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Creating a place to work dough

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 

I'm in the midst of doing some remodeling - taking about 7 ft of wall space to work dough. 

Now this room which has a 6 ft wide entrance has two freezers, mobile shelving unit and a proofer.  It's not a big room. 

My desire is to use the first 7ft of wall on the left side after entering for dough work.  My convection oven btw is on the right side of the 6ft walkthrough; just before entering into the dough work area.

The construction work starts Monday evening which will include:
-new drywall on the wall where the bakers table will be;
-new tiled ceiling (8ft); presently it's like 14.  I probably wouldn't do the ceiling except it will help with sound reduction in the adjoining room.

 

So:

What would you do with 7 ft of space?  I can squeeze out a few more inches if nec.

And I'm assuming a 30" depth.

 

What length of table? 

Electric outlets- how many and where on the wall?
Lighting over the table? Fluor or incandescent?

Other issues I don't know to ask?

Concerning the table- can I build my own or find one relatively cheap?  I'm already a bit stretched these days.

Concerning electric- I have an older KA mixer.  Don't know when I'll be able to upgrade. 


Hope you're having a great day.
john
 

post #2 of 13
We're just finishing up a kitchen remodel, and I had them build a lower area on the counter top, covered in marble, for my doughs and also hand mixing.  I'm really short, so by the time I get a bowl on regular counter top height and do a lot of hand mixing, I get achey shoulders the next day!  Using a piece of marble, or even granite, will help keep your dough cooler.  Have fun with your kitchen!   We're in the 'short rows' on mine and I will be soooooo glad when it's done.  I haven't cooked anything in 3 weeks and I'm going through withdrawal, lol!
Sharing food with another human being is an intimate act that should not be indulged in lightly. M. F. K. Fisher
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Sharing food with another human being is an intimate act that should not be indulged in lightly. M. F. K. Fisher
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post #3 of 13
John, I'd reconsider dropping the ceiling that far. There's an awful lot of potential shelf & storage space going to waste.

There's no reason not to build our own work table. If finances allow, I'd inlet a square of either marble or granite, with the former preferred. Maybe 30 x 30 inches. And I'd include shelving under the table to hold your mixing bowls, sheet pans, loaf pans, etc.

Seven feet is more than enough dedicated space. You might consider recessing a couple of those stainless "cans" to hold your whisks, mixing spoons, and similar tools. Two or three of them, lined up along one short edge, would be plenty.

Depending on how you work, you might consider wall-mounted dispensers for paper towels, plastic film, and so forth.

Flourescent lighting is the way to go. If you can find them, go with the 4-bulb units. Two 4-footers will give you all the light you need.

I would put in at least two outlets. Make sure they're grounded. Locate them higher than the tabletop, rather than beneath it.

My preference is for the appliances, such as the KA mixer, to have permanent homes, which is why you need several outlets.

Let us know how the project works out.
They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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post #4 of 13
Thread Starter 
Marmalade- hope you're really, really close on finishing in light of your need2knead.

KYH- Thanks for the real world advice.  Thankfully I have plenty of space for storage in a room right behind my kitchen.  The 8' ceiling has to do with the open air shared with one area of seating in my shop- the wall between the spaces is about 9' high.  We can hear people really well from the kitchen; and they likewise us.

Some good practical words too - paper towels, wrap, utensils, etc.

You're sure about the fluro?  I hate fluro; but like coffee roasting, the right lighting is important I suppose.

Not a maple top table?  I thought the wood was the norm.

thanks so much for the input.  I'll be obsessing on this (and getting used to a lot more cooking/baking) over the next couple weeks.

john
post #5 of 13
A maple top table is great as a general work surface. But if you're into pie doughs and the like they're happiest staying as cold as possible. A stone slab contributes to that. And it doesn't hurt to knead bread dough on one of them, either.

Even if you make it only 2 feet wide (which actually is plenty) it's not going to seriously effect your work area. Let's put it this way, right now my total counter space is 18 x 22 inches. I expand that with cutting boards over the sink and/or stove burners. Can you imagine what I'd do for 30" by five feet, let alone that plus a stone slab? Who would you like me to kill?

Any slab is going to be expensive, though, and if you'd just as soon not have one, no big deal.

