Sunday, June 3, 2012

Field Trip to Great Harvest Bakery

Even though we are not part of any homeschool co-ops this year, our friends graciously invite us to all their field trips. I mentioned before about our trips to Poe Center and the Historic Oak View. This time we joined the kindergarten coop on their trip to the Great Harvest Bakery. Lucky for Grandma, she was in town that week and got to come with us.

This particular bakery is absolutely tiny. And yet, all the equipment is HUGE. Which made it especially interesting for us and, I guess, challenging for the staff (although they enjoy giving tours).

We started the tour at the very back of the bakery in the room next to the milling room (yes, Great Harvest mills their own flour). First, we got a chance to try some of their delicious bread (cinnamon raising, yum!) while the kids listened to the story. We then looked around at some of the equipment bakers use - it looks pretty much like the regular kitchen appliances, only much bigger. And we peeked inside the milling room and learned why its walls were so thick (it's explosion-proof since apparently flour particles floating in the air during milling can explode).

Next we moved to the middle of the bakery, the room where the dough is shaped into breads. First, we looked at wheat and rye grains, wheat berries, played with samples of different flours and smelled yeast (and learned why it is so important for baking).

Then we all gathered around the huge table and each child was given a piece of dough to kneed and shape and then throw back to the baker (fun!). Finally, on the way out we got to stop by the giant oven and the baker explained all about its rotating trays and how hot it gets and that the little door on the side of the wall led into the oven (so it can be cleaned).

And then the tour was over and we all got some fresh cookies at the front counter. And the kids were given coloring sheets to take home, color, and bring back for another free cookie. Awesome!

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