The lights came on at five a.m. no matter how bad your head was, or how tired you were. The first job was to warm the ovens, the sound of the fans inside might have been soothing at any other time, but when it’s gone five and you’ve not had much sleep they’re more like jet engines. Next I had to go to the chiller, drag the heavy, screeching door aside and pull two metal trays taller than me all the way to the ovens; check the LCD displays that the temperature is correct. The cakes and doughnuts only take about 10 minutes to cook, and when the huge oven doors open next the sweet smell explodes outwards.
The cakes have to cool while I tray up the frozen baguettes, scraping my fingers on the hard loaves. You have to be careful not to drop one, a frozen baguette shatters like nothing else can. Once they’re jammed into the bread ovens I have twenty minutes to ice the cakes and sugar the doughnuts, my least favourite job. I hate being covered in jam and cinnamon glaze, and I will spend the rest of the day cleaning sugar from under my fingernails.