Community Bread Oven

When on sabbatical in Tuscany attending a bread School, Pastor Bryce Johnson baked bread in a one-hundred –year-old, wood-fired brick oven. In Europe during the 1800 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 politics debated. The bread was essential for building strong bodies; the oven vital to building strong community.

Before departing on this 2009 sabbatical a church member said , "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 the church and with the community, making this oven of brick, mortar and fire a centerpiece for strengthening body and soul.

Pastor Bryce Johnson delivers a Ted Talk about the WBLUMC Bread Oven
In his TEDxMahtomedi talk, Bryce 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.

The Link to Pastor Bryce Johnson's Ted Talk can be found here.

Baking With a Purpose
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. The next baking date is April 4. Place your order by April 1 (no joke) and pick up your freshly baked bread just in time for Saturday night dinner.

April Bread Selections: Sourdough French & Oatmeal ($5 per loaf; donations accepted).

This month’s proceeds will go to support White Bear Area Emergency Food Shelf.

Order by emailing:
  1. your name, email, & phone,
  2. number of loaves, and
  3. bread selection (choices listed above).

Pick-up: Saturday, April 4 from 3-5pm or Sunday, April 5 from 10:30-11:15 am (1851 Birch Street, White Bear Lake, MN 55110, 651.492.9026,

Register for Bread Classes
You will learn to make several varieties of bread, bake in the brick oven, and take home at least 2 loaves.

  • Saturday, April 11, 9 AM to 1 PM – Cost:$25
    Weekend Treats: Grissini, Bialys, and Sourdough French
  • Saturday, May 9th, 9 AM to 1 PM - Cost :$25
    Sourdough Breads

To sign up click Here. A registration is confirmed with full payment for the class.

Bread Oven Events & Calendar
  • Friday, March 27 – Catholic Charities
  • Saturday, April 4 - Baking with a Purpose
  • Saturday, May 2 - Baking with a Purpose
  • Wednesday, May 6 – End of School Year Pizza Party

 Solveig Tofte Class
 Community Bake Day
 Bread Classes
 Rally Day
 Rest-Full-Work Bread Class

Bread Oven Fun Facts
  1. Project ideation: April 25, 2010
  2. Start of Building: June 28, 2010
  3. Total weeks to build: 12
  4. Total hours estimated: 1,080
  5. Average number of work days/week: 6
  6. Average number of people/day: 3
  7. Volunteers had no major construction background
  8. No accidents occurred
  9. Cost to build: $6,200
  10. Baking capacity: 16 loaves

In Our Community
WBLUMC Quick Links

White Bear Lake United Methodist Church
1851 Birch Street | White Bear Lake, MN 55110 | Ph: 651-429-9026 | Fx: 651-653-7257 |
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