Spelled bread whole foods coop

Who understands his bread

Hofbäcker Jürgen Zippel in the breeding sample camp at Haus Bollheim. (Images: Simon Veith)

A baker, a farmer, a breeder - a bakery, a farm, a breeding garden. They are all part of a larger whole and connected by a vision: Which grain - and which bread do we need and want in the future?

The land near Zülpich on the northern edge of the Eifel south of Cologne is flat - and the horizon is wide. Behind a hedge several meters high, past which he drives his green mobile home on a dirt road, master baker Jürgen Zippel looks out over the grain fields that already belong to the Demeter-Hof Haus Bollheim. “I'll bake this grain for the next year,” he says, pointing sometimes to the right and sometimes to the left as he drives past: the rye here, the spelled here, the emmer here.

Mill bakery Jürgen Zippel

In 1992, Jürgen Zippel and his wife Gisela founded the Hofbäckerei in Zülpich near Euskirchen, a master business dedicated to the purely manual processing of wholegrain cereals from biodynamic farming. The Demeter-certified bakery with milling is located on the Demeter-Hof Haus Bollheim. Today a total of eight people work here.

Jürgen Zippel is currently looking for a master baker who would like to take over the farm bakery.

The 63-year-old's realm is the bakery. It and the farm shop opposite form the gateway to the historic court ensemble of Haus Bollheim from 1690. In the evening after the field and stable work, after the products have been refined in the cheese dairy and in the bakery and after the farm shop has closed, it is quiet here and deserted, only now and then a cow mooes from the adjacent barn. All of this - the fields, the animals, the people who work together to make up the very special farm organism - influences the bread that Jürgen Zippel bakes. He has been in Bollheim since 1991, and in 1992 he and his wife Gisela took over the bakery and founded the "Mühlenbäckerei Jürgen Zippel". Since then he has been a court baker. Today his art of baking is known in the region - the Mühlenbäckerei Zippel stands for biodynamic baked goods that are produced with the highest level of craftsmanship.

From the eco-movement ...

Anyone who gets to know Jürgen Zippel immediately notices that there is a whole attitude and philosophy behind the company that is driven by his curiosity and thirst for knowledge. The master baker is a real organic pioneer, who is believed to be responsible for his Birkenstock organic muesli past in the eighties - “that's how it really was back then!”. "The clichés are right," laughs Jürgen Zippel and shows with his hands at chest height how long he wore his hair back then, at a time when "whole foods" and "eco" were considered political and left-wing warring terms in society. The traditional bakers, of whom there were far more then than now, were appalled by the experiments of the ecos. “'Bio' didn't exist yet. Using the whole grain was political at the time. And this type of bread was new, it wasn't available before! The established bakers were outraged by the idea of ​​baked pumpkin or sunflower seeds in bread. That was birdseed for her! Today, even the largest industrial bakery factories make whole-grain bread as a matter of course, ”says Zippel.

He, who has been interested in agriculture since his youth, got into the bakery trade through detours. In 1978 he joined a newly founded eco-food coop at the University of Bonn, which later became the region's first organic shops. “We were concerned with what we eat and how it was made. How difficult it was back then to organize unsulphurized raisins and unsprayed grain. We ground the latter ourselves, ”he recalls. Jürgen Zippel then came to bake: he baked the organic breads that were distributed to friends, whole grains of course. He was so enthusiastic about the craft of baking that he decided to swap his agricultural studies in Bonn for an apprenticeship as a baker in Siegburg. As an advocate of a wholesome philosophy, of course. Organic wholemeal breads were new to the company, but they have developed into a great success: When he finished his apprenticeship there in 1981, organic flours were already being baked on four of the six baking days and the wholemeal breads were placed in the 30 to 40 organic shop germ cells on the next Delivered to the region - "In principle, we supplied every small organic shop in the Cologne / Bonn area right into the Bergische with wholefood organic baked goods," says Zippel. In 1984 he founded his own mill bakery with his then colleague David Lee Schlenker, who now runs his own business, DLS-Backwaren GmbH, which exclusively produced organic wholefood products. They also got into organic cake production, a niche in the market. An exciting, beautiful, but also hard time, often with only three hours of sleep at night, so that after three years Zippel pulled the rip cord for health reasons and the two of them sold their business again.

... to the Demeter farm baker

What followed was a year off - “which I needed to get to where I am today” - a year in which he and his wife traveled to various eco-projects in Europe. During this time Jürgen Zippel was concerned with the question: “What is good bread for me, what does it matter?” He wanted, he says, to understand bread in its entirety, “but I didn't know the vocabulary for it - not yet. At that time, through my questions, I grew towards Demeter - without any direct encounters. ”In his search he dealt with anthroposophy, read through the works of Rudolf Steiner -“ and my inner questions have received answers ”. After he had completed his master craftsman's examination as a baker, he received an inquiry from the Demeter-Hof Haus Bollheim during this time, where they were looking for a sickness replacement for the bakery. The rest is history. Gisela and Jürgen Zippel came to Zülpich as a couple and decided to take the step and found their mill bakery at Hof Bollheim in 1992. Jürgen Zippel has been a court baker since then. With his bakery, he is part of the farm organism on Bollheim, but an independent entrepreneur who operates in close partnership with the farm: he leases the bakery from the farm, from which he also obtains the grain - and the latter in turn purchases his baked goods, which are in the farm shop inspire the visitors.

