Brot \bro:t\ - German for
2.loaf of bread
3.slice of bread
Inspired by artisan foods and the rich baking traditions from around the world
Brotbakery was launched in 2012, after more and more people stopped by for the breads we made in the wood-fired oven of our Vermont farmhouse. Growing up in Germany we were heavily influenced by the rustic, hearty country loaves you still find in many European bakeries, with inspiration from the rich food traditions and bread-skills in the Americas.
From dark, crusty wheat loaves to sweet rye breads: We make bread the way it should be made: Starting with organic grains, sourdough culture and salt, adding just water and lots of time to develop flavor, texture and digestibility. Once you've taken a bite you'll taste the difference.
Thankful to be based in Vermont - where local, fresh ingredients are bountiful and community support is strong - we pride ourselves on using only the freshest, most flavorful ingredients. Whenever possible we source from our Fairfax bakery homestead and from local farms where the land, animals and workers are treated with respect and integrity. By promoting the use of chemical-free, whole food ingredients, we hope to continue building a holistic food culture, ensuring nutrient-dense, natural foods remain an option for the next generation.
Visit our bakery on Saturdays in the summer to taste some bread, sip a coffee and check out the wood-fired oven, or come and take a baking class with us!
BROT BAKEHOUSE SCHOOL AND KITCHEN
Our baking school Brot Bakehouse School and Kitchen was created to help bakers understand the basic principles of sourdough baking - be it bread, pastries or advanced specialties like Panettone.
We focus on small, hands-on classes and technical information to help you understand the alchemy of sourdough baking. But you're not spending the day in your typical 'school classroom': Our working bakery is nestled between Lake Champlain and the beautiful Green Mountains of Vermont; where European hospitality and a serene setting meet high-quality instruction. Our teaching approach is different than in many other classes: Expect to put your hands in the dough and be challenged - and to leave with a new appreciation of the world of flour, wild yeasts and microorganism.
This is the perfect environment for those who want to learn and unwind - and then after a day of learning smell the most beautiful thing in the world (well, at least for us...): freshly baked bread.
As members of the global community we are committed to giving back to nature by treating all humans, other animals and the environment with respect and care. Check out our partner organization WeKneadNature, a group of bakers, millers, brewers and grain-lovers. Our goal is to promote making environmentally-friendly decisions in business, support conservation initiatives, and provide educational opportunities. By taking a class with us you are supporting this cause and are an active part to a step towards a more sustainable future. All profits from the Brot Bakehouse School and Kitchen classes go to WeKeadNature and other community based, national or international groups fighting climate change, food insecurities, human rights and animal rights. Our guest instructors always choose a cause that feels important to them for the donation part of their class. Thank YOU for being a part of this important work.
We are proud to have received the internationally recognized Slow Food "Snail of Approval" certification in 2015, a unique, world-wide recognized award that recognizes the work with quality, sustainable and local foods. We are also a member of the Bread House Network, an international network of bakers and food activists promoting the idea of positive social change in the world through bread-making service and high touch therapy.
We teach classes and workshops year-round in our modern, inviting bakehouse and kitchen located in the beautiful countryside of northern Vermont. We are also available for private classes and group classes that can be tailored to your needs - please check our class page for upcoming classes and more information, or email us for more information.
What students say:
"Fantastic traditional sourdough breads. Expert instruction. The most wonderful people! Idyllic Vermont setting. Definitely recommend a visit..." - Josh
"First rate sourdough bread... Like back in Germany, even a bit better. Lecker (yummy)!!!" - Joseph
"This was my second class at Brot and I'm still dreaming of the rye bread with the spices we made in class. Both classes were very different but both were excellent - Anna and Heike are excellent teachers. I learned a lot of now things and gained a new appreciation for sourdough breads. I especially like the relaxed yet sophisticated kitchen and the European hospitality. Will definitely come back for another class!" - Mary
"Best vegan pastries I've ever tasted! Not too sweet - and some were made with sourdough! I tried some of the things we made in class at home right away and my family didn't even notice those were dairy and sugar-free because they just tasted so good. My favorite is the Black Currant Cheese Cake!" - Ann
"This is the best sourdough school I've been to - and I took classes in New York and Europe. Heike has a deep knowledge of sourdough baking and the classes are well organized and fun. Tasting all the breads at the end is a highlight" - Thomas
Q: Will you offer in-person classes during the COVID-19 pandemic?
