My Daily Bread X 5
A few days ago I mentioned that I volunteered to bake fresh bread for my niece's graduation party. Since then I have been contemplating what bread I would make and how I would manage it. Mike Avery offered to give some pointers on production baking and gave me something to think about in terms of a SD or yeasted, poolish bread. I went into this thinking I would bake Sourdough since I personally enjoy the flavor so much. My starters are all healthy now (thanks SDG) and I think I trust the timing enough to do a production run of 20 loaves in a strange kitchen 9 hours drive away. I've always been one to jump in sort of recklessly and the sweet success of mastering chaos is like adrenaline.
Thankfully I have matured some and recall the stress of trying to stay ahead of impending doom. I'm going with the Poolish and Mikes Gunnison River bread. It's a French bread that rises well in the oven and develops a full flavor during the ferment. I've made this a few times in 1 or 2 loaf batches so I know what it feels like.
Mike suggested testing a 5 loaf batch to see how it goes together before going to the location. Today I put together a 5 loaf batch and baked it in between getting my daughter to the dance and running for flowers. I learned a few things about larger batches. I only have 1 bowl that will handle that much dough with head room to rise. I mixed it up by hand and it was no trouble at all. Using the mix, wait, stretch& fold, divide, form and bake work flow I was able to stay ahead of the confusion.
I was concerned that I wouldn't have enough clouche material to proof the Batards. When I mentioned this to Mike he said he hadn't used one in a while. This was an epiphany of sorts a little like when I first considered no knead or no pre heat. So what the heck I formed the Batards on the counter and placed them on Parchment for final proofing. I made sure I had good tension on the surface so they wouldn't go pancake on me. The last loaf was getting slightly flat as it had been setting on the counter for 2 1/2 hours but it rose well and showed me I didn't let the batch proof long enough as a whole. So, here they are. The 5 -770g loaves and a little left over for the sweeper.
Thanks Mike for all your help and guidance on this. Now I feel like I understand the task at hand. I do think that using a Poolish will be better for at this time. I am getting to the point where I'm reasonably consistent with SD at home but it always feels like a surprise when things turn out well and on time. In this situation I don't want to be the reason 100 people can't eat on time.
Success feels so good! You should be on Cloud 9 right now! Nice of Mike to help. We'll all be rooting for you!
You've taken on quite a job but you're certainly on top of it. The bread looks delicious and beautiful. Best of luck and tell us all about it as you go along. weavershouse
Nice looking bread. You really make it look easy.
Wow how cool of you to do this for your family!! I know you will do very well and that everyone will feel the blessing of having you provide their bread!
As a card carrying member of the Mike Avery fan club I can't give enough cudos to him as a teacher and mentor!
WTG Eric. You rock!
Eric, those are impressive loaves! Even more impressive is your generous offer to bake bread for a huge group of people. Yowsa! You certainly have the ability and I know you'll do very well. Can't wait to hear about it.
Beautiful! Wow, I can't wait to hear how the 20-loaf extravaganza goes!
Thanks all, I appreciate the support. Honestly three Months ago I wouldn't have given this a second thought but with the help of you all I think I've learned enough to pull it off. I'll be sure to take a picture at the end.
Are you gonna be baking the 20 in a home oven or at a commercial location? Are you using multiple poolishes or one grand poolish divided evenly. Im assuming because of the time line between 1st loaf going in and last coming out, you will be glad when its all complete. Also I was curious as to if you were baking an overage, just as a precaution, in case you have a loaf act silly on you.
Not to seem to nosey, but what state, and when are you gonna be pulling this off?
I ask, because if you were doing it up here in NY, I would be happy to try to find you a host commercial kitchen to bake in.
This will all be baked in a home oven. It is an convection oven and in theory I could bake on two layers at a time. However, I have no experience with convection and I've heard stories about uneven heating in home grade ovens. I have committed to a marathon bake that will run 5 hours if nothing goes wrong goes wrong goes wrong :>)
I'm planning on splitting the poolish into two buckets. That way I can keep one a few hours behind the other with temp. control. The "divided evenly" part bothers me a little to be honest. Scooping out exactly the correct amount of poolish onto a scale is an important part of this operation. If I over produce anything it will be poolish. If something goes silly, well we will have a good laugh!
I can't tell you how much it means that you would offer to scout a kitchen for me TT. A very fine offer, thank you. My sister lives in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan on Lake Superior. A long drive from upstate NY. I'll head out from Milwaukee early Friday and be in the thick of it after dinner time. Maybe this will cure me of wanting to start up a little Artisan Bakery. :>)
in AWE!!! I can't even imagine trying to bake bread for 100 people..YIKES! You say this might cure you of establishing a artisan bakery..maybe you will be the TFL's first SuperStar..Hope you and your family have a wonderful time together : )
Paddycakes you flatter me with such talk. I'm still a beginner in this field. I am maybe just a little to anxious to please my baby sister! And fearless!
Go Eric Go!
One alternative thought, if you need more ovens, have you little sister ask her church, they have at least 2. When I turn on the convection, it's only for 3 minutes (high heat)or the crust gets too brown.
Hope you're not yeast high by the time you reach Eagle River. --Mini Oven
Thanks Mini_oven, I'll keep the window open:>) This won't be a big deal and we will all sit around and catch up on family gossip I'm sure. I already put in my order for a Pasty (sp). I like em browned up!
I wish you the best.
If I could ever help ya up here in my neck of the woods, please let me know.
TT, I used to live in Rome/Utica area and learned to enjoy the rugged scenery. I still have a buddy in Ava that I have been threatening to drop in on. Maybe I'll get to it this summer.
Hope you do well with the starter!
I'd love to buy you a cup of coffee. I got a couple nice bakery/cafe customers in Rome I could introduce you to, and get some quality joe. I live just outside Utica in the little Italian village of Frankfort.
As for the starter, Im keeping my fingers crossed.
TT, I lived on Lake Delta when I was in the Air Force on a road called "Procrastination Point". Boy was that appropriate. After my discharge I called the Rome area home for a while before I went back to S.E. Asia. That whole area is like a post card with the old farms and rolling hills and hardwoods. Great memories.
If I do make the trip, I'll look you up for sure. We can go on down to that cheese shop, boy that was good.