Friday, May 30, 2008

Baking with Noah at Orchard Hill Breadworks

Last night Amelia, who was visiting from Boston, and I took a trip up to East Alstead to visit Noah and check out out his new snazzy bread oven in action. For the last ten years Noah has been slowly building his bakery, Orchard Hill Breadworks. Last year Noah installed a giant, new oven built by a Spanish company. The oven is heated by wood from below and has a central cooking surface that rotates, allowing Noah to load the oven in fourths. By the time that he loads the final quarter, the bread in the first quarter to be loaded has rotated all the way around the oven and is, meaning that Noah is constantly unloading quarters of cooked bread to replace them with uncooked dough without having to sit around and wait for a batch to be done.

Amelia and I arrived around 9pm, just as the oven was getting hot enough and Noah was readying himself to load the first batch of the 1,200 lbs. worth of dough to be baked that night. With so much to do, Noah was in constant motion while we visited. Moving with practiced efficiency, Noah told us story of the construction of the new oven while he continued loading and unloading loaves. The oven was built by two Spaniards who arrived with the oven speaking no English. In a little over a week, the giant oven was built and then the rest of the wall and roof where built around the new oven.

Amelia and I hung out with Noah until the first batch came out of the oven. Noah gave us a warm loaf to take home (I think it was sunny flax wheat bread). Warm, just out-of-the oven bread is just about as good as it gets. Here are a few photos from the evening:

1 comment:

Amy said...

Nice beard you have going there Loren! Getting into the Seattle grunge vibe early?