Flaky layers melt in your mouth. Creamy butter and wholesome flour complement each other in a tasty fusion within the croissant. A crispy, savory outer layer and light inner layer create an indescribable flavor and sweetness that fills your entire palate, which is crowned with the soft, gentle aroma of flour.
Our fragrant and delicious breads include soft boules—wrapped in a subtle strawberry fragrance and sweetness that create a sublime, delicate flavor—French bread, English bread, pain au levain and anpan (bread filled with red-bean paste). Wouldn’t you like to peek into a bakery that makes breads like these?
A square piece of butter is wrapped within the soft, airy dough. The electric mixer begins to knead the dough, and one wonders which parts have been stretched out, for after it is kneaded three or four times, there is suddenly twice as much as before. The corners are aligned and folded in three and again kneaded. The bakers then handle the dough tenderly and, carefully moving their fingertips, they gently fold in the butter into the croissant.
The soft boules starter begins to double. The stretched-out dough looks like a freshly made rice cake, which is cut into uniform pieces and almost magically rolled into balls. Round and soft, they are pleasant to the touch. The cut edge is coiled into the ball and again made to rise.
At Miho Museum’s bakery, our bread makers lovingly handle the bread throughout the entire baking process. After all, they make their own starter. Originally, bread starter is a mixture of flour and yeast. Our leavening agent is not the usual commercial yeast, but a natural one made of airborne bacteria cultures from grapes, tangerines and strawberries, which multiply quickly in sugar water. The fruits we used, like other ingredients, are cultivated using Shumei Natural Agriculture farming method which is fertilizer and chemical-free. The cultivation of this leavening agent lies in the remarkable skill of the bread maker. It is not easy to deal with living things that you cannot see and talk to. That is why if the leaven is not handled correctly, the bread will not raise and will go sour. Even if it is baked, it falls flat. After several trials and errors, however, one day, indescribably delectable bread suddenly comes out of the oven.
The flour used in our bread comes from Canada, where it is processed from organic wheat grown in fields that have not used any chemical or agricultural fertilizers since 1978. The process to make this wheat into flour is very labor intensive, for a large mill is required to grind the wheat. Most millers asked us if they could mix in other grains when processing our flour, because we had such a small amount of wheat. We would not accept this; so many companies refused our request. But finally, after a long search, we found a miller that was willing to use only our organic wheat and to thoroughly clean their equipment before processing our flour.
The butter for our croissants comes from Kumamoto Prefecture. The cows at this dairy farm eat only fodder that is free of chemical pesticides and fertilizers. The flavor of our butter, which is free of additives, is pure and simple, but it changes depending on the temperature. This is because the cows' physical condition also changes depending on the season.
We have one more secret ingredient... Our bread makers say, “Our feelings directly affect the taste of the bread.” What does that mean? “It means that we have to create a nurturing environment not just when we are making the bread, but before we start as well, if someone feels frustrated, it is no good.”
Hence, the flavor of our bread can vary, depending on the mood during the leavening process, the condition of the cows, and the season. Under these conditions, our bread makers aim to bake the best bread for our museum visitors every day.