Loafing Around

July 26th

Great Harvest Bread Company Baking Class
Great Harvest Bread Company Baking Class
Great Harvest Bread Company Baking Class

This afternoon I joined 7 girlfriends at the Great Harvest Bread Company in Tempe for a bread baking class. I wasn’t sure what to expect; I love to bake and finally mastered a great loaf of bread with the ever-so-popular No Knead recipe. Then again, I’m rarely one to turn down an opportunity to learn, eat or bake. For $25 we got to do all three, plus spend several hours gabbing and having a great time.

Great Harvest Bread Company Baking Class
Great Harvest Bread Company Baking Class

Carolyn, the former owner, is transitioning out of the business and training the new owner Leslie. The two make a great pair; they were polite and friendly and you can feel their love for baking. It is always nice to be around people who are passionate about their work. They described Great Harvest’s business model, commitment to making healthy food (the company was founded by Montana hippies who ground their own wheat and sold bread by the roadside. How wonderful is that?), and community involvement. We placed our lunch order, threw on aprons and hats and headed back into the bakery to learn how to knead.

Great Harvest Bread Company Baking Class
Great Harvest Bread Company Baking Class
Great Harvest Bread Company Baking Class
Great Harvest Bread Company Baking Class
Great Harvest Bread Company Baking Class
Great Harvest Bread Company Baking Class
Great Harvest Bread Company Baking Class
Great Harvest Bread Company Baking Class

Their baker measured out two one-pound loaves of bread. We each kneaded, decorated and dabbed a honey mixture on top of these before they went into their ferris wheel oven to be baked. After a tour of the bakery, we sat down to eat. I’m not easily impressed with sandwiches. I love lots of sliced meat, generous veggies, no mayo or cheese and a great bread. They knocked it out of the park. My black forest turkey sandwich was so, so good. I had it on their nine grain and it was truly the best sandwich bread I’ve ever had. I was happy without eating another bite, but then of course came two large plates of sweets. Soon enough, the eight of us magically made brownies, cookies, muffins, scones and several types of specialty bread disappear. My favorite was the flax seed, carrot bran muffin. Sounds gross, but it was just the right balance of sweet, dense and healthy-ish. Yum.

Great Harvest Bread Company Baking Class
Great Harvest Bread Company Baking Class
Great Harvest Bread Company Baking Class
Great Harvest Bread Company Baking Class

Phoenicians, if you are looking for a fun way to get a group of friends together, this class is a wonderful way to escape the normal mall/shopping/lunch/movie/happy hour routine. Plus, you get to come home with a belly full of healthy, yummy food and two loaves of bread. For $25, it’s a steal. Plus, it’s a great chance to look at your girlfriends and say, “Nice buns!”

~K

Posted in
Arizona, Domestic Art, Journal, Kitchen Talk
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24 Responses

  1. ‘Nice buns’ too funny! Looks like you gals had a blast!!

  2. What a fantastic experiance! Your sandwich looks super good. Thanks for sharing these great pics. 🙂

  3. Tina in Duluth July 26, 2008

    I work at a Great Harvest about 2 days a week. It is a lot of fun and the products are wonderful, aren’t they?

  4. That looks like a great place.
    You can’t beat an awesome loaf of bread!

  5. This does sound like a fabulous way to spend an afternoon! Thank you so much for sharing it (and all the great pictures!) so that I could experience it vicariously….

  6. What a fun thing to do! Sounds like a wonderful afternoon, I’m jealous. Glad you had a great time and great food too.

  7. Oh, how I miss Great Harvest! We had a couple within pretty close driving distance when we lived in western WA.
    When I grow up, I want to be a great bread baker. You are well on your way!

  8. kelli grimes July 26, 2008

    Sounds like fun, if you like bread making you should get “Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day” this book is fantastic, and easy!

  9. I LUV Great Harvest! We don’t have one here yet.. but I actually had a craving for their bread about 3 days after Grace was born and that was our first outing out post-baby.. to get bread at Great Harvest! YUM haha.

  10. TH is drooling over the sandwich (he is a sandwich junkie) and I am drooling over the bread. What a great Saturday for you! 🙂

  11. That is so much fun! I am going to have to see if our GH has classes or not. What a fun way to spend the afternoon with friends. And the bread looks amazing!

  12. Sounds like a great way to spend an afternoon.

  13. Ummm, I love Great Harvest. I’ll have to see if they’re having any classes here.

  14. Sound like a really fun time. The sandwich looks delicious.

  15. The loaves I ‘made’ yesterday have now been turned into fancy grilled cheese for dinner, and french toast this morning.
    Thanks for the invite Kel! Ryan and I are definitely going to make the drive over there. The bread is worth it! And I fully intend on having a sandwich when I do.

  16. This looks like so much fun!
    That sandwich looks delicious as well… yum!

  17. Kelli,
    Your great photos and wonderful compliments just topped off my day. We relish in the opportunities we have to share our love of bread with our customers and friends — especially with our customers who become friends!!
    Have a Great Harvest Day,
    Carolyn Holmes, 480-777-1141
    Owner of the only Great Harvest in Arizona

  18. I can truly understand you. My best time is the one spent with friends cooking all together!

  19. What a fun thing to do with girlfriends!

  20. What a wonderful class and you look fabulous in your chef hat/apron. I love the breads y’all made, how delicious it all looks and sounds. I just did a quick check here in Tucson and called the number listed for our local Great Harvest Bread Company. If they offered the break class, my intent was to immediately sign up for it. Alas, the number has been disconnected. This may mean a trip to Phoenix for their class. Thanks for sharing this great opportunity.

  21. we have a great harvest – a local treasure. two words: spinach feta. yum. baker bob is a hero. I’ll have to see if ours offeres classes.

  22. Oh my gosh, that looks like so much fun. I’ll have to do that!

  23. Wish I livbed closer. This is my kind of fun day!

  24. this sounds like such a blast!! and to do it with a group of girlfriends… nothing better!
    xo

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