“Seattle 6th” Franz Bakery tour

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Yesterday, Bekah and I donned red hairnets for a VIP bakery tour. First, we navigated Seattle traffic to arrive south of downtown at the Franz Bakery factory on 6th Avenue. We’d planned on a girls’ outing, but with Ashley on her 5th day of fevers she had to stay home with Dad. Bekah and I attended with our home school group, HHW, for the two-hour tour through the deliciously warm bakery.

We were permitted on a walking tour alongside many of the machines and workers, and were inundated with the smells of freshly baked bread. Each day, the factory bakes 40 different kinds of bread, and each week they put out 900,000 loaves!!! While we were there, cinnamon swirl bread passed from dough to ‘sponge’ to kneader to loaf to rising box to oven and onto a mile-long cooling system before being sucked out of the pans, sliced, and then popped into bags. It is a 4-hour process that rises high overhead during its cooling process and twists and turns to accomplish what needs to be done in the least amount of space.

Beside the fact that the bread travels a mile to cool and goes from 220 degress down to 100 when it is bagged, I also loved the fact that it passes through two  metal detectors!! Since all of the machinery is metal, it is important that any metal shards that could possibly come off are detected. Three different types of metal are tested for down to a size smaller than that of a pencil led. The detectors must be periodically checked as well and are done so with a rod inserted inside one of the loaves which is then placed inside a plastic bag. When the metal is detected, a large burst of air blows the loaf off the line. It is placed inside a bag because the air is strong enough that it would basically blow the loaf to bits otherwise – ha!

Bekah’s favorite part of the tour was hanging out with her friend Jasmine throughout the tour and then getting her own loaf of bread to take home – which he had with dinner.

I’d never been on a factory tour like this and would love to find other ones to attend.

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