See how Great Harvest Bread Co. in PV makes their special holiday breads — and get tips for baking your own

Great Harvest Bread Co.

Sarah Berlin, co-owner of Great Harvest Bread Co. of Kansas City in Prairie Village, is working with her team of three full-time bakers to fulfill holiday orders this season. Here's a look behind the scenes at how Great Harvest meets holiday demands — and some tips for at-home bakers. Photo credits Juliana Garcia.

There’s a small team behind Great Harvest Bread Co. of Kansas City, located at Prairie Village’s Corinth Square.

Owners Sarah and Brian Berlin took over the space about seven years ago from the second husband-wife team to own the now 40-year-old bakery.

With three full-time bakers and fresh-baked inventory daily, Sarah said, Great Harvest is a tight-knit operation. And the holidays is one of their busiest times of the year.

Adding stress this year — more than a year-and-a-half into the pandemic — Sarah said Great Harvest is still experiencing supply chain issues.

Ingredient shortages and supply chain delays have gotten so bad, Great Harvest had to introduce a spin on an annual holiday loaf to accommodate for volume, Sarah said.

They’s added a raspberry white chocolate swirl loaf in addition to their regular cherry version.

Despite supply chain issues and increased holiday demand, Sarah said she knows she can rely on her team.

“We’ve got veterans who have been through this rodeo before, we’ve got new people who are new to baking,” Sarah said. “It’s helpful to have all hands on deck, and people, they get it. You can tell they know what they’re in for.”

Holiday orders at Great Harvest can be made online here until 4 p.m. on Dec. 21.

Here’s a look behind the scenes at Great Harvest’s holiday operation — and some tips from Berlin about baking at home for the holidays.

Great Harvest dough cutting
Before anything else, Berlin begins by cutting and weighing dough. Berlin said novice bakers need to remember to feed their yeast with sugar and flour.
Great Harvest team shot
After shaping the dough, Berlin (right, with rolling pin) moves onto rolling it out. While Great Harvest is equipped with a large slab top to work on, Berlin said bakers at home should opt to roll dough on freshly cleaned countertops — and if the dough is sticking to your hands, throw a little flour on the counters.
Once the dough is triangular in shape, Berlin begins to add either the raspberry or cherry white chocolate swirl mixture.
Cheese loaf Great Harvest
There are also savory holiday loaves, like a triple cheese loaf featuring aged parmesan, sharp cheddar cheese and mozzarella. Berlin said starting out with a white bread base allows bakers to play with extras — from chocolate chips and fruit to cheese.
White chocolate swirl loaves Great Harvest
For the white chocolate swirl loaves, Berlin starts to roll them up after adding the fruit mixture.
Great Harvest seams
Berlin suggests home bakers close the seam with their fingers in a rolling motion, and set the loaf seam side down in a sprayed baking pan.
Great Harvest cinnamon rolls
While Berlin was busy making 20 white chocolate swirl loaves, another team member made cinnamon rolls.
Cinnamon rolls shaped into a Christmas tree are the most popular holiday treat at Great Harvest, Berlin said. Each tree tin can fit about 10 cinnamon rolls. She said her team can make up to 400 rolls to fill orders for one day.
Great Harvest Christmas tree cinnamon rolls
Berlin said shaping dough — like with the Christmas tree tin for these cinnamon rolls — is another way to step up your holiday baking game. Using tins is one of several ways to accomplish this.
Another way to play with shape is to slice a loaf of bread in half and twist it into a wreath, Berlin said. Above, the cinnamon chip wreathes at Great Harvest.
Cheese loaves Great Harvest
Berlin said home or novice bakers should have fun with their add-ons — and remember to test bake before serving bread on holidays. Above, the triple cheese loaves before going into the oven.