Every night, a staff of six bakers (five bread, one pastry) makes hundreds of loaves of bread, buns, breakfast pastries and baked goods. Some breads are made from start to finish in one night, while others take up to three days to complete.
⇒ At 7 p.m. when the bakers arrive, some members of the team start shaping dough that fermented during the day, while others begin mixing new dough for buns and sandwich breads.
⇒ At 10 p.m. the bakers roll out baguettes into their final shape before letting them proof before baking. Making baguettes is a three day process. On day one, bakers make a “poolish” out of flour, water and instant yeast and leave it to ferment overnight. The next day, the dough is mixed and left to ferment for another day. On day three, dough is portioned, shaped and laid in a floured couche (a linen cloth made for proofing bread) for its final rising process until being baked later that night.
⇒ Throughout the night, the bakers work in teams around the bench to do various tasks, like weighing and portioning dough into loaf pans and shaping dough for various loaves. All baking must be done by 3 a.m., so there is enough time to slice, package and assemble orders. When time gets tight, Tim (the bakery manager) says “We just work faster.”
⇒ Around 11 p.m., bakers load up large racks with pan loaves for the oven. These loaves will become sandwich breads. Sandwich bread is made from start to finish in one shift. Tonight, there was a particularly large order for sandwich bread, with 90 loaves of sourdough going out to stores.
⇒ By 5 a.m., the kitchen is clean, and everything is sliced, packaged and ready for delivery. Fresh bread is delivered before stores open every day.