New baker needs advice

Joined Oct 17, 2004
I just started as a baker's assistant 2 weeks ago. I'm now expected every day to make 20 baked shells, 10-15 unbaked shells, 5 top crusts, atleast 20 pies for the case in addition to special orders (a few a day), and 1000 large cut-out cookies. Oh, and making the pie & cookie doughs daily and pie fillings and whipped cream/ merangue. Any advice on how to get faster at this? I'm so disappointed that I'm not working up to expectations of my boss (who's really great).

thanks for all the help you can give me.


Anyone have an remedies to a shoulder that keeps popping from rolling lots of dough on a table too tall for me. ouch
Joined Aug 21, 2004
I know this will sound stupid, but repetion is the best teacher that I know. That and time yourself and chart your progress so that you don't get frustrated. Make a contest out of it. I have been peeling shrimp for 30 years and I still do this, it adds an incentive edge to it for me. Can I get faster. **** yes, just watch!
Joined Aug 29, 2000
Welcome to Chef Talk, Joepiebaker. You might also get some good advice in the Pastry and Baking forums. We have a lot of pros here, some of whom have been through what you are experiencing right now. Hop on over and join in!

Best of luck,
Joined Apr 28, 2003
Like what cheflayne said; with repetition, you get faster and with experiance, you get more efficient. Eventually you will find better ways of working faster.


Staff member
Joined Jun 11, 2001
Get a pair of Danskos. They are spendy but will pay for themselves a thousand times over.

Mise en place. It means to put in place, or prep in regular kitchen language. There's some stuff that cannot be prepped such as flour portions and stuff, but there are plenty that can. Pie dough comes to mind. One batch every other day? Maybe bake your shells 40 at a time?

Production flow is also important. It varies from kitchen to kitchen. Lots of time is wasted moving product from one place to another or waiting for stuff to come out of the oven. It takes a little imagination, but a half hour is a lot in terms of kitchen time.

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