The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America


Let the loaves multiply

I ’ve baked bread for many benefit dinners. The reward is far greater than the work because people appreciate the extra labor, which adds measurably to the overall appeal of the dinner.

To produce large quantities, I multiply a recipe for, let us say, four loaves until I make enough dough for the desired quantity. So for 24 loaves I would mix six batches. I don’t have large equipment, so I make it in basic units.

Store the dough in large plastic tubs fitted with lids. It doesn’t matter that you don’t produce all the dough at exactly the same time. When it rises double, punch down all the dough for the second rise. This allows it to rise again uniformly. I scale my dough to produce uniform loaves. I scale 1 pound of dough for a baguette. A small round loaf will tip the scale at 1 1/4 pounds.

Intersperse formation of the loaves with baking. If your oven holds eight loaves per baking, then form the first eight loaves and allow them to rise. While they are rising, form the next eight loaves and set aside. Then begin the baking and keep on with the interspersed activity until you’re done. If you bake loaves for 40 minutes and allow five minutes for removing and refilling the oven, you can bake 24 loaves in two hours and 15 minutes.


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February issue


Embracing diversity