In our workshops, culinary educators and consumers tell me they’re time challenged. Plus, “our ingredient budgets are really tight- how do we bake for 25 students?” I understand. I had 42-minute class periods to bake with junior high students and virtually no ingredient budget.
Tough as it is to imagine, we may BENEFIT from this challenge. It IS timely.
Famous for seeing into foods’ future, the 2022 International Food Technologists (IFT) IFT First conference speaker Lynn Dornblaser, Mintel, says we’re trending bite-sized, sustainable baking.
“Consumers are looking for a little treat these days… They’re interested in premium,” said Lynn Dornblaser, director of innovation and insight at Mintel. “They want smaller formats as well. And some consumers, especially younger ones, want international inspired products, and they want functional benefits. To me what really stands out is the premiumness and the smaller formats. Give yourself a really indulgent treat but just a little less of it than you might normally want to eat.”
At home or in the classroom, don’t skimp on quality, locally sourced fresh ingredients. Give some new flavor profiles a try too.
To bake in shorter time periods:
(1) Mis-en-place the recipe on Day 1—maybe even mix the dry ingredients and prep pans. Bake off Day 2.
(2) Bake in bite-sized portions to save ingredient costs and bake products off in less time.
Bite-sized Scones: Produce 16 scones from dough typically for 8 scones:
- Instead of rolling into a round ½ inch thick and cut into 8 wedges, roll same thickness but form a square, 8 X 8-inches. Cut this large square into four, even 4-inch squares. Cut each square diagonally as an X- this makes 16, 2-inch wedges. Place wedges 1-inch apart on a parchment- lined sheet pan.
- Bake in hot oven as directed, but reduce baking time one third to one half.
Tea-sized cookies: Scoop a scant 2 teaspoons dough (a #100 scoop)- spacing 1 in-apart, on parchment.—Bake as directed, in half the time.
Freeze cookie dough balls to bake later. Scoop dough small- into 1 Tablespoon balls (1/2 oz dough, #60 scoop) – and skip the bake-off until you have time. Freeze in scooped balls in one layer on a cookie sheet. Place in Freezer containers or bags as soon as frozen. No need to thaw cookie dough balls before baking, but prepare pan and space cookie dough as recipe directs. Bake time will be longer and you may reduce oven temperature 5-10 degrees.
Quick Breads- banana, zucchini, pumpkin, apple have a high value in coffee houses. Bake these in bite-sized versions.
NOTE: Whatever size pan you are using, don’t over-fill— no more than 2/3 full. If there is extra batter, grease custard cups and bake extra muffins.
To help decide on how batter or dough can be divided:
6 cups = 1 pound loaf pan = 8 ½ X 4 ½ -inch = three 5 X 2-in loaf pans = 24 medium (2 ¾ -in cups) muffins (4 Tablespoons/1/4 cup or a #16 scoop)
8 cups = 1.25 pound loaf pan = 9 X 5-in loaf pan = 8 inch square pan = 7 dozen mini muffins (1½ Tablespoons batter or a #40 scoop)
loaf 55 minutes; medium muffins 18 minutes; mini muffins 8 minutes
8 cups = 1.25 pound loaf pan = 9 X 5-inch loaf pan = 8-in square pan =
(Bake mini muffins 8 minutes)
See Interior Temp Chart for assistance on determining interior doneness
Galettes for two: The small Apple Galettes bakes in about 30 minutes instead of 1 hour as a full-sized version would.
Prepare the small Apple Galette with
Filling: 1 ½ tart medium apples, cored and sliced and tossed with 3 Tablespoons brown sugar, 1 tsp. cinnamon, 3 Tablespoons flour, pinch salt
Pastry: Prepare pastry dough from 3 oz. all-purpose flour (3/4 cup); 2 oz fat (1/4 cup); 1 oz iced water (2 Tablespoons)
It’s time to welcome the passing of the “mega-sized” portion era. It was bad for us when it began–we’ve seen the results. Maybe this back-to-the-future move will pay off. The French have known how to eat small for some time. Certainly, we may find bite-sized baking a way to save time and savor the high-end results.