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Doubling, Tripling, etc. Recipes


taylor214
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I'm not sure exactly how to phrase this question, but I've always wondered how to determine if a recipe can be doubled, tripled, etc. Recently I've been guiding the pastry effort at my church where we need large quantities of items. I'm wondering how to know if changes need to be made to certain ingredients in certain recipes to get the recipe to work properly? How have you all determined which recipes need this? Is it just trial and error? Hopefully my question makes sense??

Thanks!

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at some point when u need large quantities you have to start measuring many ingredients by the pound.... or it will not be the same....im sure the baking 911 section reccomneded wil be much more helpful to you than i could be at this point as im not exactly sure at what point u measure by the pound (or doz in the case of eggs)

if you are wanting to know about large quanties for things other than baking im sure that there must be someone around here who could help you with a website fro that as well

a recipe is merely a suggestion

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I think the two links in Brownsugars post should help you out. I do want to restate this because theres always confusion. Yes, you can mutiply baking recipes with-out making ingredient adjustments. Typcially the adjustments you need to make are in how you make them in your mixing bowl. Working with too much batter in a bowl prevents you from following proper method. SO use a bigger bowl, bigger mixer, etc... DON"T change the way you make it/method. You still need to cream items that need to be creamed, etc...

I'd like to clarify the last point in Baking 911's list. Baking times do change only when your using larger pans (*edit, please add: deeper pans or pans holding more volume of batter). If you make a recipe for a cake meant to be baked in a 9" round pan and mulitply it times ten (ten times your orginial recipe) and put the batter all in 9" round pans..........those cakes will all bake as the orginial recipe stated (*edited. please add: assuming you bake those cakes with-out leaving them out of the oven for any time period and that you don't over crowd your oven and that your oven bakes well and other minute variables) It's only when you take all that batter and put it in one or two huge pans that you need to adjust the baking time and or temp..

To adjust baking times and tempatures: Large items need to bake longer (pretty obvious) but sometimes it's best to bake them at a slightly lower temp. then what's called for. Maybe 25 degrees lower. Because when baking in such a large surface area the edges will set much faster then the center of the item.........so if you bring it all up together at a lower heat the sides are less likely to dry out. BUT, I have to tell you that I bake in huge quantities and it's VERY rare that I have to do this.

If you need help or have any questions on specific recipes or items your making please feel free to ask specific questions.

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I am so happy!! This is probably minor to many, but I doubled a cake recipe with great success!! :biggrin: Up until now, I have been too chicken, scared that I would mess something up. Well, I took the advice from those links above and the cake actually came out much better than the original recipe. :biggrin: I did use a different mixer than what I normally use. I am puzzled as to why it came out much better. Whatever the reason, I am glad that it was successful! I truly owe it to the advice given in the links above! :biggrin:

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Brownsugar, are you familiar with baker's percentage? This makes it easy to scale up or down in certain recipes like breads, some cakes, brownies etc. If you look on artisan.net they have and interactive page where you can plug in desired amount or servings but you do need the weight of the ingredients. The CIA baking and pastry book also is helpful.

Woods

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I'd like to clarify the last point in Baking 911's list. Baking times do change only when your using larger pans. If you make a recipe for a cake meant to be baked in a 9" round pan and mulitply it times ten (ten times your orginial recipe) and put the batter all in 9" round pans..........those cakes will all bake as the orginial recipe stated. It's only when you take all that batter and put it in one or two huge pans that you need to adjust the baking time and or temp..

To adjust baking times and tempatures: Large items need to bake longer (pretty obvious) but sometimes it's best to bake them at a slightly lower temp. then what's called for. Maybe 25 degrees lower. Because when baking in such a large surface area the edges will set much faster then the center of the item.........so if you bring it all up together at a lower heat the sides are less likely to dry out. BUT, I have to tell you that I bake in huge quantities and it's VERY rare that I have to do this.

Wendy,

RE: http://baking911.com/howto/recipes_doubletriplecut.htm

I suggest throwing caution to the wind about your advice about adjusting baking temperatures. In my years of experience in developing recipes for corporations, books, websites, etc., simply reducing the oven heat by 25 degrees F can cause a recipe not to bake properly or all the way through, especially in the middle. (Except when using Pyrex, glass baking pans or dark, nonstick pans). This is especially true when increasing the volume because of the pan size for a recipe. I have seen it happen more often than not that the correct baking temperature affects the successful outcome of a recipe -- simply reducing the heat by 25 degrees F can mean failure in a recipe! That's why it's so important to make sure your oven is always at an accurate temperature in the first place.

