Hi! I’m Tom
I’m a master miller, a baker and Kiekebich is my project.
Kiekebich is not a conventional bakery. More than a place where bread is made and sold, it’s a tool to transmit my own vision of breadmaking, an opportunity to teach traditional skills and to share my passion for good bread.
In 2014, I discovered a 13th century watermill in Sint-Gertrudis-Pede (Dilbeek, next to Brussels). I got to know the people and fell in love with the traditional process of milling and baking bread in a wood-fired oven. I decided to get a « master miller » degree and started volunteering at the Pedemolen (still do) to learn and transmit everything about flour milling and baking in a wood-fired oven.
In 2015, I left my career in the music business and went all in for my passion. I started working for like-minded bakers to learn all about traditional breadmaking and baking techniques.
Slowly the itch to start proposing my own interpretation of baking good, healthy, nourishing and fair bread for the people around me became irresistible.
That’s how Kiekebich was born.
What’s “good bread” to me?
— Natural ingredients
The flour and the other ingredients must be free of chemical treatment, free from additives and enhancers.
The dough should be well hydrated, with good quality, natural water.
I almost exclusively use sourdough for my breads. I believe you will never be able to get the real complex flavor and all the aroma’s of traditional artisan bread if you don’t use a good homemade natural sourdough. Sourdough will make a bread healthier, easier to digest, taste good, and will stay fresh for much longer. And no, it doesn’t mean your bread will be sour.
To me a bread should be well baked but not burnt! Its crust should display three different colors (brown, tan and dark brown), it should be thick enough yet crunchy, and the crumb should be irregular, with cells of all sizes. The texture should be chewy without ever being gummy.
What do I believe in?
— Flour Power
I use different types of flour for the preparation of my products. Most cereals are grown and are milled to flower within a radius of 30 Km around Brussels.
I get most of my flour at the Flietermolen in Tollembeek but sometimes I also get special batches from other artisan mills in Belgium or abroad when it’s really worth trying, or just because I was touched by the way the farmers or the millers work, or by the people themselves.
Organic food is good, but that’s not enough. More important than being « organic » (bio), it should be natural and produced with respect for nature and for the people who produce it. I don’t have the local « bio » label but I guarantee that all my products contain only non-industrial, natural and respectful ingredients, organic and local when possible.
Beware that my products contain allergens. Some may come from the ingredients, some may accidentally end up in the product by cross-contamination.
Also, the composition of my products may slightly vary in time. Do not hesitate to ask more details, I’ll be happy to tell you all about my products in absolute transparency.
Except for people who have a gluten allergy (coeliac), there’s nothing wrong with the gluten naturally contained in some cereals. Gluten has always been contained in most cereals used to make bread. It is essential to making good bread.
The natural flours I use at Kiekebich and the way my breads are fermented with sourdough make the gluten perfectly digestible for the great majority of people. Try for yourself and see if it works for your organism too.
My prices are based on the quality of the ingredients used and the labour required to deliver the best possible products. For this reason, I can’t and I won’t compete with industrial productions and supermarket prices. My goal is to provide you with the best quality products, which can’t be obtained from cheap ingredients or mechanical processes.
By buying my products, you contribute to a healthy and sustainable chain of production supported by passionate people whose main concern is quality for the end consumer, care for the environment, and a fair salary for the actors of the chain.