The bakery

Westmalle Abbey recently breathed new life into its bakery. The fresh bread that leaves the modern brick oven is served at the monks’ table and is enjoyed by the brothers as well as their guests. This abbey bread is distributed to other Trappist monasteries as well and it is also served at the nearby Café Trappisten.

The baking process


Product quality is paramount. This is the first priority for everything produced by the abbey. The dough is made using a very fine type of flour (also known as French flour), pure spring water, yeast and salt. No other additives are used to enhance the bread; the monks merely add a little peanut oil to prevent the bread from going stale.

The monks let the dough mature for a long time. This is how the bread acquires its unique taste. First of all, the dough is proved for half-an-hour as a solid mass. It is then shaped into a ball and proved for another 30 minutes. It is then placed into a mould where it continues to rise for a full hour.  Only then does the dough enter the brick oven.

Bread for the Abbey and Café Trappisten


The Trappist bread is not for sale. It is mainly served at mealtimes within the Abbey of Westmalle and is consumed by the monks as well as their guests. The abbey also bakes bread for the Trappistine nuns in Brecht.

If you want to taste the bread for yourself, you can do so at Café Trappisten opposite Westmalle Abbey. The café serves the bread with a variety of its dishes. 

  • The dough is blended.
  • Forming the dough into loaves.
  • Raisin bread dough is placed in the mould.
  • The surface of the bread is pricked before it enters the oven.
  • The baker checks the bread in the oven.
  • The freshly baked bread is removed from the oven.
  • The brewery bakes bread, French rolls called pistolets and raisin bread.
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