Bakery Machinery is Awesome

Le Boulanger

Specialized machinery is fascinating, but you don’t often get to see it. Our local bakery, Le Boulanger (at their headquarters on Mathilda in Sunnyvale) provides windows from their seating area into the production area. It is absolutely wonderful to sit and watch the dough poured out of the giant mixer. It heads into a hopper which cuts it into pieces which get spun into balls, which go through the rising machine and roll out down the conveyor belt. Sourdough rounds are on the way! And that’s just one of the processes you can watch. Sometimes you’ll see bagels, sometimes pastries, sometimes breadsticks… It’s definitely worth a visit, and even more fun than the Krispy Kreme machine which only does one thing. And they have free (albeit slow) wi-fi!

Le Boulanger

7 thoughts on “Bakery Machinery is Awesome

  1. do you also get to see the disgruntled worker adding his own ingredients into the mix?..

    wait… the machines are automated…

    do you also get to see the disgruntled machines adding their own ingredients into the mix?
    mmm… better…

    1. You can watch the ingredients going into the mixers – flour seems to be piped in from a hopper above. Water is also delivered directly from a nearby hose that regulates the amount. Other things are dumped in (butter, yeast, starters, sugar, etc.) from various bins, cans and bags nearby. All of the workers I have seen there seemed reasonably satisfied, although they were clearly working hard.

  2. I remember working couple of shifts (as part of summer job) at bakery section of Tesco store. Not much automation as this bakery ’cause much of products are supplied from other bakery as ready made (common bread, rolls, buns) or deeply frozen unbaked (pastry). However those giant mixing vats and production line for rolls were quite impressive (2 machines – one formed balls from dough poured in if and the other one flattened the balls and rolled them intlo rolls)

    1. I just so happen to work in a Tesco Bakery now myself.
      Many of the products are frozen, but we’ve started to make most of the lines ourself now.
      The soft roll machine is pretty cool, and clever for that matter… But you’ve gotta be fast to keep up with it, otherwise your dough falls off the end and smushes.

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