Also, you comment about baking times changing only when using larger pans is not entirely correct. It has to do with the new depth of the pan, how crowded the oven is (with multiple 9-inch pans, using your example), the material the substituted pan is made of, etc. It's more complex than having a larger pan. http://baking911.com/pantry/substitutes_pansizes.htm

baking911.com's intended audience is primarily home bakers -- 11 million hits per month, month in and month out. I also get traffic from professional bakers, bakeries, organizations, corporations, food TV stations, newspapers, etc. doing research. I never advise that a home baker start playing around with oven temperature nor advise that if a recipe is multiplied ten-fold and poured into multiple 9-inch pans, that the baking time will remain the same. Some things are simply incorrect MOST OF THE TIME> I don't mention that hundreds of tiny exceptions to the rule on my webspages simply because it would confuse my audience so much that I believe that no one would ever sign-on.

I find that most home bakers will crowd the oven with multiple 9-inch baking pans, causing the lengthening of the baking time (also from keeping the oven door open longer to load in such pans), rather than bake the pans one-by-one (or two at a time as the original recipe states), where the baking time will remain the same. (And, then I'll get the questions from the home baker as to what to do with all of those other remaining filled 9-inch baking pans while the two bake in the oven! And, how come they remaining cakes never baked as well or as high as the first two....And, how long the remaining batter will last, etc......)

And, Brownsuga, I am glad my advice and the other link helped you with your recipe! :smile:

Edited by Sarah Phillips (log)

Happy Baking! Sarah Phillips, President and Founder, http://www.baking911.com

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Woods, I am not really familiar with baker's percentage, but I'd like to learn more about. (I have some professional baking books. I attended one quarter at an Art Insitute, but when I began to think about the costs $$$, I decided to leave. But, I still have my books. I would like to learn, but I just cannot afford a school like AI right now.)

Thanks for your responses. :biggrin:

I am no pro, but this is what I have found in my experiments....

There is a yellow cake recipe that I use all of the time. When I bake it in the suggested pan at the time suggested by author, it comes out fine. However, when I try to lower the temp on that same recipe in that same pan, it doesnt come out right.

I used this same recipe last night when I doubled it. I placed most of the batter in an 11x15 pan. I lowered the temp by 25 degrees and used a nail core. It baked perfectly. :biggrin: It was very even, there was no sinking middle.......I was quite proud of myself!! :biggrin: It came out absolutely delicious!!

Now, I would be a bit leary if I was using my previous oven. I just used to take my chance on baking things. :biggrin: But I am the proud owner of a brand new oven. :biggrin:

Edited to add: when I baked the 11x15 pan, it was in the oven alone....I am not sure if that had any effect on my results.

Edited by BROWNSUGA (log)
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I used this same recipe last night when I doubled it.  I placed most of the batter in an 11x15 pan.  I lowered the temp by 25 degrees and used a nail core.  It baked perfectly.  :biggrin:  It was very even, there was no sinking middle.......I was quite proud of myself!!  :biggrin:  It came out absolutely delicious!!

Brownsuga,

Good for you for experimenting... The nail core helped bring heat to the center of the cake so the cake baked evenly. (The real test would have been baking the cake at a lower temperature in the same type pan as the first cake without the nail core!)

It also depends on the type of pan you used for the 11 x 15-inch cake. If it was a Pyrex, glass pan, a dark, nonstick pan or a heavy, dark pan, it was appropriate to reduce the oven heat by 25 degrees F, anyway! The cake would still bake nicely with or without a nail core because the oven temperature was correct based upon the pan's materils. The nail core simply helped bake the center of the cake better. ~ :wink:

Happy Baking! Sarah Phillips, President and Founder, http://www.baking911.com

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Thanks for your responses.  :biggrin:

I am no pro, but this is what I have found in my experiments....

There is a yellow cake recipe that I use all of the time.  When I bake it in the suggested pan at the time suggested by author, it comes out fine.  However, when I try to lower the temp on that same recipe in that same pan, it doesnt come out right. 

P.S. And, that proves my point about you can't simply lower the oven heat when baking a recipe......IN GENERAL, you shouldn't play around with baking temperatures because a recipe won't turn out properly!

Happy Baking! Sarah Phillips, President and Founder, http://www.baking911.com

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I guess this leads me to another question.......

