Established in 2009, Levain Bakery aims to promote the interest in European artisan bread in Hong Kong by producing premium quality breads and pastries. Using carefully selected high quality ingredients, all products are made without any bread improvers, additives, synthetic flavourings or preservatives. A fair number of our products are vegan and contains lower gluten content than most commercially available breads.
Among the breads we make are baguettes, sourdoughs, pan breads, brioche and croissants. We also bake a range of traditional European desserts and serve sandwiches, desserts.
All products are handmade by artisan bakers and we are one of the very few bakeries in Hong Kong using 100% levain in our sourdoughs. We also avoid production shortcuts because they benefit the business at the expense of product quality. We strive to use Aichermühle Mill (estd. 1589) flour in many of our products. The Mill is located in the foothills of the Alps, which span across Austria (the Salzburger Land region) and Germany (the Chiemgau and Rupertiwinkel districts in Bavaria).Over the years, we have established ourselves as a specialist of European artisanal breads and we want to share our vast knowledge of European breads, pastries and desserts with Hong Kongers.
Pablo Neruda famously said “bread, truth, wine, dreams” were mankind’s most fundamental products upon receiving his Nobel Prize for Literature in 1971. At Levain, these four words aptly summarises what we believe in. It is our goal to deliver artisanal European breads with integrity, using only prime ingredients and ever-improving techniques to provide life’s simple pleasures to everyone. Our efforts to continue delivering top of the line products rests on endless research and ever-improving techniques.
Master KC Li
.is he who prepares our daily bread: the nearest baker who does not imagine himself to be a god. He does his majestic and unpretentious work of kneading the dough, consigning it to the oven, baking it in golden colours and handing us our daily bread as a duty of fellowship…
– Pablo Neruda, 1971
An avid bread-lover, KC Li found the breads in Hong Kong largely unsatisfactory. Even though there was a dizzying number of options, the products themselves were light and airy and reeked mostly of dried yeast, vanillin and/or various enhancers. This was very unlike the breads he had overseas which were taste-rich in the very ingredients they were made of and hearty with every bite.
Armed with a M.Phil. in Physics, KC proceeded to conduct his own experiments to make bread that were not only authentic but free from artificial enhancers. He first started in his home kitchen and then continued as an apprentice at a local franchise. Over two years, he isolated variables and understood the key fundamentals of making bread. As he mastered Hong Kong style breads, he decided to take on the challenge of making traditional European breads. Authentic traditional European breads are made only with flour, water, salt and wild yeasts, and also demands technical mastery to achieve a great product. Together with a keen entrepreneurial spirit, that was how Levain came about in 2009.
Today KC specialises in artisanal European breads such as sourdoughs, crusty French breads and delectable pastries and, continues to refine his techniques in baking.