Bakery Day 127: I survived :)

I worked solo today, so the first thing I made sure was to be at the bakery early (4:30). Last night I did bulk fermentations of two types of breads which made things easier for me. So, I used the extra time to bake some other things and finish off the carrot cake. It did not look beautiful, but I sold three pieces and they loved it very much. It has a texture problem I need to work out, and I will.

The bakery was not super busy today, so I used every free moment to clean and organize a bit.  As much as I hope it is busy tomorrow, a mother and son stopped in tonight and asked me to bake a cake for their sons birthday for tomorrow. Ufff… tomorrow evening I must do a lot of prep as Thursday is the busy day and with me being alone, it will be very hard to manage getting it all done. I cross my fingers for good luck for sure. Maybe you can cross yours too 🙂

Ok… not much to talk about so I will end here, it is bed time already. Thank you very much for sharing a part of your busy day and life with me.

#doeverythingwithlove

Bakery Days 124, 125, and 126: ketchup time

Dear friends, I have no idea what happened with the time but it is clear I missed two days of posting so today I will catch up on what has been missed.

As you know from the 7th, tapas on Friday was sushi. We sold out by reservation. That was a great feeling. I admit it would have been nice if a few pieces made their way home to the house, but this is life. I am much happier to feed others than to worry about me.  I think the way tapas has been going it could be better to do it by reservation only.  I am not sure about tapas this week, I am thinking about making single sized pizzas instead.  I will be working alone and it could prove to be just a bit too much.

Saturday was a very quiet day. As slow as almost it could possibly be. We did not sell all of the breads even, and that is sad. But Sunday turned out to be better than Thursday, and better than Friday.  I do not know why but I am very happy just the same.

Now that we are back to six days a week I have been working in the bakery today (closed day) since 7:30 am.  It is now 5:30pm and I probably have two more hours of work.  I need to get as much done as I can today since I will be solo tomorrow. That means get all the baking done by 9:00am when the doors open and then work the front until 2:00pm.

Today I used the laminator for the first time. It took a little getting used to. I could also see the butter was not quite as soft as it should be so the result was the lamination was not perfect. What I realize is that the machine makes this work much faster and much easier, but it alone cannot make the perfect laminated pastry dough. This still requires the other ingredients to be perfect and ready.

What I love about the machine is I get the exact night of the pastry dough that I desire. So, my final setting today was 3.8mm. I think 4 feels a little bit thick. But let’s see. If this is indeed too thin I will know tomorow morning when I bake the croissants.

Oh, on Sunday I think we sold 38 croissants. That is a top five day for sure. I remember a while back having a day in the 40’s but I think anything over 25 is incredible.

Lastly, I cannot be happier with the results of the breads lately. I changed my stragedy a little bit and I see it is really making a difference. I believe the uncontrolled fan in the oven was causing me the most problems. So now I use more steam and longer and the breads are rising beautifully and the crusts look like thy are supposed to, not like oversized potato skins.

I am sorry I missed a couple of posts and I will do my best to get a video up my Wednesday. It is going to be hard but I will do my best. In the meantime, thank you so much for stopping by.

#doeverythingwithlove

Bakery Day 123: Ummmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm

I got a message that my machine was delivered. Based on the photos and roughly how big I imagined the machine to be, I thought, it can sit on the front floor until I find time to open it…. and then….

I got to the bakery and it was literally in a box 130c long, 100cm high, and 100cm wide… I would say my estimations were off by double.. HOW was that possible?  It took up over half of the counter space. There must be a mistake.

Once I opened the box, I say that it had a lot of space around it for protective purposes. But, it is still much larger than I expected. I admit, I was feeling my heartbeat faster and I was getting more worried.

About an hour after I had a solid look at the box and the machine I started to feel sick in my stomach. Did I make a bad decision? Will this really help me with making great laminated dough’s? I felt a lot of stress. So, I turned my attention to making the tapas for tonight and to forget about the stress for a few hours.  That kinda sorta helped 🙂

The breads turned out amazing today and we sold out by 12PM. I also found out the Mallorcans do not put salt in their breads. This is a general rule. So, I think I will start making some salt free bread as well. One time I made it by mistake and I remember customers did not mind at all. It is strange for me for sure.

Thank you for reading the short update. I was working a long day so it is now time to walk the doggie (not a euphemism) and go to sleep.

#doeverythingwithlove

Bakery Day 122: another change to the schedule

Today we decided to go back to 6 days. After many discussions, and requests from customers, it is better to be open 6 days than 4 for sure. If it is slow, it is slow, but today gave us no indication of slow for sure. We had, for a December day, a great day!!

I got to the bakery today around 4:40am. I could not sleep well and so the best solution was to just go to work. Everything seemed to flow very nicely. I made a change with the oven this morning to see how it would impact hydration and wow did it help. The integral breads today were the best that have come out of the oven in four months, without exaggeration.

Tomorrow I will repeat the same process and let us see how the results fare. I know there are many factors that play in to the results of breads, but I have to find a way to make sure I am 90% consistent. Once I am there I will work towards 95% and then 100%.

I also made croissants amongst other things today and while I managed to not pull them out of the oven early enough (yes, they were a tad bit toasty), I did manage to get closer to the inside of the croissant as I hope. They are not perfect, but, I feel I am 75% of the way there.


