Sweeten Your Check Size - Baking Tools Buying Guide
Dessert on menus is a no-brainer. But have you considered baking as an additional revenue stream to really sweeten things up for you and your customers?
Adding a dozen cookies, a half dozen muffins or even an order of gluten-free energy balls to every check can add up to a whole lot of dough. And it doesn’t need to be sweet, either – a loaf of bread (or two), hamburger buns or even granola are great options that your kitchen might already be making anyways. A simple repack and a bit of marketing could be all it takes.
It doesn’t need to be complicated or fancy schmancy to be effective. Think about items your customers are going to buy elsewhere and entice them to buy from you instead.
Whether your operation bakes from scratch, half-scratch or have ready-to-use baking items, have the goods ready and available for your customers to grab and add to their orders.
You can even bake without baking. Prepared and scooped cookie dough ready for the customer to pop in the oven lets them be part of the process (and cuts down on your expenses). Or how about pizza dough with great instructions and even a recipe.
It’s about taking what you are already doing and repurposing it effectively. Why not pair cookie dough with a container of half-scratch ice cream (purchased vanilla ice cream with your homemade butterscotch sauce swirled in) and instructions for Homemade Ice Cream Sandwiches. Or even using stale bread to make croutons or crostini.
Every Canadian baker, no matter their expertise level, knows that the right tools can make a difference. Our baking tools buying guide is here to help.
Essential Professional Baking Tools
Bun pans, sheet pans or cookie sheets or mix them together to get baking sheet pans - whatever you call them – bakers can’t live without them. They can bake, roast, thaw, portion and store almost everything on your baking menu. These workhorse multitaskers, when paired with a bun pan rack can full and ready to serve when the orders start rolling in.
And remember to have parchment paper or silicone baking mats to make clean-up breeze.
Check out our Bun Pan and Rack Buying Guide for more details.
Canadian bakers come in all shapes and sizes and so do baking pans. A selection of loaf pans, cake pans, cake rings, springform pans, pie plates and muffin pans assure you are ready for any baking scenario.
Precision is key to successful baking (and being profitable). From small to large, digital or mechanical, the right scale keeps track of every gram or ounce. Eyeballing it won’t keep you in the black for long – take a weight off your shoulders and let the scale do the heavy (or light) lifting. Make sure your scale is right for the task.
Measuring Cups and Spoons
Every drop and grain and granule and speck counts, so ensure you are measuring properly with the right cups. A variety ensures having the correct sized cup for more accurate measurements. Wet ingredients, dry ingredients or even those tricky ingredients where you need to measure only the solids and not the liquids using the right cup or spoon can make a difference in your final product.
Mixing bowls are indispensable tools for bakers, chefs and cooks. To allow for proper mixing, choose bowls that, when used, are only half full. That way you keep it all in the bowl instead of on the counter or the floor and all over you.
A spatula can mean a variety of things depending on where you learned to bake. Any baker worth their flour will have a selection of each style.
Spatula Scraper - also called a rubber spatula, this type is a flexible-bladed tool that can be made from rubber or silicone that is perfect for blending and folding batters and doughs and getting every last bit of product out to maximize your yields.
Metal Spatula - also called a turner, this type of spatula has a broad flat blade made with metal or plastic and is used for turning, lifting and transferring baking items.
Baking Spatula - this type of spatula features a flat, narrow and flexible metal blade (sometimes be offset) and is perfect for spreading icing, frostings and batters. It also works wonderfully for lifting small squares out of baking pans.
Essential for any professional kitchen, whisks and whips work like no other kitchen tool for mixing, whipping and fluffing. Just need to add some elbow grease. The type and size you need depends on what you are making and the bowl (or pot) you are using it in.
Rolling pins, roller pin, baker’s pin, straight or French pins, regardless of their name (or the style you prefer) are a baker’s best friend. From rolling your from-scratch pie dough to shaping purchased puff pastry for simple half-scratch blueberry Danishes or crushing nuts in a pinch, the right pin makes all the difference.
You can think of pastry brushes, also called basting brushes, as the delicate hand of the baker. These small brushes can apply thin layers but give complete coverage of many types of ingredients. Without a pastry brush enticing your customers by elevating a purchased frozen pie with a simple egg wash beofre baking would be extremely difficult. Or basting freshly parbaked muffins with melted butter before sprinkling with your house-made spice blend without a brush would be messy business.
Dough scraper, bench scraper or pastry scraper. Made from plastic or stainless steel, with or without a handle; scrapers can get the dough off the work surface or out of the bowl and into your customers hands. Also great for cutting dough into smaller portions, scooping and transferring ingredients into bowls you could use a dough scraper to easily take a basic frozen bread dough and turn it into heavenly walnut raisin breakfast buns.
Dealing with dough requires dishers. Also called portion control dishers or scoops these indispensable baking tools are spring-loaded scoops used to portion anything from cookie and muffin dough to truffles or even lime curd. A selection of various sizes, easily distinguished by handle colour, you will always get the perfect portion. So, get scooping to tempt your customers.
Yes, a chef's right hand (or left). But bakers also slice, chop and dice through their own prep, day after day. From delicate slices of pears for Cardamom Mascarpone Tarts to chopping roasted hazelnuts for Anise Orange Biscotti. Choose the right knife for the task at hand.
Baking items can be delicate, soft, flaky, fluffy, crusty and dense. Beyond what you need for prep, using specialty knives can assist with the look of your final product. Bread knives with offset handles can save knuckles. Serrated knives can handle pastries and breads with crusty crusts and soft interiors. And if splitting cakes or cutting large pans of squares to tempt your customers are part of the plan, make sure your knives work with you.
If you are using knives, you must have cutting boards. Beyond a stable and safe surface for slicing, chopping and dicing ingredients, cutting boards save your counters and your baking pans.
Essential Baking Tools
Baked goods, sweet or savoury, appeal to all. Look at what you are already baking, from scratch or ready-to-use products, and with a simple repack, new add-ins or better marketing you can entice your customers to increase their orders. Sweetening their cheque size and your bottom line.