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egalecki 10-06-2009 07:59 AM

How to bake with a job?
So I have this part time job now- MWF. It's really messed up my baking schedule. I don't always have time on Saturdays to bake the way I have been- allotting a whole day to fart around with dough just isn't going to work. Sundays are pretty full with church and other things.

So, how do those of you with jobs do your baking? I realize a lot of you have full time jobs and I'm whining about a part time one, but have mercy. I haven't worked for someone else in YEARS. My schedule has always been mine to set. T-Th get awfully busy when MWF are used up.

I've been thinking about fridge retarding and baking in my regular oven more, but I haven't always had a lot of success with that. I am certain that I'll have to reduce the amounts I do at a time, (it's not unusual to do 3 different kinds of bread and have 8 or more loaves) and I'm still trying to figure out how to utilize sourdough.

I do like my job. But the thought of having to make sandwiches with store bread is abhorrent. So, how to do the long retards I need without having to actually be there? Am I just wanting to do something that isn't possible? I saw that "artisan breads in 5 minutes a day" book, but I didn't get it. Does anyone have it, and is it any good? Is it heresy?

Gromit 10-06-2009 08:33 AM

Re: How to bake with a job?

My dad uses the artisan bread in 5 minutes a day book, and I don't think that it is heresy. Artisan bread in 5 minutes would be heresy. I think any of the techniques that promote long, slow fermentations are on the right track to real bread.

I just got the new Lahey book yesterday My Bread: The Revolutionary No-Work, No-Knead Method (9780393066302): Jim Lahey, Rick Flaste: Books I'll let you know what I think after I read it. Reinhart is going to press with a book along those lines.

I think that cooking in a pot or cloche in an indoor oven seems a good alternative to a WFO and a lot easier than trying to add steam to an electric oven.

texassourdough 10-06-2009 09:34 AM

Re: How to bake with a job?
Hi Elizabeth!

I am not a big fan of retards either but there are breads that seem to really like the retard.

Couple of thoughts... Reinhart's current "new" book on Whole Grain breads is oriented toward fast finish times (so is BBA for that matter). The techniques of mixing preferment and presoak gives outstanding flavor and allows him to use commercial yeast to finish the dough rapidly and predicably with close to long fermenting and proofing.

Peter has a new book coming out in a couple of weeks "Artisanal Breads Every Day" that may be what you want/need. I know his routine pretty well and I would be glad to kibbitz with you in figuring out how to modify his recipes if they don't quite work for you.

Congrats and condolences on the new job!

splatgirl 10-06-2009 01:52 PM

Re: How to bake with a job?
I happen to have just picked up Artisan Breads in 5 AND the new whole grain Peter Reinhart book.

Honestly, you are WAY beyond anything that AB in 5 can teach you other than the premise that really wet doughs and long ferments do wonderful things for flavor and texture which I'm sure you already know. It's way too simplistic for an experienced bread baker, IMO. I'm thinking if returning it because it's too simplistic even for me, and I would NOT call myself an experienced bread baker under any circumstances. That said, I am more interested in technique and having enough knowledge under my belt to be able to just wing it rather than blindly following recipes which, once you get the wet, stored bulk batch of dough thing, makes AB in 5 a waste for me.
The new Peter Reinhart book is another technical manual of bread, just like Bread Bakers Apprentice. I've only tried one of his recipes so far...the seigle rye...with excellent results in my regular oven. I would NOT call any of his recipes quick just because of the ferment times for the soakers and pre doughs most of his recipes use, but those are fairly quick to throw together and then it's just waiting. From that point on they are fairly quick, and the use of IDY as TXsourdough mentioned does help make the proof more predictable (I've been baking almost exclusively with sourdough starters and their longer and more unpredictable proof times have been tricky to manage nevermind coordinating them with the WFO and work).

For an all white flour, commercial yeast loaf that rocks a sandwich, I am still completely swooning for the super fast ciabatta recipe from the Fresh Loaf website...Jason's something or other ciabatta. That one would totally work when you need some bread but only have a couple of hours.

