Bread and Bakeries

I’ve had two interviews at the Great Harvest Bread Company! The first was your basic interview – with lots of questions and four people sitting there staring at you. The second was this morning – starting at 7:15 and it consisted of me just hanging out in the bakery… pretending like I was competent and knew how to knead bread dough 🙂 Apparently they can’t decide between me and this other gal so they’re trying us both out… how do I “beat” someone I know nothing about?! It was fun though…fun people, fun to get my hands back in some dough and flour 🙂

Interesting experience too because the only real bakery experience was with the Moscow Food Co-Op – and even though there are plenty of similarities, there are also a few large differences. Mostly with the way the dough is shaped or kneaded. At the Coop we SHAPED our loaves… they really ended up looking like little bread loaves before they were even in the pan. We also folded most batches of dough part way through letting it rise… and we let the loaves proof or rise for a longer amount of time before actually going in the oven. The Coop was also trying to make “crusty artisan” type bread.
At Great Harvest the dough is pretty much kneaded into a smooth ball and then rolled into a log a little longer than the pan so that when it’s put in the pan the middle is kind of “perky”. As far as I can tell none of the doughs are folded. The rise and baking I’m not sure about yet – although they are much more careful about temperatures then the Coop… and they are making pretty much all soft loaves.

It’s just interesting to see the differences. One thing that will be huge (and hopefully not to hard to get used to, if I get this job) is the pace that Great Harvest keeps. Many more doughs a day – and I thought we were pretty steady for the little while I was there but apparently they normally go MUCH faster with less people. Well – we’ll see if a get a job offer… until then…

I am excited to try their Gluten-Free Bread sometime – job or no.

Speaking of bread… here is a wonderful Blue Cheese Spread that goes really fantastically with a lot of different breads!

Blue Cheese Spread

3 lb Cream Cheese – room temp
2 cups Walnut pieces – toasted
1 cup Sour Cream
1 Tbsp Black Pepper

1 bunch Green Onions – chopped
1.25 lb Blue Cheese Crumbles
1 bunch Parsley – chopped

Combine the first four ingredients and mix well. Add the last three ingredients and mix until incorporated. (I think the reason for this is so that those last three don’t completely disintegrate). After it’s all mixed – taste it and add a little more pepper or some salt if needed. Serve with bread or crostini or roast beef or whatever your taste buds tell you would taste good! Enjoy!

I love this spread so much because the blue cheese is really flavorful without being overwhelming. So yummy…

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