Friday, 7 March 2014

Bread Company Field Trip

Recently we went with a small homeschooling group to the Baker's in training session at the local St Louis Bread Company otherwise known as Panera Bread company:)  I happen to really enjoy their Black Bean soup and if out on a Tuesday or Thursday for a field trip often stop here for lunch:)

The kids were given aprons and a bakers hat to wear while in the kitchen 

We were given a brief history of the company and then shown the rice flour that is used for the bread to prevent it from  burning.

First activity was making and decorating a french baguette which they later got to take home to eat
Kids got to see it baking in the ovens

Next we got to tour the kitchen and learn a little of how the shop is run.  Bakers arrived for the night shift and bake all the breads and pastries for the day.  Any bread or pastry  not sold that day is given to the local food bank.  We were told every store has a food bank that they donate too every night

Not every store makes its own dough from scratch.  this particular store has its dough delivered every day and then the evening bakers shape and bake the different items for the next day.  Here we saw the many trays stacked with dough and bread which is going to be baked that night

The room is closely monitored with temp and humidity gauges.

We saw a very large oven which can hold up to 8 racks of dough that we saw in their fridge.  I would love this around the holidays cause I could get all my baking done at one time.

They also have smaller overs for smaller portions 

The kids were allowed to see and go into the walk in refrigerator. 

The food is carefully monitor with labeling machine to record the date it was set out on the floor and when it needs to be tossed.  Only the bread and pantries are donated to food banks, no other food is for health and safety reasons

Kids got to see the washing up area and I want this dishwasher in my home, can do a load of dishes in 2 minutes:)

Next the kids watch the workers complete orders from customers and see the many choices available.

all the kids were captivated by the bagel cutting machine:)

While we waited for our bread to cook the kids got to decorate a cookie

MarioFan's cookie -- he was good about not adding too much sugar:)

Firedrake has inherited my sweet tooth and covered hers up with sugar.
We had a great time visiting the Panera Bread company.


  1. Looks yummy! A lot of that reminds me of the days when I worked at pizza hut and had to arrive early to make the dough and start it rising for the day. I've been told that they no longer make it at the individual facilities. If we ran out of a particular dough, it was a big deal, as it took hours to make. That is really cool that they donate all of their leftover breads!

  2. I can almost smell the bread. I always love your tours. It's fun to learn about making bread and of course the cookies too.
    Blessings and hugs!