Archive for the ‘Home Baking for Profit’ Category

Home Kitchens Meet the Bun Pan Rack

Tuesday, March 21st, 2017

Does your business baking turn your kitchen into a hunt for space?

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Do you dread the holiday production nightmare?

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I often receive questions from home bakers asking for help with this problem, especially when I show photos from my baking classes with this wonderful piece of equipment:

This sheet pan rack is old, but certainly does the job!

If you have a home-based food business you already know about heavy production in a home kitchen. Meet the home version of this commercial equipment, useful for cooling and storing baking pans as they come out hot from the oven.

Meet the half height bun pan rack.

The Webstaurant Store is only one of numerous restaurant equipment stores that sell many types of bun pan (or sheet pan) racks. The above rack is an end load half-height rack, designed for half sheet pans and can be assembled with or without wheels, and can be put away after the holidays. It holds up to 10 full size or 20 half size sheet pans and is not too costly. You can find new ones for just over $100.

You’ll find more tips and tricks for home kitchen efficiency in Home Baking for Profit.

Home-Based Baking at its Best!

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Holy Buckets of Brownies, Batman: Recipe Alert!

Wednesday, February 25th, 2015

Chocolate brownies are a classic treat and one of the top selling bakery sweets.

Brownies!

After my Valentine’s Day post a couple of weeks ago, a few people commented about finding the “perfect” brownie recipe. In my opinion, the “perfect” brownie recipe is one that’s easy, fast, and creates repeat sales.

Brownie guidance from Baking Fix: 1. One pot recipes are the easiest and fastest. 2. Additions to the batter (nuts, chocolate chips, etc) are nice but not necessary. 3. Frosting is okay, but a soft frosting may be a problem with packaging. 4. The kinds of brownies you offer depends upon your customers and their particular preferences.

Brownie bites!

Chocolate Brownie Overdose This recipe makes an over-the-top chocolate experience for true chocolate addicts.

Yield: (2) pans, 9x13x2
15 ounces unsweetened chocolate
6 ounces semi-sweet chocolate
3 cups (6 sticks) butter
2-pound bag brown sugar
3 cups granulated sugar
12 large eggs
¼ cup vanilla extract
4 ½ cups all-purpose flour (1 lb. 4 oz.)
1 tablespoon baking powder
2 teaspoons salt
approximately 2 pounds of your favorite chocolate bars

1. Preheat oven to 350º F and line (2) 9×13 pans with parchment or foil.
2. Melt chocolates and butter in a large stockpot.
3. Cool for ten minutes, then mix in both sugars. Beat in eggs and vanilla; stir in flour, baking powder, and salt.
4. Scoop about ¼ of the batter into the bottom of each lined pan, and spread to cover. Then cover the batter with your choice of candy bars. Carefully scoop the remaining batter over the chocolate and again spread to cover, smoothing the tops of each pan.
5. Bake for 45 minutes, then reduce the heat to 325º and bake 15 minutes. If the brownies still seem soft and wet when a toothpick is inserted near the center, turn heat down to 300º and bake for another 15 minutes. This should be enough time to thoroughly bake the brownies.
6. Cool and cut into large pieces. These are impressive wrapped individually and stacked on a platter.

Top brownie has caramel, middle brownie has a chocolate bar, and bottom brownies have wafer candy/cookies.

My book Home Baking for Profit has a chapter with fourteen brownie recipes along with variations, and several tips for baking and handling.

Home-Based Baking at its Best!

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Pfeffernuesse Cookies, Tis the Season

Tuesday, December 3rd, 2013

Spicy bits of Pfeffernuesse heaven!

Pfeffernuesse are small, round, peppery cookies drenched in confectioners’ sugar. They’re a traditional German Christmas cookie with a long shelf life.

To make ten dozen medium puffs of spicy heaven, I quadrupled the recipe in Home Baking for Profit. Unfortunately, after baking all week preparing specialty cookies for our cookie trays, I ran out of several ingredients: molasses, whiskey, cloves, and nutmeg. Instead of running to the store I subbed honey for half the molasses, rum instead of whiskey, and cardamom instead of cloves and nutmeg.

The results are excellent! And they will taste even better after mellowing for a couple of weeks.

Before coating with confectioners' sugar these cookies are not that attractive.

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Home-Based Baking at its Best! When making holiday treats start with the longest shelf life products: fruitcake, Lebkuchen, Pfeffernuesse, shortbread, and sugar cookies.

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Preparing Holiday Cookie Trays

Tuesday, November 12th, 2013

Last year the Hudson Valley Baking Society made cookie trays – a fundraiser for the Northeast Regional Food Bank.

We baked an assortment of drop cookies in the BOCES culinary school kitchen and

made festive holiday cookie trays.

This year I began early and made poppy cut-out cookies.

Colored doughs are next in line!

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Home-Based Baking at its Best! It’s never too early to begin holiday production when using commercial tips and techniques. Recipe and tips are in Home Baking for Profit.

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Such a Deal!

Tuesday, October 15th, 2013

Really, such a deal for only $5,678!

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If you plan on purchasing a copy of Home Baking for Profit please use this link. Because you want to make sure you’re buying at the best possible price.

Join me at the Culinary Institute of America, Hyde Park, New York on Saturday October 26 (9:30 am – 3:30 pm) for my next class, Home Baking Skills for Profit or Pleasure. (Book included in class price!)

Home-Based Baking at its Best!

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Starting a Home-Based Food Business?

Tuesday, September 17th, 2013

Across the U.S. more than forty states currently have a cottage food law that allows for the legal operation of producing and selling food from your home kitchen.

