I just finished up a 60 hour week at work, and I am soooo exhausted! And I’ve still got another week to go before I can finally take a breath. I haven’t even gotten to my own personal Christmas baking yet ! :(.
This year, we’re featuring our own version of pannettone along with our own unique holiday bread that nobody else does (think stollen, but filled with chopped apple filling and cinnamon-sugar before being folded, and the dough itself is brioche-like). Baking the pannettone adds another 40 minutes to my bake (not to mention it takes nearly 5 hours to proof in my climate controlled proof box—not sure I like this dough at all), and it HAS to be baked at 340 degrees, which means I can’t bake anything else with it as nothing else is baked at 340—can we all say “lost productivity!”.
This has truly been the worst Christmas season that I have worked in nearly six years with my company. Besides all the massive amounts of product that I need to bake everyday (nothing new there!), we are so short staffed, that I’m baking dollar amounts that require two bakers to complete (hence the 60 hour work week).
Next week will be even worse. I’m expecting to have to bake the Christmas Eve bake by myself, which will probably take me 14 hours to complete, and I’m going to have to go in at 6pm the night before to start it.
So, if my head starts spinning around in circles, somebody please slap me!
The last time I worked this much for Christmas was nearly 10 years ago when I worked for a little Scandanavian bakery. However, instead of working 60 hours in 5 days, I worked nearly 72 hours in 3 days . Basically, from Dec 21 thru December 24, I didn’t go home. I made danish, croissant, puff pastry, and rugalah dough until my muscles were physically stiff. I rolled and iced yule logs until it felt like my eyes were bleeding out. When I got so tired that I couldn’t see straight, I went into the back room and crashed on the flour sacks for a few hours, and then I got up and did it all again until we sold out of everything on Christmas Eve.
The owner of that bakery gifted me that year very generously with a 250 dollar gift certificate to Williams-Sonoma, where I promptly bought my first standing mixer.
Hmmm…compared to what I went through 10 years ago, what I’m working now sounds easy. Wish I could convince my aching body of that .