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post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 
started making bagels for an ongoing breakfast contract.....used to make them for personal gratification years ago. Fun starting again, mix/shape/boil/bake

Really started making my own rolls too.....got tired of mediocre bakery rolls or sticker shocked, I've got extra time and the equipment to make a couple hundred sandwich rolls or dinner rolls relatively quickly. Puff comes from Dufour, just not into making that from scratch again. Some Swiss shells for tarts/fillo cups for whatever.

So any of you make your own baked goods? If so, what and how did you decide it was worth your time/cost etc.?
cooking with all your senses.....
cooking with all your senses.....
post #2 of 17
About three years ino our catering biz, the bakery we used got snotty with us and demanded COD, even though we had 3 years of trouble free service, so needless to say we dropped them. On a normal day I'd go through 8-10 pullman loaves, and what I ended up doing was buying frozen dough and proofing, baking and slicing it myself. Then I started with home made foccaia, and morphed into making olive bread and s.dried tomato bread. I've always been big on baking, and do my own pie, sweet, and puff doughs, and all my desserts are made in house.

Every time a sales rep gets smart and tries to suggest some frozen or convienience pastry item, I tell them all about apples and oranges: If I sell an apple for $4.00 and the guy across the street sells the same apples, either he matches my $4.00 price or competes head to head with me on the price. But for the customer, it's the same apple. If I sell oranges, I couldn't care less what the guy across the street sells his apples for....
...."This whole reality thing is really not what I expected it would be"......
...."This whole reality thing is really not what I expected it would be"......
post #3 of 17
With my baking OCD I could never used purchased baked goods, it might give me an anxiety attack J. And as I previously stated in another thread fresh baked goods is sort of my signature.

My favorite gig to get is coffee and pastry so I can do Danish, croissants, scones and cinnamon rolls. Most people have rarely had fresh breakfast pastry so the feedback is always a big ego boost as their eyes roll back into their heads and they make happy noises.

Overflowing baskets of a variety of dinner rolls always makes a good impression. I usually stick with just three kinds leaving it up to the client what three kinds to do.

I once had a rehearsal dinner where the client asked for five different kinds of bread. I made each one look less like a roll and more like miniature loaves of bread with slashes and braids. On that occasion I did brioche, semolina, honey whole wheat, rye and challah.

For clients that just want one kind of roll: usually it’s either some variation of milk rolls (parker house being the most popular choice) or a more eggy bread like brioche.

For full on loaves most clients prefer just French or Italian bread. Every once in a while I get someone a bit more adventurous and I get to do roasted garlic bread or herbed bread and rarely I get to do my personal favorite, kalamata olive bread.

I once did chocolate apricot bread that I sliced and cut out with petites four cutters then topped with a slice of Havarti and some homemade peach wine jelly for hors de oeuvres. Yummy.

I do bagels from time to time, but usually they are for my husband, I have never had much of a market for them in my area.

I make sour dough regularly but not so much for serving as bread. I find that it makes the best croutons and bread chips ever. So when I need croutons I make round loaves and when I need bread chips I make long skinny loaves and take my electric knife to them. Make up a butter, olive oil, minced garlic and sea salt concoction and boy howdy are they good.

Cookies, cakes and desserts are all done from scratch.

I cater so that I can have the opportunity to bake. I would rather have a boutique bakery than a catering business. But a bakery is more of a retail set hours business and my children are not all (I have five total) quite old enough for me to be able to make the commitment. I’ve got about four years before I can do that, but in the mean time I’m planning for it.

As to cost, (flour, water, yeast) it’s pretty cheap. Butter and other dairy is the largest expense. When you make whole grain breads, the more expensive flours only make up a small portion of the flour used, otherwise you’d have a very heavy bread. So even there the ingredient cost is not that much.

If you have the equipment and the know-how in house baking means that the client gets baked goods that are as fresh as possible and you can not beat that for flavor. Good bread accentuates the meal. Bad stale bread doesn’t get eaten and that’s a pretty expensive table garnish.
post #4 of 17


Bake all my sweets, desserts, etc. Don't do my breads - rpimarily because I can't do it as cheap as the bakeries around me that are doing bulk & sine i rent my kitxhen space, it ends up not being worth the cost.
post #5 of 17
Hi shroom hope you don't mind me jumping in here...

I think bite-size things go over great. So much better than gianormous rolls etc.. So I like to do bite size cinnamon rolls, orange rolls, lemon ginger rolls, tiny muffins, biscuit bites, etc.

