scratch bread and rolls

Joined Mar 3, 2002
Calling All Chef's-

The seafood restaurant that i just started working for purchases all the bread and rolls from a bread company, which purchases it from a bakery. So the breads that come in could be already 2-3 days old. I wanted to get some of the professional chef's opinions on making scratch bread "in house" vs purchasing it from a bakery or outside source. I know alot of restaurants purchase from bakeries and I also have, but I was taking into consideration..labor(the company wants 8-9% in the kitchen),
cost(I am payind $1.75 per dz now).
I have made bread in other restaurants but not rolls, does anyone have a good roll recipe(not sourdough I don't think that will go)

Thanks to all!
Chef BK
Joined Jan 15, 2001
Another option if you want fresher bread is to ask your food vendor for frozen bread roll samples. No scaling and mixing involved(less labor, consistent product), just proofing and baking. I can't recommend a specific brand, but there are some good products out there.
Joined Mar 6, 2001
I ditto Angrys post. For consistancy you should go with a frozen dough and bake off. Add your own "twist" to it if you like, like mist it with garlic butter or top it with sun dried tomatoes, etc........
Joined Jun 13, 2002
keep in mind that this is just my opinion and what works for me may not work for you, consistency is the thing, if i do it myself i would have to go to work at least 2 hours early, which would make a long day even longer, if i hire someone to do it, then the labor issue comes in, there are companys like sam wilde, that supply good products for baking, i.e. bun base, for making superb rolls and breads, 50# sack and has the formula, if you have the time and energy, what i personally use is a frozen product, for the prices on our menu and the type of resturant we are, it works. it is a pillsbury product, the rolls are pre-baked, frozen, and come in a variety, sun dried tomato, french roll, and a herb, they are better than the bakery rolls we used to get and they come out to about 1.75 per dz. food for thought, packaged:D
Joined Jul 23, 2002
I have found a local baker who happens to make just about the best bread in VT. He bakes bread for my restaurant daily. I order a specific style the day before and the next day he delivers or I pick it up depending on our schedules. ends up costing about 22 cents a serving. Well worth it to me. Great bread and I don't have to add 2 to 3 more hours of my time or a cooks payroll to the pile.
take care,
Joined Jul 28, 2001
par-baked is very popular here, and I have to admit, it's a very good product. Many good artisian bakeries par-bake and freeze.
I've been asked to attend many tasting and cuttings for chef friends of mine and the general consensus is that they would not be able to create the flavors and consistancy from scratch.


Staff member
Joined Jun 11, 2001
If your volume is low enough, appx. 150 covers/night, then you could probably get away with doing your own dinner rolls AND some desserts. I highly recommend doing it yourself if you can find the labor. One AM baker/dessert sous at 36 hrs/wk should be able to do it. Premade rolls cost about $0.15-$0.30 apiece. If you're using premade desserts right now it will be worth it to make the switch in terms of $$$.

Do not have the line do it. From experience, it never comes out right or even consistent. Maybe consistently bad.

The other option is to mix up the dough yourself during the day and refrigerate it. You can use a single raise batter bread to make things easier. You won't get crusty sour bread. Form and finish it off the next day. You can do big loaves macaroni grill style which can save you plenty of labor. Basically the only cost to you is your labor and the cost of flour and yeast.

See if management can change the plan. Lower food a bit but allow for slightly higher labor.


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