July 20, 2009

Typical Day at the Bakery...

I am frequently asked what time I get started, or what time I get up, and the reaction to my answer is often of shock and awe...but really it isnt so bad. At 3am I feel like I am one of the few on all of 8th street, and I get to do what I love. Its the calm before the storm, and it takes time to set the stage.
I thought I could take this opportunity to describe and share photos of a typical morning for myself and the crew at Earth Bound Bakery...it usually starts with a very strong, very short Americano.
Post coffee and production planning, it all begins with the weighing and mixing of doughs. Baguettes are first, as the poolish stays in the mixing bowl overnight, then the sourdoughs, as they take the longest to ferment properly. Depending on the day, I might have three or more specialty breads on the menu, and they follow a logical mixing schedule, one to follow the other like a mills mess cascade (juggling pattern).
While doughs mix, Jason and I hand laminate the croissant dough for the day, roll out tart shells, mix muffins and cookies. If timing suits, we can roast garlic for bread, blanch asparagus, poach rhubarb, or prepare vegetables for soup. But it is more likely to do these things after the bread is out of the oven.
Small batch bread baking is so much about timing. Ten minutes early, or twenty minutes late can make a huge difference in quality of product; at this point in the morning, timers are our best friend. Some breads need to be knocked back once, twice, sometimes three times, and left to ferment until just right for scaleing. Each loaf should weigh the same, so they can bake at the same rate.
Once we have sheets of croissant in the proofer, and scaled bread on the boards, the oven is hot and happy. At 6am, 8th street will be filled with the aroma of our early morning production, but the best is yet to come...


  1. This sounds so romantic! And it is...

  2. I think this sounds insane. And it is.... but I like the chocolate croissants, so if you like the hours, I'm cool with that.

  3. Thanks so much for this article! I'm doing a project for school on the daily workings of a bakery, and this post really helped.

  4. Nice! I love eating and buying bread at the bakery.