Sadly this is not the case, I really wish it were. I wish that as soon as I entered the mystic area behind the counter all the employees stood around me in a menacing circle and told me that the first rule of Paul baking is – you do not talk about Paul baking. The second rule of Paul baking is – you do not talk about Paul baking. The third rule of Paul baking… if this is your first day, you have to bake!

The truth is that basically all the stuff comes in frozen or as prepared dough and all that happens in the stores themselves is the baking. No one in the store’s really knows how to bake and everything seems like it’s dictated from these funny printout sheets that I have a horrible feeling come from some sort of central bureaucracy. The competition is between me and like two other people and basically mostly revolves around how pretty we can make sandwiches, blatantly I rocked it because when it comes to sandwiches I roll 20s. But I guess I’ll probably I’ll hear back in a couple days from them telling me that one of the other guys is number 4 sandwich prettier in the whole of the UK and I’ll end up working in Starbucks or something… bleugh.  Feeling thoroughly disillusioned with jobs at the moment, really there’s nothing fun to do unless you work for yourself.

Still, it’s a bit sad to find that a store that sells such a high quality product gets all it’s baked stuff delivered to the store in really unispiring looking cardboard boxes full of blue plastic and frozen pastry. Sure it’s easier to get all your bread tasting the same and ensure equal quality and stuff through each of the shops and employing skilled bakers for each shop would cost a whole load more money, but wouldn’t it be a whole lot more fun? If everyone in the store knew how to make everything from scratch too then I’m sure the customers would be more happy. I guess it’s one of those things where if you don’t know it doesn’t hurt you, but I always end up finding out since I tend to ask awkward questions. I’ve never actually bought anything from Paul, but I’d get really pissed off if I asked what levain a bread used and no one could give me an answer (not at the sales person obviously, I’m always nice to them, it would just get me pissed off at the company).

Probably most bakeries are worse and don’t even get me started on supermarkets so don’t let this stop you from buying from Paul; their bread is very very tasty. I recommend any oily bread or the sandwich with mozzarella and tomatoes on olive bread, it’s got like three different sauces in it and I was so so so craving one after I made 10 this morning.

Though if you happen to be near one of these then go there instead because their sourdoughs are fantastic and their brownies are even better.