The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Plastic bags for crusty breads?

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varda's picture
varda

Plastic bags for crusty breads?

Hi,  I am getting geared up to sell bread at a local farmers market.   Health regulations say the bread must be covered so I am looking at options.    My inclination is to keep plastic out of it, as it is a crust destroyer, but its hard to sell bread if people can't see it.   I know some bakeries use perforated plastic, but I'm worried about that too.   Any opinions?    Anyone done a taste test on uncovered bread versus bread in a perforated plastic bag?   Thanks.  -Varda

Yerffej's picture
Yerffej

Varda,

The perforated plastic bags work very well.  It is a good solution to the issue that you are facing even if is not a perfect solution.

Jeff

Les Nightingill's picture
Les Nightingill

Probably more expensive up-front, but consider an acrylic display case and use paper bags for customers to take loaves away.

I imagine (almost) everyone would appreciate fewer plastic bags in the world.

Donkey_hot's picture
Donkey_hot

varda,

You may order paper bags with large clear plastic window.

OldWoodenSpoon's picture
OldWoodenSpoon

Perforated bags work well for me so far.  I recently purchased a small quantity of these bags (from www.NYBakers.com for those that want to know) to test, and so far I have liked the results.  I used the bags to package some sourdough from my WFO to hold it for a couple of days to gift at a gathering of friends.  The crusts were still crunchy 48 hours later.  Your mileage may vary but they have worked far better for me than the typical plastic bakery goods bag.

Best of luck with your Farmer's Market venture!
OldWoodenSpoon.

varda's picture
varda

Hi.   Great to get your comments.  I just went to the local farmer's market to research the situation, and saw all of the above.    One baker had wicker boxes with plastic lift tops where they kept the smaller goods.    These seem to work really well.   They also had paper bags with wide plastic inserts.   I didn't buy one of there loaves so not sure about that.    A second baker had all their loaves in perforated plastic bags with twist ties.   I bought a sourdough loaf.   Delicious bread but I felt that the crust was indeed compromised.   Not a trace of brittleness.    It is raining today though so maybe it's the rain and not the plastic bags.    Does anyone know where to buy the boxes with the plastic tops?   Thanks.  -Varda

Janetcook's picture
Janetcook

Hi Varda,

HERE are bags of all sizes with windows AND FDA approved!  I have purchased from this company in the past and service has always been good.  They sell twist ties too if you need them.  White or tan.

Good Luck,

Janet

 

varda's picture
varda

Hey Janet,   Thanks for the recommendation.  -Varda

FlourChild's picture
FlourChild

Varda, just wanted to say best of luck with your farmer's market venture!

varda's picture
varda

I am just trying to put one foot in front of the other and see where I end up.   Thanks for your good wishes.  -Varda

Yerffej's picture
Yerffej

Varda,

I do not know if this is to be sort of a hobby for you or a profit making undertaking or something in-between.  Should you essentially be going into business with profit in mind, I would advise that you look closely at the per loaf cost of the packaging.  There are some great looking packages out there that are just too expensive to wrap around a simple loaf of bread if you are going to be using hundreds of them on an ongoing basis.

Jeff

varda's picture
varda

Jeff,   I haven't made any money yet - still in the hole with a lot of start up costs - but I am not trying not to make money.   Whether we will describe this as a hobby or a business is yet to be determined.    I just bought a tray with a hinged polycarbonate cover at restaurant depot.   It was relatively inexpensive but more expensive in the short term than bags.   I already bought a large quantity of paper bags (lunch bag style) extremely cheap.    My plan is to display some breads in the case, and keep the rest in large brown paper bags, then transfer to the small paper bags when sold.    Hopefully this will be a good plan.   I'll find out on Saturday.  Thanks for your help. -Varda

 

Yerffej's picture
Yerffej

Varda,

The long term view is almost always the best and I like the approach that you have taken. 

Have a wonderful day at the market and remember to have fun no matter what else might be a part of the day.

Jeff

coffeecat's picture
coffeecat

It must be different in new york than in California, because the bakers here can typically have their breads half-covered by a paper bag, stacked on a table under their tent, and then for purchase they slide it completely into the bag and hand it off. I dont know how the legality of that would go over in new york but id think it was worth looking into for price purposes. Although they do have their pastries, scones, muffins etc in a closed display case

 

varda's picture
varda

and not legal.   Must be covered.   Have just been through this with the environmental health agent who just issued my license.   The farmers markets make this a rule, so that they are in compliance.  Thanks.  -Varda

grind's picture
grind

Have a profitable Saturday Market, on every level.

varda's picture
varda

Thanks so much grind.  I'm keeping my fingers crossed, and baking like mad!  -Varda

Janetcook's picture
Janetcook

Hi Varda,

Just wanted to wish you luck tomorrow.  This sure came into 'being' quite quickly!  

Most of all have fun :)

Take Care,

janet