Behind the Scenes at Acme Bread (Part 2)

Part 1 (click to view) covered how Acme Bread makes their bread dough and how their use of organic flours and slow fermentation process results in excellent quality artisanal products. Now its time to see how they bake the goods.

The bread sponge is added back to the giant mixer where more flour and water are added and mixed into bread dough. The mixer tilts up to allow access to the dough:

The dough is pulled like taffy out onto the work table where it is divided into individual bins:

After an initial proofing, Laura pours the bread dough into the special dividing machine:

The cover is closed, a button is pressed:

… and the dough pops up in perfectly portioned units:

The portioned dough units are placed on a board:

Workers then form the dough in preparation for proofing on baking sheets:

The baking sheets are placed in stacking units and proof at room temperature:

Once proofed, the bread (rolls, in this case) are placed onto an oven feeder that is essentially a canvas conveyor belt. The feeder is like a stretcher with wheels and accordion legs that are able to move to the proper location and height of that particular oven door:

Here, Gabriel spaces the rolls and inspects them prior to loading into the oven:

They are then rolled into the oven for baking:

The canvas proofing sheets are collected and reused for other breads, all in view of the retail customers:

After about 20 minutes, the rolls are gathered with a basket catcher:

… and loaded into holding bins seen in the foreground:

Baguettes and long loaves are unloaded using a different process. The stretcher feeder is positioned in front of the oven door:

They are rolled out directly from the oven:

Until all of the bread is extracted from the oven:

A closer look at the fresh-baked, award-winning rustic beauties:

They get lifted in batches of 6 into storage bins ready for sale:

We hope you enjoyed this behind the scenes look at the Ferry Plaza location of Acme Bread. Many thanks to Drew Westcott for letting us in on the secrets of how they provide such excellent bread:

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