ORIGIN breads


Kirk Smock


Madison, WI

About Us

Ori­gin Breads is a small bak­ery in Madi­son, WI that is ded­i­cat­ed to bak­ing small batch­es of hand­craft­ed and long-fer­ment­ed sour­dough breads and pas­tries using organ­ic grains grown and stone milled in the Drift­less Area. For us, mak­ing bread and pas­tries is art. Flour, water and salt are our media. Fer­ment­ed dough is our can­vas. But to find the real beau­ty in our loaves you must tear through the rus­tic shell to see, smell and taste what lies with­in. With every loaf, we try to hon­or the hard work of our farm­ers and millers by using time hon­ored bak­ing tech­niques that coax max­i­mum fla­vor and nutri­tion out of the organ­ic grains. We also make damn good gra­nola using local and organ­ic maple syrup and oats.

About Our Products

At the market we sell a variety of naturally leavened sourdough breads, bagels, focaccia, pastries and cookies. We also sell our popular varieties of granola. With our focaccia and croissants and danishes, we offer a rotating menu of seasonal specials that feature fresh produce from our fellow vendors.

ORIGIN Breads is proud to source our organic wheat, rye, spelt, corn and oats locally from Meadowlark Organics, a family farm and stone mill located in Ridgeway, Wisconsin. After growing, harvesting and cleaning the grains, Meadowlark mills our flour to order using an old-world method of stone milling. As opposed to industrial roller mills, which process wheat kernels to separate the starchy endosperm from the wheat bran and wheat germ, stone milling keeps the wheat kernels intact, grinding the bran, germ and endosperm together. Why is this important? Because the wheat bran and wheat germ contain the healthy nutrients, fibers and oils, and keeping them together allows us to bake bread and pastries that are both nutritious and delicious.

All of our breads are naturally leavened with wild yeast. We mix our organic grains with water, salt and a healthy sourdough culture that is naturally populated by yeasts, bacteria and enzymes. After a long process of mixing, stretching and folding our dough by hand, we retard them at cool temperatures for at least 18 hours. This long fermentation is not only important in leavening and flavoring our dough, but it also provides time for the sourdough's lactic acid bacteria to neutralize the phytic acid that is found in the bran. Phytic acid locks in important antioxidants, folic acid, B vitamins and minerals, including iron, zinc, calcium and magnesium. A long fermentation results in bread that is more easily digestible and provides the lactic acid bacteria time to unlock these nutrients for our bodies to absorb.

We follow these methods to make real bread. What do we mean by "real" bread? We borrow the term from the UK Charity, Sustain: The Alliance for Better Food and Farming, which supports the Real Bread Campaign. Their definition says real bread is made without the use of processing aids or any other artificial additives. For thousands of years bread has been a simple and fundamental part of our diet, but most modern loaves are now made using methods that are not concerned with nutritional qualities or any environmental impacts of how or where the grains are grown and milled. With a focus on locally-grown and milled grains, our core loaf is made with nothing more than flour, water and salt. Our natural levain (sourdough culture) and long fermentation times then work together to make our breads more digestible and nutritious.

What We Offer

  • Bakery
  • Bread, sourdough
  • Bread, whole grain
  • Cookies
  • Fermented products
  • Muffins
  • Pastries
  • Specialty breads

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