Our Wiesbaden Homeschool Group (WATCH – Wiesbaden Area Teachers of Children at Home) offers a lot of fun activities. This December we were able to go on a field trip to the bakery that supplies bread to all of the commissaries in Italy, Belgium, the UK, Germany, and our service members serving in Iraq and Afghanistan. (I may have missed a few locations, but I think you get the picture.)
Not only does this bakery make the bread that goes onto the shelves for the commissaries, but, as you’ll see in a couple pictures below, they also make all of the buns for our Burger King restaurants, and breads for Macaroni Grill, Johnny Rockets, Popeyes, Anthony’s Pizza and Chili’s. Click here to read an article on the Army’s website about this bakery.
Bailey had a hard time focusing during the first half hour but around that time he befriended the tour guide and made himself an unofficial co-tour guide. From that point on he listened intently as the gentleman (who also happened to be the main manager of the bakery… how’s that for special treatment) explained everything. It was so funny to watch Bailey walk alongside him and then, when we got to our next station, turn around and face the group, standing beside the manager, as if he were sharing information as well. I was happy he was listening!
Below you can see the flour silos. Flour is shipped from the states so our bread tastes just like it does at home. They even send employees to the states to learn how to make OUR bread. Just inside the entryway is a huge poster with photos of one of our tour guides, taken of him while he was in the states training.
If you look closely you can see loaves of bread on the top that are about to enter the oven. On the bottom row you can see loaves that are just about done. It takes about 20 minutes for a loaf bake.
Burger King buns, prebaked. You can see the sesame seeds being sprinkled on them. BK sends an inspector frequently to test the color of the buns. They don’t do sight test… they do a test using a magnetometer or something fancy like that and if the buns aren’t just the right color the bakery has to start over. They also measure the quantity of seeds on the buns.
I’ve always wondered how cake decorators make such intricate designs. Well, at this bakery they use something similar to an overhead projector. That’s how they get the Army Emblem on all those cakes! (Though I’m sure there are people capable of doing this free-hand, it makes it much easier to use this machine!)
At the end of the tour the bakery had set up a cookie-decorating activity for the kids.
It was a fantastic experience and now, every time I eat Home Pride bread I think of the day the bigs and I saw the dough rising, the bread baking, and the machine stuffing each loaf into the bags.