The Fresh Loaf

A Community of Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts.

production levels

Jo-kneads-a-bakery's picture

production levels

Hello! I have a broad question with a million variables. 

For those of you baking professionally, even in your own cottage business, how much bread can you make in a shift? I know this depends on what kind of breads you produce, how big your mixer is, how big your oven is, how long you like to work, etc. I'll take whatever information you want to throw at me!

I am helping to open a bakery that will hire and train refugees. I'm having a hard time getting a clear message to the board of directors about how much (or how little) can be produced, especially with total novice's baking. 

Thanks in advance!

jimbtv's picture

Wow, that is a big question! 

Working alone I can put out about 50 pounds of bread a day. This would be a "long" day and I am pretty much useless for another 24 hours. But then I'm old and feeble :-)   I bake 3 days a week and only push out 50 pounds on occasion.

The throughput of the oven will determine the actual output. In other words, if I can bake 6 loaves every 45 minutes it will take me about 5 hours to bake 36 loaves. I stage my builds in quantities of 12 and often retard the second batch of 6 to slow down proofing as the first 6 bakes. In that way my first 6 are just a little under proofed and my second 6 are a little over proofed. I will do this over and over, and at the same time feed the oven and time the bakes.

As you can imagine, between builds, dividing, shaping, proofing and baking, I am keeping a lot of balls in the air at the same time. It can be hard on the nerves and hard on the body.

I'm baking out of a Blodgett 911P deck oven that I have fitted-up with a Reimers steam generator.

Training will likely bring your production to a crawl, unless you have several trained bakers that can keep ahead of the trainees. Learning to bake well takes a long time. Precision matters, as does a keen honing of the senses.



Jo-kneads-a-bakery's picture

Thank you for taking the time to respond, Jim! That is exactly the kind of answer I'm looking for.

jstumpf's picture

Along the same lines as Jim's comment, it does very much depend on the oven and the folks working it. Working with a Bongard gas 4 deck oven, we were expected to be able to push an average of about 100 loaves an hour through (working solo). On a good day, any one of us could get as high as maybe 120, but during training, it might be as low as 60 or 70. A well run larger Llopis would max out at 100/hour.



Jo-kneads-a-bakery's picture

Bongard! Be still, my heart. 

Thanks, Josh! 

Tassie Doughboy's picture
Tassie Doughboy

It is a hard question indeed, the bakery I work in has 3 mixing bowls of varying sizes, we have 3 qualified bakers, a Baker's hand and an apprentice. We have three people work a day and produce around 200kg (roughly 440lb) it takes 12hrs to do this including cleaning the bakery.

Jo-kneads-a-bakery's picture

Thanks for responding! You are making A LOT of bread!