I had letfover batter that I placed in smaller pans. I was wondering how they would turn out if I placed them in the oven with the larger pans baking at 325. (The smaller ones are usually baked at 350.)

Ok, now I have a headache!! :blink::biggrin:

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Brownsuga,

Good for you for experimenting... The nail core helped bring heat to the center of the cake so the cake baked evenly. (The real test would have been baking the cake at a lower temperature in the same type pan as the first cake without the nail core!)

It also depends on the type of pan you used for the 11 x 15-inch cake. If it was a Pyrex, glass pan, a dark, nonstick pan or a heavy, dark pan, it was appropriate to reduce the oven heat by 25 degrees F, anyway! The cake would still bake nicely with or without a nail core because the oven temperature was correct based upon the pan's materils. The nail core simply helped bake the center of the cake better. ~ :wink:

Sarah, I was too chicken to not do it without the heating core. I wasnt that brave. :biggrin: I wanted to take precautionary measures just in case.

I understand what you are saying about the pans. It was the same brand of pans that I have used for the smaller ones.

P.S. And, that proves my point about you can't simply lower the oven heat when baking a recipe......IN GENERAL, you shouldn't play around with baking temperatures because a recipe won't turn out properly!

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bake them all at 337F :wink:

and in my experience the number one thing to be careful of when expanding recipes is fruits & veggies not given by trimmed weight. if you use "5 apples" in your pie normally, and you're making 20 pies you will probably not need 100 apples for the expansion, but more like 90 (depending...)

One of these days I'll have time to go back & convert all my recipes to weight ratios (hah!)

Do you suffer from Acute Culinary Syndrome? Maybe it's time to get help...

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I guess this leads me to another question.......

I had letfover batter that I placed in smaller pans.  I was wondering how they would turn out if I placed them in the oven with the larger pans baking at 325.  (The smaller ones are usually baked at 350.)

Ok, now I have a headache!!  :blink:  :biggrin:

I can't begin to guess! It depends on the depth and material of the smaller pans and where you place the smaller pans......If the smaller pans are placed on the top shelf, where the oven temperature is hotter, above the larger pan, that's presumably placed on the middle shelf, they might bake ok or burn on the outside because there isn;t enough air movement in the oven. Or, if the smaller pans are placed on either side of the larger pan close to the oven's side or door, the heat is hotter, so they might bake ok or burn on the outside.

That's why on my baking911.com webpages, I don't mention the hundreds of possible variables because both you and I would get a massive headache. In general, as you have proven with your very first test, chances are, it's best to bake the recipe at the temperature that the author has recommended. If you double, triple, etc. the recipe, keep the oven temperature the same because you are baking the same recipe. In general, reduce the oven heat by 25 degrees F if you are baking the recipe in a Pyrex ovenproof glass or dakr, nonstick baking pan! :shock:

Happy Baking! Sarah Phillips, President and Founder, http://www.baking911.com

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Eden, hahahaha!! :biggrin: I thought about that...now that I actually have the digital baking temp on my oven.

Thanks, Sarah!! :biggrin: I feel the headache going away.

I think this experiement along with this thread has given me more courage and confidence to try more things. What's the worst that could happen. :raz:

Thanks again... :biggrin:

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Sarah, I was too chicken to not do it without the heating core. I wasnt that brave. :biggrin: I wanted to take precautionary measures just in case.

Yeah, I dont anymore. I think that's what Wendy was saying...when baking in the pan that's stated in the recipe, use it at the suggested temp and not lower.

Happy Baking! Sarah Phillips, President and Founder, http://www.baking911.com

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Eden, hahahaha!!  :biggrin: I thought about that...now that I actually have the digital baking temp on my oven. 

Thanks, Sarah!!  :biggrin: I feel the headache going away.

I think this experiement along with this thread has given me more courage and confidence to try more things.  What's the worst that could happen.  :raz:

Thanks again... :biggrin:

Good for you, Brownsuga! And, Eden, I'm still laughing over the 337 degree F baking temperature...that's really funny! :biggrin:

Happy Baking! Sarah Phillips, President and Founder, http://www.baking911.com

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Brownsugar,  are you familiar with baker's percentage?  This makes it easy to scale up or down in certain recipes like breads, some cakes, brownies etc.  If you look on artisan.net  they have and interactive page where you can plug in desired amount or servings but you do need the weight of the ingredients.  The CIA baking and pastry book also is helpful. 

