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We want to approach a commercial bakery to provide me with dough for a restaurant's use (so the restaurant can bake the buns in house). The restaurant will handle the shaping and adding the filling to the bun.

The idea here is for a commercial bakery to provide the dough so the restaurant can bake it in house and serve fresh buns. We need to develop some sort of process to support this.

Questions:

In what stage should the dough be delivered?

I'm guessing it should be after the first rise. The commercial bakery can chill the dough after the first rise,then deliver it. The restaurant can then shape it from a chilled state, then put it in a proofer for second rise, then bake it.

How to store the dough? Temperature & duration.

Assuming the commercial bakery delivers the dough after the first rise, at what temperature should should the dough be kept in (presumably to prevent the second rise?)? And how long will dough generally last in storage?

What's a better process?

Maybe getting the dough after first rise is not the optimal process. Should the dough be delivered prior to the first rise? Would the restaurant be better off shaping it, then chilling it to prevent second rise, then put in proofer for about an hour prior to baking?

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    Did you talk to the comercial bakery? They should a) know their recipe and processes and b) know what fits in their workflow.
    – Stephie
    Oct 22 '15 at 8:30
  • Not yet. Want to go there with some basic idea first. This is preliminary research. Also, the bakery doesn't have experience supplying dough. Oct 22 '15 at 8:41
  • Quantity unknown, but the restaurant will have a fridge, proofer, steam oven. Oct 22 '15 at 10:11
  • We don't have any control over the yeast. It's a type of bread that they make that's really good -- and we're going to source the dough. Whatever amount of yeast is in it will not change. Oct 22 '15 at 10:20
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    I think Stephie's point is that it might vary significantly between different types of dough. Without knowing more about their recipe, rise/proof times, and so on, I don't believe you will get a better answer here than you would from the commercial bakery.
    – Erica
    Oct 22 '15 at 12:14
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The best solution would probably be to get the buns par-baked, or to get frozen dough.

The problem with buns is that they're small and they rise very quickly. At a commercial bakery where I worked, most of our buns would be ready to bake within 2 hours tops, even if they spent their entire second rise refrigerated.

Frozen dough can be easier to work with, if it's frozen correctly. If it's mixed cold and frozen as soon as possible after mixing, it can work pretty well. If it's frozen too late, the yeast will be too active and cause a boozy flavor when they're baked, and the extra yeast die-off can make the dough go extremely slack when it thaws. Getting frozen dough leaves you with the problem of keeping enough dough thawed (and then being sure you can get the thawed dough molded, proofed, and baked in time, which you'd have anyway, frozen or not).

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