The long history of Johnnie Bread

Freshman Aaryn DuBose bakes Johnnie Bread at St. John's University.
Freshman Aaryn DuBose bakes "Johnnie Bread" at St. John's University in Collegeville, Minn., on April 21, 2017. DuBose is one of just four students who bake tens of thousands of loaves of the bread a year.
Max Nesterak | MPR News

Baking Johnnie Bread was started by monks, but now baking it is a job for students.Freshman Aaryn DuBose is one of just four St. John's students who bake "Johnnie Bread," a hearty bread that's been a staple of the Johnnie diet since the mid-1800s.

The story goes that the German monks who founded the University were used to baking bread using rye flour. But in America, they found wheat was plentiful. Somewhere along the way one monk--likely Brother Wolfgang Beck--decided to mix the two flours together to make the distinctive "Johnnie Bread."

Today, Johnnie Bread is shipped all around the country, but it's still a small operation based out of the University's dining hall. Still, DuBose and his three classmates manage to bake tens of thousands of loaves each year.

For the full report, click the audio player above.

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