Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) constitutes a growing public health concern in western countries. Bacteria with anti-inflammatory properties are lacking in the dysbiosis accompanying IBD. Selected strains of probiotic bacteria with anti-inflammatory properties accordingly alleviate symptoms and enhance treatment of ulcerative colitis in clinical trials. Such properties are also found in selected strains of dairy starters such as Propionibacterium freudenreichii and Lactobacillus delbrueckii (Ld). We thus investigated the possibility to develop a fermented dairy product, combining both starter and probiotic abilities of both lactic acid and propionic acid bacteria, designed to extend remissions in IBD patients. We developed a single-strain Ld-fermented milk and a two-strain P. freudenreichii and Ld-fermented experimental pressed cheese using strains previously selected for their anti-inflammatory properties. Consumption of these experimental fermented dairy products protected mice against trinitrobenzenesulfonic acid induced colitis, alleviating severity of symptoms, modulating local and systemic inflammation, as well as colonic oxidative stress and epithelial cell damages. As a control, the corresponding sterile dairy matrix failed to afford such protection. This work reveals the probiotic potential of this bacterial mixture, in the context of fermented dairy products. It opens new perspectives for the reverse engineering development of anti-inflammatory fermented foods designed for target populations with IBD, and has provided evidences leading to an ongoing pilot clinical study in ulcerative colitis patients. © 2015 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.