Grindstone Bakery was founded in 1999 in a small "garage" in Santa Rosa, California, where we experimented with alternatives to modern wheat and created fermentation cultures for an authentic sourdough process. My father had been a partner at a flour mill. I grew up in Argentina among grain fields and all kinds of flours and breads. I wanted to be a chemist, so my father thought that the natural path for me was to be the mill’s chemist. But during my studies I was captivated by the world of science and decided that just testing flours was not enough of a life. So, I went on pursuing an elusive career in science. Today, I am extremely happy that I have found myself baking once again. Baking is a science that requires the precision and rigor, the experimental and inquisitive skills that are rooted in my scientific background. Baking is also an act of love that now provides meaning to my life.
~Mario Repetto, the Baker
ANCIENT BREAD-MAKING FOR HEALTH & DELIGHT
Stone milling is the oldest, slowest, and best method of grinding whole grains. It is a gentle and cool process that preserves every good part of the grain. All the protein, oils, antioxidants and vitamins from the germ; all the sugars and starches from the endosperm, along with the tiny bits of bran rich in antioxidants and fiber are all there. Nothing is added and nothing is taken away. We slowly grind our whole grains using a small, natural, pink granite stone mill that never overheats the flour. We transform it into living dough within hours of being ground.
In today’s completely automated milling process, steel rollers crush the grain at remarkably high speeds, heating it to elevated temperatures and destroying vitamins and antioxidants in the berry. Sifters remove the germ and all bits of bran from the flour. Some of the separated parts can be later mixed back to produce a so-called whole wheat flourl; but the germ is never added back because, exposed to air and heat, it oxidizes and becomes rancid.
Whole grains are seeds coming from plants that, over millions of years, have developed the capacity to synthesize myriad phytochemicals that help them resist pathogens, parasites and predators, or attract beneficial organisms. We call these beneficial phytochemicals antioxidants. Our modern understanding on how they function in plants is helping us to discover the mechanisms by which whole grains benefit human health beyond basic nutrition. More than 8,000 phytochemicals have been identified, but a large number still remains unknown.
More and more convincing evidence suggests that the benefits of antioxidants in fruits, vegetables and whole grains may be even greater than is currently understood. Our body, it turns out, needs this synergistic effect – this teamwork – that is produced by eating a wide variety of plant foods.
Cells in humans and other organisms are constantly exposed to a variety of oxidizing agents, some of which are necessary for life. These agents may be present in air, food, and water, or they may be produced by metabolic activity within cells. Overproduction of oxidants can cause an imbalance, leading to oxidative stress, especially in chronic bacterial, viral, and parasitic infections. Oxidative stress can cause oxidative damage to large biomolecules, such as lipids, proteins and DNA.
To prevent or slow the oxidative stress induced by free radicals, sufficient amounts of antioxidants need to be consumed. The key factor is to maintain a balance between oxidants and antioxidants to sustain optimal physiological conditions. The lactic acid bacteria in our fermentation cultures are capable of unbinding these critical antioxidants from the bran and germ making them immediately bio-available for the protection of our cells.
In addition, lactic acid bacteria, being avid seekers of the amino acids needed for growing and multiplication, generate powerful external enzymes capable of breaking down complex proteins. This action has two positive effects: one that benefits our palate and the other our health.
Very much like in cheese-making, where the fermentation with lactic acid bacteria cultures breaks down complex milk proteins creating peptides (small protein fragments) with delicious flavors and aromas, our fermentation does the same with the proteins in the whole grain, generating flavors, a dense crumb, and a wonderfully satisfying chewiness. Because the complex proteins that form gluten are delightful targets for them, fermentation by lactic acid bacteria has been shown to substantially reduce the gluten content in bread. Ancient civilizations that ate naturally fermented whole grain bread did not suffer gluten intolerance issues.
All this may help explain why traditional cultures eating diets high in naturally fermented whole grains consistently have better health. Short-term clinical trials focused on fiber alone have yielded inconsistent results. So, the explanation for the health benefits of naturally fermented whole grains may arise from the teamwork of nutrients, protective antioxidants and lactic acid bacteria, not just their fiber.
