Perhaps the neck of a bottle of good craft beer.
Or perhaps a narrow section of road impeding traffic.
Well its bake day today at doughies, and so the bottleneck in question is a too small mixer impeding dough work flow!
Today there’s the usual regular orders for 75 loaves of sourdough goodness. That’s roughly 75kg of dough, which we can handle but its coming to crunch time on some of our bits of micro-bakery kit. In particular we are still using the first bit of kit we ever bought – our old Hobart planetary mixer which can only handle 12kg of dough per mix [for nostalgic young pictures of us pre-children 7 years ago look here]. But all our other kit can handle batches of 18kg of dough (that’s a full oven load of our ROFCO B40). So in terms of dough workflow it means two mixer bowls for every one oven batch. Thats a hassle. Welcome to bottleneck no 1.
So we’re in the market for a new mixer – canvasing amongst opinion with other micro-bakeries, we have decided to to get a spiral mixer that can handle 36kg of dough (2 x 18kg), with a lifting head, on casters. Hoping to get it ordered today between folding doughs. Hopefully it will look something like this:-
Its surprisingly not a big piece of kit, but it will not fit where old Hobie resides under the dough table which represents a problem. Welcome to bottleneck no 2. Space. Our wee bakehouse is…well rather wee. There’s some pictures here. It does the job, and its great to have a hygienic dedicated space on the back of the house to do our slow doughs from, but a new mixer just plain won’t fit.
So, after much discussion we’ve decided to move a wall (!). Its the quickest route to winning a bit more space. Its internal, nom structural, and is probably only a weeks work of evenings to shift and make good. And it will let us rejig the kit in our wee bakehouse into a more traditional galley layout, and free up a spot for the new mixer.
We’re probably make some other small changes whilst we are at it, but that’s the gist of whats occurring to open those two bottlenecks – keep an eye out for a completion blog post in the near future.
At which point I will celebrate by opening that craft beer bottleneck.
Right – better get back to that sourdough.