Staying clean while working- getting discouraged

Joined Oct 18, 2018
I'm a current pastry cook and at one of my baking jobs (and at other places when I've staged), we use a 45 qt mixing bowl and I'm having issues with staying clean while getting batters and cookie doughs out of the bowl and using a large paddle. The dough literally sticks to the paddle especially our vegan cookie dough and I'm struggling with staying clean while getting the various doughs out while scraping it on my scraper. If it doesn't go onto the table then I cannot get through a whole day with getting some stuff on my apron. I make about eight large recipes a day along with other baking tasks such as shaping etc.

I just need any tips I can get. Especially when I go faster or get tired during the day I notice I start getting messier especially with liquids. I'm better with dries. If I go slower, we won't get anything done.

How do you sift powdered sugar without it going all over???

How do you scale a large amount of cake batter with a ladle into cake pans without having the batter fall onto the table or on the scale??

I've been in the industry for two years now and I shouldn't be making a mess anymore. I'm getting so discouraged and all people say is to stay cleaner but how can I stay cleaner when I'm not sure how to do things differently??

Thanks for your help.
Joined Oct 18, 2018
I just want to be like the chefs in fine dining that can stay the whole day with a clean chef coat and apron even with high production
Joined Mar 1, 2017
If you're not getting dirty, you're not doing it right. You're doing just fine. :)

Let me qualify that. You are working with batters and dough and flour and powdered sugar and water and eggs and milk etc etc. Its a messy business. There is a certain amount of mess that is expected in that particular line of work.

Trying to compare what you work with to those who prepare main course menu items is not an apples to apples comparison precisely because of the difference in ingredients. Mixing 25 qts of batter is far messier than filleting a fish or dicing some onions.

Wearing the same dirty clothes and aprons that you had on yesterday is one thing. Getting a bit of a mess on your apron after spending 7 hours preparing batters and dough is quite another.

I think you may be reading into it a little too much. :) But, if it bothers you that much, keep a few clean aprons on hand and change regularly.
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Joined Sep 17, 2018
As far as scaling out batter you could try using a different utensil like what they use to drop pancake batter onto griddles, or just scrape the bottom of the ladle with with bowl edge or a rubber utensil. I wouldn't worry too much about the powdered sugar and vegan dough getting on your apron. You are going to have some mess working with those types of ingredients in large batches at a fast pace. I'd be more concerned if you were getting a lot of food on your apron that would cross contaminate anything like raw proteins. Over time you'll get more efficient at your production and that may result in less mess but it's not a given. It's also different for savory chefs who maybe are just bulk producing things with knife cuts, etc.
Joined Oct 1, 2006
Hello Jenny,

Ask others to demonstrate how they do it, and stay clean. Observe and replicate. That's the good news, repetition makes all of us better.

Asking for helpful tips from within the organization (Head baker, older folks) communicates to the supervisors a level of motivation, caring, and desire to excel.
"I want to be quicker, cleaner and reduce waste, can you help me?" " Can you show me how you do it better?"

I interpret those kind of questions as the best kind of questions! As long as the person actually follows up on the advice!

You can't make people care. Your questions tells me you care and that desire to improve your performance is at the top of my desirable traits list!

Good luck!
Joined Oct 18, 2018
Thank you to you both! Great advice. I've done a lot of staging this year and some people stay so clean I'm jealous. I think that sometimes my messiness gets in the way. I always have some kind of batter or dough dropping onto the table.
I do care a lot however I haven't seen much improvement on my end this year though I've been trying at least in the first half of my shift. I do use a bowl scrapper but sometimes when I'm dumping out cake batter into a cambro container from the 45 quart mixing bowl ( a large batch) it splatters onto my apron.

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