Reviving The Ancient Fermentation Method

Eric Kayser was born into a family of bakers. He has bread in his DNA. He joined the Compagnons du Devoir (a traditional craftsmen’s guild) at a young age, helping to perpetuate traditional methods and cultivating his own passion for passing on his knowledge and skills. Having plied his trade as an educator, Eric Kayser decided set up his own company, giving him an outlet to communicate his unique vision. The company now boasts an extensive international presence.

A key moment came in 1994 with the invention of the Fermentolevain, a revolutionary machine that keeps liquid leavening agent at just the right temperature, making it easier to work with. This enabled Eric Kayser to pursue his ambition of creating bread with a creamy center, distinctive grain, dried fruit flavors and an excellent shelf-life. 

What sets Eric Kayser apart from the rest is his commitment to using natural leavening agent in his breads and pastries. This fermentation agent is inextricably linked with the history of bread. It is a mixture of water, flour and sugars (honey, in the case of Eric Kayser) which is then chilled and allowed to rest. It was the first such agent to be used in bread production, so it comes as no surprise that it contains only natural ingredients.

Yet it fell largely out of favor in the 20th century and was replaced by yeast, which is easier to manage and produces fast-rising, high-volume bread. However, the use of yeast results in bread that has a shorter shelf-life and a less distinctive flavor than bread made with a leavening agent.

This is the main reason why Eric Kayser set about reviving this time-honored process, and why a leavening agent is now used in all our breads, croissants, brioches and other products. This fermentation technique is particularly beneficial at a time of increasing health-consciousness, delivering products that the human body is better able to digest and tolerate, and they taste great, too.

Eric Kayser in Indonesia

In Indonesia, Eric Kayser opened his first outlet in Plaza Senayan on 2014. Until today, he already had 4 outlets, including outlets in France Embassy, Lippo Mall Puri, and Gandaria City. In here, European bread is not a mainstream market as we are used to eating the softer Asian bread. To make it worse, we had even fewer outlets that serve proper European bread. Of course, educating the market who already had its own belief on the ideal texture of bread is quite challenging, even for Eric Kayser.

If you’re not familiar with European bread, you may opt for their viennoiserie (commonly known as danish pastry) products. Plain Croissant, Pain Au Raisin, and Almond Croissant are perfect starters, because even though we already familiar with viennoiserie products, it’s surpringly rare to see outlets outside hotels that serve proper one. With its flaky and crunchy outer layer, the inside of a croissant has to stay soft and moist. For the authentic French taste and texture, the use of 100% butter is definitely mandatory.

The next step would be to try their favorite bread lines such as Garlic Cheese, Rustic Cheese or Garlic Bread. To meet the demand of Indonesian who’s deeply in love with sweet, it’s no wonder that Eric Kayser’s cakes such as Éclair Coffee Gold, Lemon Tart, Sacher became visitors’ favorites. Eric Kayser is known for showing no compromise when it comes to bread and pastry, however Eric Kayser deliberately offers more heavier food menus than in any other countries, as requested by Indonesians. Surprisingly, the foods here were made seriously, unlike any bakeries that offer food menus just for the sake of having food menus on the list. At least, that’s our impression from their new menus such Poulet Roti, Barramundi en Papilote, and especially, Ham and Cheese Quiche.

If you’ve tried European bread and think that it’s not for you, give yourself one more chance by trying Eric Kayser’s. To reach even wider audience, Eric Kayser is planning to open up Maison Kayser, Eric Kayser’s more affordable sister brand that will be present in some of the leading malls in Jakarta.