There were few commercial bakers operating during colonial times until cities and towns began to be established, such as in 1640 A.D. in Plymouth and 1645 A.D. in New York. Outside of dense settlements, most baking was done at home. Early colonial bakeries resembled English bakeshops or bakehouses.
By the end of the 17th century, settlements in the colonies had grown large enough to begin supporting commercial bakeries. By 1700 A.D., New York had a population large enough to support seven commercial bakeries. Following the British design, most bakeries were square buildings and, if possible, faced a river. Bakeries started operations at 5 a.m., and the earliest bread was baked using long wooden paddles in the baking chamber.