Flour, water, salt, and yeast is where it starts. We use a tiny amount of yeast, preferring to give our breads the time to ferment naturally – at least 20 hours! That creates the best texture and flavor.
We think whole foods are better for people and the planet. Our sourcing is rigorous. While Federal Labelling Laws no longer allow manufacturers to claim “all-natural” on their packaging because these claims can be misleading and industry standards have not been agreed upon, all-natural and certified Non-GMO are still our guardrails.
We are constantly experimenting with new ways to make great bread, pushing for more local sourcing, more interesting, more flavorful, more nutrient dense and more sustainable ingredients every day. But it’s not about the label – the answer is in your experience when you warm up a ciabatta with friends and family for a great meal and a great conversation. Learn more about our ingredients.
For generations bakers around the world have known that flavor takes time. As the bread dough slowly ferments, the yeast breaks down starches into sugars and, as it consumes that sugar it imparts its delicious nutty fresh baked flavor to the dough. Unfortunately, the desire to make bread faster has led many large bakeries away from taking this time. At Chabaso, we don’t cut corners on fermentation time. Our bread process takes 20 hours or more, depending on the type of bread. It’s how we make such flavorful bread.
Each of our breads starts with a preferment, where a portion of the flour is fermented slowly over a very long period of time. In most cases, our favorite is a poolish, which is a very wet preferment made with flour, water, and a tiny amount of yeast. Over the 16 hours that this ferments, the yeast moves freely and slowly consumes the starches in the flour. This helps to create subtle acidic and nutty flavors.
We work hard to make each loaf of Chabaso bread as consistent as possible, but some inconsistencies are built into our systems of artisan bread shaping. We have some pretty awesome machines helping us form the dough into individual breads, but we still do a lot of the work by hand. Our bakers flip, stretch, and score, our utility team members round boules and rolls, arrange ciabattas and baguettes, and shape batards. We love the combination of manual and automation. It allows us bake a lot of bread without losing the truly artisan qualities of a neighborhood bakery.
Our breads are baked directly on the hearth (floor) of our large ovens. This intense heat, combined with a large amount of steam during the beginning of the bake cycle, helps create the deliciously open crumb and crispy crust that our fans love.
At Chabaso, we don’t believe in deprivation. We bake bread because we love it, and we eat plenty of our creations. We also believe that, since we’re all eating plenty of bread, why not make it a little bit better for you, as long as we don’t lose the classic eating qualities that people have come to love. All of our new products qualify for a Whole Grains Stamp, we’re experimenting with adding whole wheat and whole grains to our existing formulas, and we’ve been working with other protein and fiber enhancements. We won’t release anything until we are confident that it is, first and foremost, great bread, but you’ll see additional healthier products from us soon.