Pdiff 10-30-2009 04:46 PM

Re: How to bake with a job?
I'll chime in here and suggest either reducing your baking load or spreading it out over the week instead of one big bake. Not great options, but hey! Your still baking, eh? I've been pretty successful working the baking bits into a busy schedule. Most of the time the bread/dough is rising or proofing and doesn't need my constant attention anyway. It just takes a bit of organization and planning. I also use a timer on my cell to keep me on schedule :-) Lately that's been something like getting my hands out of the mortar to go fold the dough :-) I've been pushing long days to get that WFO in decent shape before we're butt deep in snow here :-( Have heart! It can be done.


Frances 11-01-2009 03:03 AM

Re: How to bake with a job?
Hey Elizabeth, exactly same here!

I got this part time job a couple of months back, and am finding it hard to keep up with my baking and various other hobbies, too (not to mention the regular day-to-day cooking and looking after kids and husband). It'll all work out in the end I'm sure, but it does mean big changes for everyone. Pretty cool job though. (It'd have to be... :))

I find what I've been doing is about the oposite from what has been advised so far: Every couple of weeks or so I reserve one whole day for baking and baking alone (with maybe some pizza thrown in if I'm feeling really energetic). I feed my starter the day before and then I bake like mad all day long and put everything in the freezer. I've also been making some breads with shorter proofing times (like in the worst case one hour and tons of regular yeast :eek: - still nicer than store bought though!)

It seems to be working after a fashion. I don't get to use the oven as often as I used to, sometimes I end up using it just for pizza, my starter probably feels a bit neglected and I'm spending far less time on the Forum :( - but we still have home made bread every morning. I don't know, maybe something similar would work for you, too?

Call me dense, but I had to google MWF :rolleyes: Check it out:
MWF - What does MWF stand for? Acronyms and abbreviations by the Free Online Dictionary.

dmun 11-01-2009 03:48 AM

Re: How to bake with a job?
This is my favorite:

Multistage Wiener Filter
Is it true that the sausage known as the wiener in Frankfurt, is known as the frankfurter in Vienna?

egalecki 11-01-2009 12:23 PM

Re: How to bake with a job?
Ha! I have lived with college students in a college town, for far too long to be able to forget what MWF means!

I may do what you suggest, Frances. I have always had pretty good luck with frozen breads. Do you freeze the whole loaves or do you freeze slices? I am considering smaller loaves, too. A thawed loaf gets stale faster, so a smaller one would probably be better. I miss the variety of breads I used to make, so just baking like a fiend all day would be better, I think. I never did mind just using the oven for pizza- wood is plentiful here and my supply is pretty much free, just my husband's labor. He works for food!

On the good side, it might just get me to where the oven is full enough to really get good crust without steaming the crap out of it!

I'm beginning to get a handle on the day to day stuff now. I do like the job, but boy does it focus one's priorities on what matters- I come home at 5 two of the days and have to be back out again by 6:30 or 7. I have to get dinner, and eat it, in a real hurry. I'm having to be much more organized about things than in the past. Maybe I'll finally grow up at 46? Nah.

texassourdough 11-01-2009 01:42 PM

Re: How to bake with a job?
Hi Elizabeth!

I typically make four boules at a time whether pain au levain or five grain or... And while I often give one away I typically freeze two, and...if I won't be eating it fast, when I cut the first loaf in half I will freeze the fresh half.

I find that frozen bread is about 95 % of the quality of my fresh bread - and usually has even better crust for after I thaw it I put it in a 325 to 350 oven for ten to fifteen minutes to freshen it up. And that bread is REALLY GOOD! Better than a day old, cold loaf...IMO

Good luck with the job!

Frances 11-03-2009 02:28 AM

Re: How to bake with a job?
I freeze whole loaves, or half loaves if they're bigger - I wouldn't slice the bread before freezing. One thing we've started to do more often is toast the bread, specially if for some reason it isn't freshly defrosted.

One interesting trick is to defrost the bread in the oven. I hold the frozen loaf (briefly) under a running tap and then bake at 200 C for about 20 minutes... I haven't read about anyone else here doing that, but we love the way it tastes!

dmun, I don't know about the Wieners or Frankfurters (wouldn't surprised if it was true though) You have all heard that a French letter is called a Capot anglaise in French, right?

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