November 8, 2017

The Butcher, The Bakers, The IPA Maker

Part Two: Ruben Toraño, Baker

Writer Bradford Pearson spotlights four of Dallas’ culinary minds stretching the rules of the kitchen. First,  Michael Sindoni. Now its baker Ruben Toraño’s turn…

“And this,” Ruben Toraño says, “this is our Death Star.”

He’s pointing to the—deep breath—Empire MecaMATIC Vapor Tube multi-deck tunnel oven, which you could drive a Volkswagen into if you needed to bake one for some reason. It’s got five decks and a loading system that looks like it should be chauffeuring bags into the undercarriage of a plane. If you added up the rack’s square footage, you’d be looking at a pretty nice one-bedroom apartment. And every morning around 4 a.m., it’s stuffed to the crust with 150 loaves of bread.

Semolina rolls for giardiniera and cold-cut-laden Italian subs at Americano. Loaves of potato bread, served up griddled and topped with butter and jam at CBD Provisions. Dozens of rounded mounds of sourdough, which get sprinkled across other restaurants for odds and ends.

He and the team’s baking operation used to be housed at The Joule, where an oven could squeeze 35 to 40 loaves in at a time. Capacity is now four times that at Commissary. Sourdough, rye breads, baguettes, foccacia, anything. Ruben brings the oven up to 450 degrees, fills the loader, and the MecaMATIC gets to work.

Doing the work in-house has another advantage: customization. Sending a hamburger bun order in three different styles—plain, sesame, and everything—to an outside baker would be a budgetary nightmare. But here, it’s just a Tuesday morning.

“For me, this is an opportunity to do more,” he says. “We just kinda took everything we did, and made it bigger and better.”

Continue reading Part Three…

The Details: Try Toraño’s bread—fresh out of the oven— at Commissary, 1217 Main Street.