On a sunny, but crisp, fall morning, a favorite place to visit is a bakery found at the beginning of a Mennonite community in Whiteville, Tennessee. The bakery is called Backermann’s Bakery, which actually means Baker-man. It is managed by Mark Yoder for his parents, Earl and Mary Yoder.
It’s located along a long stretch of highway surrounded by farmland and with just a few houses dotting the landscape. In fact, if you didn’t know about this special place, you might miss it altogether, but it is so worth the drive!
I arrived on a Wednesday morning recently, just at the height of the baking day. A bell signaled my arrival when I opened the door, and I was immediately greeted with warm, moist air scented with cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg and homemade bread. There was sweet Acappella praise music playing. Often I have heard the ladies singing along as they worked. It is as though I’ve taken a step back to a simpler time to grandma’s kitchen of long ago. It’s a place I like to linger awhile.
The bakery is one large room divided only by a counter. One side has huge ovens and work tables, a bread slicer, mixers and all their necessary baking equipment.
The other side is filled with rows of shelves laden with 15 different kinds of homemade breads plus seasonal sweetbreads, like the Pumpkin Bread recipe (below) that Mr. Yoder was kind enough to share with me.
There are also wonderful sweet rolls like cinnamon and pecan sticky buns, all kinds of cookies, cakes and their famous pumpkin roll. There are even fried pies; something I’d never had before until visiting there.
There are also jars of jams, jellies, pickles and all the different kinds of flours and online casino baking supplies you would need to do the baking yourself.
Along the walls are large refrigerating units that house their own grass-fed, hormone-free beef products, fresh eggs, bottles of milk that haven’t been homogenized, and fresh churned butter and cheeses. Everything they bake is free from preservatives, and all their products are made right here in the community or shipped from other Mennonite communities.
Looking out the back windows of the store, I can see a bit of the Yoder’s farm with chickens running around and even a few donkeys. The Yoders are a Mennonite family whose faith calls them to a simpler way of life that focuses on God, His creation, and one another. Mark and his wife have been blessed with six children, who all help with running the farm and business once they are old enough to take on the certain responsibilities.
If you are ever in the area, I want to encourage you to stop in! I can absolutely guarantee you will be blessed, if not by the peaceful, inviting environment, then definitely by their baked goods!! Until then, their pumpkin bread recipe is sure to entice you to plan a visit! Enjoy!
Bachermann’s Bakery Pumpkin Bread
makes 5 loaves
- 3 Cups Sugar
- 1 Cup Oil
- 1 Cup Water
- 4 Eggs
- 2 tsp. Vanilla
- 1 Tbsp. Baking Soda
- ½ tsp. Baking Powder
- 2 tsp. Salt
- 1 tsp. Cinnamon
- ½ tsp. Cloves
- 3 ½ Cups Flour
- 2 Cups Pumpkin
- ¾ Cup Chopped Pecans (optional)
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Cream oil and sugar together, then add rest of ingredients and mix well. Fill each well-greased loaf pan half full and bake for 45 minutes or until bread is firm.