The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Bread to order.

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Mebake's picture

Bread to order.

I’ve been away from TFL for some time, and that is mostly due to my father death. He passed away two weeks ago, and I had been busy with his funeral arrangements and dealing with the aftermath of his demise. As it happens, he was also my boss at work for 12 years. I will miss his kind heart. May he rest in peace.

Yesterday, I baked some loaves to order. A Lady, whom I met at the last Arts and Crafts Market in Dubai, has ordered 4 types of bread (as a trial) : one each of a Bagel, a Baguette, a Sourdough country, and an Oatmeal bread. I’ve baked the Country sourdough and Oatmeal in one batch, and baked the rest in another batch yesterday.

The Bagel recipe is from (Crust) By Richard bertinet, while the Poolish baguettes are from Hamelman's (Bread). You could notice the difference in Bagel shaping; the ones that were shaped by pinching a hole through a round dough were the most successful.


Oatmeal Bread From Hamelman's BREAD, converted to a sourdough.

This is a Rye Pain au Levain. The recipe is here

As to my plans for a bakery business, here is an update:  I’ve completed the Basic food hygiene lesson and got the certificate. In the next couple of months, I plan to seek an apprenticeship opportunity in a bakery in Dubai. If it doesn’t work, I don't know what I'm going to do.





mwilson's picture

Sorry for your loss Khalid. My condolences. Life unfortunately hands us these very hard times. I hope you are coping okay.

Lovely bread. I'm glad to hear you're making progress with the beginnings of your baking business. Repeat orders are always promising.

Take care


Mebake's picture

Thanks , Michael

It has been a roller-coaster ride for the past two weeks. We are at peace now.

Wishing you all the best.


Kiseger's picture

Khalid, my sincere condolences.  I was very sorry to hear your news and hope that you and your family are holding together in this difficult time; the happy memories are the ones to hang on to so that you always have a good place to go in your head when you have a down moment.

Thanks for this post - it was great to open TFL this morning and see you were back!!  I love your loaves - the crumb on the oatmeal bread is fantastic!!  Thanks for the rye pain au levain formula, that's been printed off and is definitely on my "to do" list.

My very sincere thoughts for you and your family.  

Mebake's picture

Thanks, Kiseger

Thanks for the warm words of comfort. Much appreciated.



dabrownman's picture

Your bread looks fine and you made bagels too! I haven't made bagels in some time - thanks for the reminder.  It is nice to have a bread to order customer so it sounds like your bakery business is coming along.  Something will present itself when you least expect it.   Well done and

Happy baking Khalid - may your Father rest peacefully.

Mebake's picture

Thanks, DA.

I would have recommended wholegrain bagels to my client, but I can't contend with her choice now ;) By the way, they were extra chewwwwy. I used an overnight yeasted stiff biga as a preferment, and the final dough was stiff. Bagels are ment to be chewy so, no complains here. Toasting may bring some crunch back, I guess.



David Esq.'s picture
David Esq.

I hope your family and you are as well as can be expected.

And, may the Lady who ordered the trial bread turn out to be a wealthy bread patron who needs a lot of your baked goods.

Mebake's picture

Thanks, David

The family is doing fine, thank you :)

I'd be happy if she ordered regularly. If so, I sure need to increase my baking capacity.

All the best,


Behnam's picture

Sorry for your loss, brother!

And you're breads look fantastic, especially the bagels!!

Mebake's picture

:) Thanks, Brother

I'm still getting accustomed to the chewiness of bagels.


cranbo's picture

My sympathies for your loss Khalid. 

Those breads look beautiful!

Mebake's picture

Thanks, Cranbo.


varda's picture


I'm so sorry to hear about your father.   What a terrible loss.  

Glad to hear about your progress in your business.   If you are unable to find an apprenticeship, I'm sure other opportunities will present themselves.   I went to see a group kitchen this morning, and plan to look at a rental this afternoon.   All by way of data collection.   No one is going to give me money until I have a decent business plan.  

All good wishes to you and your family during this difficult time.


Mebake's picture

Thanks, Varda

Ok, so this reminds me to create a business plan myself.

I appreciate the kind words.


emkay's picture

Khalid, I'm so sorry about your loss, Condolences to you and your family. May the bread warm your home and heart. 


Mebake's picture

Yes, Bread reinforces me in many ways. Thanks for the nice words, Ceci.


dmsnyder's picture

I'm sorry to hear of your father's passing, Khalid. May he rest in peace.

I hope you have a supportive family. Shared grief can bring family closer together, and I don't know anything that helps more.

