I'm so sick and tired of cakes and I have a ton of free time on my hands these days with two kids in college and one a junior in high school. I've always wanted to gain experience making and baking breads and other non-cake items, and was thinking about working at Panera Bread for awhile for kicks.
Has anyone worked there as a baker? Do you actually get to create doughs?
Never worked there, but we have two homes, WV and MD. Both have a Panera and they serve the exact same items, tasting exactly the same. My guess is that it is all frozen, which is ok for breads and pastry dough. I don't think they hire artisan bread bakers for each store because technique would yield a different product.
Panera has central commissaries for each region, where they produce the doughs and batters. These are frozen and shipped to each store within the region. The production crew bakes-off/finishes each item. I'm sure you would learn a lot from working in a Panera, just not how to bake from scratch.