“One very important ingredient in all of Rosemont’s baking is the individual baker’s contribution to our hand crafted products.” – Scott Anderson, co-owner and executive baker at Rosemont
In the wee hours of each and every morning at the Rosemont Bakery in Portland, our bakers – eight of them – make extraordinary bread.
Bread is a simple product made from flour, water, salt and some form of leavening. As with everything we do at Rosemont, the ingredients are key. When you buy 2,000 pounds of flour every week, you want to feel good about the product it turns out and about where it’s coming from. We source our ingredients as close to home as possible, and we look for consistent, high quality product and worker-friendly company policies.
Ingredients for making good breads also include a lot of intangibles, like skilled, well-trained bakers with a firm grasp of technique. And when you bake seven days a week, hand portioning and hand shaping over a dozen varieties of traditional breads, things like temperature fluctuations and care taken in transporting the product from the baker’s table to a customer’s kitchen, mean that you are making small adjustments all the time. In small production artisanal baking, everything is organic in nature and the human element is always present.
Another crucial ingredient on the more figurative level is the relationship between the baker and the oven. It’s a partnership. When we moved our bread and pastry baking operations to an expanded facility last year, we purchased a French hearth oven. Scott recently commented, “I am still learning about that oven and how it best operates and it is learning about how I operate as well.”
We set our quality target really high, and we aim for consistency in product. Our process begins every morning at 12:30am. Yeasted bread loaves are portioned by 3:30 and put in the oven by 5:00. That first bake is on our trucks for delivery by 6:30, with a second bake and delivery going out the door at around 8:30am. Our sourdoughs require a longer fermentation, so that process begins a full 24 hours before making its way to the oven.