Anna Mae Southern Bread Co.
Anna Mae Southern Bread Co. • Like the South Itself: Slow, Sweet, and Full of Tradition. Anna Mae Southern Bread Co. is located in Greensboro, North Carolina. They use a multi-generation family recipe to produce Southern-inspired dinner rolls. Their flavors are Anna Mae’s Sweet Yeast Original, Cheddar & Chive, and Sweet Potato & Molasses
The company’s namesake, recipe, and technique come from owner Shana Martin’s grandmother Anna Mae Hagewood. Her grandmother and her both hail from rural Sparta, Tennessee. Love brought her to North Carolina from Tennessee, and homesickness brought her back to her grandmother’s bread recipe.
In three short years, she learned to make her grandmother’s bread, started a home-based baking business, and grew it from her 12-by-12-foot dining room to a 1,200 square-foot facility. Originally selling her breads at farm markets, local grocery stores, and independent restaurants, She and her team of “rollers” make and sell a line of dinner rolls in the freezer section of over 150 grocery stores in 20 states.
In keeping with their family tradition they use Anna Mae’s 30-hour process to make their rolls. It begins when they “feed” their Southern sourdough starter (Southern ‘cause it’s sweet!), which slowly activates throughout the day. Next, they mix their dough using all natural ingredients, locally milled flour, and North Carolina sweet potatoes (for the Sweet Potato rolls). Then the dough takes its time slowly rising overnight. The next morning they knead, weigh, and shape each roll by hand. The rolls get a second-rise before they are fully baked, flash frozen and bagged by hand
Anna Mae Hagewood, the grandmother of Anna Mae Southern Bread Co. founder, Shana Martin, started their family tradition of Southern Sourdough bread making. Miss Anna Mae was known for making the most delicious Southern Sourdough bread. Her family and friends used it for just about everything – it was the base for sandwiches, toasted with preserves, and served with fresh beans and tomatoes.
In Anna Mae’s little white plank home in rural Walling (and later Sparta) Tennessee, Anna Mae’s visitors were greeted by the sights of the bread at all its stages: just fed bubbling starter on counters, dough slowly rising on her kitchen table, and fresh loaves cooling on the stovetop. The aroma of sweet yeast bread floated from the rocking chairs on her front porch to the root cellar and smokehouse in the back. Visiting her grandmother’s kitchen are some of Shana’s favorite childhood memories.
Years and years later, through a series of serendipitous events, life and love brought Shana to her grandmother’s bread recipe and to a path in life she never imagined was waiting for her. Homesick and longing to connect with her roots after a move from her home state of Tennessee to North Carolina, she began making her grandmother’s Southern Sourdough bread. After sharing it with the folks in her new community, she soon recalled just how much she and others loved its distinctive flavor.
Not knowing where this path would take her but inspired and impassioned by her grandmother’s memory, husband and family’s support, she had her home certified as a home-based food processing facility. In their 12-foot x12-foot dinning room, Shana worked day and night using the same 24-hour process her grandmother used. She fed starters and slowly leavened the dough twice before they were hand kneaded and baked. She sold them at farm markets, community events, and to locally owned grocery stores and restaurants.
After nearly two years she moved her one-woman operation out of their home and into a small facility where she developed three Southern-inspired roll flavors based on her grandmother’s Southern Sourdough bread recipe, which are now available in grocery stores throughout 20 States!
Today, Shana and her team of breadmakers still use the same 24 hour process Anna Mae used for her bread – feeding starters, rising dough twice, kneading it by hand, and baking it til’ golden. They work hard so you enjoy the rolls they work so very hard to make, and just as they did for Shana, give you a little taste of home – just when you need it most.
For More Information
FaceBook • www.facebook.com/pages/Anna-Mae-Southern-Bread-Co/134420633294651
WebSite • www.annamaebreads.com
Twitter • www.twitter.com/annamaerolls
Contact • www.annamaebreads.com/find-us
Source, Graphic & Photo Credits • www.annamaebreads.com