work table

What’s Better: A Wood or Stainless Steel Work Table?

Choosing between a wood or stainless steel work table may be easy for a commercial kitchen because of stainless steel’s many versatile, durable features. But for a bakery, the decision isn’t so simple. When your focus is dough-based products, you may want to consider a wood table.

work table

Before you make your decision on the best type of prep table for your busy bakery, consider the pros and cons of the two most popular options.

Metal Is Cool and Sophisticated (And Easy to Clean)

A stainless steel work table can be used to extend a countertop, add extra countertops between appliances or function as its own station. They’re usually 36 inches tall to match the standard kitchen counter height, but you can get them in different heights.

You will notice a wide range of prices when shopping for a stainless steel work table, and the difference in each product comes down to the metal’s quality. The better the steel, the higher the nickel content. Nickel is what gives the table its corrosion resistance. This is key in a baking setting, since the table will most definitely come into contact with moistures of an acidic nature.

A stainless steel work table could be a smart functional choice for a pastry chef. The cool, smooth surface is ideal for rolling out delicate dough mixes. These tables are also easy to sanitize and keep clean. It gives the whole kitchen a professional look.

Wood Is Warm and Dough-Friendly (And Beautiful)

Solid wood work tables are perfect for the baker who loves to knead dough by hand. No other material compares to the warmth of a butcher block, including granite, stainless steel or poly. If hands-on work is a central part of your day-to-day operations, it’s easier and much more of a pleasure to roll, mix and proportion dough on a wood top.

You can also use your wood work top as a cutting board, chopping fruits and vegetables without worrying that the acids will corrode the surface. Avoid using it to prepare raw meat though — the bacteria could contaminate later food preparation.

Wood work tables are easy to keep clean, but more than that, you can fix any imperfections that may mar its appearance over the years. All you have to do is sand down the surface and re-varnish it. It’s impossible to remove scratches and dents from stainless steel, so wood can easily be considered a longer-lasting, more beautiful option.

Choosing Your Work Table

Find the style and material you want — order from Stratton Sales today. Whether you select a wood or stainless steel work table, or both for different areas of your bakery’s kitchen, we have a large selection of sizes in every price range.

donut maker

Making Donuts for Your Menu? Here’s What Your Bakery Needs.

Ask any experienced baker — making donuts is an art. And making hundreds (or thousands) every day? The baker must master this art and be able to reproduce the process without any drop in quality. The general public can be extremely particular about their donuts.

donut maker

If you’ve enjoyed making donuts in the past and want to add this product to your growing menu, you’re making a smart decision. Donuts are all the rage, but aren’t they always? It’s time learn how to turn your kitchen into an efficient donut production facility.

Cake vs. Yeast

There are two main types of donuts: cake and yeast. Cake donuts are denser, while yeast-raised are light and fluffy. The batter that goes into cake products can be any flavor, but yeast-raised products usually get most of their taste from the finishing glaze. Typically, everyone has their own personal preference.

That includes your customer base. It’s smart to put a selection of both options on your menu.

Keep in mind that yeast donuts are much easier to fill. If you’re dreaming of a cream or jam-filled center, yeast-raised is your best option.

The Mixing Is Different

You probably won’t need to buy a special mixer for making donuts, but the mixing process will require a different time frame, depending on donut type.

For cake products, the dough should be mixed only until the ingredients are fully combined. Resist over-mixing to avoid a tough final product.

Yeasted dough takes a higher level of mixing power and more time until it’s fully developed. The dough must develop structure to activate the yeast and create the fluffiness donut-lovers crave.

Get to Know the Process

You and your staff should practice making donuts over and over until you’re sure you have a consistent approach. Once the mixing is complete, yeast products must be allowed enough time to rise. The dough must be rolled and cut. Proofing may be necessary for yeast donuts as well.

The frying stage is critical; watch carefully to prevent burning. Once the donuts have cooled for about one minute, glaze them — don’t wait.

Would a Donut Robot Make Life Easier?

Once you’ve gone through the donut-making sequence a few times, you start to realize the labor and time commitment it requires. Consider investing in a donut robot — it’s a machine that automatically fries, turns and dispenses, letting you place the dough then work on other tasks while the donuts are prepared. You’ll use about 50 percent less oil, and you could save significantly on labor costs.

If making donuts for your bakery menu is your new goal, let Stratton Sales help you meet production demands. Call today for pricing on our donut-making equipment.