I thought I’d give you a glimpse into the day of an artisan bakery, well, my day specifically.
I arrive at Honeybuns by 7am each morning, sometimes by bike; Dorset’s meteorological conditions usually make my decisions. My first job of the day is checking and tasting the previous days baking. Our strict and consistently high standard of quality control means that nothing can be sent out until I’ve nibbled a sample of each cake and checked the appearance of yesterday’s goodies. It’s a hard life!
Elaine, our lovely and unflappable head baker, gives her instructions for that day’s orders to the bakery team. We usually divide into small teams to work on different Honeybuns delights.
This morning I’m tasked with creating our delicious gluten free Oaty Raspberry Bar. It’s one of our newer vegan and dairy free additions to our cake stable. My colleagues Sasha and Leanne are my squad today. In addition to being a dedicated gluten free bakery, we also make dairy free cakes. Our designated dairy free baking area has a window to chuckle on the doings of the Naish Farm paw patrol Mr. Bo Bo – a diminutive pooch that struts around Honeybuns on his tiny pins.
I digress, back to the Oaty Raspberry Bar. It has a soft flapjack texture and is bursting with raspberry flavour. We are a seasoned team and the cake mixture is quickly weighed up. Honeybunners are sticklers for procedure. Our anorakey attention to detail means that each ingredient is checked for its quality and batch numbers are recorded. Once we are all satisfied that everything is shipshape then the ingredients can be poured in the mixing bowl.
The bakery mixing bowls are gargantuan. Once everything is in we can wheel the bowl over to our beautiful mixers. These powerful machines look like Mr. Brunel’s handiwork. The cake mixture is ready in seconds, and next comes the tasting, and dishing out’ as we call it. The mix is wheeled over to the dairy free area, and hand dished into aluminium foil trays. Honeybuns is always trying to become more sustainable and these trays are fully recyclable. When the whole mixture is dished out and spread evenly, the full trolley of Oaty Raspberry Bar can be pulled over to the ovens for baking. We use a vintage Tom Chandley oven and set the temperature low to allow flavours to mingle and develop properly. After baking, the bars are left to cool. Once suitably chilled, they can be decorated by hand with pink tinged raspberry icing.
We can turn out a great deal of Honeybuns classic and vegan cakes during a day. We are a small team of bakers and well drilled in our recipes. Today we made Oaty Raspberry Bars, Dark Chocolate Brownies, Dark Chocolate and Orange Brownies, Apple Crumble Bars (a bespoke cake we make for one of our wholesalers, Bidfood), and our newest addition, the Peanut Butter and Jelly Brownie. All of our bakes contain different allergens. We are always mindful of keeping our allergen risks separate and contained to avoid cross contamination. Different allergen ingredients are colour coded and we are diligent in our cleaning during and after each product. At the end of the day we do a thorough clean of the bakery and all the utensils. So the cakes are stored in the bakery chiller ready for the next stage in their journey in preparation to being sent off to the many wholesalers we supply around the country.
With all the paper work completed we are homeward bound after another busy day.