But there’s way more to this venture than simply creating a Facebook page. And certainly more to it than just having fun in the kitchen.

If you want to run a legal, profitable business, I have a few suggestions:

1) Start baking or cooking and keep notes on everything you do. Look for uncomplicated, easy to make, great tasting recipes. Think about ease of production – you don’t want anything too fussy when you’re starting out. Think about shelf life – you want products to last at least a few days. And avoid expensive ingredients when you’re new to the business side of food.

2) You’ll need a business name and a name for each of your products. Begin making lists.

3) Set up a bookkeeping system. Running a legal business includes keeping track of income and expenses and declaring your income to the IRS.

4) Learn to price your products. There’s no point in pricing based on what you think customers will pay or what the supermarket charges. You will only attract cheap customers if you price based on the cheap cake lady in your community. It’s important to know how much each product costs you so that you’re not subsidizing a business with personal money.

5) Write a business plan. If you want this venture to be profitable, it will help you understand the underlying issues involved in running a business.

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Yes, I know it can seem overwhelming. For more help, read Start and Run a Home-Based Food Business and Home Baking for Profit. Read them through, but don’t let any of the business aspects scare you. When you’re ready, contact your local health agency, your state’s department of agriculture and markets, or use the links provided with my book. States and provinces have different licensing procedures, so be sure to follow the guidelines in your area.

Home-Based Baking at its Best!

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Local Corn in Your Homemade Muffins

Friday, July 19th, 2013

Local corn at Adams, my favorite hometown market.

‘Tis the season for wonderful fresh, tasty, local corn.

Silky ear of fresh picked corn.

New summer product idea: Fresh Corn Muffins! Most of us think about corn muffins as the perfect go-together with soup or chili on a cold winter night. But corn muffins using fresh corn kernels are an ideal summer product to capitalize on the local and seasonal trends. Simply prepare corn on the cob using your preferred method and scrape off the kernels with a sharp knife. Separate the pieces of corn and pull off any stray silk.

Add another seasonal product and capture the market for both taste sensations.

Don’t scrimp on your additions. Your muffins should be loaded with produce.

Use your favorite cornbread recipe and add fresh corn kernels.

Above, my basic cornbread recipe with fresh corn.

In Home Baking for Profit I also have recipes for Banana Corn Muffins and Corn and Cheese Muffins. These recipes were excellent sellers in my bakery and café.

Home-Based Baking at its Best!

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Batter Viscosity, FAQ

Friday, June 7th, 2013

Have you ever been annoyed with additions (chocolate chips, diced fruits, nuts, etc) that sink to the bottom of your products? Would you like to know the simple answer? At Baking Fix, it’s one of the most frequently asked questions.

A common myth for correcting this problem, is to toss your additions in flour. Unfortunately, this is not the answer to keeping your add-ins from sinking. Extra flour is useful to coat and separate sticky ingredients, and helpful in absorbing excess moisture from fruit. But the answer to keeping your add-ins suspended: start with a thicker (denser) batter.

It’s all about viscosity.  Think about the viscosity (density) of honey versus water. Which of those two is better at suspending a solid particle? The denser a batter, the better equipped it is to keep additions (choc chips, dried fruits, nuts, etc) from sinking to the bottom.

Thick batter for Apple Cranberry muffins will suspend the fruit and nuts.

These muffins all have visible fruit, indicative of a thick batter.

Dense batters work well for all products.

If adding more flour does not result in your preferred texture – you prefer a lighter, more tender result in your baked goods – it can help to chop heavy or large add-ins into smaller (lighter) pieces. But if you have a thin batter, only very small, light pieces will stay suspended.

Answers to some of your other baking problems are covered in my book, Home Baking for Profit.

Home-Based Baking at its Best!

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Home Baking Skills for Profit or Pleasure

Sunday, April 14th, 2013

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Are you starting, or thinking about, a home kitchen business? Writing a simple business plan is the first step in launching a successful business. The second step is understanding basic issues such as efficient production methods, how to maximize your kitchen workspace, and the all-important food safety.

Join us next Saturday, April 20, 9:30 am – 3:30 pm for my next class at the Culinary Institute of America, Hyde Park, NY.

Home Baking Skills for Profit or Pleasure
Gain the confidence of an industry professional! In this class, we’re moving out of the kitchen and into the classroom for a comprehensive discussion of commercial baking techniques. In just a few hours, you will find out how to turn your kitchen into a well-run production area, utilizing shortcuts and tricks for recipe and product development, quantity production (including scaling up recipes and using the assembly line method), shelf-life testing, packaging, storage, food safety, and more. You’ll learn everything you didn’t know to ask about equipment and appliances, and how oven heat affects baked goods. And you will discover the art of maximizing baked goods for visual and sales appeal and discuss how to adapt traditional recipes for healthier baking with whole grains. Whether you’re baking for profit or simply want to learn tips and tricks from a professional, this class is for you.

As a participant in this class, you will enjoy lunch and receive a copy of Home Baking for Profit to take home.

About the Instructor
Mimi Shotland Fix, author of Start & Run a Home-Based Food Business and Home Baking for Profit, began a licensed home kitchen business in 1979. She has since owned and operated several successful retail bakeries, worked as head baker and pastry chef for multiple restaurants, was featured in Cooking Light magazine, developed products for corporate food companies, and tested ovens for a major appliance company. Later, she returned to school for an MA in writing and food studies. Ms. Fix owns a culinary consulting firm and teaches business and hands-on baking classes in several local colleges. Her website, BakingFix.com, provides continued support for small food businesses.

To register for next Saturday’s class.

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