The Bread Mama’s Bucket List

BY LAURIE EZZELL BROWN

ON A TYPICAL MORNING, Tresea Rankin is awake and hard at work before the sun is up, and well before most of her customers get that break-of-day urge for one of The Bucket’s signature breakfast burgers.

Before most folks have had that first, bracing cup of coffee, she has already positioned the racks of industrial-grade bread and muffin pans near her work counter, which she quickly flours before taking the yeasty, already-risen sourdough from 5-gallon buckets, dividing it into equal portions, and kneading and shaping each one into a bun or miniature loaf of bread.

The BucketIt is a ritual she’s practiced so many times there’s no longer any need for measuring or weighing. The tools she uses are improvised, in many cases: the famed buckets were ones came from the local hardware store, as did the bread dough beater—a hand drill outfitted with a custom-made dough hook that Tresea’s husband, Bo, made from some 7/16 stainless steel and a lot of trial and error.

This is The Bucket’s genesis: this slightly-sweet sourdough that birthed a business and a livelihood, that helped raise and feed and educate a family of four, and that today, employs a dozen hard-working women and feeds a legion of satisfied customers. . . .

FOR THE REST OF THE STORY, read The Record’s e-edition or pick up a copy of the print edition on local newsstands.

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