Friday, April 9, 2010

aville market, you're in for a treat

Just ate a plain cake donut, a fresh one. Spectacular. We routinely filter the oil, in our donut fryer, three times a week. A few years ago, we bought a new fryer. Our old one was old, a long time ago. It was also way oversized, so we didn't get the proper turnover of frying oil. For all practical purposes, donut fryers come in three sizes, small, medium or large. The larger the fryer the more oil it will hold. The more oil, the larger the filtering unit one needs. A pretty simple process, hot oil is drained into the filter tank, that is fitted with a paper filter. The hot oil is then drawn thru the filter paper, via a pump, that pumps the oil back into the fryer tank. Once the oil is drained into the tank, diamatcious(not sure of spelling, neither is Bill Gates apparently, I'm still getting that red line)(ed. note - Diatomaceous, thanks for the emails everyone) earth, is added to the oil. This fluffy powdery substance, I'm told, is ground up seashells. Don't know if it's true, if I can't get the proper spelling, I certainly can't look it up on Google. Anyway, this magical powder draws all the discoloration and strong donuty smells out of the oil. Since our old fryer was so big, we had a big, big filter. Very difficult to manipulate thru our crowded bakery. Consequently, we didn't filter as often as we should have. When we bought the new fryer, a more proper size to our production, I demanded a fryer with a built in filter system. The thing works great, no more rolling around a picnic table size filter, just open the drain and start pumping. It made an incredible difference in our donuts. The week before Easter, the switch on the pump went out. Matt, our in house I.T. department, can fix anything, website host, network guy, had time to fix it, but we couldn't find the room for him to work. During the day we push racks/mixing bowls, in front of the fryer. So for him to work on the fryer we would have to find a place for whatever we bury it with, during the day. We had to wait until after Easter to repair the pump switch. So Monday, he changed into his mechanics clothes, brought up the tool bag, drop light and air hose. Everything in the bakery has flour on it, so the first thing any repair guy needs to do is blow the flour out of the way. He found a "Soft" breaker, in the fryer. A small circuit breaker that he couldn't get to stay in the "On" position. It kept springing back to the "Off" position. The pump switch seemed fine. He started blowing flour of the pipes and burners, opened up a few small panels and started checking continuity, etc. Turns out, enough flour had worked it's way down into that small circuit breaker, that it wouldn't allow the arm to go far enough into the on position, for it to stay there. How do those things happen? How can a few grains of flour work their way down into a switch, to the point that it is inoperable?

We've filtered the oil, twice since Matt fixed the pump. Donuts are much better. No greasiness whatsoever. They don't have that strong "Fried" taste, either. A few years back, we would filter once a month. Never bothered me, until I learned what a difference it makes. Same thing with our neon sign, on the corner of the building. It has two rows of vertical, chasing lights, like an old movie theater. For thirty years it didn't light. Didn't even have power to it. It has "Bennison's" horizontal, across the top. "Bakeries", vertical, down the middle, and a double row of chasing bulbs on each side of the "Bakeries". