The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

My big batch

Tommy gram's picture
Tommy gram

My big batch

Did a 20 loaf batch last month, hand kneaded 10.4 kilograms (23#), lot of fun. Looking for my baker's sheet from that job to post more details.


dwcoleman's picture

All the same bread or different varieties?

I would bake weekly on Thursday nights, usually 10-13 small focaccia, 40-50 cheese buns, and 40-50 sweet buns.  Sometimes I would throw in baguettes as well.

It was pretty easy to eat up 5 hours after work for mixing, fermenting, proofing, baking, cooling, packaging.

Tommy gram's picture
Tommy gram

I know what you mean about the time. I get other things done now while the dough is rising, but I've been thinking bakers do pastry so they have something to do during that time. How much did the foccacia and cheese buns weigh? What was the oven like--was it in your home?

That mix was all the same concoction. 50% of my dough weight was pre ferment. Carefully fed/starved to a tangy level of freshness/sourness.

I thought I had to have the rising time down clockwork style.  I shuttled the dough four miles to the Bench/oven venue & I was on a tight two and a half hour schedule. There I scaled. rested, shaped, rested and baked. Two convection Boldgetts, dryer than the Sahara desert, baking 12 loaves at a time.  I filled two 18 x 26 pans with H2O and put them on the two botom racks. Four decks baking three loaves each. All alone and busy. I think with the right peel I can do four loaves each deck and get 16 loaves going at a crack.

Formed 520 gram units into baguettes--I learned that whole baguette shaping procedure from some strict YouTube tutors. Right before they go in they get snipped with sissors to create a tear away bun loaf.  See  how memory plays tricks I did 9100g of dough, 20.3 pounds not 23 pounds. I found my notes from the day

But funny thing is-as soon as I finished that gig, my first, I relaxed and started a looser shaping procedure and a rising formula that employs extremely wide latitude in rising times. This one is killin'  and I think I have no improvements & no tweaks to put on it.

dharris's picture

If you would like to complicate your life a little bit throw a wood-fired hearth oven into that mix. This is something I have been working with for about a year and a half and last Thursday I baked 40 loaves (60# of dough) of bread in ten loaf batches; 20 5-grain levain and 20 country bread ala Hammelman in a 48" circular brick oven which sits proudly out in my yard. The big challenge I've found is timing the fermentation, shaping etc. of the bread with the heat cycle of the oven. The heat retention qualities of my oven are very good and I have a very wide window for baking but the trick is to have loaves ready for the oven when the oven is cool enough to bake in. Nothing more stressful than seeing 10 loaves of bread turning into charcoal briquets because the oven is too hot and more loaves are demanding to be baked. When it works out, though, the results are fantastic. Our dining room table is covered with beautiful golden loaves and our house smells heavenly.

If anyone would like to start a thread on the challenges of baking with a wood-fired oven I would enjoy participating. Right now I have to go fire up my oven in preparation for tomorrow's bake.

Eat good bread!

Don, the backyard baker

Tommy gram's picture
Tommy gram

Will one of those infrared instruments work? They shoot a beam like a laser pointer and give the temperature of a remote object. I have used them in the past, but never owned one.

Im looking into a masonry oven, going through The Bread Builders for the second or third time. Door height 63% of the highest part of the hearth and so on.

Im going to look into the brand you mention.