The innermost part: the breeding garden

Master baker Jürgen Zippel and farmer Hans von Hagenow in the breeding garden of the Demeter farm: This is where the origin of bread lies - and also its future.

The farm bakery and agriculture are closely interwoven on Bollheim, and even more than on other farms, they pursue a question that is closely related to research and biodynamic grain breeding that also takes place on the farm: the seed question.

Hans von Hagenow is one of the responsible farmers at Haus Bollheim and has the research association Haus Bollheim e. V. co-founded. He is also a co-initiator of what he calls the heart of the entire business today, which has an impact on the big picture: the breeding garden, which has been run here by grain breeder Patrick Schmidt since 2012. A special place with a lot of energy: there are different types of grain in small plots, which are grown in alternating crop rotation around the round circular center - the so-called sun seal. “The outside affects the breeding garden. And he, the inside, on his surroundings. This special place radiates on the whole! ”The work of the breeder is influenced by the crop rotation around the breeding garden. “What is special about it is that here - in contrast to the research environment at a university - everything is alive!” Says Hans von Hagenow happily, “we are in a living garden, which is in turn connected to a living Demeter farm, surrounded by biodynamically farmed fields and fields, with hedges, animals, soil organisms. "

Grain for the future

The farmer explains: “Farmer, baker, breeder - we are in an intensive exchange and give each other impulses. We ask ourselves: which grain do we need for cultivation and which for baking? How do I adapt the grain to the location and the needs of the farm organism? It is a great advantage for a company that new varieties can be grown that make it to the store. ”Jürgen Zippel adds:“ The bakery has an influence on the cultivation and we help decide what is grown - we test one variety we have different variants. "

After a few years of breeding work, the rye and wheat plants have grown as high as a man in various parcels. "They begin to stretch and loosen up, come up with their ears of wheat into the light-air space and show their potential," explains Jürgen Zippel and strokes a long, hanging ear of rye in which the individual grains can already be seen . The two men go to the Black Winteremmer, an old, original variety. "This is where the future lies," says Jürgen Zippel. “From old grains such as emmer and einkorn, which were already cultivated 10,000 years ago, we need to develop biodynamic varieties that still have their origins in them, but meet the future needs of people.” They are also made from these old grains Wheat varieties emerged, of which there are actually thousands.

But today only a few are grown in agriculture, which are offered by the large seed companies. They promise a lot of yield and have a high gluten content that is easy to bake with. "The development of these varieties did not go in the direction of food quality," explains Zippel. In order for them to deliver the yield, they need pesticides and artificial fertilizers. He shakes his head: “Is that still food, in the truest sense of the word?” He and Hans von Hagenow agree: The modern wheat varieties will disappear, because the large amounts of mineral fertilizers and pesticides that those varieties need destroy them Biodiversity. Plant protection also kills and cushions useful things, and mineral fertilizers contribute to global warming. In addition, there is no soil build-up, which is not only good for the climate because it stores CO₂, but also enables further harvests and prevents erosion. In Bollheim, on the other hand, the farm's own grain varieties are grown, which strengthen biodiversity here and suit the farm and the changing demands. The past two years, for example, it was relatively dry here, so some varieties got along better than others.

Give the plant space

The approach of the breeding work in Bollheim is a special one. "We want to breed seeds that could develop entirely from the strength of the location," explains Hans von Hagenow. The grain is exposed to different constellations. Among other things, the breeder cultivates the seeds near summer and winter, sows them sometimes early in the morning, sometimes at noon, sometimes in the evening, and sows them in different places with different properties and environments. The best ears of corn are selected, tied into bouquets and taken to the breeding sample store on the farm. The black winter emmer was particularly successful in breeding. In 2012 he showed a few ears of corn that were selected. In the next year, breeders, farmers and bakers were surprised by the variety of ears of wheat with wheat elements, which in turn were selected. In the meantime, one of the farm's own wheat varieties is on the way - “A huge gift!”, As Jürgen Zippel feels. For him, this success confirms the special approach of giving the plant space so that it can develop its potential, which is already present in it.

"The breeding garden is the centerpiece: the outside affects him, and he, the inside, affects the environment."

Hans von Hagenow, farmer from Haus Bollheim

Hans von Hagenow points out another advantage of biodynamic breeding: “We can observe and perceive the relationship between animals and humans. Nothing else happens here during breeding: An intensive relationship is created through the activity of the breeder and also through us farmers with the plant. When we are in the breeding garden and we are intensively occupied with a plant, it is completely different from when we see it in the field, only from the tractor. "

In the bakery of the mill bakery, real manual work and, above all, the inner attitude of all employees - right down to the trainees - count.

