King Arthur Flour’s bakery gets ready for Easter

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It is still cold here in Vermont…  From the outside I can’t see many signs of spring. But, my calendar tells me Easter is this Sunday. So join me in visiting King Arthur’s Bakery, as I hunt for new life – or at least some sweet sign that winter really is coming to an end!

See, it’s true there are still piles of snow outside. No daffodils lining the path.

Brr, let’s go inside…

Ahh, that’s what I was looking for, color. As we’re about to see, the bakers have been busily preparing for the Easter weekend.

In our production bakery, we rely on extensive planning to make sure our holiday specials are ready for your table. Of course, a lot has to happen last-minute to ensure freshness and top quality. But some items, like these sweet little flowers used to decorate cakes, can be made ahead.

And some items naturally have a longer shelf life – like these chocolate confections.

That is, a long shelf life if you don’t start eating them…

And, speaking of eating, let’s do a little quality control. Here’s what’s left (at 7 a.m.) of a Colomba di Pasqua, Italian for Easter dove. Made from flour, sugar, eggs, yeast, butter, almonds, and candied citrus peel, this traditional sweet bread is closely related to its more ubiquitous cousin, panettone. It’s moist, fragrant, light and rich at the same time.

Here’s a recipe for Colomba di Pasqua similar to the one used in our bakery.

Good thing there’s a full rack – these doves are sure to fly off the shelves.

And, what if I can’t wait until Easter for a breakfast of hot cross buns?

There they are! Hiding between the doughnut muffins and brownies. Just one pan today, but oven-loads of hot cross buns will be baked fresh Friday and Saturday.

And, to add to the ongoing debate about the cross on top: here at the Bakery we use the classic flour-paste cross, rather than the updated white icing cross. Just call us traditionalists!

Do you see that machine in the foreground? It’s a dough sheeter. We use it to roll dough of all sorts, including croissant, Danish pastry, and pie dough. Its most recent job was to roll sugar cookie dough to an even thickness. Then, by hand, the dough was cut into Easter shapes, baked, and decorated.

Cookies, topped with tinted pastel royal icing, are allowed to dry completely before packaging.

Here are some of our Easter offerings on display in our Baker’s Store.

I hope this peek into our bakery and store has whet your appetite, and inspired you to begin a new season of baking.

We welcome you to visit us! Yes, you have to wear your winter coat on the way. But inside, spring has sprung.

Amber Eisler
About

Amber Eisler was born and raised in Washington, DC. She is a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America, and started her time at King Arthur Flour in the production bakery. Amber now works full-time in the Baking Education Center, and enjoys sharing her passion ...

comments

  1. Anne

    What a delightful, delightful post! Anticipation is part of the fun. The daffodils will show up one morning and surprise everyone.

    From visiting our neighborhood bakeries and from books featuring bakeries I know being a baker is more than making bunny cookies and dove bread – it’s hard work and the business takes a lot of logistics and knowledge. Let’s be thankful to bakers everywhere as we chew on a mouthful of hot cross buns.

    Thanks, Amber, for this nice virtual visit.

    It really is hard work, but it can also be really rewarding. Especially at our King Arthur Flour Bakery!-Jon

    Reply
  2. Brenda

    Have a wonderful Easter, everyone! Up here in northeastern Maine, we FINALLY got our first snow-free day since spring officially hit, and it’s relatively warm to boot.

    Brenda, that is very sweet of you! No snow you say? That sounds like spring might FINALLY be heading your way up there! Happy Easter! Kim@KAF

    Reply
  3. Anne

    Great post. And thanks for the recommendation to use spring sweet bread recipe to make bunny shaped rolls. I used vanilla extract and 1/3 cup plumped raisins, sprinkled white coarse sugar after egg white wash and drizzled royal icing when cooled. My grandchildren will think I am astonishing.

    Anne, we have no doubt you ARE astonishing! Hope the grandkids were suitably wowed… PJH

    Reply

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