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Baking By Scratch

Updated on November 09, 2014

This Is The Kind Of Work I Do Today

I work for a district that includes all schools of that same district. Four ladies were hired on for the big change being made at the schools for healthier eating practices. We basically are the main bakers for about thirteen schools of that district. We make all the breads by scratch. We make buns, dinner rolls and pizza dough all by scratch using only healthy ingredients that I may not be at liberty to share all of them. This to me is one of the most important jobs I have had in a long time. Why? Because we are changing many children's and teens eating habits. I love my job and I love the ladies I work with. Our main goal is to stop the high rate of obesity. We working together with LiveWell a non profit organization. I took classes to learn all about healthier choices.

(All pictures are mine except the one taking by the Denver Post News Paper) You can find that on the link that follows The News Article

Baking by scratch

Do You Bake bread by scratch

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The Denver Post News Paper - Helen H. Richardson, The Denver Post (C) 2011

Rosa (blank) left, takes a full prepared tray of hamburger bun dough balls from Karen (Blank) left, to place on a tray for them to rise before baking. In the back are bakers Lorraine (Blank), left, and Queta (Blank), right who prepare the dough into hamburger rolls. Adams 14 school district is highlighted for a successful transformation of school food to 90% of it being made from scratch. At Adams City High School a crew of four bakers makes fresh rolls, hamburger buns and pizza crusts for it's 13 schools in the district. Four bakers have been hired to take on the task. They bake for four hours a day, make over 2,000 buns or rolls each day and supply freshly baked bread to about 7,400 students preschool to 12th grade.

(Last names are not provided as far as the bakers go.)

Menu changes

Prior to the fall of 2010, a typical menu in Adams County School District 14 looked like this:

Chicken Nuggets

French fries

Canned green beans

Canned fruit

Today, a menu in District 14 looks like this:

Whole grain pizza with dough made from scratch, homemade sauce and fresh mozzarella cheese

Tossed green salad

Fresh fruit

Karen Preparing The Mix

The day starts with Karen preparing the liquid mix to the aready prepared dough mix. She adds vegetable oil, honey and water to the dough.

Karen Pours The Liquid Mix

As you can see the dough mix was already prepared the day before at the close of the day usually containing three hugh mixer bowls. Karen is pouring the liquid mix into the dry mix.

Ingredients that we do use is:

white flour

wheat flour

salt

dry milk

yeast

Takes Two

You need two people to put the bowl or remove the mixing bowl off of the machine because it is really heavy. Karen and Queta work together in removing the bowl.

Dough Is Finished

The dough is finished mixing and ready for preparing for the next step.

Lets Get To Work

The finished dough is placed on the sterilized counter top so that we can mold them into balls. Depending on what we are making, dinner rolls or hamburger buns, we must size each ball on a weigh machine before placing them on the tray.

There is a certain way that we make the balls you just can't make them any ole way. Don't forget we are baking for thirteen schools with not a whole lot of time to do them. So you have to be pretty fast to get the job done right. That comes with practice.

Shaping Dough

As you can see Rosa, how nicely she has shaped her balls into the right size that is allowable to the districts standards. Today we were making dinner rolls. Look at how well she places them on the tray having to be evenly numbered in order to be able to send them out to all the schools. No mess ups is acceptable.

That is my tray to the right side of Rosa's tray but being that I am the one taking the pictures well I can't very well do both haha.

Ready For The Warmer

Queta has collected as many trays as she wants to work with per bowl and now she places them in the warmer for about 20 minutes so that they can rise before baking them.

Baked and Done

After removing the trays from the warmer:

Queta takes the trays to our ovens and bakes them for a few minutes until ready, minutes may vary depending on the ovens and the one that is baking for that week. Queta happily removes the finished rolls out of the oven and is proud of the finished work. Beautiful!

Preparing For The Next Day

Ok that is me always laughing in the job. I have to laugh too, in order to make the work also fun. At the last of the day we prepare the dough powder mix into three large commercial bowls for the next day so that Karen can do her liquid mix at the start of each day. Those bags of the ingredients that we use every day are pretty heavy, but that is part of our work and that goes with the job.

Karen takes all the finished buns into the freezers as she separates each schools order in large cart containers that holds several trays.

We are all giving a task every week. We change the responsibility to who is baking, mixing and doing all the clean up that way we are never doing the same thing.

We are a fun great team of ladies that work hard for all the school district. We also make pizza dough which is a whole different way of making.... but us ladies like making pizza. We may be making sub-sandwiches bread down the road. (We are good at what we do and we love it). :)

Baking by scratch in the schools

How do you feel about all schools going back to baking by scratch?

Do you think that it would be the best option for the schools and in the long run? If so why and explain your answer?

Do you think that it would be the best option for the schools and in the long run? If so why and explain your answer?

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    If you don't think that it is a good idea explain what your reasons why it isn't such a good idea for the schools to go back to scratch.

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      Baking by Scratch

      Does your child's school bake by scratch?

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      Cook books come in many styles of cooking see for yourself I own a few too.

      Cook books give you new ideas to take the boredom out of you're every day cooking and to change the routine of things, your family will love you for trying. These are afforable tools to becoming the best cook around. At least in your home :)

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        • kerbev profile image

          kab 4 years ago from Upstate, NY

          In our area, there are certain options that a kid can pick from any day of the week: "meal of the day", pizza, hot dog, hamburger, chicken nuggets, or nachos. Nachos is a meal (the "cheese" sauce being the protein.) They also have unlimited condiments in pump bottles. I watched a girl mix mayonnaise with BBQ sauce in a section of her tray and then dunk her pizza in it. She told me she does it every day.

        • mbgphoto profile image

          Mary Beth Granger 4 years ago from O'Fallon, Missouri, USA

          This is very interesting. Love your photos.

        • mbgphoto profile image

          Mary Beth Granger 4 years ago from O'Fallon, Missouri, USA

          A Rocket Squid tip for you...don't forget to change the generic title on all of your modules. Perhaps for the guestbook title you could ask a question to gain interest and interaction. Feel free to delete this comment after reading.

        • lisln profile image
          Author

          LorLinda 4 years ago from Denver Colorado

          Thank you for your input Kab and mb...Kab the kids have some very strange habits in eating but what may be strange to us may be good to them and visa versa. Mb I appreciate your advise I will see what I can do I have two poll questions but none of my polls are showing up on this lens, I put two of them up and sent a message to the staff but they are still not showing. Not sure why?

        • PennyHowe profile image

          PennyHowe 3 years ago

          Lorlinda, a great lens! I do not have any children, but taught school for years. I am really glad to hear about these changes. I also make bread from scratch for my husband. He is diabetic and so I made some changes in the recipe to reflect this(use water instead of milk and part splenda to cut back on the sugar). Of course, I do not make it in the quantities you do. Thanks for making a difference.

        • lisln profile image
          Author

          LorLinda 3 years ago from Denver Colorado

          Centavo your husband is a very lucky man to have you in his life. You should share about being a teacher in the school that would be a great lens. I think it is cool how you live in a whole different country that had to be a big change for you but you seem to be very happy.

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