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Kneaders – Baking v. Bakery

Those of us fortunate enough to have, or have had, mothers who were bakers remember the smell of cookies, cakes, pies mixing with and creating the scent of home.  I remember soft chocolate cookies fresh out of the oven when I came through the door from school.
I was able to do some memorable baking for my daughter.  Cupcakes and Halloween-themed cakes stand out in my memory.  In the next week we will pick out her wedding cake.  Time flies and expectations change.
I cannot eat the way I once did.  Baking at home is dangerous.  I eat what I bake. So I’m always looking for a place to go for a bite with the Hubster to indulge a bit of home-baked goodness.

View of Kneaders counter area showing gift items, gift baskets, breakfast and bread (and so much more!)
They have my favorites! Cute gift items, gift baskets, breakfast and bread (and so much more!)

I just spent a delightful part of this afternoon in a pastry class at Kneaders Bakery and Cafe‘s new location in Tucson on the east side of Craycroft Avenue just south of River Road.  It is the second location in Tucson and a third will open in Oro Valley soon.
The pastry class was fun, informative, and illustrative of several of the company’s values.  Taught by Monica, The Pastry Chef for Kneaders, who does product development and training to assure consistent yumminess across all 51 restaurants and bakeries in six western states, her class first revealed the secret to amazing pastry.
Kneaders restaurant and bakery pastry demonstration in Tucson at Craycroft and River Store
The secret ingredient: butter!

Of course the real secret ingredient to wonderful baking and cooking is love.
Quality ingredients are sourced through known vendors and harvest times for consistency.  Few, but excellent, ingredients make for a great healthy taste.  And giving back to the community through the donation of unsold items to food banks continues the good karma.
The staff were friendly, well-trained, and generally seemed calm, happy, and both client- and mission-oriented. Cleanliness and proprietary arrangement of prep areas and ovens were evident in the “no photos allowed” kitchen.  I coveted the Italian ovens.
Attendees learned about consistency of stages of the dough, hints on pastry bag use, filling methodology, and ganache-dipping technique.  And best of all, I was able to make initials for my grand daughters that are now in the fridge for them.
G and J for Georgia and Josephine
G and J for Georgia and Josephine

Oh, and did I mention the ganache?
Ganach- topped cream-filled éclairs too!
Ganach- topped cream-filled éclairs too!

Friday August 19th and Saturday August 20th will have special offerings for the first 100 customers at this location.  I may just have to check out their breakfast.
Sometimes it is nice to have others do the cooking, baking, and clean-up.
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Sponsored Post Disclaimer.  This is a sponsored post, but as always, opinions are my own.
 
 

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15 Comments

  1. That looks like a great place and a fun class. I am actually attending one next week on dessert making of some type at a local community center hosted by my favorite little market so I can’t wait. Anytime someone else gets to clean up the mess is a winner in my book!

    1. The lack of mess is almost as wonderful as the taste of something novel in a social situation. Have fun at your class Beth!

  2. It all looks delicious (shame I am so far away) but I totally get the bit about not baking so much now the kids aren’t home – all that cake eating is not so great for the midlife waistline 🙂

  3. Taking a cooking class for baking! Brilliant! Now I can have a few baked goods, and not have them in my house to eat them…because that is the conundrum, isn’t it?! Love to bake, but love to eat, even more….ugh….Delicious post!

    1. My Mom didn’t do yeast either. And I didn’t until well into my twenties when I realized that to be truly granola, I had to make bread. What a learning curve! Thank heavens yesterday’s featured pastries were not yeast – although the chef spoke about such wild beasts as yeasties!

    1. My mom was a so-so cook, but she was a great baker of pies, cookies and cakes. Aromas are gifts from the goddesses!

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