The New Bakers Dozen
Half-baked...Anyone know about "Par Baking"?

The The Bakers Dozen: Half-baked...Anyone know about "Par Baking"?
By Samantha (Samantha) on Sunday, October 17, 2004 - 01:46 pm: Edit

Hi Group,
Here in NYC we have this really fab store called Fresh Direct that delivers anything edible.

They do these "par-baked" rolls that come to me sort of half-baked (like so many of my neighbors, but I'm referring to bread here) and frozen packed inside a simple twist-tied plastic bag.

When you want fresh, steamy rolls, you just preheat the oven to 350 or something like that, pop them in the oven still frozen and bake them the rest of the way for 10 minutes.

So, how do they do that? I'd love to whip up a few batches of these myself and keep them in steady supply in my freezer to serve up with soups, etc. at lunch and dinner.

I'm thinking just take any favorite recipe for bread or dinner rolls and bake for half of the recipe's instructions, let them cool completely, bag 'em up and freeze. Am I right or am I half-baked as well?


By Chefgibz0 (Chefgibz0) on Sunday, October 17, 2004 - 01:58 pm: Edit


By Chefspike (Chefspike) on Monday, October 18, 2004 - 12:12 am: Edit

just off hand...
I think you would have to bake them at a slightly higher temp.
I don't believe you would use steam.
and i would think that you would have to bake them until the middle, has started to bake but not all the way. when the gases start popping.
remember, they will continue to bake for (--depending on size of roll )-- for min's after you pull them out.
as soon as they are cool, freeze.
I bought some last week, and they were not very good.
its sooo much better when you just bake bread and then thaw it and then steam it fresh
you can hear it talking to you, again.
just my 0.02

By Chefgibz0 (Chefgibz0) on Monday, October 18, 2004 - 09:05 am: Edit

See, I would think the exact opposite as far as the temp goes. Being in a corporate environment, par baked mass produced product is the call of the day. The middle is cooked through just the crust has not developed yet. Product names; Riches and La Brea. To accomnplish this I would think to lower the temp to acchieve a cooked interior and not a dark crust. Cool, freeze, thaw, bake at normal temp til golden. Like I have said before, I am no pro when it comes to baking, this is just my $0.02.......... And Spike you are right.......the taste of these so called baked goods sucks. This just got me hankering for a hunk of my hometown bakery. .........mmmmmmm....butter

By Doucefrance (Doucefrance) on Monday, October 18, 2004 - 09:26 am: Edit

This is the way I do it in my bakery just to keep some bread for emergencies.
I just bake it with steam at the usual temperature but only half of the time. Let it cool and freeze. I use it thawed and just finish baking it without steam at the ususal temperature for the other half of the time. It's as good as fresh.

By Chefspike (Chefspike) on Monday, October 18, 2004 - 09:17 pm: Edit

see, Helene use's the steam duing the first bake. I would have thought not to. and I would have used the steam during the second bake because i would have not thawed the bread completely.
but, shes using better flour for bread, maybe that is a factor here. and don't get me started on the yeast!
and i think that lowering the temp would produce a tough bread.
what do you think about that Helene?

By Pastrycrew (Pastrycrew) on Monday, October 18, 2004 - 09:38 pm: Edit


Bake as normal until you get the inside temp on the bread to 180degree - it's done and won't deflate at that point and it shouldn't have too much color. (If you have a bread that you're starting a high temp then lowering the oven temp for finishing, play around with a temp in the middle of the range and stick with it - this is for larger loaves normally)

Freeze them as quickly as possible once out of the oven then consolidate and wrap them tightly.


By Doucefrance (Doucefrance) on Tuesday, October 19, 2004 - 08:41 am: Edit

This is exactly what I try to avoid, getting too technical.
Everything is becoming so complicated, inside and outside temperature of the bread...temperature of the flour, the water, the oven etc...
While in the US, I had very simple equipment, convection oven, no steam, 20 qt floor mixer, and after trying so many diferent flours I ended up using Washburn Goldmedal all purpose flour for bread and pastries. Perfect!
Back in France I work the same way, all-purpose flour and basic equipment.
Reading all the "house-wife" cookbooks in the US and here got me to thinking that easy and simple are the best ways to work for best results.
Everything pro tends to get complicated, why?
Simplify, simplify, simplify...(Thoreau, I hope I spell it right)
Yes Spike, lower temp would give tougher bread and it wouldn't expand so nicely.

By Chefgibz0 (Chefgibz0) on Tuesday, October 19, 2004 - 09:04 am: Edit

See you just proved my theory that I am not a pro baker............that is why i stick to demi and hollandaise. I would have thought that a lower temp...not much, like 25 degrees lower, would alow the bread to cook through before developing a nice crust. That is what all the commercial par baked products looked as though they were doing. I have made plenty of rustic bread where the crust developed and goldened before the interior was done......Spike??

By Chefspike (Chefspike) on Tuesday, October 19, 2004 - 09:32 pm: Edit

temp too high.
too many in the oven.
dough mixed to much.
not enough proof.
dough not wet enough.
pick one or two of the above.
or three

By Chefcyn (Chefcyn) on Monday, February 07, 2005 - 03:17 pm: Edit

Doucefrance, I like your thinking, it's much like mine. My own experience has been in very small production though--more like expanded home cooking. Over the last 20 years I've cheffed for several large households (college sororities and fraternities, and today a monastery) where I baked from 6-12 large loaves a day of a wide variety of breads, and desserts for 25-75 people--as well as all the meals!
In my current job, I'm only cooking for 5 and they don't even eat bread with meals unless it's a sandwich! *sigh* I really miss the baking. I get pretty bored trying to fill the hours. I would love to operate a small bakery here--they have the space and I could get basic equipment. If I could start on your budget and with your system, it would not only be reasonable, I would actually enjoy it! I've considered doing just this and having a basic baking school as part of it. I have a teaching degree in Vocational Foodservice, and teaching experience, so all I need is the facility and some students.
Oh, well, at least I can dream! :)

By Marc_Abc (Marc_Abc) on Sunday, February 13, 2005 - 11:50 pm: Edit

Well, I worked at the Ecce Panis factory in Jersey for 2 weeks. It was awful (for me personally I mean). Actually just walked out.
I can't speak for the home baking process, but commercially the baking process is the same (including steam) except for taking the bread out of the oven early (about 10-20min). It's the flash freeze that's the trick.

At this point I have to say: Please stay away from the junk. It's worth it to take the chance to have old bread to deal with....


By Doucefrance (Doucefrance) on Tuesday, February 15, 2005 - 10:15 am: Edit

Chefcyn, my moto is FOLLOW YOUR DREAMS

By Chefmanny (Chefmanny) on Tuesday, February 15, 2005 - 07:45 pm: Edit

Wow, two whole weeks!!!!!!...did you leave the apron on the door handle on the way out?????
I did at Victoria Station one night, I was only working two hours into the job though!!!!!!!!
Realized cleaning tile walls was not going to be my future!!!! an early age thank God!!!

By Marc_Abc (Marc_Abc) on Wednesday, February 16, 2005 - 12:37 pm: Edit

From my pops I inherited this "loyalty to the business" razz-a-ma-tazz, so I gave them a two weeks notice after being there for one week, then couldn't stick it out. From then on loyalty became a 2 way street.... My spanish got better while I was there though...


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