A: Yes, we plan to return to in-person classes with a maximum number of 8 people in each class this summer. The classes will largely be outside, but occasionally we will need to move into the well-ventilated bakery. We continue the social-distance protocols by requiring all students to wear a mask indoors and keep at least 6 ft distance indoors or outdoors.
To protect everybody's health we will also ask all participants to bring a negative COVID-19 test result no older than 48 hours or be fully vaccinated by the time they are taking a class. Please protect yourself, your family and our communities from becoming infected with the virus and please stay home if you are feeling sick or have any symptoms of COVID-19. We count on your help and collaboration to be able to bring back our in-person classes this summer!
Please note that we will always follow the rules and guidelines of the Vermont Department of Health when holding our classes. This could mean travel restrictions for people arriving from out-of-state or new quarantine requirements. We also reserve the right to cancel any class should it be deemed necessary. In this case, a full refund or will be given.
Q: Can you accommodate dietary restrictions and food allergies?
A: Please let us know about dietary choices ahead of time - we are usually able to accommodate them and are happy to offer tasty alternatives. The classroom is a working bakery and we use wheat, soy, nuts, seeds and dairy plus other allergens in our daily production. Please note that we are not equipped to host guests with serious food allergies.
Q: Do you serve or cook with meat in class?
A: We are a vegetarian bakehouse, school and kitchen and do not offer classes or products that contain meat. However, we use locally sourced, organic dairy and cheese in several products and in the kitchen. All class tastings have vegan options.
Q: Can I bring children to the baking or cooking classes?
A: We welcome children of all ages to visit the bakery, but taking a class is probably not for most children under the age of 16. Certain classes are more hands-on and better suited for young adults and kids, but most classes are long and require attention and a basic understanding of culinary techniques. We are happy to create a private class for your family or group with children; here we can tailor each class to your family's needs and the age of your children.
Who We Are:
Growing up in bread-centered Germany, Heike Meyer, bakeress and founder of Brotbakery, developed a taste for good bread and pastries early on, strictly requesting only the heartiest whole grain rye breads for her Kindergarten lunch box and developing her first pastry recipe (an apple cake that was barely edible) at age 5.
Since then Heike has been baking alongside respected master bakers in Germany, France and the United States. Every year she takes a winter break to travel the "world of food", discovering traditions, researching new recipes and learning new techniques and honoring the rich traditions of artisan bakers and food makers around the globe. Her husband Jens and bakery-dog Indy are the happy "test-eaters" of the bakehouse.
In the summer months we bake hand-shaped breads fresh in the wood-fired oven, right here in the Vermont bakehouse, were we are also constantly developing new recipes with our own sourdough culture, freshly ground flours and organic ingredients. The breads are flavorful, crusty loaves of country-style breads & sprouted grains, made from heritage wheat, spelt and rye - plus some unusual pastries and cakes for the sweet tooth.
P.S.. Brot is the German word for bread, the phonetic spelling is our logo: \bro:t\
More about the bakeress...
Heike Meyer was born and raised in Berlin, Germany and studied Food & Nutrition as well as Tourism & Foreign Languages at Fachhochschule Kiel/Germany. She traveled the world for many years while working in the tourism sector and later in the media industry, never leaving her passion for baking out of sight. In 2008 she moved to Vermont to focus solely on natural baking, the art of pastry making and food education. Heike learned the art of bread baking at Weichard Brot, Berlin's oldest biodynamic bakery, and with Jeffrey Hamelman at King Arthur Flour & Bakery in Vermont. She has studied with craft bakers at Tartine Bakery in San Francisco, Blue Hill at Stone Barnes in New York, Runner and Stone in Brooklyn, and many others.