(This article appeared in the Winter 2020 issue of Pastry Arts Magazine)
Our mission is to connect community and ecology through gastronomy. This means that we take the responsibility of representing the local farmers and other producers who entrust us with the fruits of their labor very seriously. It also means that we put their products in front of our customers with only the greatest care, respect, patience, and attention. Bellegarde takes pride and pleasure in representing our producers and our community. By committing to a standard of excellence with our bread and flours we ensure the integrity of a full and circular value chain: we firmly believe in supporting and using identity preserved ingredients and in the imperative of direct markets. Value should be kept where value is produced.
Our stone-milled flours. We are committed to reviving the integrity of bread and realized that in order to do so, we had to resuscitate the integrity of flour. By milling flour ourselves we are allowing the quality and integrity of our ingredients to speak for themselves. Using fresh, stone-milled flour completely changes the flavor of our breads, pastries, pizza, and pastas because fresh flour, made from grain sourced directly from its farmer, guarantees an incredible flavor not found in white flour. And so our flour and our bread, like a good wine, has an indelible terroir for this reason.
Secret of Success
Allowing ingredients to speak for themselves. Most all of our ingredients and grains are identity preserved and single origin, including our olive oil (sourced from San Antonio, TX), our Louisiana cane sugar, and our salt (sourced from Avery Island, LA). By purchasing directly from producers we ensure the preservation of flavor—no one gets in between us and our farmers. This intimacy to our ingredients, coupled with our commitment to the best production methods, has preserved our success since 2012. At Bellegarde, we are merely the custodians between the best producers and the best bread—we do as little as possible to the freshest, best ingredients and with this simple equation we make the best bread.
Shop’s Best Feature
Our stone mills. Bellegarde has one of the largest stone-milling capabilities in the South. Our stone milling of fresh flour respects and preserves the nutritional integrity of whole grains because the grain is passed in its entirety through two natural granite stones. Unlike white flour, which is a refined product, freshly stone-milled flour is a delicious, unique, and ancient ingredient.
Visit www.bellegardebakery.com for more info.
Photo credit: Denny Culbert