thaw at room temperature or in a low oven. Our breads freeze and thaw exceptionally well through a single freeze-thaw cycle. Do not freeze and thaw the loaves more than once. The fridge is not a recommended storage environment for breads as staling occurs most rapidly in this temperature range. Toasting bread from the fridge will revive it!
Daily, you will find a selection of the following in our cafe:
- Gluten-Free & Vegan Muffins
- Quiche & Fritatta
- Local Fruit Turnovers
- Cinnamon & Sticky Buns
- Special Order Pastries