While bread has been a staple food for about 14 000 years, the loafs we buy today at supermarkets and chain bakeries have not much to do anymore with the original recipe. In industrial bread manufacturing, dough improvers, bleached flour, coloring, emulsifiers, mold inhibitors, preservatives and flavour enhancers are added into the mix, for different reasons: reducing the fermentation period, making sure that the process from preparing the dough to baking the bread takes just a few hours, and so on.

But at Brussels bakery Saint Aulaye, quality comes before quantity and quickness. The bread here is made the artisan, natural way: flour, water, yeast and a skilled pair of hands are all you need (and the occasional portion of cheese, nuts or olives to give it that delicious extra twist). Here, the dough rests and rises up to 48 hours and the flour is additive-free. We were so lucky to get a glimpse behind the scenes and watch the craftsmen at work:

Saint Aulaye Brussels

Saint Aulaye Brussels

Saint Aulaye Brussels

Saint Aulaye Brussels

Saint Aulaye Brussels

Saint Aulaye Brussels

All photos © Sarah Schug

Le Saint Aulaye is located in Ixelles and open from Tuesday to Sunday. And do make sure to try the chocolate bread!

Le Saint Aulaye

Rue Américaine 130, 1050 Brussels

saintaulaye.com