As for cost...even on a retail level (meaning I'm paying retail for ingredients), the cost of my artisan bread went from $3-$4/loaf down to 20 cents per loaf or less sometimes. I do use sourdough though or bulk yeast and that is one of the most costly things. Flour is still relatively speaking, cheap...even whole grain.

As for time, most of my breads take anywhere from 10-30 minutes of active time. The rest might be 8-24 hours of passive time (bulk fermentation, proofing times).

As for the justification of it...well, to be able to tout that you are strictly from scratch including all baked goods, certainly sets you apart from your competition. Just look at the work you are doing with your local produce and pigs!

For further justification, just look at the boutique breads you can do for passed or plated canapes! That apricot chocolate bread sounds divine! I could see doing an apricot walnut as a tiny bite sized base for open face turkey sandwiches with boursin and or chutney, and that's just the tip of the iceburg, etc...you get the piccy! :D

Hope that helps! :D
post #6 of 17

you are right

ok... I really love to bake more than anything and listening to these ideas, maybe I should go back to breads etc too. My biggest competition makes their own bagels and gets rave. I actually think that although they taste good, they are NOT bagels! Ithan use to make great real bagels... maybe I will cost that out & see what the price really is...

I already do my muffins and stuff... Rolls & breads, well I may start playing with it again, I use to make them at home.

The thing i use as much as bagels is challah... made it at home every friday I wasn't busy catering until my kids left this year. Maybe I will make that for gigs now. What I buy isn't as good tasting as mine, but I need to get my braiding more consistent.

Thanks for the inspiration!
post #7 of 17
Thread Starter 
what I like about making bagels is that they can be any size I want um to be.....bought an Einstein's bagel last night and it was not chewy nor did it have good flavor and it was a pumpernickel bagel..!!! comeon if you don't get flavor from a pump where do you get it?

Blue, love the mini rolls......

How many of you make cinnamon or that type of sweet yeast roll and make the dough the afternoon before? what kind of timing are you looking at for shaping/second rise/baking? I'm thinking with cold dough it'll take longer to both shape/rise second time......i've got some leave the kitchen at 7am breakfasts, sleep is nice, I'm not offering something that gets me up any earlier than 4am.

The last order of hamburger rolls took about 2 hours total labor for 150 2.5-3" rolls.....between mixing, shaping etc....guess I should start scaling the flour instead of measuring cup.....

Wow, my hat is off to those of you making your danish and puff dough....ugh....guess it's just like anything else, it's not really a big deal if you enjoy making them.
cooking with all your senses.....
cooking with all your senses.....
post #8 of 17
I use a recipe from The Professional Pastry Chef for my cinnamon rolls that the dough itself contains cardamom and my filling is cinnamon, brown sugar and butter. There is only one rise i.e.: mix the dough, let it rest for about 10 minutes, roll it out, spread the filling, jelly roll it up, then slice and let rise (how long depends on how warm and moist a place you put it) baking time is around 15 minutes (I’d have to check). He calls it Rich Cardamom Yeast Dough.

I can start to finish these in an hour and a half on a good day 15 minutes longer when I’m dragging. Most of that time is the 45 minutes to an hour of rise.

One good tip for stuff like cinnamon rolls, Danish, etc: when you pull them out of the oven, brush them with simple syrup while they are still hot and on the baking sheet. This gives them a nice shine and helps them stay moist, I even started doing it with palmiers.

So, on my cinnamon rolls I bake, brush then ice, having the simple syrup and icing ready when the rolls come out of the oven.

The dough I use is quite versatile. You could substitute any spice for the cardamom, or eliminate it all together and use zest. You don’t even have to use it for “rolled up” pastry. You could make rolls with a sweet glaze.

I like this particular dough recipe because it can be presented a few different ways and it only has one rise, therefore it doesn’t take as long.
post #9 of 17
Thread Starter 
ok. got the book, you've got my attention. my cinnamon rolls start to finish take hours....mix, first rise, roll/fill/cut/, second rise, bake for 30-45 minutes in a regular oven. I've made the dough the night before and had a cold rise, I've made the dough and taken to the second rise/refrig until morning then baked off.....just didn't work right. Not sure if I should have retarded the dough by adding ice water so the rise would be slower in the fridge.

SIMPLE Syrup on a palmier? um ok, why?
cooking with all your senses.....
cooking with all your senses.....
post #10 of 17
Ooh ooh a thread on breakfast pastry!! I’m giddy.