Woods

I've tried the artisan.net link, but end up getting forwarded to a page called turbide.net. Any better info for the actual site?

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As you know, Sarah, each of us brings his/her own experiences and opinions to this forum. We are, after all, only a forum of opinions. Wendy made a valid point based on her experiences. Please do not discount her opinion simply because you believe you have more experience. Each of us has a different point of view, different ways of doing things, etc. No one needs to be singing the "i'm right and you're wrong" song here.

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As you know, Sarah, each of us brings his/her own experiences and opinions to this forum.  We are, after all, only a forum of opinions.  Wendy made a valid point based on her experiences.  Please do not discount her opinion simply because you believe you have more experience.  Each of us has a different point of view, different ways of doing things, etc.  No one needs to be singing the "i'm right and you're wrong" song here.

I agree with you. I was merely stating my opinion and viewpoint. Wendy is entitled to hers. You are certainly entitled to whatever opinion you want to form. I was simply responding Wendy's comments about the information I posted on my website. My response to Wendy shouldn't be taken as a personal attack on her vast experience. Perhaps you would have been more comfortable if I would have started each of my sentences with, "In my opinion....", but I didn't....But, when someone chooses to comment about things that I write about on my website, then I am free to post "my opinions" in a response.

I feel passionate about baking...and my opinions...and in helping home bakers....perhaps that was what you are responding to....If I were wishy-washy about my findings and observations, then I could never run a successful baking-help-advice website.......

Edited by Sarah Phillips (log)

Happy Baking! Sarah Phillips, President and Founder, http://www.baking911.com

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P.S. I always advise home bakers to listen more carefully to a cookbook author or mentor (or a few) who give advice that works for them....that there is not one way of doing something. I have baking mentors and have found that the ones I have selected consistently give better and more reliable advice than others. Thus, I tend listen to my mentors' opinions and select their recipes to bake because I know I will have better success more often than not, among the myriad of "opinions" out there.... :smile:

Edited by Sarah Phillips (log)

Happy Baking! Sarah Phillips, President and Founder, http://www.baking911.com

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Sarah and I approach baking from slightly different perspectives just as we have slightly different people that we talk about baking with.

I'm not so much a follower of 'the rules' exactly kind of baker. BUT I do really believe that you should follow the rules very closely when your beginning to bake so you know which ones you can break or bend and which ones you can't. I do try to follow a recipe exactly the first time I make it........then the second time I make it I play alittle.......but compared to fine dinning culinary trends I'm definately in the dark ages when it comes to "playing".

I forget what it's like to bake at home and probably do loose perspective of what it's like for home bakers in home ovens with limited equipment. I'm glad you reminded me Sarah. Home bakers shouldn't bend the rules until they are ready to, and I want them to know that the 'rules' are bendable, even breakable..............so get ready for it, expect it. Don't get confused because one recipe says this and another one says that. Their probably both right in different ways. Try each and learn from that, then find your own path. That's one of the things I hope to get across to people............that there's MANY ways to bake the same recipe! Rarely is one exclusively right or wrong.

I've found over the years of daily baking that alot of rules can be broken and some of them never really made any sense in the first place (at least to me). I use a whisk to "fold in". I bake a recipe in any size pan, quantity or depth I want. I multiple endlessly. I freeze freshly baked cakes to add moisture. I don't mix my sugar with uncooked yolks ever. I don't bake my brulee's or cheesecakes in waterbaths anymore. I do lots of things that might seem to break the rules and here we are at The eGullet Society For Arts & Letters having a great discussion on that topic. We have lots of chefs and serious amatuer bakers saying some of the same things I'm saying. Coming up the with same results, teaching us new methods that create new results. So baking, is flexible, it grows and changes.

Sooooo anyway theres just tons and tons of variables that effect baking (weather, method, temp. product, etc...). I really honestly hope with the same passion Sarah has, that I help others learn to bake and or perfect their skills. The core I'd like to get down to is helping people learn the science and art of baking intimately themselves so they understand what's happening at every stage of the game and how each variable interacts with the next...........so you can manipulate and master it yourself and not be enslaved to a recipe. I never want people to learn when an item is done baking by the measurement of time. I want people to know how to recognize when something is done for themselves. I want people to understand why you use the method you use so you can look at a list of ingredients and pretty much make the item with little to no instructions.