Our fermentation cultures are the result of years of capturing and experimenting with different combinations of the wild lactic acid bacteria naturally present in the Sonoma Wine Country environment. We call them Sonoma Cultures, and each one has a particular ecosystem of several lactic acid bacteria strains, allowing us to create different breads with a relatively lower acid content than most sourdoughs, rich in flavor and color and resistant to spoilage without the use of preservatives.
Our baguette has a hefty crust and a deliciously dense and chewy crumb with a beautifully expressive buttery flavor. It’s shaped so you can make dazzling Panini—or slice it into very thin toast and voila—astonishing Crostini for dips, canapés or croutons. You're going to be inspired! Keeping up with our exceptional standards, we have faithfully followed our ancient baking principles.
Inspired by an old and simple family dessert, we have combined the essence of oranges with cinnamon and raisins to make a moist and tender loaf. The added citrus provides a vibrancy that is brightened by the exquisitely deep scent of cinnamon. Ideal for breakfast, it makes great French toast and it pairs well with espresso coffee. Keeping up with our exceptional standards, we have faithfully followed our ancient baking principles.
This bread is a great source of fresh flaxseed meal. Flaxseeds are recognized for their multiple health benefits, but they have to be ground into a meal because the hard coating of the seed makes them indigestible. As usual, we have followed all our ancient baking principles and use the best organic ingredients available.
A very simple but very satisfying loaf made from quinoa and organic whole millet stone-ground at the bakery. Quinoa and millet (QM) are "grains" that contain myriad vitamins, minerals (high in magnesium) and antioxidants, and are rich in fiber and proteins. Quinoa itself has all 8 of the essential amino acids needed for good health, including lysine typically not found in plants. These grains are soothing and easy to digest. The action of natural lactic acid bacteria present in the special fermentation culture we developed for this bread neutralizes anti nutrients, breaks down proteins and frees antioxidants from bran and germ to nourish and protect you. Keeping up with our exceptional standards, we have faithfully followed our ancient baking principles.
To our simple and satisfying quinoa-millet dough, we have added a special blend of sprouted seeds coming right from our sprouting room. They add a vibrant combination of flavor, nutrients and texture to this simple and pleasing dough. Slice it thin, toast and add a few drops of good California extra virgin olive oil and you’ll feel transported to food paradise. Keeping up with our exceptional standards we have faithfully followed our ancient baking principles.
Like an old dense Italian country loaf, this bread will allow you to get 3"x4" robust slices to make the best sandwich with a deliciously chewy crumb— 36 ounces of real food! Our friend Kendra won the Gold Medal three times in a row at the Sonoma County Fair making a sandwich with this bread, and she was competing against very famous Sonoma County chefs! Keeping up with our exceptional standards, we have faithfully followed our ancient baking principles.
GRAIN FREE, with the same exquisite combination of organic whole quinoa—that has just been stone ground—with added extra virgin olive oil from our friends at Pacific Sun, as in the PLAIN version, plus a touch of fennel seeds. Carefully slice it thin, toast and add a little more California EV Olive Oil to create a delicious and very healthy base for a meal. It has a tender crumb and the great chew of an authentic sourdough. To make it, we have faithfully followed our ancient baking principles.
GRAIN FREE, Only the exquisite flavor of the organic whole quinoa that has just been stone ground combined with the fresh fruity extra virgin olive oil from our friends at Pacific Sun makes this a very special loaf. Carefully slice it thin, toast and add a little more California EV Olive Oil to create a delicious and very healthy base for a meal. It has a tender crumb and the great chew of an authentic sourdough. To make it, we have faithfully followed our ancient baking principles.
Grindstone Bakery's Gluten Free Bread is so good! I love that Grindstone Bakery offers so many varieties and that they're gluten free. With so many people going gluten free one of the toughest things I've had a problem with is finding bread that was gluten free that my family actually liked. With Grindstone Bakery's Gluten Free Bread there's so many options that there's sure to be one that will please everyone in the family. I found Grindstone Bakery's Gluten Free Bread to be soft and perfect for making sandwiches which are a favorite in our house.
I also love that Grindstone Bakery uses ancient baking principles taking us back to a time when we didn't have to worry about all the unhealthy ingredients in our food. With Grindstone Bakery you know your getting bread that will keep your family healthy.
I highly recommend Grindstone Bakery's Gluten Free Bread!
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Disclosure: I received product(s) for free, in exchange for my honest review. I only recommend products I've used personally, and believe will be good fit for consumers.