- Orwashers has been making NYC’s most legendary bread since 1916.
- Today there are two brick-and-mortar locations plus a giant production facility in the Bronx that supplies restaurants and markets throughout the area.
- We visited the factory for a behind-the-scenes tour.
Following is a transcript of this video:
Narrator: Orwashers bakery was founded in 1916 by Abraham Orwasher, a Hungarian immigrant determined to bring quality Eastern European breads to his local community. Since being sold to its current owner in 2008, the business has expanded to two brick-and-mortar locations plus a massive wholesale production facility, which makes bread for some of the biggest restaurants in NYC.
Spencer: All right, so today we’re in the Bronx at Orwashers’ giant factory. This is where they make the bread that’s getting sent out to some of the biggest restaurants and supermarkets in the city, and we’re gonna go get a behind-the-scenes tour to see how it’s all done.
Spencer: You know the, the hairnet’s a really good look on everyone.
Keith: I really like it. It reminds me of a lunch lady.
Spencer: Exactly! That’s what you’re givin’ me right now. How do we look?
Spencer: Ta-da! Pose, pose. You ready?
Narrator: The factory is split into three separate areas for mixing, shaping, and baking.
Keith: So right now you have the water, starter, and flour, and it’s being incorporated, and we’re shortly gonna add the yeast and then the salt to it. This can make a lot of bread, a lot of dough.
Spencer: How many loaves do you think you’ll get out of something this size?
Keith: Well, I mean, right now we’re mixing a couple hundred pounds, so could essentially get probably 150 loaves.
Spencer: That’s a lot of dough.
Narrator: Once the dough is mixed, it makes its way into the shaping room. Bakers and machines work together to shape 40 different types of dough daily, which will produce over 150 different types of bread products overall. They make everything from the classics like ciabatta and sourdough to more original options like the nutrient-filled raisin and sunflower seed spelt. Before the shaped dough is ready for the oven, it makes a pit stop to the humidity-controlled proofing room.
Keith: Here you go.
Spencer: Whoa! Ugh, it’s like a sauna in here!
Keith: Well, not quite.
Spencer: I feel like this is good for my pores though.
Narrator: After proofing and fermenting for various amounts of time depending on the type of dough, everything eventually makes its final destination into the oven room.Keith: Right, so you have your deck oven and your three convection ovens, or rack ovens, and this is where all the bread is baked, and then we move it a little bit over to cool it.
Narrator: The freshly baked bread is then shipped out first thing in the morning seven days a week. Well, all except one.
Spencer: How about this guy right here?
Spencer: Is this mine? I can take him home with me?
Keith: It’s all yours.
Spencer: Fresh out of the oven baked bread just for me? Oh, my God, that’s amazing. Thank you so much.
Keith: You’re very welcome.
Spencer: Keith, this was excellent. I really appreciate you taking us behind the scenes. We had a lot of fun.
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