A Day in the Loaf
Perhaps not as early a start as you would expect, our bakers start at 6am on weekdays and 5am on weekends. The reasons for this are two fold - we like our bakers to be here when you, our customers are here, so you can ask questions and see the bread being made for yourselves. This also means the bread is fresher for our customers throughout the whole day. It hits the display at 9am, and is constantly filled until the end of a baker's working day.
We caught up with Dan, who now works in both our bakery and 'Our Kitchen', he learnt his craft in our bakery and we asked more about a typical bakery day.
The day starts with baking off sausage rolls which brings the oven up to heat while dough is being mixed Bread is the first thing to be taken care of as it is the core to our offering. Take a white tin for example, we need to weigh and mix the dough as a start Once we are happy with the dough which we will check regularly throughout, it has to be shaped by hand, ready to be placed in tins. The dough will prove in the tin as we move onto another dough, and once it has taken the shape of the tin, it is ready to be baked off. The ovens are programmed but we have a series of timers and alarms which you will often hear to check. Once the programme is complete and the bread is the colour we are looking for, it cools before hitting the display. This is the process all the way through, but at times we will be working through some of these steps to make sure we can get the bread out on display for the opening of the doors. Of course we shouldn't forget the Cookhouse next door, they want their bread fresh baked for breakfast, so we have their volumes in our bread too!
That's the start of the day taken care of, then we move onto the sweet range we do which we have really worked hard to improve while I was learning, the range may be a little smaller than it used to be but the products are something we are prouder to make now. These are often made in two's, one batch for that day and the other, held to be baked later on in the day if we are busy, or first thing next day - it's always a little comforting to know some of the work for the day ahead is started otherwise it would be a real uphill struggle to fit everything in each day. While the sweet bakes, we also begin with the prep of some of our retarding doughs for the next day too. The core lines are always the ones we work to complete first and then it is on to the speciality stuff!
It's almost time to head home once we have done everything for the display and the next morning, except for the clean-down. This is extremely thorough every day but is a must, and means we come in the next morning to a clean environment ready to do the fun part - making the bread ready to put on display.