Laura Geurten

Laura Geurten

Sourdough Baker

• What do you enjoy the most about baking bread?

I really love that bread has such an old tradition and is such a basic need for people. The fact that you just have these three pure ingredients—flour, water, and a bit of salt—that you put together and let nature do its work is still a bit magical to me.

In the bakery, we only use sourdough, so we let the dough rise in a natural way without yeast. It takes more time to work this way, but the result is a super nutritious, delicious, moist bread.

• Baking often gets repetitive, wich makes it also meditative. How do you keep it creative? 

The sourdough aspect makes it never boring. It's a living culture, so it's sensitive to changes in the environment, humidity, temperature... you always have to search for the right balance of hydration and follow up the rising and baking process. But apart from that, I also like to make other things than just a normal-shaped bread. I enjoy using the dough as a material to work with, braiding, cutting, kneading the dough, and letting it be as an object. I also really like exploring the different varieties and possibilities of bread, such as crackers, fougasse, or flatbreads, and trying to handle the ingredients in a different way or baking them differently.

• What simple tip would you share with somebody to bake better bread? 

If you're looking for more complexity in taste, I would recommend using sourdough instead of yeast. You can create your own starter, adding something personal to your bread. And just as an extra tip: the more water you add to your dough, the more taste it develops, and your crust will get crispier. It's a tricky thing, always looking for just enough water, but also not too much, to prevent it from getting weak and collapsing during baking.