Behind the White Wall: Things You Need to Know About Our On-Site Bakery
But did you know that our award-winning executive pastry chef Sam Nahhas, who orchestrates the most decadent, creative and stunningly plated desserts inside this wall, also heads up a team of dedicated bakers and apprentices who crank out warm, delicious baked goods? His guiding expertise is evident as mouth-watering, break-apart, flaky goodness pops from our ovens and onto our tables.
We wanted to get a small slice of what goes on here behind the white wall at Normandy Farm, so we asked Chef Sam eight questions about why our on-site bakery is such a recipe for success.
What products do you bake on the premises? Croissants, danish pastries, muffins, kaiser bread, dinner rolls, challah bread, sourdough bread, burger buns and of course all my desserts, which include mini French pastries, gelato, sorbets, French macaroons and our eye-popping wedding cakes.
What type of ingredients go into your bakery goods? I use whole wheat flour, high gluten flour, fresh yeast, pistachios, hazelnuts and 40% heavy creams in many of my recipes. High-quality ingredients are always important in creating the baked goods. The finished results—especially our breads—have better texture, color and taste when doing so.
Are all the products made daily? Yes. All good bakeries are daily. How much flour, eggs and butter do you go through in a week? We average over 600 pounds of flour, 160 pounds of butter and over 2,000 eggs to make our creations. Is much of the creation process done traditionally—baking, kneading, molding? Yes. Breads are created traditionally. Cookies are made from scratch, rolled by hand and cut by my team. There are few shortcuts with this type of result. As enjoyable as baking is, it is most definitely a science as well.
How many on your team does it take to create these masterpieces, and how does everyone not eat everything in sight? I have a team of nine people with each person specializing in a certain process or product between making bread, shaping the dough, baking the cake, decorating and plating. It’s difficult to resist tasting what we create, but we know we have a job to do and we focus on getting it done and providing our guests with a high-quality, delicious pastry menu.
Are these scrumptious baked goods available for purchase from anyone should they decide to pop in on a whim?
Plated desserts, gelato, breads, cookies, brownies and ice creams are available anytime from our menu. Custom-made cakes are available with a three-business day lead time. French macaroons are available with a two-business day lead time. We’ve heard a rumor that you may offer baked goods for sale outside of Normandy Farm? Is this true? It has been a topic of discussion and we are open to expanding our menu beyond Normandy Farm. Keep posted via our blog and Facebook page for any new and exciting information.
Is there a favorite house-made item that you can’t live without? Gelato and sorbet! We have a selection of 20 different flavors. Hard to resist!
As you can see, what goes on behind the white wall of Normandy Farm is always exciting, always evolving and always full of wonderful surprises. Come enjoy the aroma, the flavor and the presentation of what’s baking in our ovens. You can thank us later.
Located just 25 minutes from Center City Philadelphia and situated in the heart of Blue Bell, Pa.,Normandy Farm Hotel and Conference Center is more than a meticulously restored American landmark—it's a fully wired, high-tech hospitality venue. Relax on our grand terrace, sip a cocktail in America's oldest silo, play a challenging game of golf on our championship course, plan an event with us or dine on our delectable farm-to-table cuisine. It all adds up to One Historic Experience.