That is it. That is where the bread comes from, and believe it or not, if I told you how many have been baked in this little guy -I am unsure if you'd actually believe me. I quite frankly can't believe it either. But, built like a tank and imported from Belgium, it keeps turning on each day, so I am just thankful.
It holds anywhere from 3-12 loaves at a time, and was purchased new back in 2016 right when 'Micro-bakeries' were becoming a thing. Ali and I spent $5,500 of our personal savings to get the shop going and this oven was the key. Or felt like it was at the time. Later we learned (and are) that many things make this ship sail. I am just thankful it seems to have a good hull!
That being said, I have replaced the seals, light, door handle, knobs, hinges, fan all twice over now. Eventually I have given up on the light in the oven (who needs the light when its only 18" deep?) And the knobs are almost so worn out so I have notched where 'they should be' with a knife in the facade above. The stones are charred black from use, the internal steel is slightly warped and features a dark-hue to it's once brilliantly silver finish.
This oven has as many miles on it that a larger professional commercial bakery oven would have in a few short years.
On a Saturday it takes anywhere from seven to nine straight hours of bread baking to get everything out and on the shelf. Around 125-225 loaves depending on the day/season. It is my biggest blessing to have such a well-built machine, but also my biggest hinderance being meant for such small production.
Above is our new oven, waiting to be shipped and setup eventually in our Boulevard location. Each deck holds more than my whole current oven could hold in one-go. It can be programmed to turn on and be pre-heated before I arrive, separate controls for each deck. C'est une chose de beaute!
Midnight wake up time for me? Doubtful.
It is a massive leap forward for the shop, and not without its costs involved (hello very, very expensive hood-system) but the amount of time saved has me casting longingly into the-not-so-distant future of possibly having a more 'regular' lifestyle which will no longer have me getting to work by midnight on a Saturday or one any other day.
Machines are like that though, right? They can make such a difference in our daily lives, but it should be known they also can break down, need repairs and cause more than enough headaches over time as well.
I think I will take the occasional repairs for a few more hours of sleep at this point.
What will I do with all that extra free time you ask? Well, I already carve spoons, play guitar, learn(ing) another language and trying to be a dad, husband, historic homeowner...gardener, cyclist...
I think I will just bake some more bread.
A la prochaine!