Five years ago I set up Bethesdabakers, a microbakery, in our little terraced house in North Wales turning out naturally leavened bread two days a week. For the first four years I was baking six regular doughs plus a special, a rye and a flatbread that changed every week. At it’s height I was knocking out up to 90 loaves of all sizes a day to individual and commercial customers. It was mad, knackering and very rewarding.
In February when I was 65 I said I was retiring to concentrate on writing and teaching. So I put my prices up, cut down my customers to one small restaurant and a few individuals who were willing to take one or two 800g loaves of my choice every week. It’s a lot easier this way but the numbers keep creeping up – people keep “discovering” me. Yesterday even the local supermarket directed a couple of young guys in search of decent bread up to me.
If you have any sort of fantasy of baking commercially a home microbakery is a great way to test out your ideas because you can start very small scale with your domestic equipment and see how it goes without any financial risk. What’s more I’ve been baking for twenty years but I would say that everything I have learnt has come in the years since I started baking for sale.
If you’re interested in this a approach I’ve just published “Microbakin’ – Baking Bread for Sale from Home”. Full details of this and my first book, “Bethesdabasics – Sourdough Made Simple” can be found here http://thepartisanbaker.com/shop/
5 Seed with Spelt
5 Seed with Spelt,a recipe from Bethesdabasics, has always been our best-seller. I’ve given the formula to a number of people setting up new bakeries and they have reported similar success with it. For a large loaf at the UK old legal weight of 800g:
Sesame Seed 20g
Poppy Seed 20g
Golden Linseed 20g
Sunflower Seed 20g
Pumpkin Seed 20g
Boiling Water 100g
Pour boiling water over the seed, stir and cool a few hours before mixing the dough
Strong Bread Flour 335g 80%
Wholemeal Spelt Flour 84g 20%
Starter (@ 100% hydration) 117g 28%
Water 197g 47%
Salt 7g 1.6%
Soaker 200g 48%
Mix the dough. I use the short knead method – three bursts of ten kneads with a few minutes rest between them. Baking for sale I ferment overnight in the fridge. Otherwise I ferment at room temperature for four hours; if I’m feeling keen I might give it a couple of folds. Either way I shape and prove for about 3.5 hours. Slash and bake at 210C fan oven for 50 minutes.