The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

hello from Little Portion Friary

brotherjacob's picture

hello from Little Portion Friary

Hello All


I'm delighted to have found this website.  I help run a little bakery in a friary in long island.  I have recently moved here and have been encouraged to create new loaves.  They have been using the same recipes for three breads for the last 20 years !  I loved home baking and baking for our friary in San Francisco - where I would bake four loaves at a time.  But now I am baking 30 - 35 loaves for each batch for a total of 100 - 160 loaves each friday.  I'm looking to convert classic recipes for our little bakery. I don't measure by weight (I know I know) but use the bakery scoops and 4 quart jugs for water. Any help would be great.


talk to you all soon.



mcs's picture

I think a couple of recipes that may be different than the ones that the others' have already tried are the Portuguese Sweet Bread and Hamelman's Multigrain. Both of the recipes are posted on my website - although they are listed in weight instead of volume. Maybe give those a try?


Paddyscake's picture

Glad you've joined us. I'm sure you will find the assistance you are looking for. Why don't you tell us what type of classics you are looking for?  I'm sure, since you have been baking by volume rather than weight, you have developed an experienced eye for dough texture. What have been your standard recipes?  what are you looking to try?

brotherjacob's picture

thanks for you comments.  I have just posted some pictures for you at picasa - google's photo posting.  Here's the link:

I used to do a country style white which i'd let sit for 12 hours or so and sourdoughs which i would refresh every three days and bake every three days.  The pictures on the site are of those loaves.  I used recipes from the bread alone book.

I'd like to do more sourdoughs and i'd like to add a dark and light rye.  The problem i'm having is i'm basing my measurements on these older recipes which are made for fast in and out style baking.  I have recently switched our white.  I have added a twelve hour rest for the initial sponge.  And i've forming them as rounds rather than setting them in loaf pans.  I add some butter on top for color, i spray the oven to get a decent crust.  I got rid of the milk powder and sugar from the recipe.

They are selling much better than the previous loaves but it's missing the dense flavorful chew so I know my proportions are off.  they also baloon up like mad.  All our loaves are two pounds.

We use King Arthur special flour and a fine grind wheat.  I just ordered a 50 lb bag of organic semolina and King Arthur's high gluten flour.  So I'll be playing on Thursday.


thanks again, it's great to get your replies. 

ehanner's picture

Perhaps if you could tell us what you are baking now and what you are interested in we could help. There are several experienced bakers here that have run commercial bakeries on a small basis.

I take it that you bake for the community every Friday? What kind of oven are you using?

I look forward to hearing from you.


brotherjacob's picture

Right now we bake a cinnamon raison, a wheat which is a 40/60 white/wheat and a plain white.  I added a link to show you the blodgett oven we have.  We sell to the local community and we keep a few for ourself for the week.  There are only seven of us and two of us working in the bakery plus a friend who comes to help out.

what do you like to bake?



ehanner's picture

Br Jacob,
Thank you for the links to your work. It's nice to see you are using a natural culture. I'm sure others will chime in here but my initial response would be to develop several distinctly different breads, each with an aromatic personality that would not be confused with another. Perhaps one should be a peasant style rustic white with a little rye for taste, maybe a honey whole wheat, another with a savory note like rosemary or herbs de Provence, a reliable NY style Rye and perhaps a multi grain loaf. To answer your question Jacob, these are the breads I like to bake. I bake for a number of friends and family and they all clamor for their favorite heavenly aroma, which I rotate.

I agree JERSK in that you should start working with bakers percents. It will be far easier for you to understand your testing and our suggestions.


JERSK's picture

  O.K. my dyslexia must have kicked in. I noticed that posting for a couple of days and thought it said "Hello From the Small Portion FAIRY" Sorry Brother Jacob. Welcome to the loaf and good luck in your new endeavor. You really should try to get into baker's pctgs. Especially in large quantities. It will give you the ability to adjust your recipes and gauge exactly how many loaves you want. If you have semolina I would suggest trying some Sicilian type breads.

brotherjacob's picture

Thanks to all who encouraged me to get a scale to transfer recipes for home bakers for more volume. Here are some pictures from this morning's bake.

whole wheat


I changed our recipe for our whole wheat in a couple of ways. The first important change I did was to create a preferment using high gluten flour (Sir Lancelot). The result was a much more flavorful bread with a lighter but chewier texture. I had already been doing a pre ferment for our white and it was greatly improved and knew that I would be doing with this the wheat as well. The high-gluten flour has transformed our little bakery (certainly an amateur operation, but in the best sense)



whole wheat recipe: two loaves (i made 23)

Sir Lancelot 8 oz

H2O (warm on wrist) 5.2 oz

Salt 2 oz

Yeast 1/8 tsp

stir and and keep covered overnight. I left it at room temp.

Sir Lancelot 8 oz

Whole Wheat (Fine) 1 lb

H20 1 lb 6 oz

Sugar 1 oz

Salt .4 oz

yeast .13 oz

mix these ingredients and add in the pre ferm in chunks and let rise - I gave it an hour and a half to rise and then punched it down for another half hour before forming into loaves. I covered loaves with white flour dusted kitchen cloths.

oven 450: 40 min. score and put in oven. Add steam however you like.


Next I did a semolina loaf:


forgive me for not posting recipe right now -- I'm copying out of book by hand and I have seen very good recipes on this site already. But I did want to give a response that I took your advice to heart and it that I have been able to translate bread recipes to a greater number of loaves. Let me know what you think! (below is a picture of our cinnamon raisin so you get a sense of our weekly output)



ehanner's picture

Very nice work! You must have been happy to have scaled your work so well by weight. The bread looks very very professional. Hats off to you!!!


nbicomputers's picture

I have been baking pro with over 20 years in production baking from small shop to large production plant

i am sure i can help you

but some questions

your blodget is it the 2 shelf or the four shelf from the pic it looks loke 2 shelf with two heat zones

are you just bread or bread cake and pastry

you state that your only baking about 100 units and dont talk about rolls

that is a very small production per day specialy if your just bread

what is the size of your mixer or mixers i am hoping you have at least 80 to 140 quart

and what other equipment do you have 

dutches dvider (press Machine) auto semi rounder or manual press,

bread boxes roll boxes proofinmg boards and cabenits

give me your infentory

fill me in and i will do what i can since we are nabors!!!

Im in the bronx

Ps go to my web site and get the contact information and fell free to use it


Paddyscake's picture

They look great! How much did scaling improve your volume? Looking forward to seeing your semolina loaf recipe.