As to fluorescent lighting; short of diffused daylight it's the most even lighting you can get. And it also burns cooler than other types, particularly incandescents---which is harsh lighting to begin with.
They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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post #6 of 13
Thread Starter 
KYH,
Thanks for your words.  We start construction tonight (after work, ugh).  I found a three ft section of counter top in my storage.  I'm going to set that up til I can afford the stone.  I'm going to install 6 outlets.  looking into lighting over next couple days.

john

*and I think that i'll use two feet of the seven to put the meat slicer.  I'll put a divider wall up if necessary.
post #7 of 13
Well, between your meat slicer, your food processor and your stand mixer, you've only got the three feet of counter. 

Leave the space empty and buy a 6' 11-1/2" stainless table and slide it in.   

If and when you do get a stone "board," granite is stronger than marble, and less likely to crack from heat or to stain.  Marble actually does work better for candy making but not for baking -- at least not that I'm aware of.  For dough maing anything that isn't scratched will work pretty well, including wood. 

There are a few "small tools" involved with baking like cake lifter, monster spatulas, your baking knives, etc.  Aslo tons of pans of various descriptions (including lots of sheet pans).  You want appropriate storage for all of them.  A lot of the pans store best vertically.  You may want to save some wall space for a mag bar.

You'll also want nearby storage for your baking pantry items like flours, baking powder and soda, nuts, flavorings, sugar dredgers, flour dredgers, and so on. 

BDL
post #8 of 13
Thread Starter 
mag bar?

Is there an ideal table height for working dough if I were to build a table?

thanks,
john
post #9 of 13
John, how often do you use the meat slicer that it needs a permanent home? You're the only one who can decide, but if it's not an appliance you use often you might be better shelving it until needed, and not wasting two feet of counter.

I disagree with BDL on the usefulness of available space. I just did some actual measuring, and, sitting side-by-side, my stand mixer, food processor, and blender take up 25 linear inches, with a maximum depth of 15 inches.

This means that if you do go with the dedicated meat slicing area you'd be left with five feet of counter, three feet of which would be full depth (i.e., 30 inches) and two feet of which would be half depth. You can do an incredible lot in an area measuring 15 x 24 inches.

Even if you think of it as using that area only for mixing, processing, blending, you're still left with an uninterrupted area measuring 36 x 30 inches. I can't think of any remaining baking tasks that can't be done comfortably in such a space. Pasta making, maybe. But you'd still have that 15" ribbon to work with in that case, and you're back to a five-foot uninterupted run.

Something I should have mentioned earlier. Before you close-in the wall, install stringers between the studs. That will provide support for shelving and racks. For instance, while you could mount a mag bar using toggle bolts, it carries so much weight there's a risk of it pulling out of the sheetrock. But if it's screwed-in to a two-by it will support an elephant.

My point is, not everything fits on a 16" vertical matrix, and the time to account for that is before putting up the sheetrock.
They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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post #10 of 13
Thread Starter 
kyh,

not sure i'm following all you said about space.

all told I use slicer for one to two hours a day; but i am thinking of putting it on a small cart. 

oh, what is a mag bar?  magnetic bar for knives?

john
post #11 of 13
Yeah, mag bar is a magnetic bar for knives and other metalics.

As to the space allocation, let's envision the total work area. You're taking two feet away for the slicer (if you stick to that plan). What's left is a surface measuring 5 feet by 30 inches.

Now, if we use my appliances, they take up a space measuring 15 x 25 inches.

Envision, now, the appliances sitting against the wall. That means you have an open space in front of them, 15 by 25, flanked by an open area measuring just under three feet x 30 inches. When you need, say, the food processor you pull it forward and do what you have to do.

Now let's say you have that configured with the large area on your left. You have an uninteruped space measuring 15 inches by 5 feet in case you need it for something such as pasta making. Thus:

<-------------35------------><-------25------->
                                  [  ]   [  ]   [  ]  

<-------------------------60---------------------->
They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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post #12 of 13
Thread Starter 
kyh,

thanks for the clarity.

i think that i'll configure the 5 ft in a fashion similar to your idea.  i think the other two foot should be configured for tall shelving- bdl makes a good point concerning added tools of the trade- and i know i'll add.

john
post #13 of 13
Which, of course, was part of my reasoning behind not dropping the ceiling quite that much.

Keep in mind, no matter how well you plan, that stuff always expands to overflow the storage space alloted to it. You just can't have too many shelves, racks, and cabinents.
They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
Reply
They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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