"Bread is alive"

Master baker Jürgen Zippel not only has this close relationship, which is created through careful observation and occupation, with the grain plant, but also with its fruit, the grain. He accompanies his bread from the origin to the customer. The grain, which he gets almost exclusively from the farm, he grinds himself. Even before the smell of fresh flour rises in the nose, the steady shaking of the three historic-looking mills behind the bakery door can be heard - one grinds wheat, one rye and an emmer and spelled. “I consciously use these East Tyrolean natural stone mills because they grind slowly and gently so that the grain is not overheated. The grist looks different, is opened up differently and then behaves differently during baking - and is the basis of our bread quality, ”he explains. He gets the grain he needs fresh from the farm every day.

"Bread is a living thing."

Jürgen Zippel, mill baker

In his work in the bakery, craftsmanship is important; but just as important to him as the right method is the inner attitude of everyone who deals with the bread and the processing of the raw materials. For him, it's about resonance and relationships. “I perceive bread as something living,” he says, using his hands to form an imaginary loaf of bread. “To raise awareness and strengthen our relationship, we light a candle when we are making dough. This is the moment when the different substances come together. The moment when we feel: Something new is emerging here. "

In fact, a candle is burning in the window frame near the kneading machine. The sourdough made from rye flour, salt and water that is being kneaded is brown and sticky. Prepared the evening before, without the addition of yeast, it is practically the latest offspring from the long lineage of Jürgen Zippel's sourdough culture, which he started in 1992 for the Bollheim bakery. “Of course it would be easier to use additives such as leavening agents than to manage the sourdough in three stages, as we do. Because this manual work is labor-intensive and time-consuming. ”But this is the only way that bread gets its quality and can develop its potential. When the dough is finished, a handful is removed from it and sprinkled with rye flour - "this is the starter for the dough that we will prepare tomorrow." The mill bakery stands for radical craftsmanship - apart from the three dough kneaders, no machines are used . “We undertake every work step with the awareness that our product is something living and individual. This is a big contrast to the industrial plants that spit out masses of bread, whether conventional or organic. "

The rolls are given the finishing touches before the tray is pushed into the oven. It's warm in the bakery and smells of flour and freshly baked crispy bread.

Real handcraft

Around 300 loaves of bread come out of the eight square meter oven every day. Every move is perfect, the team moves in the warm room as if in a set choreography. Between trolleys with filled proving baskets, boxes and clay molds. Around the large table in the middle is the baker's journeyman Michael Diefenthal, who has been working here since 2002 and is explaining to the new apprentice Oumar Kone how the cheese sticks are made - everything by hand, of course: the distances are measured, the dough strips cut and twisted. Cheese on top and off in the oven! Gisela Zippel pushes the finished baked goods on a trolley directly opposite into the farm shop and puts the fragrant and oven-warm delicacies on the display behind the sales counter. In addition, the mill bakery sells its goods in two organic markets and a few smaller owner-managed organic shops in the region. Customers appreciate the quality of the baked goods from the mill bakery, and bread lovers * with wheat flour allergies tolerate his spelled and emmer breads without any problems.

In search

The bakery trade is hard work, "albeit a very fulfilling one," as Jürgen Zippel emphasizes.After the many years in which he was often the first to stand in the bakery at three in the morning, he is now stepping down, because in the spring his body and his team members made it clear to him that he now has to take it slower. Today he has reached a turning point in his professional biography: “At the end of my professional life I will have the knowledge of what bread is, and I will better understand every step of development from the grain to the finished loaf - and I can support it. I've also found the words to describe it. ”A generation change is imminent - Zippel is looking for a master baker who would like to take over the farm bakery and fill it with his own ideas. The search is not easy: "There are fewer and fewer bakers - and of the few even fewer those who want to do the hard manual labor," he explains. But he is confident that he or she will find the right person who would like to continue the work here as part of the Bollheim farm organism.

Jürgen Zippel founded the mill bakery with his wife Gisela in 1992.

In another sense, too, he remains a seeker, wants to continue researching grain breeding and, at times when most bread comes from bakery factories, pursue the question with breeder Patrick Schmidt: “What is living? What is the future of grain and bread? ”And he wants to go on a journey with his wife - and maybe find a new place to stay. The longing for it, which he already feels today when he is out and about with his dog Vennja in his old green mobile home, high up from the driver's seat is the Zülpicher Börde at his feet, which passes by outside, he cranks the window for the accompanying wind - of course in real handwork! - down, one centimeter with each turn. In two years his mobile home will have achieved vintage status, by then at the latest he, Jürgen Zippel, will be a free man - and no longer a court baker.

Time is an ingredient

Whether hearty farmer's bread, light toasts, light crispbread, specialties such as ciabatta, countless types of bread - Demeter bakers bake their bread without additives. Enzymes and many other processing aids do not come into the bakery. Natural leavening agents such as in-house sourdough, baking ferment or yeast, sun-ripened Demeter grain and, above all, the necessary rest and time in dough processing ensure that the aroma can develop fully and the grain is optimally broken down. Almost forgotten grain such as einkorn, emmer, champagne rye or the ancient grain spelled as well as the varieties from biodynamic grain breeding guarantee a wide range of enjoyment.

More about Demeter breads

Unadulterated raw materials and craftsmanship for delicious taste and the best food quality.

All 20 facts