The Ultimate Guide On How To Run A Bake Club – Part Two

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A continuation from part one of my “Ultimate Guide On How To Run A Bake Club.”  Bake Club Part Two

What Equipment and tools will we need?

  • Mixers. The time it takes to whip something up in a stand mixer isn’t long, so take turns.  First in first served. The people waiting to use it can be preparing their raw materials.
  • Tins and trays.  Firstly you have to work out what is going to fit in your oven at any given time. Choose recipes that you have tins for and will fit in the oven on the day.   We tend to get cookies in first because they don’t take long to bake. Even though they take up the whole oven, they’re usually out in 15 mins or so.  Also, they typically don’t take long to make, depending on the technique. We use USA brand tins and trays at Bec’s Table.  They have to be the best quality bakeware I’ve ever used.  They’re silicon coated, so you don’t have to use baking paper in most instances. They’re built for professional use and are easily washed by hand.  Only one drawback is you can’t stick them in the dishwasher. In saying that though they clean up so easily with the silicon coating, so it’s not necessary anyway.
  • Then slices watch these. They take up a whole shelf so check to see how long they take to bake before you commit an entire shelf.
  • Lastly cakes.  Of course, If you’re making a cake recipe and it states “bake for 1 ½ hours” use this trick.  Use muffin or cupcake trays or mini loaf tins.  This is what we do in our Bake Club. Otherwise, we’d never get a mudcake cooked. 😉 This is what we do to save time but remember these trays will also take up a whole shelf.  Doing this simple little trick will cut your oven time in more than half.  And because we’re splitting up the goodies to take home, it makes sense too.

Advice On Baking Equipment For Bake Club

Don’t forget you can always ask the other members to bring something with them.  I make sure that we have enough tins and trays to go around.   A 90 cm oven will fit a lot in, but even a good 60cm oven can too.  When I say good, I mean one with a decent size cavity.  Trust me; not all oven cavities are created equal.

When you’re baking off cookies, you’ll need a lot of oven space.  Although cookies generally don’t take long to bake off so getting them in and out of the oven isn’t too bad.  Most cookies take between 12 and 18 minutes, in and out fairly quickly as long as you use a tray with no sides.  Check out my post on “why do my cookies spread” for some tips here.

Because we have a cooking school, we have loads of equipment, if your planning this from home, you just need to take turns in using what you have.  You can also ask people to bring cake tins with them, I’ve done this in the past when we needed 8 x 9″ springform tins for everyone to make a cheesecake. Everyone brought a tin and made the same recipe.  They do take a while to cook, but because each member had their own tin, they could leave the cheesecakes in the tin to take them home.  Simple

At the cooking school, we have three Thermomixes, two stand mixers and a bunch of hand mixers but if we have five people in the one meeting all wanting to use Thermomixes, it’s first in first served.  The people that are waiting just weigh up their ingredients on the weigh scales and wait till the equipment becomes available.   No problem at all, they don’t have to wait long as a rule.

A little note about the oven for a baking Club:

Because there are so many using the oven you have to be careful of the opening and closing of the oven door.  When teaching at TAFE, I would put a different student in charge of the ovens each lesson. Teaching them about how ovens work and when things are ready.  At home, that may be a bit too much pressure for one person, so you can make everyone responsible for their own goods.  But you need some rules.

  • When you open an oven door do it gently, pulling it open slowly and the same when closing.
  • Before you open the oven door, get everything you need.  Get your gloves or mitts on and be organised, so the door is open for the least amount of time. I use to pop cooling racks on the top of the stove so the girls had a place to put things.
  • You also want to make sure that your recipes require the same temperature.  We bake at 175° c for most of our bake club sessions.  There are plenty of recipes that need to be baked at 170° – 180° c.  Because we have two 90cm ovens we can have them set at different temperatures.  But like I said, just choose recipes that all need the same temperature and you’ll be fine.

Stay tuned for the next episode where I tell you where I get my recipes and how I choose them.

bake Club girliesGo back to part one! of how to run a bake club

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