[Video] From the seed to the peasant bakery with Nicolas Supiot

When you think of the bread or when buying a bread, what comes to your mind first? Is it the smell, the look or the moment of enjoying its taste? Do you think of the baker who made it? Are you interested in the story behing the bread and how long did it take to make the bread? Are you wondering where your baker sourced his/her flour from? Or where did the grain grow? Is it local or imported from the other part of the world?  How did the farmer treat the crop while growing? Did he used pesticides? Where were the grains stored after harvest?

I try to think of bread as a journey. It has a story. It starts and ends somewhere. The end destination is important (that's us eating it), but it's the actions and decisions on the way to the goal that make the goal - well, even better.

It's the selection of seeds, the way of cultivating grains, the sense and awareness of the environment, understanding of the plants' behavior, the choice of cleaning and storing grain berries, the milling process, and the bread making process. It's about making things CLEAR.

"And it's also about the chain from the farmer to the miller and to the baker. However, not as a one way street, but as a crossroads of knowledge and experience sharing, all of them understanding each others needs and expanding each others horizons. "

Nicolas Supiot, French, is all in one. He is farmer, he grows heritage varieties of wheat, he mills his own flour, he makes and bakes traditional sourdough bread. He is a peasant baker.

And he also prepares workshops to share his knowledge forward to all the people interested in such way of farming and baking. I visited his workshop From the seed to the peasant bakery in June and below I present the (first!) video about our 5-day experience. Hope you enjoy the video and feel the good energy present at the workshop as much as we did.

I clearly remember reading about Nicolas' bread baking three years ago. His way of handling the dough was somehow magical and that feeling stayed inside of me through all these years, until finally this year all planets alligned and led me and my friend Alessandro from Clear Sicily to France. The 5-day workshop was held at the beautiful old Nicolas' farm in the Brittany, NW France, near Rennes, at the Ecosite Les Jardins de Siloe.

The purpose of the workshop was to guide us through the bread journey and to understand decisions, consequences and outcomes in the field, within the mill and in the bakery.

The workshop was more than just a technical way of providing knowledge. It was about the metaphores of our lives in many many levels. What kept coming through out the week and through the words and experience exchanges, was the idea of reflectance or mirroring. All that you see, experience and feel, is in a way a reflection of your own being, your actions and your state and you cannot separate yourself from that reality. Let's think about that for a second. In bread terms, this sounds as Nicolas would point out:

" You are the bread you make. "

I will write more about the bread journey, clear flour and clear bread in the next posts and months, so stay tuned.

If you have any question regarding the workshop, leave a comment below or drop me an e-mail to natasa@mydailysourdoughbread.com.

And below are some photo impressions.

Nicolas Supiot
Nicolas Supiot
Nicolas Supiot

Field of mixed seeding of heritage wheat and fava beans.

Nicolas Supiot

Happy me.

My daily sourdough bread

Talk soon!


SAVEUR BLOG AWARDS

PS: Remember the last year's surprise when My Daily Sourdough Bread blog was nominated as the finalist in the Annual Saveur Blog Awards? This year, the awards are back! The last year has been an interesting journey of meeting new inspiring people in New York and elsewhere and discovering the beauty of bread baking around the world. Thank you for your support.

I would be grateful to the Moon and back if you took a second to nominate my blog in Best Food Obsessive Award or Best Photography category (or in any other) - click HERE.

18 thoughts on “[Video] From the seed to the peasant bakery with Nicolas Supiot

  1. What an experience – 5 days with Nicolas. I loved watching your video. The other video I have seen of Nicolas baking looks like he is using a liquid levain whereas the levain in your video looks much stiffer and maybe even totally rye? Do you know what percentage of levain (the liquid one) Nicolas uses in his bread. I think I have worked out the percentage of water and flour and the temperatures from watching his other video a million times and look forward to having a go at using his method. Until now I have been following Tartine method but would love to try his method.

    What a wonderful journey – thanks so much for sharing. (I have voted)

    1. Dear Carol,

      many thanks for your support, I really appreciate it!! :)

      It was unforgettable experience, there is always something new to learn.

      About the starter: he keeps white liquid starter in smaller amounts – basically as his mother starter and then for the bread starter he mixes his mother starter with wheat bran (the outer part of the grain berry), as you said, that one is stiffer (mixed by feeling).
      The bran ferments really fast. And the reason he ferments bran separately (and therefore not mixing it into the dough) is because it releases water once fermented. We could see in the bowl a lot of water released by the starter and this could influence the dough structure if it was in the dough, the dough would loosen up, especially if using heritage wheat flour with weaker gluten.

      The percentage of the starter is about 10% or even less. He mixes his dough and leaves it in bulk fermentation for 2-3 hours, he then shapes it and leaves it to rise for another 2-3 hours while the oven heats up. He also uses much warmer water to add to the dough in the beginning (40-45°C) – this helps to keep the fermentation active. His method gives rustic loaves with a character different than Tartine’s but still amazing one.
      And the smell of the bread baked in the wood fired oven – unbelievably amazing, I should bottle it and wear it like perfume :)

      Hope this helps :)

      All the best,
      Nataša

    1. Hvala ti Nevena! :) Inspirirale so me vaše Gozbe i Boris :) A mogli bi i mi nešto slično napraviti za hleb, negde na selu :)

    1. I totally agree Ines, more awareness of our food makes it better. And when it’s made with love, it feeds our souls as well.

      And thank you again! :)

      Have a great weekend,
      Nataša

    1. Theodora, thank you so much! :) Yes, his attitude towards dough and baking is really special, there is gratitude and there is great energy. I’ll post another video just about his real bread day soon.
      And it’s a great experience to share the experience with other bakers, so much to learn!

      Nataša

  2. Amazing video and beautiful story!You’re really great, I’m gonna to nominate your blog.
    Good luck!
    (…and I hope my english it’s enough perceptible ;))

    1. Hi dear Manuela, thank you for stopping by :) :)
      And many many thanks for your support, it means a world to me!

      Nataša

    1. Dear Lili, thank you so much for your kind words and I’m really happy the video managed to show the good times we had at the workshop :) I really enjoy filming and photography, so it was a real pleasure to make the video.

      Enjoy, Nataša

  3. Thanks for replying so swiftly – I will certainly give this a try. I think I may have been using too much starter in my loaves – probably due to lack of confidence – but I will give it a burst this weekend.

    I look forward to your next post – they are a great read.

  4. What a great video. That’s something that seems to be very rare these days and was refreshing to see. The care he takes from growing the grain, all the way to the bake is very inspiring. I love the look of the end result, very rustic and unmistakingly his. You just don’t see bread like that, at least not around where I am. Thank you so much for sharing your experience with us. I bet that bread just tastes amazing .

    1. Oh, hi Matt! :) Thank you for stopping by and for your kind words.
      His approach to farming and bread philosophy are amazing. And the feeling of using your own grains (or I would say even the grains of well known origin) is so precious. Here is Slovenia I have real trouble tracking the source of the grain unless it really comes from the small farms. But then, the our wheat makes weak flours…

      Yes, the bread was delicious – if only I could bottle the smell of the wood-fired baked bread :)

      Nataša

      PS: apologies for late reply, I just don’t get comments notification to my e-mail anymore, I’m not sure what went wrong.

  5. Hi,

    Natasa, thanks for the great video. I have a couple of technical questions. It looks like the temperature of the starter made from bran was 34.5 degrees. Is that right? I guess it means that he adds some pretty warm water. You say that it ferments quickly. How long before it goes into the dough?

    Thanks,
    Stefano

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