Polish company T&W Bakeries makes a range of Baltona breads in dark, garlic, caraway and poppy variants. It also makes sunflower and plum breads, as well as 100% rye breads and Polish sweets and rolls. All its breads are made with sourdough.

Baltona White Bread

Ingredients for 100 loaves (weights are approximate)

Wheat flour 38.3kg

Sourdough 29.0kg

Water 20.0L

Rye flour 9.0kg

White salt 1.0kg

Yeast 1.0kg


The sourdough is manufactured in tanks, operated by a computer, which looks after the proper temperature and conditions during the entire mixing process. The ready starter is weighed then poured into the mixing bowl, where it is combined with all the other waiting ingredients, including: wheat flour, water, rye flour, salt and yeast. The mixing time is approximately 20 minutes.

1. The dough is transferred to a divider then a rounder. The shaped pieces of the dough end up in plastic baking baskets and are moved to a proving room for approximately 50 minutes.

2. In the proving room, the pieces of dough are leavened into proper loaf sizes under optimal conditions of 40ºC and the appropriate humidity.

3. They are transported to the ovens and are baked in a temperature of 215ºC for approximately 45 minutes.

4. After cooling, slicing and packing, the final product is ready for sale.


=== About sourdough ===

Sourdough has a long history in northern Europe. In this part of the world, there is an abundance of rye, which grows better in colder climates. Rye flour does not contain enough gluten for baker’s yeast to be effective, but the use of sourdough lowers the pH level of the dough, causing the starch to partially gelatinise. This enables it to retain the gas bubbles produced by the Lactobacilli.

Sourdough is a symbiotic culture of Lactobacilli and yeasts used to leaven bread. It gives the bread a very distinctive taste, due mainly to the lactic acid produced by the Lactobacilli bacteria.

When the sourdough is prepared, a mixture of Lactobacilli and yeast cultures is used in a ratio of approximately 100:1. Water and rye flour are added to the mixture to feed the micro-organisms and to help the sourdough to propagate.

This culture is stable, due to its ability to prevent colonisation by other yeasts and bacteria as a result of its acidity and other anti-bacterial agents. It is these properties, too, that act as a natural preservative, enabling these bread varieties to be more resistant to spoilage.

How to make sourdough

There are many methods for making a sourdough starter. In general, a ’mother’ dough is made by mixing equal parts flour and water and allowing it to ferment at room temperature over time. As you use it for baking, you should always hold back around one-fifth of the mixture and top it up with fresh flour and water. Sourdoughs respond better to regular ’feeding’.

For more tips on making sourdough go to [http://www.bakeryinfo.co.uk] and click on ’recipes’ and then ’bread’ links.