….two weeks ago I started volunteering at Montgomery’s Inn
Twice a week I go to Montgomery’s Inn to bake bread. On Tuesday we prepare the dough using an industrial mixer, proof the dough and then store it in the large commercial refrigerators. On the following day we prepare the sourdough bread with a sourdough starter and then shape the dough we made the day before.
Each week we make about six different bread doughs plus two sourdough breads. So far I’ve helped prepare rustic white, whole wheat, light rye, Frankconia, thyme and garlic, rosemary and garlic, oatmeal bread, red wine and walnut bread and date and walnut bread.
We shape the dough into rounds or loaves and some of the sourdough goes into loaf pans. Some have different toppings and each bread has it’s own signature cut on top.
I’ve also helped start the fire in the large outdoor brick oven that can hold up to 50 loaves of bread. Once the oven gets up to about 530 degrees the coals are swept out and then it is quickly swept with a wet mop. In about 25 to 30 minutes delicious hot bread comes out of the oven and is quickly transported to the Farmers’ Market at the Inn.
Each day about 3 to 4 of us work on making the dough and baking the bread. I’m quickly learning the ropes and am thoroughly enjoying the experience. Presently I am the only woman in the group but my fellow bakers are making me feel right at home and allowing me to experience every aspect of this bread making process.