The Fresh Loaf

A Community of Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts.

Micro bakery basics

Bubbles's picture

Micro bakery basics

Hello! I’ve started a micro bakery at home (more of a hobby) and I make about 20/30 loaves a week (baking twice a week) using my Rofco oven. After spending quite a bit of money on the Rofco oven, I’m now considering buying my next piece of equipment. Shall I invest on a fridge or a mixer next? At the moment I’ve got just enough space for the 18 loaves I can make a day. I’ve got a normal fridge (can fit 12) and a bar fridge (fits 6)…but I also use the fridge for my personal living and always have to rearrange or get things out to be able to fit my bread. And at the moment I’m mixing about 8kg of flour by hand (split into 3 bowls) which takes a lot of time and it’s quite messy. What would be the best equipment to invest first? A fridge? And if so, what kind? I heard wine fridges are quite good, but id need one that can fit 18 loaves. Or a mixer? And if so, any recommendations? I’ve seen one that fits 18kg of flour. Would that be a good size? Hope there’s enough info there to help with discussion. Thank you

Moe C's picture
Moe C

I asked if you were refrigerating baked loaves or unbaked dough, but I see in another thread it's dough.

Robertob's picture


I hope you are doing well.  I followed the same path and I strongly suggest a mixer as your hands / arms will struggle as you increase production.



Bubbles's picture

Thanks Roberto. I am more inclined on getting the mixer but just wanted to throw the question out there to get a second (or more) opinion 😊 Another question for you since you said you followed a similar path to mine. How many loaves would you do single handed in one day? I find that my max is 18. The temperature where I live is (at the moment about 25C and humidity between 60 +. I’ve realised recently that the humidity affects the dough a lot. 

Robertob's picture

I gradually purchased a 20kg mixer and have 2 rofcos b40 and 3 tall, domestic fridges due to size of internal doors (I’d prefer catering specced ones)

I am in London so temperature would seldomly go above 25C but a cold retard really helps productivity.  My production lasts 8 hours to prep around 100 loaves and 2 trays of focaccia for a busy market.  It then takes 4/5 hours to bake the lot.

I also spend 6 hours at the market hoping to sell all.  So single handedly I’d say 100 loaves and about 20 hours of work. You’ll get used to it.  When I started I thought it impossible to reach certain heights but you won’t want to let your regulars down as you grow.


id there is anything I’d do differently is to introduce pastries / sweet things to my flow early in the business as it is now almost impossible to introduce new things without removing others.

It’s fun, though and well worth noticing the difference a humble product like bread would do to a community.

My insta handle is mollica_bakes if you want to learn more.

Good luck!


Bubbles's picture

Thanks again for you time giving me all that info, very interesting to know how you work. I’ll check out your Insta.

tpassin's picture

Here's what a single person can turn out, and without any power equipment, too.  But that person must be very driven!

therearenotenoughnoodlesintheworld's picture

Food safety would lean towards fridge, but what a mixer will do for freeing up time and enabling you to better manage work flow, and your energy is a big item.

There is no perfect choice when fund are limited....just different stepping stones to where you want to get to.

Left field...As a stop gap, can you get:

  • A super cheep fridge just to get your personal items out of the fridges being used for the you are not mixing personal/business food stuffs?
  • PLUS A MIXER.   

At least then you won't be spending time reorganising foodstuffs, minimise cross contamination risks, and also potentially run the bakery fridges aimed more at the dough requirements (not the other food items).  

Most domestic fridges don't have great circulation and they are even worse when over full.  Simply clearing them out of other items should bring a little more consistency to your doughs.  


P.S. The rofco is quite robust due to it's simplicity...However, I would keep a spare door seal on hand.  When they break, you'll struggle to control the baking.  

Bubbles's picture

That’s a good point. Maybe I’ll just get another bar fridge. Have you got. A recommendation for what type of fridge I should get for when I can afford one? Would you get a wine style  fridge or just another domestic one? Thanks for the suggestion about the spare seal for the Rofco. I’ve already had to get a replacement in less than a year that I’ve had my oven, probably because I use the back of the metal trays that comes with it to slide the doughs and that’s quite harsh. I’ve got someone making me a wooden peel. Hopefully that’ll help (I’m also very careful now). However I might get a pare sent over. Thanks again

islandbakery's picture

I've been running a licensed micro bakery for almost 10 years now. Initially I did all the mixing by hand. When my production increased to mixing 10 kg batches of dough I found it physically challenging and almost impossible to fully incorporate some ingredients, such as a stiff starter or PFD, and some inclusions. You may be younger, stronger and fitter. If you are hoping to increase your production I would suggest a mixer. I upgraded to a Famag and it's great, much better than the old Hobart I had using for about the same cost.

Not sure if your concern for the fridge is for ingredients or dough. I bought an old used fridge from a neighbor for the garage for pretty cheap. My inspector has no problem with that for either ingredients or dough so long as I put a thermometer in it. I also added a plug that will tell me if the power went off so I know the ingredients have been kept at the proper temperature.

Hope this helps.


Bubbles's picture

Thanks Janice, very helpful insight 😊