What is Hearth Baked Bread and Why is it so Tasty?

Hearth baked bread comes in many shapes and sizes, and those variations are united by a particular method of making it.

It’s distinctive in the texture it creates, as well as the taste, appearance and even how the bread smells when it’s done baking.

We will tell you everything you need to know about hearth baked bread, how it came to be and why it tastes the way it does.

The story behind this humble bread product is very interesting, and it’s still baked, sold and enjoyed around the world every day of the year.

So, if you want to find out more about one of the world’s favorite ancient breads, you’re in the right place.

Read on now and find out what it’s all about, how it came to be and how Toufayan Bakeries is using this baking method to produce several products.

What is Hearth Baked Bread?

The first question we need to answer is what is hearth baked bread?

You might have heard the term before and even know it when you taste it, but what does it mean and what’s it all about?

It boils down to the traditional baking method that originated in Europe.

A fermented piece of dough is baked using a method of baking which involves placing the dough on the floor of a wood-fired oven.

This method has been recreated and modernized many times over, but the essential elements of it are the same.

The actual shape and size of the bread doesn’t matter.

Just about any style, shape and size of bread can be hearth baked.

And there are bakeries around the world that have their own approach and put their own spin on this style of baking.

As long as it conforms to the traditional way of baking the bread in a wood-fired without the support of a pan, it can be considered hearth baked.

But when we’re talking about hearth baked bread, it should be fermented.

The Key Characteristics

There are some key characteristics we associate with hearth baked bread.

These include a distinctive aroma and a soft inside that’s perfect for all kinds of uses.

There are also many characteristics of the ingredients that will determine how well-suited the dough is to hearth baking.

One of the most important aspects of hearth baked bread is protein quality.

The flour used should be of a high protein quality when making hearth baked bread because this contributes to the unique texture and qualities we all associate with bread products baked this way.

It’s about loaf volume and form ratio; both qualities are boosted and improved by using high protein flour in the dough, as is usually the case when baking the best hearth baked bread.

Protein content of the bread matters, too.

A higher protein content is not a good thing when baking a loaf.

It will be much better if a lower protein content is maintained.

The way the dough behaves is also impacted by the protein size distribution.

If flour is used with the biggest glutenin polymers, the bread will retain its shape better as it’s baking.

That’s not the case when a flour with much smaller polymers.

Another thing that has to be taken into account is mixing time.

The height of the bread will be in part determined by how much mixing time is used.

And the mixing properties of the dough can help with this; examples of a flour with strong mixing properties include wheat flour.

Proofing time is important when making hearth baked bread because giving the dough more time to prove allows it to increase in width, creating a larger loaf by the end of the baking process.

The cells in the dough expand as the dough proves.

But if it’s allowed to prove for too long, the form ratio will suffer, so getting that balance right is important when looking to create the distinct characteristics of hearth baked bread.

By taking all these factors into account and carefully baking bread with the right method, the unique character of hearth baked bread can be achieved.

The History of Hearth Baked Bread

Hearth baking has been around for a long time and originates in Europe.

People used to cook on a hearth or a stone area in front of a fireplace, and it’s believed that this is where the name of the bread comes from.

They were hollows in the flood where baking took place and the cooking process used wood to produce the heat.

They were clay-covered and once the temperature was right the dough would be placed at the base and the following covered over so the baking process could begin.

There was nothing complicated and artisanal about this approach to baking.

It was the easiest way for people to make bread way back when.

Women would mix together the ingredients in the evening and let the dough stand overnight before forming the loaf the following morning.

It was then baked in the hearth, and this was a common way of making bread all the way across Europe for a very long time.

Its popularity in America arrived later. In the 20th century, many European immigrants made use of hearth baking methods to make and sell bread in bakeries.

By the 1980s, the popularity of hearth baked bread in America was reaching new heights; the New York Times even reported on the trend and its popularity, which remains strong to this day.

Although it’s still possible to make this bread the way they made it for hundreds of years, there are also newer ways of doing so.

There are ovens that use modern technology and conveniences to hearth bake bread without a traditional, old-fashioned hearth.

This is one factor that has helped to spread and maintain the popularity of this bread throughout recent decades.

What’s Behind Its Lasting Appeal To So Many People?

The distinctive taste that accompanies hearth baked bread is undoubtedly the primary factor behind its continued popularity.

But people love the texture just as much, too.

The texture created when using the hearth baking method is different from other types of baking; nothing is quite like hearth baked bread, and for many people, nothing can match its taste and texture.

Another characteristic that helps to keep this bread so appealing to both bread makers and consumers is its simplicity.

There’s not much to dislike about this bread, and there’s genuine beauty in its simplicity.

For people who enjoy making it at home, it’s one of the easiest to make.

The list of ingredients needed to make it is relatively easy, even if it is important to get the balance of ingredients just right.

Nonetheless, there aren’t many ingredients required.

Being able to connect to a long lineage of bread baking that stretches back hundreds of years is unique and many people like that about it.

It has remained popular for such a long time because it has a winning formula. It’s straightforward to bake, the texture is satisfying, and the taste is unbeatable.

When it’s all said and done, that’s why people are still buying and enjoying hearth baked bread to this day.

Toufayan Hearth Baked Products

Toufayan is a family owned bakery business that’s been around for over 90 years.

As one of the largest privately owned bakeries in the US, the company exudes quality and is renowned the world over for its wide selection of baked goods, including its hearth baked products.

All of their products can be found in the supermarket deli section and enjoyed at affordable prices.

Hearth Baked Pita Bread

Classic White 1222

Pita bread has been around for a long time and in the original European tradition, Toufayan’s pita breads are all hearth baked using wholesome and high-quality ingredients.

You can do what you like with them because they’re versatile and suit just about any filling you choose.

Hearth Baked Wraps

Classic Plain flavor 1222

Each wrap produced by Toufayan is hearth baked to perfection and you can taste it in every bite.

They can be used in a variety of ways with a wide variety of fillings, no matter what you put inside them.

These are among the best wraps you’ll find anywhere today.

Hearth Baked Bagels

Flat Bread Hearty White 1222

Our range of flatbreads are very popular and it’s easy to see why.

The finest ingredients are used alongside their hearth baking methods.

This results in healthy, great-tasting flatbreads with an unbeatable texture, and that’s what matters most with this kind of bread.

Hearth Baked Breadsticks

Plain Crispy Breadsticks Flavor 1222

The unique crispy breadsticks made by Toufayan are created using the hearth baked baking method.

That’s how they turn out the way they do and how they always provide that satisfying crunch, perfect texture, and delicious taste.

They’re not to be missed.

Hearth baked breads and other hearth baked products are as popular and beloved all over the world as they always have been.

The distinct texture and flavor of these products is a sure-fire winner and more than likely always will be.

Give Toufayan’s range of products a try if you want to see what all the hype is about.