Which scale for commercial cookie baking?

Discussion in 'Cooking Equipment Reviews' started by dieck, Feb 17, 2011.

  1. dieck

    dieck

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    Hi all,

    I've read all the threads I could find and couldn't find an answer to my question. I hope it's not a repeat. This a question for professional bakers.

    I run the kitchen at a seasonal business (spring through fall) but I am not a professionally trained chef. One of the most popular items we sell is large homemade cookies - we sell several hundred on fall weekends. After abusing Kitchenaid home mixers (we destroyed two last year) and having to churn out batch after batch, we finally purchased a used 20-quart Hobart mixer.

    I'm in the process of scaling up our recipes and I know we'll need to begin weighing flour and sugars instead of using measuring cups (I was going to do this anyway because there's too much variation from batch to batch). The question is, what kind of scale do we need? Can you recommend a brand/model?

    I called my contact at our restaurant supply store and she told me most bakeries use mechanical scales rather than digital scales. She thought a digital scale wouldn't withstand our amount of use. Is that true?

    Bear in mind, we don't do breads or anything like that -- just cookies. The owner is exploring getting some kind of an automated donut maker, but generally we're not looking to become a "real" bakery. Also, nobody who works for us is a trained professional -- in fact, there are times that teeenagers are making the dough -- so whatever we get has to be easy to use.

    Many thanks for your advice.
     
  2. panini

    panini

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    balance scale. You can usually pick up a used one on ebay.

    They run 3-400. new. 

    Much easier to tare. 

    You want to stay away from anything with a spring.

    Careful scaling up. especially levening.

    convert everything to weight.

    I have severe chemo-brain but I think Joe Amendelos book understanding baking has percentages. ex: flour, water etc.

    pan

    there are also baking scale-ups on the net. say your scaling up a formula 20 times. usually wont multiple the levening.
     
  3. dieck

    dieck

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    I'm very sorry you have chemo brain. I hope your chemo leads you to full recovery.

    Thanks for the advice. I'm really surprised you said balance scale. I was looking at used equipment where we got the mixer. There were several balance scales but I was clueless how to use them. Is there any particular brand/model you'd suggest? Or even features? I've never used one.

    I'll have to look for info on scaling up recipes, thanks.
     
  4. panini

    panini

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    Dieck,

    I have always used Edlunds. The tables are stainless steel. Very good powder coat. Virtually nothing can go wrong. You can't make mistakes with tares. Some of the digitals are fast tare but sometimes incorrect.

    Check out the manual Kookie King depositors.

    You might be ok if you're just scaling up to twenty qt. Let me know if you need help with formulas.

    pan.
     
  5. indygal

    indygal

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    Hi Panini,

    I too am sorry about your chemo brain.  I hope you've kicked chemo in the a$$ at this point.

    You say that online instructions for scaling up usually won't include levening.  Does that change with larger quantities somehow?    I can understand yeast, but how about soda, baking powder?

    DD
     
  6. foodpump

    foodpump

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    My humble suggestion for scales?

    Balance scales?  No.  Tell the restaurant supply store to grow up and get real and start stocking some decnet scales. 

    An electronic scale is far faster and much easier to use.  I've worked for Pizza chains that use them,and they stand up quite well, the one I use every day is over 10 years old, and I run a commercial kitchen.  And do honestly think the electronic scales at your supermarket and butcher shop are wussy and can't stand any abuse?.

    O.K. so electronic becasue they are fast and accurate, but you can also use the  "Tare" function. Balance scales do not have this feature  Say I'm making cookies:  I place a bowl on my scale, press "tare", now my bowl weighs "0",  I scale out my sugar according to recipie, I press "tare", now my sugar weighs nothing and I scale out my butter and place it ontop of the sugar, I can add several more ingredients if I wish, then slide the whole thing into the mixing bowl.  At the pizza joint I worked at as a kid, the owner had every ingredient weighed out, from the pizza sauce to cheese, from pepperoni to mushrooms.  Guy bragged he had a 9% food cost, and no one ever complained about not enough of this or that.

    So, you'd want a scale that has a capacity of 10 kgs and is accurate within 1  gram, shouldn't cost you maore than 150 bucks tops.

    Weights.  I grew up with the Imperial system of weights and mesurements, and once I was forced to use the Metric system, I never went back.  I HATE FRACTIONS AND DECIMAL EQUIVELENTS.  Convert your recipe once to metric and never look back, you'll be dealing only with whole numbers, and is soooooooo much easier to scale the recipie up or down, to cost out with, and to do inventory with.
     
  7. chefdave11

    chefdave11 Banned

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    [size=2][size=6][font=verdana,Arial,helvetica][size=-1][b]"Escali M-Series Multifunctional Scale 66 lb / 30 Kg *NSF Certified"[/b][/size][/size]
    [font=verdana,Arial,helvetica][size=-1]$96.79
    [/font][/size][/size][/font]


    Bought mine on Amazon 7 months ago.  Been a workhorse!  It's got great features - couldn't be happier!!
     
  8. chefbuba

    chefbuba

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    First post and your hocking your wares?......not nice.

    On the other hand, I have used many of the cookietree bake and serve, not a bad product.