With temperatures dropping and ovens turning up, Ole & Steen is looking to help bakers celebrate sourdough season.

This fall, the Danish bakery is highlighting seven different types of bread within its six New York City locations. Ole & Steen’s operations manager and official bread aficionaDOUGH, Josh Pickens, is also providing his top four tips and tricks for baking the best bread possible.

Tip #1: Use a Scale

“Measuring cups can vary depending on how you fill your container. Is the flour sifted? Packed/scooped? To increase precision and accuracy, grab a scale and make calculated adjustments. Once you feel confident making the same recipe, you can then start to make adjustments intuitively.”

Tip #2: Time and Temperature

“Adding cold water to the yeast may make it slow and lifeless, but hot water can cause it to move too quickly - both create a bread that’s flat and dense. The sweet spot is around 78-85°F. At Ole & Steen, we go a little colder on our mixes to give us more time with the larger batch sizes.”

Tip #3: Color = Flavor

“With a long fermentation sourdough, a dark-colored bake is ideal. The extended fermentation allows enzymes in the bread to break down starches. As a result, the sugars add color to the crust while also making the bread more digestible. Caramelization creates a bouquet of flavors, complemented by the flavor of the bread inside. While lighter loaves will still be delicious, they haven’t fully caramelized or reached their full flavor potential.”

Tip #4: Storage

“Good sourdough bread should last a couple days if wrapped and stored at room temperature. For larger loaves, we recommend freezing slices of the bread for safe keeping. When you’re ready to eat, pop them in the toaster! Avoid the refrigerator - this temperature accelerates the degradation. Give your bread the love it deserves!”

Ole & Steen was founded in Copenhagen in 1991 by Ole Kristofferson and Steen Skallebaek. The bakery satisfies customers with classic Copenhagen breads like the skagen, olander, rye and sourdough loaves. One of the standouts is the Danish rye bread (recipe here), which uses a sourdough rise and requires three days to produce. The bakery is seen as a pioneer in the resurgence of artisanal and handcrafted baking practices in Denmark, and that's reflected in the bread quality.