The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

How to bake a large batch of Artisan breads

  • Pin It
Thaichef's picture
Thaichef

How to bake a large batch of Artisan breads

Good Morning: 


  I learn how to make many Artisan breads from TFL site and really enjoyed it.  For about  a year now I enjoyed  baking breads for my family and shared it with friends.  Early this year I  have an opportunity to sell breads at my Community market by buying it from a wonderful bakery in Roanoke, VA.  I have since quited doing so since it is 70 miles round trip and I earned very little from this venture after taking off the expenses!  So, I am selling my own sourdough and regular breads at the market and customers love it.  My problems is my mixer only can mix two loaves at a time and baking (heart baking) only can be done only in a small amount on home oven.  I could only make about 12 loaves at the most starting on Wednesday for the market on Sat.


  I jokingly  complaint to my local Pizza store owner that I wished that I could have large mixer like his to mix my dough in large batch and out of the blue he said that I could use his mixer to mix my dough for free!


Now, I have a problem,  I don't know how to manage a large batch baking since I am only had experienced baking only two loves at a time!  I used the bread machine to mix the regular  breads and the regular mixer for sourdough.  I also have a regular size refrigerator for retarding the dough.  Is it possible for me to do it or just forget the large batch?  I would love to bake large quantity for the market but I have no clue.  Please help.


Mantana


 


 

breadnik's picture
breadnik

Dear Mantana,


I don't know how other people do it but I can tell you how I do it, baking close to 150 loaves on Thursday and Friday for the weekly Saturday farmers market. I bake at home. I do have a 20 qt. commercial mixer but that's the only piece of professional equipment that I own. I must say that this is certainly doable (since I do it) but it requires serious time management skills.


On Wednesday afternoon I start prepping. Late Wednesday night I mix 2 kinds of rye bread and a Multigrain, to be baked on Thursday (I do believe that my ryes and multigrain actually taste better after ripening for an extra day). I very carefully watch the weather forecast and increase/reduce the amount of yeast/sourdough starter depending on the temperature/humidity. If it gets too hot and humid, I turn on the AC, to make sure my dough does not over-ferment overnight.


On Thursday morning I divide, shape and proof my dough while starting the prep for the Thursday night mix (I make a lot of filled breads that require some seriuos prep work). Although this is far from ideal, I bake on large sheet pans, 5-6 loaves/pan, on two levels, and rotate/flip my pans a few times during the cycle. This allows me to produce 10-12 one-pound loaves/45 minutes. I have a regular household oven, an old electric KitchenAid. It does have convection, though, which helps a lot.


On Thursday night I mix the rest of the breads and repeat the cycle on Friday. I usually take 9-10 kinds of bread to the market.


Please note that my entire baking schedule is determined by the fact that for legal reasons I can not package my bread at the market and must take it there already pre-packaged. Which means that the bread needs to cool off completely before I can package it. If this were not the case, I'd be, like everyone else, baking at night and taking my bread to the market freshly-baked. As it is, my last loaf usually comes out of the oven around 8 p.m. on Friday night.


My total time investment in this process is about 25-30 hours.


I hope you will find some useful information in my comment. Please let me know if I can be of any further help.


Cheers,
Nika
aka Breadnik

Thaichef's picture
Thaichef

Good Morning Nika:


  Thank you very much Nika for your details information. Do you retard it overnight in your refrigerator? Under your comments"I turn on the AC so that it does not over- ferment overnight" and " I belive that my multigrain and Ryes ..."make me think that you do. 


  I found your comments amazing!  I can not imagine anyone being able to do it at home to produce that quantities!  Do you do the "heart bake" bread or regular one?  Can you post  pictures of some of your breads?  I am totally amazed! Have you had any training in the commercial bread baking before? Do you have any help?  For my small market I think that 20 loves will be sufficient amount. Too bad we do not live close by  or I would like to come and help. Where do you sell your breads?  Your ability to do so "floor me"!!!  Wow!


   Thank you very much.


mantana


 

breadnik's picture
breadnik

Dear Mantana,


I am sorry I haven't responded -- I'm all in my baking and, to make things even more fun, in prepping/cooking for the weekend at the friends' farm, where I'll have to feed about 150 people.


I'll be back in town on Monday and will do my best to answer your questions on Monday or Tuesday. In the meantime you can see some of my breads at my website breadnik.com, look at the Ingredients section.


Have a good weekend,
Nika
aka Breadnik