Baking Items for sale in my cafe... shelf life, storage and other questions?
Ok since there were no posts here I thought I would start some...
hopefully I can get some pro's to answer. :)
I own a small restaurant/cafe in Hong Kong, China that is open for breakfast lunch and dinnner. Recently I have been baking bread and sweets to sell to the customers as part of Afternoon Tea and Coffee sets... some examples would be:
1 slice of Sprouted Wheat-berry toast with creamery butter/jam and a mug of steamed milk -
1 Almond Biscotti served on the side of a Capuccino -
1 Chelsea sweet bun with coffee or tea -
Available all day:
Chocolate Mousse with crushed cashwenut topping
Chocolate cake with custard sauce
Pear & Apple Crumble
The items I've made up to this point are things that I like to eat with an afternoon cup of coffee or tea. I have the items displayed in a small pastry case in the restaurant. As for the items that require refrigeration I don't as of yet have a proper temp. control case that can display items that need to be kept cold - so I rely on my cafe's reputation and my waitresses and menu's to move those items. The response has been good and I would like to add more items. But I am running into the following issues on the baked goods:
1) Shelf life - any way to extend the shelf life without the use of flour improvers?
2) How to store items at night time?
Up until now I have left them in the pastry case - a clear acrylic case with minimum ventilation but NOT airtight.
3) Is it common practice to bake more items when the oven schedule permits and then freeze them? Thawing them and putting them out at a later date?
4) Any idea of the best relative humidity for bread?
5) Any recommendations for the best way to bag bread?
I am reluctant to use plastic bread bags with ties. So I have only started using paper bags that are generic in size for my boules of rustic rye bread.
6) Any recommendations for breads sweet or not that have relatively short make up times and that have decent shelf life?
Thanks for any information.