Saturday, November 28, 2009

the dust has settled

Saturday morning, a little unlike the scene forty eight, or seventy two hours ago. Quiet, tranquil, refreshing. Although, we're gearin' up again. We have an order for ninety five, gingerbread house kits for Evanston Golf Club, Sunday. Needless to say, we didn't/couldn't get anything done before the holiday for that. Yesterday, Arturo ran close to eighty sheet pans of gingerbread. Today we will cut them and put them together. I can remember, when my dad first bought he bakery. To roll the gingerbread sheets we would roll them by hand on a cloth flour sack. Roll the dough up on a broom handle and unroll it on the sheet pan. To do eighty sheets would have taken days. Yesterday, we filled our spiral mixer twice with gingerbread dough. Hundred pounds of flour and five gallons of honey per batch. We run the sheets thru our cookie machine. We can set it up so it deposits a continuous strip of dough, as wide as a sheet pan. It doesn't stop and start as the end of the pan, so they need to be trimmed, by hand as they come off the machine. We ran each batch in less than ten minutes. Ten minutes. Now, it took a little longer to get them all trimmed, and yes it took five guys, but....in a matter of a couple hours they were all mixed, baked and they had started cutting them. Anybody tells me about the good ol' days, can kiss.....

Next week is the Christkindlmarket in Lincoln Park. Chef Martin is preparing brats and hot dogs. He owns a an artisan style sausage company here in Chicago. Martin and I go far back. He is from Krefeld, outside Dusseldorf. I met him when he first came to the states. He worked for Wolfgang Puck, here in Chicago. He has ordered two hundred fifty dozen brat buns and hundred fifty dozen "Wiener buns" as he calls them. There's really no end in sight here. My mother used to say "It'll keep ya outta the tavern".

Oh, Thanksgiving was spectacular. We well out did last year, customer count and product. The best news, we only had two orders that weren't picked up. Only bakers can relate to that. This was our second Thanksgiving, using our computerized, retail order system. It kept us very well organized(loose term), and it kept us from duplicating orders, etc. Back when we were rollin' those honey house sheets by hand, the day after Thanksgiving, we would have fifteen or twenty orders left.

Gotta get upstairs, once again, got a lot to do.

2 Comments:

Blogger Laminatrix said...

The next thing you need is cutters that fit in the sheet pans, kind of like a frame that you set into the dough. Bake it that way, with the cutters in the pans, and then you eliminate the cutting, too.

November 28, 2009 at 1:46 PM  
Blogger Jory Downer said...

it'd take a lot of frames. I've seen bakeries, sheet the dough and press a frame into the raw dough and separate the pieces. I'm guessin' the only way that would work is to have very chilled dough? we've always, sheeted, bake and cut.

November 30, 2009 at 4:38 AM  

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