The Fresh Loaf

A Community of Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts.

Coming out of retirement

nbicomputers's picture

Coming out of retirement

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.


audra36274's picture

Here I do pastries and decorated cookies for the neighbors, friends, etc... but nothing in your numbers! My apron is off to you!


leucadian's picture

Thanks for the insight. Most of these products are completely new to me, and I couldn't find any mention of the KA special patent flour on the KA site. What is it?


nbicomputers's picture

If you look on the King Arthur's website for the professionl flour section will find the listing in the specifications King Arthur special patent flour.

ehanner's picture

I'd be interested in what your preparation looks like. What kind of things you can do ahead and freeze. I don't do the volume or variety you do but it gets busy around here too.

What kind of mixer do you use?


nbicomputers's picture

Puff pastry and piecrust contains no yeast and no baking powder therefore it has a freezer life of between six to nine months either in bulk dough or shape ready to bake pieces.  You can also refreeze the items with no problem.  So he you could freeze the dough fought it out shape it and then refreeze it.


This is why I make a large batch of puff pastry early in November or even middle of October.  Danish pastry, has a shelf life 12 weeks in a freezer I make the dough in first week in December allow it to condition overnight in the refrigerator then roll it out shape it into cheese danish small coffee rings and what we call Schneck in and put me shaped units in the freezer where they will sit or approximately 12 weeks when needed take out the desired quantity and allow them to fall and rise at room temperature for about three hours and into the 350° oven they go.


At home on using a standard KA 5 quart mixer for the large batches I premeasured the ingredients for the dough call upon a favor at a friends bakery and mixed them up in a Hobart 20 quart machine bring them back to my house and finished them
ehanner's picture

Hi Norm,

I was driving home tonight thinking how I can make my rye breads better. All of a sudden I wondered if using the same technique as with the onion rolls would work well with deli rye. Hydrating some onions and using the water would add a special flavor to the rye. It might not be classic deli rye but I'll bet it would be good

Another thing. Does anyone ever top the rye with seeds or onions like a bagle?



nbicomputers's picture

sorry i should have check this sooner.  yes i top my rye with seeds and onions when i make them and yes you can add the onions to the rye bread.  i made onion rye all the time and the water from the onions will give you a tast that is great

hankhus's picture


i've just started making danish pastries and have had very good success on baking the same day as make up.  I wonder if it is advisable to bake after make up and 12 hours in the cool room.  the idea is to reduce the time in production by doing a large batch and refrigerating what is not baked on the day.

If correct then do I have to leave at room temp before baking.  Thanks for your advise