Tomorrow my new machine comes, but tomorrow is also tapas day so I will not have any time to play around with it. If I do I will but it is not likely. Tapas comes first as it is a big part of our Friday’s and as with a month ago, it will be sushi. I think I have a way to cut down the work so it should not take more more than 6 hours to complete which is good 🙂

And in other news, I am feeling much better. I still get a slight headache (last night it was brutal) but I am sure that headache is a combination of dehydration and stress. I fix those two things and I am back to perfect.  Thank you for the private messages that were sent to me, that was really lovely.

I hope you enjoyed today’s entry and I look forward to you reading tomorrows entry as well.

and please remember…. do everything with love

#doeverythingwithlove

Bakery Day 121: Four months complete….

Today we celebrate the completion of four months of owning the bakery. I spent it in a not so exciting way, but more about that in a minute.  Every day the bakery is a roller coaster ride. Some days things are rolling smooth and other days the roads are filled with pot holes… I imagine in time those holes will fill themselves in, but really, it is not pleasant.

We are having some problems with the building asked the owner come to the bakery today and I will tell him. One small problem. He does not speak English. I was very polite and what he did not understand of my Spanish, Sandy clarified, which was about 90%.  In the end I think he understands, well I hope he does and the problems will be resolved. Despite the problems we have had I continue to start over because I want peace and I want to be able to focus on the bakery, not other things.

I hope tomorrow is a great day. It will be just Sandy and myself so let us see how it goes. I have no way of knowing how many people will come in to the bakery.  In the afternoon I will want to be home so I can start the prep work for Friday night tapas.

Four months complete. I do not know, this milestone does not seem to be monumental to me. I think because there have been so many changes that it has been impossible for me to really digest what is happening, what is going on, where we were, where we are, and where we are going. I do know that money is running out so I am hoping for a holiday miracle … if you know Santa, please give him a nudge!!

Another short entry, but I also did the video today. Be sure to find it on YouTube.

and remember

#doeverythingwithlove

Bakery Day 120: 88 croissants

Since the bakery was not open today, I decided to use the time to get some prep done. So I made croissants, 88 to be more specific.

I am nervous about the laminator coming tomorow and I found out I need a new electrical line installed to make it work. It is the same line as the horno. (oven).  I am most worrried about how and where I will store it and use it. But, I am hoping today was the last time I need to laminate croissants by hand.. hehe

We are not open again tomorrow but I need to be there early because I have a delivery of butter.  I also need to record the weekly  video and edit it for tomorow as well. So it will be a long day, as I need to make donuts and ensaimadas as well 🙂

Any questions?

#doeverythingwithlove

Bakery Day 119: money machines madness

I found out this morning that the laminating machine we decided to buy will be at the bakery on Wednesday. THAT is awesome. But it got me to thinking about how much money continues to go out the window from the bakery. This machine, I really hope, makes a world of difference. I really believe that if we have more pastries (sweet and savory) to offer, people will want more. And, I am also hoping it fixes the little problems I am having with the croissants. The need to get that lamination perfect is important to me. I am sad because I do believe I should master it by hand first, but, I also want to produce more croissants and make sure the bakery is packed with more goodies on a regular basis. This, will help bring in more customers I am sure.

The money for the machine.. it is not necessary to mention, but it costs more than a breadbox. This is madness!!

So, tomorrow I need go get some ingredients and then I need to figure out exactly how I plan on working with the lamination machine. I kinda smile when I think about it because it is not something I will use daily (maybe once a week) but yet, it is the single most expensive piece of equipment I have purchased. Yes, even more than the oven.

That is it.. short, and sweet.  Thank you, thank you very much.. (in the voice of Elvis)

#doeverythingwithlove

Bakery Day 118: the week is done

I am so happy to know this week is over. Poor Sandy worked so hard in the bakery and I was utterly useless. USELESS!

The good news is I think I am starting to feel better. Right now I am at about 60% which is a huge improvement. One of the important lessons from this week, and directed to me by Sandy, is I have to really start paying better attention to my diet. Not dieting, but what I am eating and when and how much. It is a true statement.

I hope you have had a chance to look at my bakery chronicles video. I would love feedback of course.

This week my plan is to really rest one more day (tomorrow). I will run some errands and get any needed ingredients, but then I am going to start working first thing Tuesday morning with prep. I need to get a good process for continuing to make croissants. I was not happy there were none in the bakery today or yesterday. Also, I need to prep more ensaimadas, and cookies. And, this week I will post on facebook that we will start taking orders for panettone. That is scary to me because I still do not think mine is perfect. BUT, for my first go around, I am not unhappy about them. I only wish I had a better egg yolk replacer than the one I am using.  Such is life. I think the taste of the bread is good, just the texture is not something to do back flips over.

Thank you very much for taking the time as always to read my daily notes. I am sorry this was a boring week with the blog, but you got some entertainment with the video 🙂

#doeverythingwithlove

Bakery Day 117: it continues

Today I went to the bakery around 6:30 to prep the breads. I used that time to show Sandy some techniques about bread making and more importantly I understand why it is important for her to learn.

Tomorow morning she will go to the bakery and make breads early in the morning like I have been doing. It was her idea and I think she will do just fine. It will be interesting to see how she does, but she insisted I rest another day. I am not as sick as yesterday but do not have much strength so the rest will do me well. Also, if she has any problems she will call me and worst case I can walk over and help her solve.

ok that is it, short update. Thank you for reading!

#doeverythingwithlove