The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Ideas for bulk baking

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Ilse's picture
Ilse

Ideas for bulk baking

Good morning

I bake more or less 50 loaves of bread for the market on Saturdays.  I haven't got a mixer and do everything by hand.  Any tips for making the whole process faster/more efficient?

Thanks

Ilse

Yerffej's picture
Yerffej

Ilse,

If possible, mix the dough a day or two ahead and put it into refrigeration.  Use one dough to make different breads.  Make certain that you fill your oven to capacity for the fewest number of baking cycles.  Beyond this I do not know what to tell you without more details of what you are doing.

Happy Baking,      Jeff

Ilse's picture
Ilse

Hi Jeff 

Thank you, I make a full rye, half rye, wholewheat, seed loaf, Ezekiel bread and french loaves. For the rye, I use the same no knead recipe, I just half the rye and add bread flour for the half rye.  The seed loaf's recipe is the same as the wholewheat, I just add seeds.  The Ezekiel bread is totally different and the most popular and then just a french loaf, some I keep plain, the others I just add some garlic and origanum.

Kind regards

Ilse

Yerffej's picture
Yerffej

Hi Ilse,

I have a similar menu for a farmers market.  I have a few more varieties and some pastries.  I mix all of the dough on Wednesday and Thursday for a Saturday morning market.  It is then refrigerated after a short bulk rise.  On Friday I do all of the baking.  I have tried a number of different schedules and this seems to work the best.  It is important to get the oven close to capacity to reduce the number of bakes and give you more time for a nap!

Jeff

Ilse's picture
Ilse

I have just learned about soaking the flour first, that's what I'm planning to do for this weekend.  If you make all your dough on Thursdays, do you finish the dough and refrigerate that or just a part of the process?  Do you just mix your dough and do the kneading on Friday? Or just shape and prove?

Thanks

Ilse

Yerffej's picture
Yerffej

Ilse,

I start the dough(s) on Tuesday and Wednesday, final mixing happens on Thursday and then Friday is scaling, preshaping, shaping, final proof and baking.  All of the doughs come out of refrigeration very early Friday morning.  I use this schedule because it works for me.  I used to do it all on Friday but that proved a bit too much as it took about 18 hours.  Then I moved some of the work to Thursday, then Wednesday and now a little bit on Tuesday.  Tuesday is the day that I mix the poolish for some of the breads.  For the sourdough breads I mix the flour and water for a 30-60 minute autolyse prior to the final mix. 

I would strongly advise against trying to do too much right from the start.  Begin with a few breads and add more as you work out your routine and scheduling.  If you start with too much, everything can suffer...the breads, you, your sleep and so on.  Have fun,

Jeff

bread basket's picture
bread basket

Hi Ilse, what kind of oven do you have? ,I also bake for the market on Saturday: I manage to bake about 40 loafs, 6 different kinds. I own a 19 year old Oster kitchen center and I have a Maytag regular stove, bought at Habitat. To bake that many loafs and still have time to do all the other things around the house, garden,yoga, dog agility and time to spend with my hubby, I had to develop a system: one part of this is that I have to freeze the breads I bake on Monday, Tuesday and Thursday. Friday bake just goes in the plastik bag (NC requirement)and is ready for the market. The frozen ones get sawed out over night on Friday to be ready for Sat AM.  I recalculated all my recipes for4- 5 loafs which is the max I can bake at one time and is also the max what my mixer can take. I learned to bake only one kind at a time: Rye SD (8) on Monday(start feeding my starter Sun AM), regular SD(8) on Tuesday, Wednesday is off :), Thursday I bake 15 loafs (yeast,2 different kinds) with pfs done  Wed.PM and Friday 15 loafs (yeast, again 2 different kinds) with pfs done Thursday PM. I am aware that the freezing might not be the best, but since I have to put my bread in a plastic bag, the crunchy crust is gone anyway. Up till now no complaints only compliments.I also live in the south where bread in a plastik bag especially in a hot Summer does not survive.  I bake my staples and just lately introduced the rye SD (66%Rye SD Hammelman and Rye Flax SD also Hammelman).. I don't know what I would do without my workhorse (mixer). I only mix about 7 min but it sure helps. I hope this gives you some ideas.

Barbara

Yerffej's picture
Yerffej

Hi Barbara,

Have you looked into perforated bread bags?  I use them during Summer heat and humidity to retain the crispness of the crust.  As soon as the humid weather passes I return to regular plastic bags or the bread dries out in the perforated bag.

Jeff

bread basket's picture
bread basket

Thanks Jeff. No I haven't but will do.

Ilse's picture
Ilse

Thank you everyone for all the advice. It sure does help to learn more about the tricks of the trade :-)

Ilse

Lodro's picture
Lodro

I'm coming late to this discussion, nevertheless: I operate a CSB for a number of communal gardens with pick ups (small on saturday, large on sunday) and we bake for Local Food markets too, in that case, I bake both subscriptions and loaves for the market. I think the maximum I baked was about 60 loaves. 

I use 3 formulas, a wheat dough, rye and a milk/sweet dough for rolls, and I make all my bread with those, varying flavourings, techniques. All these doughs have 65% hydration and are made the same way: 1 hour autolyse with the salt added, then 3x stretch and folds at 10 minute intervals, 10 minute rest, then weighing and first forming, 20 minutes rest, then shaping and slashing and about 20 minutes last rise until they go into the oven. The way I bake large quantities is to stagger production, so that when one batch is in the oven, I'm forming loaves on the next batch and so on. I ready all my dough in advance, and then I start weighing, forming, shaping and baking in a kind of relay system. I time this by means of a kitchen timer, so that after my first bake has started, my oven is never empty. My rolls go last, as these are more fiddly and so need the entire last run of the loaves to prepare properly. 

I've had the luck of having been able to buy a large Manz oven, which has three baking chambers that can hold 15 loaves in one go. So one favor you might do yourself is to look for a larger oven. When you start increasing production it's the capacity of your oven that's the bottle neck. I've found that with my autolyse technique, I don't really need a mixer. I mix very large quantities of dough, usually. I didn't want to have to do freezing, everything is fresh from the oven on the morning I do pick ups. It does mean rising early, though, but I manage my entire production in about 5.5 hours. (using a larger than usual oven, it's true)

 

Ilse's picture
Ilse

Hi Lodro

Thank you so much for all the info, very helpful.  I have always made a wholewheat and seedloaf with the no-knead method (just mix everything and let rise for 60min)  It made a very dense loaf, but everyone loved it.  As I became more experienced and started with kneading,  and all the proper methods of baking good loaves, my bread became wonderfully light, and made me very proud.  But I've noticed that the customers prefer the dense loaves - it's as if they cannot believe that it has the same amount of wholewheat. Some say that it looks just like shop bread.  What am I to do?  Give them what they want?  Or do I not have the correct recipe for a good seedloaf/wholewheat?

Regards

Ilse

Lodro's picture
Lodro

It's the stretch and fold and the shaping that are esssential here. I started to do autolyse and stretch and fold because with the quantities of dough I need to mix and without a mixer, kneading was a no-go. I haven't noticed any differences in texture between kneading and stretch and fold:

https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=212933672169931&set=pb.148868065243159.-2207520000.1351080994&type=3&theater

Customer preference is also a matter of conditioning. For instance, in Northern Europe, "healthy" bread often has malt in it, to colour it, and this is, in the perception of people, "healthy bread". It has taken us a long time, before people accepted that our whole grain loaves, without colouring, so looking like "ordinary" bread, were just as whole grain.