The breads look wonderful. I hope your plans can move forward, as you hope.

Best regards,


Mebake's picture

Thanks for your thoughtful words, David. Thankfully, the family is so supportive and were close by during the grievous moments.

David, thank you for being so supportive during all these years on TFL.



salma's picture

My condolences to you and your family.  

Your breads keep getting better and better.  I am sure everyone including your employers will love your breads.  Good luck!


Mebake's picture

Thanks, Salma

Funny thing, is that my "Employers" don't know that I bake bread at home, neither do my colleagues at work. Bread baking at home for men is not exactly common around these places :)

Thanks for the well wishes.


pmccool's picture

I'm so sorry to hear of your father's death.  I would rather that neither you nor I were members of that club.

Best wishes for your baking endeavors.


Mebake's picture

Thanks, Paul.

Your encouragement and words of sympathy are very much appreciated.




CeciC's picture

I am sorry for your loss Khalid. May he rest in peace.

Im glad to hear you are making progress in your weekend market and your bake is nice as always!! Life never hand us what we love easily, with your heart set on it, it will lead you to your dream.

Your bread are good as always!!


Mebake's picture

Thank for the kind words, Ceci. Much appreciated.

P.s. The market is a monthly event. I wish it was weekly :)

breadsong's picture

Dear Khalid,
I am so sorry for your loss. I wish you comfort and strength, and hope for the best for you, with your baking and future plans.

Mebake's picture

Many thanks, breadsong. you are so kind.


bakingbadly's picture

My thoughts are with you and your family, Khalid...

From the deepest depths of my heart, I wish you all the best. Just so you know, you are one of the few members in TFL who I wish to see succeed as much as I want to see myself succeed in my bakery.

Your friend,


Mebake's picture

Oh, You are so kind, Zita! Thank you.

I wish you all the best in your Bakery venture.


aly-hassabelnaby's picture

I'm sorry for your loss Khalid. I'm sure your father is in a better place.

Good luck with starting your bakery. I'll be waiting for the opening day so I have a reason to go to Dubai for the first time.

Mebake's picture

Thanks for the comforting words, and wishes. I'll be anticipating your visit, whenever you choose to drop by these parts. Rye flour is also available here ;)'s picture

Sincerest sympathies, Khalid, for one of life's hardest passages.  One can only hope the burden of things never said and questions never answered is not heavy.  And if there was suffering, it is a blessing to be over.

Bread to Order sounds like a good name for a business!  I can see semi-weekly oven-to-door deliveries to "subscribers", interspersed with days of intensive baking.  Like the old days (here) of "the Milk Man" -- delivered regularly to your door.  Why not?  Heck, now you've got me thinking!

Best to you and yours, and good luck on the pro baking front!


Mebake's picture

Thanks, Tom. That is kind of you. His pain and illness has finally come to an end.

As to the business name, nice suggestion! I'll have that in mind.

As always, I appreciate your nice words and encouragement.

Best wishes




isand66's picture

My deepest condolences.  I know how hard it is to lose a parent and I hope you find comfort with your family and friends.

Your breads look amazing as always and I'm happy you are on your way to living your dream.  I'm sure you will find an apprenticeship soon enough.


Mebake's picture

Thanks for the words of comfort, Ian. Much appreciated.

Best regards.




trailrunner's picture

I am so sorry for the loss of your father and colleague . I am glad that you have the support of family and that you are moving forward. 

Your progress in your bread baking is evident ! Lovely breads as usual .I hope that you are able to go forward with a business in baking...your last words above indicate that you are very serious ...may the venture work well for you. 

Could you tell me how you converted the oatmeal bread to sd ? I would be very interested . I have the book so can make the adjustments accordingly. Thank you , Caroline

Mebake's picture

Many thanks, Caroline.

I've taken a 100g of the recipe's bread flour and a 100g of the recipe's water, and made a rough calculation to turn this into a levain. I've shooted for a 25% prefermented flour, so it ended up being more that 100g. something like 150g. I'll have to get back to my notes and will update you soon.


trailrunner's picture

no hurry..haven't tried to turn a non-SD bread in to an SD bread. Have read a number of different takes on how to do so. Whenever you get a chance just  send me a note. Peace to you....c

yozzause's picture

May i extend my deespest sympathy to you and your family for the sad loss of your father.

Breads look great,

if you are not able to get an apprenticeship or traineeship the you will have to come for a holiday and we will get you into a bakery for some experience.

kindest regards Derek 

Mebake's picture

Thanks for sympathy and invitation, Derek. You are so kind.

Best wishes to you and yours.