Tom’s second day in the bakery was busy again and he hurried around putting yeast based flour into the Hobart machines. White flour for the white loaves and brown for the brown loves. He learned how to make shortcake pastry, and watched as Norman Archer made cakes for the shops; peach Melbas, chocolate éclairs, meringues, custard slices, and fruit slices made with sweet mince, or currants.
The girls busied themselves greasing tins and each one was done by hand. There was no conveyor belt here. Norman was in a mood today and woe betides anyone who stepped out of line when Norman Archer was on the war path.
Six trays of bread buns came out of the oven and forty loaves. Nancy Carter came through from the shop and picked up the tray of buns and carried them into the shop where they were placed into a stacking tower to cool.
On her way she tripped and the tray went flying and the buns landed on the floor.
“We cannot sell those now you stupid girl shouted Norman. Pick them up and put them to one side and watch where you are going will you.’
Norman’s face was red with anger. Over a hundred buns had gone on the floor and Norman could not afford complaints so they had to be thrown out.
“They were never thrown away as the staff put them to one side they were dusted down and then shared out.
Tom switched off the Hobart then tipped the dough into the stainless steel trays. From there it was placed onto a flour dusted table and divided into pound lumps and then covered with towels and stacked and allowed to rise the pound ball of dough would double in size and they would be cut again to make two loaves or buns.
Tom learned fast and he was soon cutting the dough himself with a long sheet of metal with wood running along the top it was sharpened along its edge and would slice through the dough then the dough was kneaded by hand. Tom learned to knead two separate lumps of dough at a time then several cuts made on top on he top the loaves were then placed into the baking moulds and then put into the ovens.
Norman did not let Nancy off for dropping the buns she was told that the money that it had cost in waste would come out of her wages.
She would earn nothing this week for her carelessness.
She was really annoyed at being shouted at all day by Norman who told her to make him a mug of tea.
“I’ll make you a drink you won’t forget said Nancy out loud as she placed the filled kettle on the stove then went to wash out Mr Archer’s large mug.
Going into her coat she took out a packet of laxative tablets that she’d bought for her mother who suffered from constipation. She crushed six of them using the back of a tablespoon then popped them into Mr Archer’s mug.’
“Where’s that bloody tea; you’d think that you’d gone to China to make it.’
“Coming Mr Archer; she gave him a short smile then stirred the tea pot then poured it into his mug using a tea strainer. Mr Archer hated to see the grounds of tea floating on the top of his mug so she scooped them out added some milk and four sugars to the pint pot.
“Here you are Mr Archer.’
“Put it over there girl barked Norman as he took out a tray of pies that were ready.
She watched from the crack in the door as Norman picked up the pot and took three large swallows. “She cannot bake for shit but she makes a canny cup of tea he voiced.’ He picked up the next batch of pies ready to go into the oven and slid them into the fiery furnace.