or Connect
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

need some help!

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 
i just recently started cooking again after about 4 years. now i'm the baker in a casino i used to work at, the chef they used to have was teaching me baking and pastry but he's not there anymore. so i dont have any formal schooling, its just something i like to do and i've been told i'm good at and pick it up quick. this place has had its problems, our mgr almost got fired and we just got a new chef and ppl are coming from another casino to help straighten the place out. i make desserts, pies, dinner rolls, cinnamon rolls, croutons, muffins and whatever else too, sometimes have to go line cook when they are short. they dont have alot of things, measuring cups, good pans, a scale. we bring some of our own stuff from home. had to bring my pastry bags and stuff for a birthday cake one day cuz theirs is missing a bunch of pieces. i'm always trying to find a spot to keep stuff or work too.

my problems are....i have to make desserts for 4 buffets thru out the day, they have a cafe and a restaurant and they each get dessert. one shift likes cakes and bars and the other shift wants pies, i having some trouble with the pies, they are a bit more time consuming. i've asked if they can just put pies back on the menu or just do pies on the weekend or certain days of the week but i havent got no word on that yet. they wont order pre-made pies because their budget has been way over. i been using my recipes and trying to scale them to make them larger. they didnt have any recipes for me to use and the other ppl that were making stuff before i came along, dont really like to share.

any advice on organizing or how to makes things simpler and what kinds of things can i freeze, like pies so i dont have to bake them everyday or bars, which ones freeze well, how about cheescake or no bake cheesecake, can i make a bunch and freeze it? or where to find good recipes to use for a buffet or any recipes too. when they told me i was the baker they didnt really explain much else to me like what they wanted, took me a few days to figure out that evening shift wants pies. i just make what i think would be good, no complaints. they kinda leaving it up to me to tell them what i need and all that and some things i just cant have, like pre made frosting, more pans and some ingredients. some ppl were kinda mad at first wen they made me the baker, guess i stepped on their toes or whatever, o well. and some ppl give me a hard time if i ask their opinion cuz i'm the baker and supposed to know everything already so thats why i posting here, dont know where else to ask, our new chef isnt much into baking, lol. the other cooks wont bake when i have my days off now either, so i have to try and make enough to last but when i get back, everything is all gone and its like starting all over again, i dont usually take my half-hour break, needless to say. any help or advice, i'd very much appreciate.
post #2 of 5
I wouldn't worry about the ones who were mad when you were made baker... management likely had good reasons to give you the position and not them. (espeically when you said they won't bake but you have to jump online when they're short... seems they are only willing to do what they are familiar with)

I'm not a baker now but I have baked in the past (well if you call baking at Tim Horton's baking...LOL) and I also do alot of baking at home and at my last job I did have to bake desserts now and then.

Alot of pies can be frozen, and then thawed as you need them. My only concern with thawed pies would be the crust so I'd heat them in the oven for maybe 5 minutes just to crisp the crust before serving. Same goes for cakes, bars and squares. Just check to see how long they can be frozen for and before you start freezing things you might want to take note of what items sell the most and make sure you have lots of those on hand.

With your pies do you make the crusts from scratch or do you get in premade ones? Raw pie crust can be frozen so to save yourself a heap of time if you're doing scratch crusts I'd suggest doing a huge batch of pie crusts and freezing them in pie pans and then when you have to make some kind of pie on the fly you've got your crusts ready made and you can just fill them and bake them!

Try and pre-prep as much as you can. If you're doing fruit pies have the fruit cut and ready do go and for your other recipes portion your ingredients in advance. If you have a good pantry ready to go it will make your job that much easier.

I hope this helps some and I know there are others on here with way more experience than me who can offer you even more help and tips.
OK ... where am I going?.. and WHY am I in this handbasket??
OK ... where am I going?.. and WHY am I in this handbasket??
post #3 of 5
from my experience, you can freeze unbaked pies, and bake them at a high temp while still frozen. cheesecakes can be frozen after baking and unmolded out of their pans . they are easier to cut while still a little bit frozen too . brownies can also be frozen. cookie doughs that have been portioned out with a scoop can be frozen and defrosted when ready to use.

sometimes when we have a lot of pies to do, one day we will make and roll out a ton of pie dough and chill it. that same day we will make 6"hotel pans full of fruit fillings. we always use IQF fruits, that way we dont have to peel and core apples.. and then chill the fillings. so the following day, we assemble all the pies and freeze them until we need to bake them.

items like pumpkin or pecan pies can be baked and then frozen and defrosted with no prob!
well, i hope that helped a little. if you need some more advice, just ask.
post #4 of 5
If you are short on pie pans there are a couple ways to get around that.

Freeze pie crust flat. Stack the rolled crusts with 2 sheets of parchment between them, double wrap and freeze. Thaw in the cooler in a single layer. The keep about a month with no noticeable loss in quality.

I haven't had any luck freezing fruit filling alone but it holds about 4 days in the cooler. Make it in batches twice a week and you can speed up the process a little. IQF fruit is a must!! The little extra money added to the purchase price is tiny compared to the labor hours involved in cleaning fruit.

I have stored frozen pies out of the pans in the past. Freeze completely, if necessary use a torch or low burner heat to warm the bottom just enough to get the pie out. double wrap in plastic wrap and store in a 2" or 4" hotel pan for a little extra insurance. When you need them; unwrap, place in the pie plate and either cook or thaw and rewarm for the freshest flavor.

If you are taking your own tools to work invest in a locking tool box at your local hardware store.

For cheesecake I find it easiest to pick a day to make a massive batch, usually enough for a month. They remove easily from the pans after a night in the cooler and they keep for at least a month if well wrapped. Brownies, bar cookies and cookie dough I handle the same way.

Most importantly keep your head up and keep plugging! Somebody is noticing how hard you work. I find that to get my supply lists purchased it is best to break it into smaller parts. Ask for IQF fruit one month, a dozen pie pans the next, new cookie scoops the third. If you spread it out it seems less in terms of outgoing money. Plus if the first couple months requests help with production it's easier to convince them you needed the supplies.

Good Luck!
post #5 of 5
This thread is exactly what I was looking for.

One more quick question, though; when freezing something like brownies or cranberry bliss will the icing hold up?  Or should it be frozen without the icing, refreshed in the oven and then iced? 

Thawed first in the fridge and then popped into the oven, or thawed in the oven? 

How long in the oven?

Ok, it was more than one question   Any advice you can offer may help keep me outta the nuthouse.  I need efficiency (aka big batches) and longevity.... can't keep alternating between having to throw out stale baked goods and selling out with no time for replacement baking  
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Professional Pastry Chefs