Running a bakery – like running any business – comes with a lot of challenges, but I find it also hugely rewarding. Bread baking is one of the oldest crafts in the world and the way we bake in our bakery differs only in degree not in principle from the way it has been done for hundreds, if not thousands of years.
Yes we use a few machines like mixers, food processors, bun dividers, and dish washers that did not exist back in the good old days. Our ovens are no longer heated by lighting a wood fire directly on the stone tiles either. But the ingredients we use are for the most parts organic or when organic quality is not available, or for other reasons not practicable we make sure, there are no artificial substances involved.
Most of our breads are made using the ancient techniques of sourdough fermentation and for a lot of our pastry doughs we prefer to use very little fresh yeast and instead give those doughs some extra time to develop flavour and relax and become workable.
Walking into the bakery in the morning always fills my heart with joy. The smell often already greets me outside, as I am locking up my bike, and seeing all the freshly baked loaves, croissants, danishes and cakes never fails to makes me extremely proud of all my bakers and pastry chefs, who worked all through the night and early morning hours to make this happen.
In this section of the blog, I will be talking, on a semi-regular basis, about some of the amazing things that happen inside the heart of Bread & Butter Bakery and I will also share some of the challenges that practicing an ancient craft in a modern world, where most people don’t grow up aspiring to be a baker, a pastry chef, or cook comes with. As most people, who run businesses will probably tell you, the hardest part of running a business is dealing with people. We are such hugely complex creatures. Life is hard and random and often gets in the way of our plans and aspirations. And when you run a business that relies on people’s hands and minds being productive then the problems and challenges in their lives sometimes become yours.