inside out kitchen
As a "home processor," our kitchen probably doesn't look all that different from many of yours. We have our Kitchen Aid mixer, a Cuisinart food processor, a gas oven, and a LOT of spatulas.
Our kitchen isn't even all that big, and yet we made space for a giant work table right in the middle. Without it, none of this would be possible: weighing out ingredients, kneading dough, forming cookies, cooling hot baking sheets, packing cookies, labeling bags, and organizing for the market.
When my mom saw the sheer volume of cookies and bread that came out of this kitchen the night before the Farmers Market, she compared it to Mary Poppins’ magical bag,though I prefer to envision it as Herminone Granger's enchanted purse. Our systematic approach makes our scale of production possible.
First, we make the dough
While some doughs rest in the fridge and others rise near the stove, we shape one cookie type after another, loading up baking sheets as we go. Once the first sheets are full, we load them into the oven.
Second, we bake the cookies
Not all of our cookies and breads cook at the same temperature, so we have to be strategic about baking order. As the first sheets of cookies cool, we continue shaping and baking the others. When cookies are finished baking and cooling, it's time to bake the breads and rolls.
Third, we bake the bread and package the cookies
With the bread in the oven and the cookies cooling, we form our packaging assembly line across the table: cookies, bags, scale, label, storage bin. We start with a minimum number of cookies per bag, then check the weight to ensure each bag meets our requirements,adding more cookies if weight is short. Folding over the lip of the bag, we apply the label and carefully place each one into its airtight storage bin. Each type of cookie is packaged and stored separately to ensure organization, freshness, and presentation.
Finally, we package the bread and stage the bins for transport
When the bread is cool enough to package, we wrap each loaf in parchment paper before placing it into one of our recyclable paper bags and affixing a label. Once all the airtight bins are full of bread loaves, we stack them into larger, clear plastic bins for transport to the market. Placing the large bins by the door, we finish for the evening and head to bed, ready for the next day’s market.