25. Aug, 2018

A night in Ludlow with Robert Swift

A few weeks ago I worked at Robert Swifts new Bakery in Ludlow, it was a short 3am till 8am visit, when one says, must do that one again sometime....we set a date for Friday/Saturday 24/25th. Start at 1.30 till finish making all weekend breads and BH Monday. When arriving to the bakery, his son Elliot and Robert started the dough’s already for a head start. Looking at the pile of order sheets I was certain it was going to be a busy night ahead. So many different breads, rolls, speciality breads....it is like 1 massive math exercise, how many Kgs of one dough makes one part of an order and then there are 50ish orders....so if one thinks it is just a bit of flower and water etc....think again, like and upside down pyramid starting at the top working your way all the way down. To keep all together and cross things of as they were done was an experience I never forget but I can compare it with running a kitchen in a way, building preparations and working towards the customers chosen dish....but you only have 15 minutes for that. my role was to weigh every bit of dough for rolls and all the breads these were then shaped, proved and baked, before packed  and  then send with the delivery van. As I was doing my part, it was at some point a kind of...no end was near as Rob kept making more dough...

As it was getting warmer in the bakery so was I but that was from trying to keep up, helping Elliot and David (co-worker) shaping breads and weighing more dough’s gradually reduced the order lists and at some time around 4ish am...one said we broken the back of it...my thoughts were ...only half way, as soon Robert finished his dough’s he joined in and Elliot moved to baking while the others were getting on top of the last order sheets...

This went on till about 6.30am when word was that we were working on the last 60 wedding rolls. Relief in a way , no mistakes were made as everyone stuck to the plan and this made me feel great to be part of this team and the whole experience. 

Thanks Robert for having me, it was an honour to work alongside of you and your team. I know at some point I will do this again as bread making is one of my favoured tasks.

See you again soon with a full report of 3 days at Ludlow food festival working with 2 fantastic artisan food producers promoting a joint new product...can't wait for that weekend