As to simple syrup on the palmier: it gives it a nice shiny appearance and makes it less brittle, its more pretty and more tasty too. As with all other pastries brush them straight from the oven. The syrup will sizzle where it hits the parchment and leave them tacky not sticky. I also tend to make my simple syrup for this a bit on the thick side, I either let it boil longer or add a glug of corn syrup. This is really for pastries that do not have a wash put on before baking.

Since you have Professional Pastry Chef you should be set for most any pastry you knead J!

I know that you have lamented laminated dough, but I highly recommend PPC’s Danish recipe. Since the dough needs to rest for a good period of time before you use it, it is great to make the dough the night before and roll it out in the morning. Also it is made with margarine (a case of melting temp needed to produce the proper texture, it took much soul searching on my part to accept the use of margarine but I figured all things have their place in the universe) so the ingredient cost is low, and there is a large batch and a small batch recipe. The large batch could stock a bakery, the small batch is great for events.

I have a handy tool that I bought to cut fondant ribbons, it cuts four one inch wide strips in one pass. I use it to cut the Danish dough and then twist and spiral it into rounds. Cream cheese filling and or preserves piped into the center. If you decide to give it a try the simple syrup wash is important as the dough itself is hardly sweet at all.

For time reasons I probably wouldn’t suggest PPC’s croissant recipe. His instructions call for a proofing box and I don’t have one. While they are really, really tasty the warmest, moistest place in my kitchen still has them rising for almost two hours before they are ready to go in the oven.

Another thing I love about PPC is the bread braiding info. (PGR555) Once you decipher the “1 over 3 and under 6” jargon it is great. I prefer the look of the 8 string braid and one of the 4 string braid variations. I have even successfully tackled the starburst braid.

Shroom, have you thought about scones? Talk about quick. Or some pate a choux with no filling? I pipe the choux in 3 inch “s” shapes and then egg wash and top with raw sugar bake, and they’re done. I have done this with plain choux, chocolate choux and an experimental choux made with apple sauce and cinnamon. These are very light and at first blush don’t seem like much, but they are addictive.

This has me hungry, I think the kids deserve some pastry.
post #11 of 17


Thank you!!! I will look at it... I think I just need to keep practicing it.
post #12 of 17
A friend of mine makes these every year for presents using the potato friendship dough for the cinnamon rolls. She uses old Sister Shubert pans and assembles them then freezes them uncooked. She bakes them from frozen and they rise in the oven while cooking. Sooooo good. Just tiny bite size mouthfuls. Two bites max.
post #13 of 17

would you mind terribly posting the recipe for the danish from prof baker? It sounds fast and easy and I don't get up early enough for a time-consuming recipe!

TIA !!!!
post #14 of 17
Thread Starter 
I make a bastardized scone with self-rising soft wheat, cream, sugar, dunk in butter/coarse sugar on top.....450* 10ish minutes. They are my multipurpose biscuits, shortbread, scones.....a scone by anyother name.

I'm using puff sheets and making frangipane or sweetened cream cheese or chevre goo with poached dried fruit on top.....
fairly rapid to assemble and bake off at 6am.....goo done, fruit done, pastry thawed....yep....20 ish minutes in the oven and they work.

margarine. wow. yeah there's a leap. Julia Child's baking with friends tomb is pretty good.

My youngest 18 year old son made eclairs last weekend. Nothing like self-motivation.

Speaking of which, umpteen years ago I got hooked on the rolls that had a danish dough, pastry cream and white raisins...they are classical French, photo and all in Lenotre's pastry book....my copy has no cover, pages stuck together around the pastry cream pages and the calfouti page....good book.
cooking with all your senses.....
cooking with all your senses.....
post #15 of 17
We're starting to do more and more bread. Often we start it in the afternoon, refrigerate it for it's first rising and pull it out in the am and shape and bake. We do a wheat, oatmeal, anadama, and carrot herb. On occasion, we've done a great cheddar bread, too. Much cheaper than anything else.

We still get a delivery once a week from Borealis- pgr, you probably know their bread out of Wells, ME. That's a holdover from wholesale, but I like to keep some of it in the freezer. They have a wonderful pumpkin raisin that we do a turkey, jezebel sauce, cheddar panini on. Yum!

Phyl, check pm's regarding a trip to LLBean...
post #16 of 17


I often use Borealis.
I am getting really motivated by this thread! Especially since it is getting to be winter & baking bread just seems right!
post #17 of 17
They have a great product, but not really cost effective. I will often use their rolls for sandwich platters, but have to be careful of my audience. They're a little bigger and tougher than homemade. Not good for old people....
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