Monks Revive Ancient Bread Baking Tradition with a Modern Twist
In the village of Khutsubani, at the St. George Monastery, an age-old tradition of bread baking is being revitalized with a unique and innovative approach. The monks use natural yeast, crafted from machchi and mchadi flour, for their bread-making process. This method, deeply rooted in ancient customs, requires 14-16 hours of meticulous attention.
Three varieties of this artisanal monastery bread have found their way into chain stores in Batumi and Kobuleti, in addition to local village sales.
"Georgia is home to 14 of the world's 24 wheat types, including 5 endemic Georgian varieties. Our journey in bread making began about 8 years ago with the intent of reviving the old Georgian method of using natural yeast. Our breakthrough came when we developed yeast from our cutting board. Mchadi flour, after being soaked for 12-14 hours, yields this natural yeast. Unlike chemical yeast that makes dough rise in an hour, our process is much lengthier. However, it ensures that the bread retains its distinctive taste and aroma," the producers explained.
The transition to a larger production scale took five years. "Initially, we didn't envision this as a commercial venture, but the overwhelming positive response from our customers encouraged us to expand. Currently, we bake 600 loaves daily, and our bread is available in stores across Batumi and Kobuleti," shared Sergi Gogol.