Fifth-generation baker Christopher Freeman usually rises at 4am to start the task of making hundreds of fresh loaves at Dunn’s in Crouch End.

But earlier this year he had the added challenge of a film crew taking over his kitchen for new television series Victorian Bakers.

The programme plunges four modern bakers into the gruelling world of the 19th and early 20th Centuries and challenges them to make tasty delights without the help of modern appliances.

The first episode aired on BBC Two last night (Tuesday) with the bakers taken back to 1837 and making bread entirely by hand, the second episode will see them transported to 1870 and baking with coal-fired ovens and the third episode is set in 1900 and was filmed at Dunn’s on The Broadway.

The bustling bakery was chosen to represent a time when luxury was creeping into baking but mainly because it still makes bread using two vintage, gas-fired Cox Denholm ovens that are more than 40 years old.

Owner and fifth-generation baker Christopher says: “It was very exciting to have them here and very interesting. “But it was also quite demanding in a way because 12 hours of the day it was a film set and the rest it was a bakery. So it was jolly hard work.”

The 63-year-old and his staff, which includes his son Lewis, had to complete all their baking and then move most of their equipment out so it could be transformed into the kind of kitchen used by a luxurious, high-class, city baker-confectioner.

But Christopher says it was worth it to see the four professional bakers trying out techniques from the past.

“I learned some things I hadn’t seen before and remembered things that had started to get lost in the mists of time.

“And the costumes they wore must have been very hot. I think they were all a bit tougher in those days.”

His great, great grandfather was the first baker in the family, hitching a ride down to Highgate from Brackley, Northamptonshire on a hay wagon and opening a business in 1827.

His descendent Charles Freeman then opened a bakery in Enfield Town in 1908 on the site of what is now Pearsons and then the business moved to London Road in the 1920s. When that business ceased trading in the 1980s Christopher took over Dunn’s Bakery, to continue the trade and it sells between 600 and 1,000 white bloomer loaves a day, as well as other baked items.

He was lucky enough to sample some of the goods the visiting bakers made and said they tasted ‘very interesting but says you will have to tune in to find out what they were.

“We were pleased to be asked to do the programme and it was good fun.

“The joy of baking for me is taking raw ingredients and seeing them transformed into a product and sold in one day.”

Victorian Bakers airs on BBC Two on January 12 and 19 from 8pm.