Karl De Smedt

Abstract:

The future of Bread lies in its past, a tour in the one and only sourdough library

Bread! It feeds, it crackles, it breathes. When you bite into it, you dive into a wealth of heritage and a whirlwind of a story written with only a few basic ingredients. Flour, water, fermentation and time. Over 250 generations of bakers like you have kneaded their hearts and their souls into these breads and made it their own. New recipes, new ingredients and a string of baking techniques have all strived for one thing: to bake the best possible bread. In the sourdough library we are collecting and preserving this very unique heritage from the past. Join me for a tour in one of the most unique places in the bakery world.  

For as long as I can remember, I always wanted to be a baker-confectioner. After graduating in 1988 from the bakery/confectionery school in Brussels I worked for six years as a patissier in a bakery in Brussels. In 1994 I started to work for Puratos as a test baker in the lab. That’s where I encountered the very first sourdough in my life and baked my very first sourdough bread. Since than I worked in different departments as technical advisor, product, training & communication manager. In 2013 we inaugurated our sourdough library. The first and only of its kind in the world. As the sourdough librarian I am on a quest for sourdough. Preserving the biodiversity for the future and sharing insights of this century old baking tradition is what I like most about what I do today.