All of our breads are hand-shaped and naturally fermented without commercial yeast or any preservatives, chemicals, or additives. We work with a dozen local farmers to source our grains, produce and dairy. We utilize stone-milled grains that enable our products to have incredible flavor and texture. Using a sourdough starter in all our breads, coupled with stone milled grains, allows the bread to ferment slowly over time and produces a richer, more complex flavor. It also allows the gluten proteins to slowly and naturally break down over time. The starter (levain/sourdough) was initially created by Ellen several years ago. Our bakers all work to feed and maintain the starter every day.
Each day our bakers mix the dough, turning it every 30 minutes over a four hour period. The dough is then shaped and placed into bannetons, where it rests overnight to rise naturally. In the morning, the bakers fire up the oven and bake the bread. From the start of the mix to the bake, the bread is fermented approximately 20 hours.
We use organic ingredients and each loaf is baked fresh every day. We source local and seasonal ingredients from small, local farmers when their flavors are at their peak. The majority of our grains are locally sourced from farms in Illinois and Wisconsin. We use stone-milled heritage (and modern heritage) varieties of wheat in all our breads and pastries. Currently, some of our favorite varieties are Turkey Red, Red Fife, Spelt, and Evanston Red.
Why are there no gluten-free options at Hewn? Making bread the way it’s been made for hundreds (some could argue thousands) of years produces a loaf free of additives, additional gluten, fast-acting yeasts, sugar, or other preservatives. This, plus the long fermentation period, allows many people with gluten sensitivity to enjoy our breads without any difficulties.
Because our bread is so unique, it needs to be cared for a little differently.
CARING FOR YOUR BREAD
Once the loaf is cut into it will keep up to 4 days on your counter. Do not store the bread in the refrigerator. It is best left on the counter and wrapped in paper or a linen towel. Or, loosely wrap the cut end with plastic if you purchased it whole. If you want to be “French,” store the bread cut side down on a cutting board letting the crust be exposed to the air.
If however, you prefer a softer crust, the bread can be wrapped loosely in a recycled plastic bag and will keep for up to 4 days. Our bread does not have any artificial preservatives.
If you purchased a sliced loaf, we suggest freezing the slices you will not be consuming within 3 days. Freezing instructions are below.
We won’t think less of you if you are unable to eat the whole loaf at one sitting! We would rather you freeze it than waste it. We prefer to slice the bread before freezing that way we can pull out a piece at a time to reheat. Or, you can cut the bread in half or quarters and freeze. To prevent freezer burn we recommend you wrap the bread with foil first, then store in a freezer safe plastic bag.
SAVING AN UNCUT LOAF TO SERVE LATER
If you plan to serve the bread the next day keep it wrapped in the paper. The next day the loaf can be warmed up in the oven. Preheat the oven to 375 and place on a rack in the middle of the oven for 6-7 minutes.
If you sliced the bread you can take a piece out and toast it right away. Or, for a whole, half or quarter loaf unwrap the bread from the foil and sit on the counter to defrost. Preheat the oven to 375. When the oven is at temp, rewrap the bread in the saved piece of foil. Place the bread (wrapped in foil) in the oven for 9-12 minutes. The foil will help steam the bread. Do not refreeze any leftovers.
We sell Bees Wrap bread wrap at the store, which will keep your bread fresh for several days. We are proud to support this woman owned businesses.
Whether you’re looking for lunch, a quick coffee break or simply enjoy the smell of freshly baked bread, we’d love to see you!Find Us