We’re hungry. You’re hungry. We’re all hungry! But not hungry for only food—we’re hungry for life! Which is what the Hunger for Life blog is all about. Here, the Fit Bottomed Eats team will share their adventures in cooking, eating and anything else related to food! So let’s get to it!
Hunger for Life: Farm to Market Bread Company
Back when we first created the Fit Bottomed Eats site, I went to this random food event in Kansas City, Mo., and happened to meet Lindsay Borum, the director of sales at Farm to Market Bread Co. We chatted, had some stuff in common (liking food and carbs, obviously) and somehow I weaseled my way into getting a tour of the company’s bread bakery.
Ever since I was a kid, I’ve been fascinated with plants and factories and how the stuff you buy gets made. (Does any one remember the Making Crayons bit on Sesame Street? I was obsessed—and still think about it whenever I see crayons.) So naturally I was psyched to take a tour to see how Farm to Market Bread makes so many delicious baked concoctions that are sent to grocery stores and restaurants throughout the Kansas City area.
Locally owned Farm to Market used to operate out of a building just blocks from my house (the smell of bread in the morning—OMG, so good), but just moved down to the Crossroads district for roomier digs. Roomier digs that myself and my aunt Karen (she’s a fellow foodie and used to work in the industry) got to tour.
Here’s a main shot of the bread bakery—they do it all here in this room! Note: the floor due to the flour is super duper slippery. And second note: the place smells amazing.
Farm to Market makes all kinds of breads that require all kinds of ingredients. I kind of want bins like this in my kitchen…
I was freakin’ fascinated with all of the big mixers and bowls and attachments and such.
Now all of the Farm to Market breads begin with a natural “starter,” which is a fermenting combination of water, flour and live yeast. The starter is, technically, alive. Then as they take from the starter, they add back to the “starter,” and the fermentation process begins anew. I mean, just look at that big pile o’ dough!
This dough, which is made with only natural ingredients and no preservatives, is used for all kinds of goodies. Like loaves. See how pretty they are rising?
And rolls for restaurants! Again, I was fascinated with this roll-making press-machine thingie. (Yes, I’m pretty sure that’s its official name, too.)
Once ready for baking, they go into these massive ovens. There’s a whole wall of them with freshly baked bread smell wafting out…
Although we were totally interrupting their work day, the staff was super friendly and happy to answer questions and show us their bread-making magic. And it really is kind of magical. I mean how many people can say that they can bake 100 loaves of bread at the same time? Not many…
Here, Karen chats with a staff member about the logistics. How they know how much to make and which kinds, and then how in the heck they actually organize it all and get it to the right stores and restaurants on time. It all comes down to the system—and lots of check-marks.
Oh, and let’s not forget the bread slicer. Another piece of machinery I was fascinated by. Watch the digits!
Then just like that, it’s cut, bagged…
And ready to go into bellies everywhere.
Again, there is nothing as wonderful as freshly baked bread, and it doesn’t get much more fresh than straight out of the bakery! And I’m happy to report that Farm to Market sent us home with a few loaf “samples” and a whole bag of their fresh pretzels that are to die for (especially with beer). So tasty!
A big thanks to Farm to Market for letting us go behind the scenes and carb loading us up! Do you have a local bakery you adore? Ever been on a tour? —Jenn