Large Batch Brownies in 20qt mixer

Joined Nov 20, 2017
Pardon my ignorance - Looking for some advice:

I have access to a commercial kitchen with a 20qt mixer, a combitherm oven and full sheet rimmed pans. I have a small group of teens that wants to help 'make' (really decorate) 350 holiday brownies.

We'd like to make these as efficiently as possible. I'd rather doubt that all the batter could be mixed at one time in mixer, so how do we determine the qty to mix that also perfectly fills multiple sheet pans?

For instance - this recipe could be doubled to make a full sheet. We would anticipate needing at least 3 sheet trays (@ 117 ~2" brownies per tray (divided 13 by 9 per tray)

So, would a 20qt mixer hold the double batch? A quadruple batch? And surely not a sextuple batch...

And the root of this question- how do we know, before adding ingredients and under/overfilling the mixing bowl, what is the right/best quantity of mix to do at once? (I anticipate many more requests for big-batch cookies, etc. in the future)
Joined Sep 26, 2017
Your brownies recipe use baking power (as opposed to an egg foam) as a leavening agent, so you don't really have to worry much. A 20 qt. mixer can easily do 2 full sheets at once.
Joined Oct 31, 2012
This sounds like a great teaching opportunity to share with the kids. Batch volume, mixer volume, sheetpan volume, batch recipe doubling or tripling, proper work habits and sanitation, etc.
If you can afford it, buy extra ingredients in case one batch doesn't come out right. They'll have fun eating their mistakes.
Joined Feb 8, 2009

The best way to figure it out is to make one sheet pan and see how much room it takes up in the mixer. When you find that out you will know if the next batch could fit enough batter for two sheet pans. Iceman, a famous Chef on this site always say's " It ain't rocket science" I'm beginning to think he's wrong.
Joined Sep 26, 2017
LOL, you are very funny.

It's actually a lot simpler than that, for those who didn't get the joke.

A full sheet pan is 26" x 18" x 1", which is approximately (since the sides aren't straight up) 468 cubic inches, and 468 cubic inches roughly equal 8 quarts.

Therefore, a 20 qt. mixer could hold to the brim, around 2.5 sheet pans worth of batter.

To have room for things to mix and move though, 2 sheet pans (or 16 qt.) worth of batter is a more realistic amount.
Joined Nov 20, 2017
Ah - never considered the volume of the pan itself - that takes the cake! (pun intended!)

Here I was trying to figure out what the various volumes of ingredients might add up to or the recommended qty of flour to mix based on flour:liquid ratios for the mixer or hobarts very helpful 12 lbs recommendation (perhaps if I had a commercial recipe completely done in weight)

Thanks for the help!
Joined May 5, 2010
This takes me back to my bakery days when we scaled 2 1/2 lbs of batter for each sheet pan.
Joined Feb 18, 2007
The large scale recipe I have fills two sheet pans and you can only make one batch of this in a 20 qt. Are you using a scratch recipe or using a mix? One of my staff swears by the Ghiradelli brownie mix that they used in her last job (at an upscale restaurant) and wants us to get some in but we don't sell brownies. So maybe look into that if you can get it?
Joined Jul 28, 2001
Just a couple of personal thoughts. done a little baking. In the US. Just me now.
I calculate yield from the bottom of my pans. A 1/2 sheet will yield 48 ( 2"X2"). and a full will yield 96. 16 X 24".
I would not consider scaling up your formula with one measure. In some recipes baking powder does not scale up
correctly in multiples.
I would prepare 4 full sheets. safe side, considering the (teen + hunger) factor.
Have fun teaching. I laughed when I got to chefbillyb's post. I had iceman's quote in my brain from the start of this thread.
If possible, get the teens involved in the whole process. 8 teens? pair them and have them scale and mix a dbl recipe. Much more rewarding than just decorating. There is enough of that on the tube. Heck, there a many so called professionals in the industry who don't even know how to prepare what they're decorating.
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