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How Our Breads Are Made

  • Artisan breads are a labour of love, made by time-honoured, European-inspired traditions.

    Although the ingredients couldn’t be simpler (flour, water, yeast and salt), the process of creating superior bread is long and fairly complex…

  • A day at ACE Bakery begins as early as 3 a.m. when the mixer arrives to weigh the ingredients and mix the dough.

    The rich flavour of ACE breads is largely due to the handcrafted starters we use. The mixer must keep the starters alive by “feeding” them daily.

  • When the dough is mixed, the baker divides the dough into batches and sets it aside for several hours for the process called “fermentation.”

    The baker then divides the dough, shapes it into loaves and again sets it aside for several hours to proof.

  • Bakers monitor the proofing, score the loaves with marks to identify the type of bread and primarily bake them in stone-deck ovens.

    These ovens maintain a constant high heat, which causes the gas bubbles in the dough to expand.

  • This creates a perfect crust and an even golden colour.

    You can tell it’s from a stone-deck oven because the bottom is flat, not textured, and has flour on it.

  • After baking, the fresh loaves are cooled, packed and delivered.
  • Later in the day, the night mixer starts the lunch and dinner bakes and the baking ritual begins again.

    The process of preparing a loaf of bread for baking can take in excess of 12 hours.

  • But the results make it worthwhile – a tantalizing aroma, a crispy golden crust, a rich, flavourful taste, and a moist, chewy texture.

The Artisan Test

Our long fermentation period and baking in stone-deck ovens creates a very open cell structure in the finished bread. Press a slice of true artisan bread with your thumb and you’ll see it spring back into shape when you remove your thumb. Do that with regular bread and the indentation will stay.

Some of our bread is par-baked

Some of our customers are too far from the bakery to receive fresh deliveries. In order to provide them with our bread without compromising the quality, we developed partially baked breads. These breads are made with the same care and quality, but we take them out of the oven when they are 85% baked and freeze them instantly. The stores then complete the baking process so you can have freshly baked ACE Bakery bread no matter where you are in Canada, the U.S. or even as far away as Bermuda.

We use only the simplest natural ingredients

One of the nicest things about artisan baking is that the same elements that give our bread its wonderful taste and texture also make it a healthy choice.

You can be sure that ACE Bakery breads contain only the finest, simplest ingredients, natural starters and absolutely no preservatives.

  • ACE Bakery ingredients are chosen for specific characteristics required to produce the finest quality breads. The building block and primary ingredient of the majority of our bread is unbleached wheat flour.
  • Unbleached flour is what gives ACE Bakery bread a “crumb” colour that looks more natural and more wholesome. Using bleached flour is common in many other bakeries and that’s what gives many breads their super-white appearance. The addition of bleaching agents removes the natural yellow colour (carotenoids) from the flour and changes the nutritional value of the resulting flour.
  • ACE Bakery uses fresh yeast and, because of ACE Bakery’s slow fermentation process, the amount of yeast used is considerably less than other commercially prepared breads.
  • ACE Bakery uses starter to leaven its bread products. The starter is a combination of flour, water and yeast that is mixed in different quantities to produce a number of different starters.

The Shape of Things

ACE breads come in many shapes and sizes. Some are ideal for sandwiches. Others make a beautiful table bread. These are the main shapes we bake every day.

ACE Bakery starters make a big difference

Each ACE Bakery starter is a special combination of water, flour and salt created by our Master Baker. Over time, this starter mixture allows a natural yeast to develop, enhances the texture by helping the flour absorb water and create gluten, and produces aromatic substances that give ACE Bakery bread such wonderful flavour. All this takes place over a long period of time that includes the fermentation period, the mixing period and the proofing period.

We use seven different, handcrafted starters at ACE Bakery to give our breads their distinctive texture and flavour.