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Flour, baking soda and baking powder: From 4 servings to 100 servings

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 

Hi, I am really not the greatest with batters.. A lot of the time I am handed a recipe from cooks.com or something of the sort and asked to multiply it up for commercial service, and I feel that I spend a lot of time testing and tasting what I've come up with with traditional math.

Obviously, everybody knows that a cup of flour is quite different than 80 cups of flour, are there general rules to making batters that I can go off of in terms of commercial cooking? I prefer to think in weight when it comes to this but most internet recipes are simply based off of volume. I am aware that baking soda reacts differently than powder, and that you should pretty much not mix in the wet part until day of as far as preparation goes, however, I am just overly hesitant to screw up a huge batch that I often waste a lot of time testing recipes and looking unsure of my work to my chefs when they hand me a recipe like that.
 I also feel like the ratio of baking powder/soda just gets messed up a lot.

post #2 of 10

Can you give us an example of a cook.com recipe that you intend to scale up to commercial quantities?

 

I'm tempted to say that you are trying to do something that just may not be worthwhile.  I'm also wondering if you have both the skillset and the right attitude.  Two concerns I had:  there are enough commercial-quantity recipes (and high-quality mixes) in existence that are know not work that may more easily replicate a cook.com recipe than what you intend to do; and testing is CRITICAL in recipe development... so embrace it.  Testing costs money and there is risk of waste.  That is just a fact-of-life in cooking and most other endeavors.

post #3 of 10

Check out Ratio by Michael Ruhlman.

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post #4 of 10

@athf1990 There is a bit of a rule of thumb with baking recipes and it would greatly help to have the recipe itself up here to break it down for you so that you will know how to do the calculations yourself. However, the general rule is for baking powder it is 1 tsp. (1 1/4tsp at the most) of baking powder per 1 cup of flour and 1/4 tsp. of baking soda per 1 cup of flour. So if you were to take a look at the original recipe and ensure that it is sticking to this rule, then when you convert it from 4 servings to 100 servings it should turn out. That being said their are more formulas and ratios that we deal with when it comes to baking, Baker's percentages, lean-cake (pound cake) vs. high ratio formulas, etc. It really all depends on the recipe we are looking at and what we want the final outcome to be. 

post #5 of 10
Thread Starter 

Honestly, I'm a horrible baker, it's not within my skill set whatsoever but we are just pretty short staffed at the moment and this is a time that I suppose I can grow in this area.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fablesable View Post
 

@athf1990 There is a bit of a rule of thumb with baking recipes and it would greatly help to have the recipe itself up here to break it down for you so that you will know how to do the calculations yourself. However, the general rule is for baking powder it is 1 tsp. (1 1/4tsp at the most) of baking powder per 1 cup of flour and 1/4 tsp. of baking soda per 1 cup of flour. So if you were to take a look at the original recipe and ensure that it is sticking to this rule, then when you convert it from 4 servings to 100 servings it should turn out. That being said their are more formulas and ratios that we deal with when it comes to baking, Baker's percentages, lean-cake (pound cake) vs. high ratio formulas, etc. It really all depends on the recipe we are looking at and what we want the final outcome to be. 

So, this still applies when dealing with a large amount of cups of flour? As long as I'm not packing it, right?

post #6 of 10
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by BrianShaw View Post
 

Can you give us an example of a cook.com recipe that you intend to scale up to commercial quantities?

 

I'm tempted to say that you are trying to do something that just may not be worthwhile.  I'm also wondering if you have both the skillset and the right attitude.  Two concerns I had:  there are enough commercial-quantity recipes (and high-quality mixes) in existence that are know not work that may more easily replicate a cook.com recipe than what you intend to do; and testing is CRITICAL in recipe development... so embrace it.  Testing costs money and there is risk of waste.  That is just a fact-of-life in cooking and most other endeavors.

I'm just a cook, and baking is not within my skillset. But we're ridiculously short handed and I'm seeking some insight to cut some novice time off my day and get things done.

post #7 of 10

@athf1990 Yes this same rule applies for whatever amounts you are working with. So for example, if you have the original recipe that calls for 2 cups of flour then you would use 2 tsp. of baking soda. However, if in the same recipe there calls for 2 cups of flour with 1 cup of buttermilk or yogurt or sour cream, then you would use 1 tsp baking powder and 1/4 tsp of baking soda to combine with the added acid. This is if you are just using a smaller recipe.

 

To do an easy conversion you would use a formula like:      Divide the desired amount of servings by the original amount.

 

desired servings

_____________  = conversion factor

original servings

 

So if you would like to covert a recipe from 4 servings to 100 servings it would look like: 100 divided by 4 = 25 so you would multiply your recipe by 25.

This is where it gets tricky, as just multiplying a recipe without converting it into weight measurements (i.e.: grams, kilograms) will make the recipe not turn out as well as you would like. So take your recipe, measure the ingredients on the scale or weight measurements, and then multiply the weight measurements by 25.

 

No packing of any ingredient unless asked for by the recipe.

 

Hope this makes sense :)

post #8 of 10

A bit of advice....Some recipes simply can not be converted. You may find that you can only increase a recipe by 2 times, and then you'll have to make that recipe several times to get the volume you want.

post #9 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chefross View Post
 

A bit of advice....Some recipes simply can not be converted. You may find that you can only increase a recipe by 2 times, and then you'll have to make that recipe several times to get the volume you want.

This for sure.  I have wasted much learning this  the long and hard way.  

post #10 of 10

I think the best way to scale up is to convert ingredients to weights.

 

Luc H.

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