Wonderful food, a warm welcome and a beautiful location.

Live Blog Friday: Bread Box Day!

[This is one in a series of blog posts written by Charlotte the Intern.  Tune in daily to find out about what she’s been up to, what she has been learning about, and all of the crazy things she does as part of the Manna from Devon team.]

Welcome to the first (and possibly only) edition of Live Blog Friday, in which I update the blog throughout the day with what’s happening over here at Manna from Devon!  I’ve chosen a particularly active day for this to happen: Bread Box day.  Check back periodically today to see what a day in life of an intern is like!

4:45 am: Wake up.

5:00 am: Downstairs for coffee and mixing doughs.

5:15 am: Writing this post.  Have only just noticed from looking at this picture that my sweater is on inside out.


5:30 am: Mixing the first dough.  Coffee hasn’t kicked in yet and calculating ratios is especially difficult.  At least I haven’t sloshed the flour out of the mixer and all over myself yet.


5:50 am: Breakfast is leftover apple galette from last night’s popup supper.  Things are looking up after all.


6:15 am: All White sourdough has just gotten its first fold.  Pain de Campagne is in the mixer, and our experimental beetroot bread is all mixed up.



7:20 am: Where has the time gone?!  Took a quick break to answer some food fest emails and convert my pumpkin bread/cake recipe to the amount we need for today’s bread order.  Then gave our sourdoughs another fold and got all of the ingredients for the pumpkin cake together to bake later this morning.  As an aside, David and I were just discussing the cultural break between the US and the UK on the subject of pumpkin as a cooking ingredient.  I can’t believe you Brits don’t seem to love it as much as we do!  Hopefully today’s cake will convince a few more skeptics.


9:05 am: David has abandoned me to go rowing, but we’ve got all of the sourdough shaped and resting in baskets so we’re right on schedule.  While he’s gone, I’ll give the focaccia it’s first fold, make the pumpkin cake and get it in the oven.  Oh, did I mention that he left me with all of the clearing up?  Perfect timing on that row!



The scribblings of mad bread scientists.

9:50 am: The focaccia has had two folds and the pumpkin breads are in the oven.  Still haven’t managed to do anything about the mess though.  Holly, if you’re reading this, don’t come down here!  It will all be beautiful and clean again in no time at all.


11:15 am: Pumpkin breads are out and looking lovely!  Rye sourdough and experimental beetroot bread are in.  Can’t wait to see how it’s crazy reddish hue changes as it’s baked.  We just took a break to eat a proper breakfast of fried potatoes and black pudding, which led to another conversation about weird linguistic and cultural things like: why is black pudding called a pudding?  And why don’t Americans eat offal?  And what do we even call it?  I call it offal, but apparently some people in the States call it “variety meats”.  Who knew?

12:00 noon: All quiet in the kitchen as everything hums along nicely according to schedule.  I’m getting a little bit worried about how smoothly everything is going, mostly because it doesn’t give me any funny stories to tell.  Pain de Campagne is in the oven, rye sourdough, beetroot and pumpkin are out, and white sourdough is on deck.  I’m starting to sound a little like a baseball announcer over here.

1:40 pm: I win the messiest apron award!


2:10 pm:  Look at all of the bread fresh out of the oven.  I hope you’re hungry, Kingswear!


2:15 pm: We’ve just shaped the NY Deli Rye into their loaf tins and they’re smelling amazing.  We decided to replace some of the liquid with pickle juice to give the bread an extra bit of tanginess, and we thought the slight flavor of dill would go beautifully with the caraway.  The dough smells exactly like walking into a New York deli; if I had closed my eyes I would have thought I had teleported.  I also had some sort of Pavlovian reaction, and now am desperately craving a huge pastrami sandwich with spicy, grainy mustard.  That would be my suggestion for how to eat this bread.  Triple stacked, if you’re feeling brave.

3:30 pm:  Mid-afternoon and the bread is basically finished!  Just waiting on some very slow-rising NY deli rye to be ready for the oven, then we’ll bake and deliver.  In hindsight, the pickle juice may not have been the best idea as the acidity has really slowed down the yeast, making the bread’s rise take much longer than we have the patience for at this late point of the day.  After a long day of bread box baking I’m full of tea and coffee, covered in flour, and my hair is looking a bit like Rex’s after he’s just gone for a gleeful run through the swamp.  No matter, it’s been loads of fun and somehow the time actually seems to have flown by.  I’m sad that this is my last bread box day–I feel like I was just starting to get the hang of it!


All the good stuff is coming your way soon, Kingswear–I hope everyone enjoys their bread box this month!