Grand Central Bakery

Portland Locations

Seattle Locations

Great Pastry Every Day: Bob Borowieki

Bob Borowieki starts each day ready to bake the best pastry in Portland. With every coffee cake or croissant he pulls from the oven, he finds ways big or small to push his craft forward. So how did a guy with a weakness for classics end up in the kitchen?  “I went to college for ancient history […]

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Artisan Bread 101: Baking

Baking, the final step, is visceral and dramatic. Loaves slide onto the oven’s molten-hot hearth and doors clank shut. Great puffs of steam swirl around inside, giving each loaf a crackling crust. The bread goes into the oven pale and soft and comes out sturdy and brick red. Later, on the cooling rack, it ‘sings’ – emitting a chorus of faint crackles […]

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Baker on the rise: Luis Santiago

  Luis Santiago, one of the young bread bakers on our Seattle crew, is mastering the art of artisan bread while saving money for college.  “My uncles work here, and since they always talked about making bread, I thought it sounded fun,” says Santiago, 19. I started dish washing a year and a half ago […]

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Artisan Bread 101: Proofing & Scoring

Proofing – the hours when bread dough rests before going into the oven – is another test of a baker’s skill. It’s a tricky combination of temperature and time; let the formed loaves linger too long, or rush them, and the bread won’t have the proper crumb or size. The last step before baking is scoring – slashing a […]

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Solving the daily puzzle: Bread baker Allie Griff

Bread baker Allie Griff solves the daily puzzle of timing, fermentation and hands on deck as she practices the craft of artisan bread. From Ventura, Calif., this talented bread baker returned to the west coast and a job at Grand Central after attending Johnson & Wales University in Rhode Island. On baking: “Bread is so hands on, […]

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Artisan Bread 101: Shaping

We form every loaf by hand at Grand Central Bakery. It’s much harder than it looks and it requires a good deal of skill – the baker is evaluating the quality of the dough that day and determining just how tight or loose to make the loaf in order to achieve a perfect crumb. You’ll […]

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Tasting and Testing: Pastry Baker Lee Shiroma

In Grand Central’s commissary kitchen, pastry baker Lee Shiroma works to perfect pastries that greet customers every morning. That means producing the laminated dough for flaky, buttery croissants and danish, making pie dough, cinnamon rolls, and much more. “I’ve been baking for about 20 years. I went to culinary school in Hawaii and trained with a master pastry chef […]

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Artisan Bread 101: Mixing

The beautiful loaves you see in our bakeries and your grocery store start in our mix room. That’s where we combine sustainably grown Northwest flour, water, salt and yeast (or pre-ferment, as we call the natural starters we use – pictured at left). It seems like a simple process, but it requires skill, careful judgment and […]

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Pride in a perfect loaf: Armando Torres

Armando Torres has honed his craft for 13 years as a bread baker, turning flour, water, salt and yeast into beautiful bread with a dark, crackling crust. He continues to learn the craft and still loves seeing perfect loaves emerge from the hearth oven. “When I see the product come out of the oven, the final product, […]

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Using hands, thinking on her feet: Jenny Randall

Jenny, 24, mixes, forms and bakes bread on the day crew in Portland. She recently started school to become a holistic nutritionist and registered herbalist. “When I say I’m a baker, people think that I knead dough all day. Actually I’m not kneading 400 pounds of dough all day with my hands. “Bread challenges you – it’s […]

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