The facts are that you can learn how to manipulate baking in ways that break rules and get exceptional results. Think about the Scott Wooley Clark recipe (in the best of chocolate cakes thread) that bakes at an unusually low temp. (what like 275F) that you cover 5 minutes after it's out of the oven and then put it hot into the freezer...............he breaks all the rules because he knows how to successfully. I bake in 4 confection ovens set at a multiple temp.s (because I share them with the hot side) and sometimes I have to put items into ovens that aren't at the ideal temp. ..........only to discover that the item baked better in the wrong temp. then the one suggested. Sometimes you just never know about something until you try it yourself.

I don't believe that anything I've written in this discussion is "wishy washy". When I know better I go with it..........after all baking is a blend of science and art. I do try to mention all the variables I can think of (or type with-in the amount of time I have online) because I'm certain I'm not any smarter then you and that if I can write well enough you'll understand more of the variables too. I hope not to give you a headache.......instead just some more insight so you understand more.

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Wendy, everything you said made perfect sense to me, a home cook. I'd like to take a moment to say THANK YOU for all your posts. I make a point of reading anything you've written and every recipe you've submitted to this site that I've tried has turned out perfectly. You're my hero!

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Wendy,

Thanks for your nice note. You and I are on the same page. Yes, baking is part science, part nuance and a lot of art. And, besides, if it weren't for the ingenuity and inventiveness of home bakers, we wouldn't have as the thousands of marvelous classic recipes as we have today -- I experiment all the time, too...I can't leave a recipe alone, myself and never have....I am always inventing new recipes and ways of doing things....I do, too because if I didn't, I couldn't invent all of the technically difficult recipes and new concepts that I do....

I find there is a side to baking that is science, and I find that certain things work better than others....yes, scientists experiment all the time, too, and new inventions come from experimentation, but science is science. But, my point is that on baking911.com I write what I find what works MOST OF THE TIME. I never say don't experiment -- home bakers should and I know do experiment....we aren't unsophisticated and afraid...I know lots of us home bakers love to experiment, buy new equipment, purchase all the new books, and love to take classes!.....I interact with home bakers day in and day out....Sometimes home baker's questions are so sophisticated that sometimes I am stumped and have to do research because of the complexity.....I am often kept on my toes when a home baker does a baking experiment and it turns out despite all the "rules" and wants to know why!

My point was that when I write something on my website, my viewpoint is something that I find works most of the time. I am glad that you write about breaking all the rules...I will only post something on my site when I am sure it works most of the time......I do have a chat board where I encourage bakers to experiment...when I don't know an answer, many times I encourage others to "try it and see what happens!"....Perhaps the real problem we are having is that the way in which I express myself and my viewpoints do not match the culture at egullet.com. I really don;t feel like I need to defend myself and my viewpoints any more.

Thanks, Wendy for your wonderful tips and insights. I have enjoyed everything you have said! Keep on experimenting. I will, too. And, let's not forget that home bakers have invented the best recipes through experimentation! Our cookbooks are filled with such long-lasting treasures! :smile:

Edited by Sarah Phillips (log)

Happy Baking! Sarah Phillips, President and Founder, http://www.baking911.com

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Sarah you communicate beautifully! I try really hard as a host here to keep things open and accessable to all in this Forum. I don't want us to unconciencely have any forbiding type of "culture" here. We really are open to all and all levels!

Communicating thru writing is REALLY hard and I'm not a very good writer. So I struggle..........

I don't bake at home, myself because I bake all day long at work. But I'm a child of a serious homebaker...........who turned professional with-out any schooling (nor do I have any culinary schooling). I admit to all that I do use cake mixes for some items at work. I do like some frostings with shortening in them too. I've always stood up for homebakers.......cause SKILL it has NOTHING to do with where one bakes and if they make a living from it. I read members posts here that amaze me............they know more about baking and cooking then ALOT (almost most) of professionals!!!! I've got many Pillsbury and Betty Crocker recipes and an extensive collection of recipes that I use daily that were developed for home baking. I can't say they're better then recipes I've gotten out of professionals book though. I get good and bad recipes from both sources.

I sincerely hope that you don't feel like your defending yourself! Please, no. We/I are all about communicating and sharing opinions.............and totally against any kind of personal confrontations. These couple of posts are not about who's right or wrong...........no way........were just talking details...........like one talks details in recipes..........to learn. I'm delighted that your a member here Sarah and I hope that I've in no way offended you. If I have, please accept my sincere apology.

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