SPANISH BAKERS PARTICIPATE IN UIB EXCHANGE IN A BERLIN CRAFT BAKERY
Marta and José Ignacio are old friends at the UIB International Exchange Program. After internships in Norway, Belgium and Holland in recent years, their destination for the summer of 2012 was: Berlin.
For the Private Bakery Wiese, located close to Berlin, it was their first time to offer their business for a UIB Exchange. The company is a third generation 100% handicraft business with 60 employees and trainees. High-quality bread and pastries are baked here around the clock, offering both local and international recipes. Apart from the regional standard recipes they mostly offer their very own “Wiese-specialties”.
The Spanish baker couple had expressed upfront their desire to work at a purely artisanal bakery that uses flour types, which are difficult to find in their home production in Spain: rye and spelt flours and different seeds and grains. They wanted to learn all the manufacturing steps starting from mixing the dough, over the long fermentation times to the artisan baking operations.
Marta said enthusiastically: "All manufacturing steps in Private Bakery Wiese are made completely by hand. All products, breads as well as pastries, are made from high quality raw materials, without any artificial preservatives, baking additives, colorants or flavouring substances. The taste of the products is entirely obtained through the long fermentation and the artisan baking process."
“And once again, our working hours were quite different from what we live at home", said José Ignacio. "At Wiese, production starts at 1 a.m.! Mr. Schultz and his team showed us all the production steps, and all through the night, we kneaded, cut, formed and baked dough – by hand. At 9 clock in the morning our working day was already over, which left us enough time to explore our environment – a big highlight for me personally, because I had always wanted to see the historic sites in and around Berlin. "
Marta and Jose Ignacio took many tours with the bikes they had been given for their way to work. On free weekends, they took trains or rented a car to cover larger distances.
"Time was flying during our three weeks of practice at Private Bakery Wiese . We couldn’t believe it and were really sad when the time came to pack our bags again and go back home,” said Marta.
"At the end, we had the chance to make a delicacy from our home region for our baker colleagues at Wiese,” added Jose Ignacio. “The “Coca de Recapte” is a specialty of our own bakery in the city of Lleida. It is made of bread dough covered with finely chopped fresh vegetables and olive oil, which we all bake in our traditional wood-fired oven at home.
The Spanish baker couple looks back to a very interesting time. "We are very grateful for the wonderful stay that Mr. Wiese and his team of bakers offered us. It was, once again, an unforgettable experience! "
Mr. Wiese was also excited about this exchange: "We were very happy to receive the Spanish baker couple in our compamy. Both of them were very interested and very quickly fit in our team. They were happy to launched into work and became a real help in our daily work. The "language difficulties" were compensated with the help of a dictionary and the practical work. We also learned a lot on our part about the bakery that Marta and Jose own themselves, and the bakery sector in Spain in general. One of the highlights was the Spanish pizza, which Marta and Jose prepared for us. We hope that they learned a lot at our bakery. And after this good experience, I would recommend this Exchange Program to all colleagues! "
The plan for Marta’s and Jose’s exchange in 2013 are already in place: "We would love to go to France next summer, if possible to a purely artisanal bakery again, because that’s where you really learn the most.". They already look forward to learning about the French specialties, manufacturing processes, fermentation and baking processes of a typical French Boulangerie-Pâtisserie.
We thank Marta and Jose Ignacio for the photos and all their help with this article.