BPHS students meet the baker
There’s nothing better than skipping school and going to The Bakery located on East Main Street in Blooming Prairie.
Fifteen students in a Blooming Prairie High School creative foods class had the opportunity one day last week to not actually skip school but to be part of a bus trip across town from the high school to The Bakery.
The Bakery owner Gregg Fristedt greeted students at his front door during the students’ seventh hour. Family and consumer sciences (it used to be called home economics) teacher Jen Gaines arranged the field trip to Fristedt’s bakery.
The visit to The Bakery was stimulated by the students’ interest in their creative foods class which now is focused on making gingerbread houses. Fristedt told the students that just last weekend, he built six gingerbread houses with the help of his grandchildren.
The BP students in the creative foods class have already started the gingerbread construction utilizing five kitchens and were hopeful to be putting the houses together this week. Mrs. Gaines supplies the dough and the frosting and the kids supply their own candies for the houses.
Students create their own design and when the houses are completed, they are put on display in the commons area of the high school. Judges (teachers) then select the best gingerbread house creation.
On their visit to The Bakery, Blooming Prairie foods students didn’t get to sample gingerbread houses but they did get free samples of Fristedt’s rosettes. “We start making rosettes in September and continue making them until May,” Fristedt said. One of his customers from St. Louis Park orders 120 dozen rosettes at a time.
“Oooh, they are yummy,” echoed several students. “They should melt in your mouth,” Fristedt promised.
Fristedt showed the students baking equipment he uses on a daily basis. “Our equipment is built to last and that’s true because my newest mixer is a 1968 model,” Fristedt said.
“How much does an oven cost?” one of the students asked Fristedt. “$22,000, would you like to order one?” Fristedt responded.
Another student asked, “How long have you worked at a bakery and did you go to school for it?” Fristedt said he has been in the business 35 years and yes, he did attend baking school. He confided later that bakers are a dying breed because of a lot of frozen baked goods that are on the market.
Fristedt rolled out some dough to show the students how biscuits are made. He also demonstrated how bismarks are filled. Bakery worker Diane Jensen showed the students how breads are sliced by machine.
“What’s your busiest time of the year?” Fristedt responded quickly to the student question: “Graduation, from May first to mid-June.”
During the Christmas season, Fristedt offers seven varieties of Christmas cookies.
Sophomore Clint Peterson said he enjoys his creative foods class because it allows him to explore his creative roots through baking. “At The Bakery, I was fascinated to see how the dough was made,” he added.
Senior Haily Naatz said she learned to bake from her grandmother and she said she was impressed with seeing how bakery products are made at The Bakery in Blooming Prairie.
“It was a great tour and we are fortunate to have a bakery in town,” commented Mrs. Gaines.