Kolatek’s Bakery & Deli is first and foremost a bakery at heart. A grocery store wrapped around a full scale, store front bread oven. At Kolatek’s Bakery bread holds an honorable place at the center of our store and is allowed to rest and mature into its full potential of freshness. The freshness of a bread does not only rely on quality of ingredients or when a bread was baked. Years ago we decided to approach bread in a new way that differs from standard practices in the industry. We feel grain should dictate methods and taste and not bending grain to fit an arbitrary schedule or a predetermined taste template, this leads to recipe and product manipulation that in our opinion results in undesired consequences of the end product.
At Kolatek’s Bakery our customers enjoy fresh bread, often times hot out of the oven. We encourage customers to invest in a good bread knife and slice fresh bread at home. Bread crust needs to oxidize and if sliced prematurely oxygen is introduced throughout the bread and the aging process has been started. This allows the bread to be able to undergo the appropriate maturity cycle which guarantees optimal freshness, and crispy crust. That is of course if a crispy crust is desired. A softer crust can be achieved by storing the bread in an airtight container or bread bag, which allows for moisture to rise to the crust and make it soft.
Fresh baked bread needs to optimally mature 24 hours. So in all reality bread out of the oven is not fresh. Its too fresh. We do not recommend slicing bread earlier. Again, a good bread knife and a little practice will ensure optimal freshness of bread. However, we know how awfully hard it is to refrain from enjoying warm fresh bread. This is where the bread knife is invaluable. Slicing one slice at a time allows us to enjoy super fresh bread and allow the crust to mature properly and not flood the rest of the bread with oxygen, just lay the bread on the newly sliced side to keep the oxygen off the newly exposed side and the rest of the bread continuing to mature appropriately. Of course we have old fashioned slicers and will be more than happy to slice any bread on our standard or low carb size.
Bread having matured 12-24 hours after bake time is ready for the slicers and ready to be bagged or stored in a bread box. Slicing and bagging the bread at this point will allow the bread to retain freshness and a crispy crust for a few days to come. This is also a good time to freeze a part of the bread to ensure optimal quality when toasting later or popping a few slices for 10 seconds in the microwave. Most of our breads freeze extremely well and we encourage our customers to freeze our breads due to the fact that there are no preservatives or additives in the bread and it will follow a natural cycle of aging. This is not bread that stays “fresh” for a month.
This is the maturity process of bread that does not occur in commercial baking. In commercial baking, bread is baked, racked to cool, sliced, bagged, boxed, stacked, sorted, palleted, wrapped, loaded, trucked to a distribution hub where it is sorted, logged and frozen. When ready to be delivered to the stores frozen bread is then sorted, loaded, delivered, unloaded, sorted and stored in the freezer awaiting shelf space, when ready to be retailed bread is then thawed and placed on shelves ready to be manhandled and squeezed by potential buyers until finally it is bought…just like grandma used to do it.
Making Artisan Bread