12.12.2011

A Morning at Panera

It isn't often that I'll turn down cookies for breakfast and a chance to learn about how a national bakery operates.


And because I'm not the only one that enjoys a cookie for breakfast, I invited Burger Boy to come along with me and on Friday, bright and early, to walk to the Coolidge Corner Panera to get a peek at their holiday offerings and spend a little time in their kitchen.



While we're both very comfortable in commercial kitchens, it was the first time either of us had the opportunity to see what it's like on the bakery side of things as well as on a national level. Walking into Panera, we weren't really sure what to expect, but we ended up having a lot of fun.



The bakery was already bustling with activity and the air was warm with the aroma of cinnamon and bread. After a quick cookie sampling (the Mint Crinkle Cookie was my favorite) and a hot cup of Hazelnut coffee, it was into the kitchen to see how it's all done. With Zach The Baker as our guide, we were showed their step-by-step process of converting dough into pastries. After stuffing the pastries with fruit, cream cheese and pastry cream fillings, we waited for our desserts to bake off.


At the end of our visit, we were given a box of the baked goods that we made, still warm from the oven. And while I had always liked Panera, I had a new found appreciation for them. Going into it, I had expected things to be more mass produced. I had pictured frozen pastries being reheated and put out for purchase but instead found that, while everything isn't made from scratch in each store, it's pretty darn close for being such a big organization. I appreciate the fact that each Panera store never closes because there is always someone there baking. I also like the fact that their dough, while made in mass quantities in a facility in Framingham, is never frozen and all of their pastries are made fresh daily. For locations, visit Panera at www.PaneraBread.com

9 comments:

Jessie said...

You guys are too cute! Love the new blog look girl!

Megan said...

What a fun experience! Coincidentally, I have a Panera post going up tomorrow. I learned all sorts of stuff about how they contribute to local communities that I never knew before.

Michelle Collins said...

This looks so fun! I love Panera. :)

A Boston Food Diary said...

Glad to hear all of this. I've never been a fan of Panera- but perhaps I could give a second look?

MOLLY GALLER said...

Behind the scenes at Panera? That is too cool! I agree with you on the mint crinkle cookie, so good! And can anyone turn down the broccoli cheddar in a bread bowl? Thanks for sharing!

Emily@SimplyGourmetinSouthie said...

This looks like it was such a fun day! Love Panera and it's awesome to see how fresh everything is made :)

Happy Holidays!

Baby Connor said...

Yummy....love bear claws the best! What an awesome experience! Looks like you've been very busy...no wonder we never have time to meet up! Let's try to pick a date soon! A few girls are headed out in Btown this weekend if you happen to be home...let me know!

Baby Connor said...

P.S. Kym is Baby Connor! I have no idea, how I became baby Connor! :)

Aimee said...

I honestly would have thought it was more mass-produced, too. Glad to see it's not, and that they make such an effort to keep things homemade!

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