With Christmas and Thanksgiving right around the corner I thought I would start this blog to let everybody on this site know what an old retired Baker with over 25 years experience in the baking industry does for the holidays. Well this year I'm going to do pretty much the same thing that I do every year which is come out of retirement. Even though there are only three people in the house my wife my son and myself my home turns into a small commercial bakery. I literally produce enough products to feed my entire apartment building. Being that you can only produce so much product in a home kitchen at one time a production schedule is required and must be kept to. This is where my experience in professional bakery comes in handy.
While much of the actual baking does not start until the middle of November many things can be prepared in advance and frozen for extended periods of time such as puff pastry pie crust and Danish pastry. The first step is in obtaining the raw materials. I have planned my trip to bakery supply house to purchase: 50 pound bags of different flous, fresh yeast, macaroon paste and several other ingredients not available in regular supermarkets. My shopping list is as follows
one bag king Arthur special patent flour,
one bag all trumps high gluten flour,
one bag pure as snow cake flour,
one to pound block fresh yeast,
one 50 pound cube BBS, [Baker's special shortening],
one cube HiMo Shortening (a special high water and sugar holding shortening that will emulsify rather than curdle)
one 11 pound bar choc coating
and 1 quart egg shade.
Some of the materials such as macaroon coconut that I need in very small quantities will be ordered by mail order even though it means I need to pay a lot for these few items I just don't have the room to store a 50 pound bag of coconut. When all is said and done by Christmas Eve I will have produced between 40 and 50 pounds of assorted cookies along with cakes and pastries and Breads.
As I began preparations in my little home bakery I will update this so all that are interested can follow along with the calendar what is made and when
Nov 13 tomorow is starting day
puff pastry dough and pie crust for the frezer and if i have time maybe il do the cheese filling.