The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts


gwschenk's picture


Spent 16 years working in a big commercial bakery, drawing a small pension from the Bakery and Confectionary Workers right now.

No formal training, worked as a dough mixer for most of that time. We made bread with sponges, what the fancy books call bigas. We made some decent bread, for mass production.

Spent some time as a leadman on a French roll line. Learned a lot about time and temperature then.

Now I'm trying to downsize from 10,000 loaves per day to 2 loaves per week. Tough when the only recipe you know starts with 935 pounds of flour.

This looks like a good site and looking forward to being part of it.


clazar123's picture

Wow! That is a really large scale-down! Did you ever come home and bake or were you "baked out" by then?

What are your favorites to eat and make? What questions do you have ?

This is a great, worldwide forum with a lot of bakers of ALL skill levels-fro beginner- to entrepreneur- to pro. It is a great place to learn about everything bread of all varieties, no matter where you live in the world.  Floyd is our host. He created and oversees the site and is a baker as well. Welcome and I look forward to seeing your posts.

hreik's picture

So maybe use a square root calculator.  From your 935 pounds, the square root is 30.5 pounds.  The square root of that is about 5.5 pounds.  If you go here, you can convert it all.

Then you can convert to grams.  Good luck

MichaelLily's picture

You can't root everything.  The proportions will be ruined. The root of a sum is not equal to the sum of the roots, and a sum is exactly what you have when you add ingredients together.  A better idea is to divide everything by 500.

hreik's picture

Need proportions.  My bad. Thanks for the correction. 

gwschenk's picture

Never baked before, except for fruit pies. Pie dough I know.

Well, I've learned about formulas and baker's math. Suddenly a lot of things make more sense. Right now I'm just looking to make sandwich bread in a loaf pan. I take my lunch to work at my new career and eating my own bread has an appeal. One nice thing about working at the bakery was just taking sandwich fixings to work, the bread couldn't have been fresher.  Also making hamburger buns to go with my smoked pork butts would be fun.

If I can figure out sandwich bread, I'd like to try French bread. From my baking days I have fond memories of taking a French roll straight out of the Petersen oven and stuffing it with gorgonzola cheese.

dabrownman's picture

and happy small scale baking !

BXMurphy's picture

Hi, gwschenk!

I'm glad you're here! Once you nail your sandwich bread, you'll be looking for what's next, I'm sure.

Mrs. Murphy works as a corporate cook on the line at a union shop. Everything is super-sized. When she makes a meal at home, there's plenty of leftovers and lots of scraps on the floor for Lady the Wonder Dog.

It's an adjustment...


Maverick's picture

Welcome. I would suggest learning baker's math as one of the first things you do. Convert everything to percentages (with the flour being 100%). That way the scaling won't matter and you can take almost any formula you want and make the amount you want.

Care to share the formula for the bread with 935 lbs of flour?

gwschenk's picture

I wished I remembered the formula. In addition to flour there was, of course, water, sugar, tallow, all fed into the mixer through meters, and of course salt. Usually the doughs were mixed without salt, and then the salt was added in the last 3 minutes or so.

Whole wheat and rye flours had to be thrown in by hand. I learned how to lift properly, you bet.

So one thing I have going for me is knowing what dough should feel like. Tomorrow morning I'll make a sponge, and then a sandwich loaf or two.


And Mr. Murphy, our dog loves it when we cook. She really likes our smoked chicken!