The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Baker's Schedule questions

csimmo64's picture
csimmo64

Baker's Schedule questions

Hi Professional Bakers,


I work in a small bakery and I am trying to take some cues from more established bakeries. Currently we mix each dough the day before with a simple recipe. Each utilizes a ripe poolish.


We ferment, then shape and retard the loaves before the next morning bake.


I have been reading a few artisan breads books and it seems that some utilize making one basic bread recipe and making a large variety of breads from that one style of dough.


Another book [Artisan breads in 5 minutes a day] talked about mixing a straight dough with high hydration very little, letting it ferment for a short time, and then refrigerating the dough to be used for the next week. Each day the dough takes on a more 'sourdough' flavor note.


Basically, I'm trying to streamline our baking schedule. What schedule do you professional bakers use?

arlo's picture
arlo

At my bakery we use a sponge and dough method and a sourdough on occasions. Of course we have batter breads and straight doughs too, but mostly sponge and dough.


I arrive at about 3 am, start with the first sponge and after about 9 varities I am typically off the oven by 11-12 am.

csimmo64's picture
csimmo64

What bakery do you work at? Im in fort wayne, Indiana. We use a poolish and make around 4 different breads each day. Sometimes more, but not more than 30 loaves [unfortunately]


Since I posted this, I've had many great ideas about the schedules and such, though I'm not in a leadership position. My idea is to mix and bulk ferment doughs overnight in a retarder, shape and bake the entire day the next day.


My problem lies in the time it takes for a yeasted dough to rise after being shaped from the cooler. Its tough! Still working on it.

arlo's picture
arlo

I work at Great Harvest. We average about 10 styles of bread on the shelf daily, though we make about 6 kinds a day. A minimum quantity of about 200-300 loaves on hand each day as well. So we do make quite a bit of bread, but nothing major.


The idea of fermenting the dough overnight and baking in the morning the bread from yesterday has been implemented at a few bakeries. It helps keep bakers (like me) from having to wake up and start at work at 3 am. Instead you could come in at 6, bake the bread and have it out by 8 or 9 am, all while mixing and fermenting the next batch. Come 5 p.m. the loaves that were worked on all day could be placed in the fridge and the process continued tomorrow.


And a sidenote, in no way do I consider myself a professional baker. I am a student in culinary, an employee-baker, and an at home advocate of baking. But still have a long while before I would consider myself anything special.

csimmo64's picture
csimmo64

But you get paid for your work and you are doing it as a job. What I think you are thinking of is the distinction between a chef and a cook. You are entry level? I just graduated culinary school in may. I'm in your shoes! Learning the ropes of baking, with no one to learn it from other than the internet and a few books and my hands. What techniques would you use to implement this 'mix today, bake tomorrow' skit? I'm sure you have more experience than I do! I would love to do those numbers of breads each day! Soon enough, we should be at around 100, which I still believe is cutting us short.