- Phone: (651) 429-9026
- Mailing Address: 1851 Birch St., White Bear Lake, MN, 55110
When on sabbatical in Tuscany attending a bread school, former pastor Bryce Johnson baked bread in a one-hundred–year-old, wood-fired brick oven. In Europe during the 1800s and early 1900s, brick ovens were the centerpiece of village life. Once or twice a week, the community oven was fired, and villagers brought their homemade bread dough to the center of the village to bake. As they waited for the bread, villagers conversed with each other and debated politics. The bread was essential for building strong bodies, and the oven was vital to building a strong community.
Before then-pastor Bryce departed for this 2009 sabbatical, a church member said to him, “When you come back, we ought to build a brick oven on the church grounds.” And, we did.
Today, White Bear Lake United Methodist Church has a very unique pathway to build connections in both the church and the community, making this oven of brick, mortar, and fire a centerpiece for strengthening body and soul. From this experience, other organizations have built their own ovens, creating a community of community bread ovens.
Once a month, you can address hunger by ordering homemade bread from the community bread oven. “Baking With a Purpose” takes place the first Saturday of the month, and proceeds go to one of our community partners.
We frequently offer classes in bread baking. You will learn to make several varieties of bread, bake in the brick oven, and take home at least 2 loaves. Upcoming classes are listed on our Events page and in the Bread Oven Events list on the right side of this page.
In his TEDxMahtomedi talk, former pastor Bryce Johnson explores how bread making and baking in a wood-fired oven gives us the opportunity to slow down, discover the sacred in the ordinary, and connect with community.
Download a copy of some of our favorite recipes.