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'A Few Great Bakeries'
(DVD / NR / 2015 / PBS)

Overview: Bakeries are full of wonderful things: smells, sweet possibilities, friendly bakers who sometimes wait on you. A lot of work has usually gone into the sometimes soft, crunchy, salty, icing-covered products for sale, and the purchases you make often result in satisfaction and happiness. Celebrate all this oven-baked artistry in the hour-long documentary from PBS producer Rick Sebak (A Hot Dog Special and A Ride Along the Lincoln Highway).

DVD Verdict: PBS has hit it out of the park again, with Rick Sebak as creator, director and narrator of this very fine show. He starts out by saying, “There seems to be no rules about what you have to make to call yourself a bakery” and then he takes us to 10 bakeries from coast to coast. The show runs 56 minutes without commercials and is a joy to behold, trust me.

“Columbus Baking Company” (Syracuse, NY) In business since 1895, some of the old equipment is still in use. I was fascinated by the huge wooden rolling troughs for raising the dough.

“Orange Peel Bakery” (Martha’s Vineyard, MA) Has a pizza night every Wednesday night. They provide the crusts and customers bring their own toppings. It’s a community get-together.

“Sluy’s Bakery” (Pollsbo, WA) Learn the best way to get your bread loaves to release from the pan.

“ChezMoi” (Durham, NC) All the cooking is done at home, and then she sells out of her dessert truck.

“Standard Baking Company” (Portland, ME) New tip: croissants need a knick at the wide end, which you spread before rolling up.

“Minerva Bakery” (McKeesport, PA) I want one of their frosting dipping wavy thingies!

Rounded off with “Mama Ines Mexican Bakery” (Lafayette, IN), “SilverBow Bakery (Juneau, AK), Mahoroba Japanese Bakery (Sacramento, CA) and “Bernice’s Bakery” (Missoula, MT).

This isn’t a show about recipes or how to bake. It’s a celebration of those who love to bake and those who love to eat what they bake. So, again, from an outdoor wood-fired oven on Martha's Vineyard to a toasty bagel bakery in Juneau, Alaska, come along and visit people who own, work, shop and sometimes linger in these special neighborhood spots. This is a Widescreen Presentation (1.85:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs and comes with the Special Features of:

A Few Things I Wish We Had Time For - 30 Minutes of Bonus Material, including clips from all 10 of the bakeries featured in the program.