My first day of working at the Orchard Hill Breadworks Bakery in New Hampshire was quite a wonderful experience. I immediately felt attended with the work and workers. I loved the fantastic smell of fresh bread and fire. I am living at the bakers, Noah Elbers, parents’ house in a nice room.
I started work at 6:30. I learned how to shape Hamburger buns and the Multigrain Bread. We used Noah’s particular way of shaping, which is first folding the dough and then moving the hands around the bread in a circular motion. It is helpful to try to touch the finders under the bun in order to create a nice and even surface. The Multigrain is later shaped into in an oval, rolled in oats and put in strap pans.
I prepared the icing for the hot cross buns, a British traditional Easter bun. Besides that, I labeled different containers and helped to clean up. We finally scooped the dough for the cookies on trays, ready to bake. Besides the tasks, I also got to watch and observe how to produce the dough, how to divide and shape the different breads and how the hush wood fired oven works. We finished at 1 o’clock.
At 7 o’clock, I went to help Shane, one of the workers, with The Bake, this is the main bake were all bread is baked. My task until 10 o’clock was to get the racks with the prepared bread in a special order. I put the tray, with mostly 6-8 breads in a basket on the table. Shane then could take it and load the bread into the oven. After the bread was removed from the tray, I cleaned it up and got the next one. When the warm and terrific smelling bread was unloaded I put it into boxes for tomorrows deliver.
I had off this day, so I used the time and beautiful weather to go on a long cross country ski all on my own. It was amazing!
My work day started at 6:30 again. I basically did the same work as Monday. This involved the shaping of the Multigrain and hotdog buns. I also made the egg wash, which is egg and sugar water, and later egg washed the Hamburgers, Hotdog buns and the Farm House White. Besides that I brushed the hot cross buns with orange syrup and iced them with crosses. Furthermore, I helped divide the Olive, Sourdough, and Maple Syrup bread. I was dismissed at 12:30. I went on a wonderful, long ski again, were iIhad lots of time for thinking.
From 7 to 10 o’clock, I helped and assisted at the bake. This time Sadie baked.
Today is the bakery’s Pizza Day. They deliver the Waldorf School in Kiene with Pizza. I came in at 8 o’clock today. Together with Shane, I shaped the dough and topped it with tomato sauce, mushrooms, onions, peppers, turkey sausage and cheese. I had completely done two pizzas on my own, which included the loading and unloading. This was a little bit complicated because I had to get the pizza in and out if the wood fired oven with a peel. Oh and by the way the pizza tasted really good!
The fact that it rained today did not hold me back from going on a ski in the afternoon. It was quite an adventure because I had to cross a big lake, that had lots of water above the ice from the rain.
Saturday 3/28/15 & Sunday 3/29/15
I was sick over the weekend and did not have to work.
Sadly, this was my last day of working. I started work at 6:30 and finished at 1 o’clock. I worked on the usual things, egg washing, shaping, labeling, spooning cookies and watching.
At 7 o’clock, I helped Shane with the bake for the last time. Noah also told me a lot about the business and how it works today, which was really interesting.
And, I just decided on coming back to the bakery after my graduation. This bakery is a very peaceful and magnificent place. The family and workers I stayed with are very kind and caring people and I was able to build wonderful friendships. I really enjoyed this practicum. It taught me a lot and I am really thankful for this experience–much appreciated! I had a great time and will miss the work, people and the smell and taste of the Best Bread In The World!
Remark: I still have two more days at this gorgeous place and will hopefully get to work on Wednesday morning again before I leave for vacation.