Master Miklós - PANO Budapest

by Greenstic on Dec 19, 2022

Mester Miklós - PANO Budapest

Wild sourdough bread requires humility

In the brand new and state-of-the-art workshop of PANO Budapest, Mihály Juhász and Mester Miklós prepare bread made with natural sourdough. Not anyway...

They claim that real bread - especially when it is produced in such large quantities - requires patience and humility in addition to expertise and technological discipline. In order to ensure not only the quality but also the beneficial physiological effect of the bread, you equipped the plant with the best available machines and technology.

Now, k is a craftsman, but isn't he? At first glance, we are in a large-scale, industrial environment, but seeing and knowing the product, it is difficult to reconcile the two. Where are we, what kind of bakery is PANO Budapest?


You are looking in the right place, PANO Budapest is actually a start-up business, even if it looks like a well-equipped, modern bakery. 3 years ago, my friend Misi Juhász (Jacques Liszt, Misi a pék) and I thought that the demand for wild-leavened artisan breads was greater than the supply, and that this could be remedied by making this, which is otherwise extremely difficult and requires a lot of attention, we are trying to place the bread-making process in a highly efficient industrial environment. After one year of planning and one year of construction, the plant was built with the help of a domestic investor. Before us, there was no similar plant from which we could have obtained ready-made technologies, we had to build the entire system, and now, roughly a year after the start, we can say that our breads are made every day, reliably, stable, and of high quality. So we are doing something that is not very common or not at all unprecedented in our country, but to the best of our knowledge, not even in Europe.

To our great pleasure, our products have been available online at since the beginning, and you can also find them on the shelves of Spar, but we also deliver to many bakeries and restaurants.

What does the term wild sourdough mean and what makes these breads so difficult to prepare?


Wild sourdough is a term that came out of necessity, because according to the Hungarian Food Book, sourdough can also contain baker's yeast, which results in a completely different product than the yeast and additive-free bread made by us and artisan bakeries, containing only flour, water and salt. Thus, the use of the word sourdough confuses the two products, while the use of wild sourdough or natural sourdough results in much healthier, more digestible, and longer-lasting bread. The customer is scratching his head, not understanding the difference, but that usually only lasts until he tastes the bread.

Precisely because wild yeast is a living organism, a fermented (fermented) mixture of flour and water. and requires a lot of experience. The finished bread is the end of a long, 24-hour process, and it can slip in many places along the way. Flour quality, hydration, PH value, kneading, ripening, processing, cooling, baking. All of these are equally important, and they all work a little differently here than in a small artisanal bakery.

As far as I know, bakeries are particularly hard hit by the energy crisis, what is the situation with you?


For the time being, we are trying to offset the energy prices with our size and efficiency, in fact, it is a little joy in my heart that lately the price of yeast breads available in stores and bakeries has risen to such an extent that the (price) gap between them and the price of wild sourdough bread has started to close between, so more and more customers try these breads.

What does sustainability mean in your case, how do you try to help the environment?


Given that furnaces that are sufficiently large, fast, efficient and that work with electricity have not yet been invented, therefore, even if we were to build a solar park next to the plant, we are forced to burn gas, which we are trying to offset with carbon neutrality. The calculation is currently underway, a year's worth of data is available, and soon we will spend an amount corresponding to the amount of carbon dioxide released into the air on tree planting. Our machines represent the most modern technology available, and due to their high efficiency, they do not spin all day, and we do not burn energy unnecessarily. There is practically no waste in the factory, we also give away the remaining bread. There is no need for packaging, the breads are delivered in compartments, but when we pack, we make sure to use recycled and degradable materials.

Do you have plans for how you see the future?


We have to get through this crisis somehow, and then of course we have many plans on the product and territorial growth front. A product from healthy, sustainable farming and production has always been, is and will be increasingly needed, there are still plenty of bakery products that can be made healthier, prettier and smarter. We believe in this, this is what we want to deal with.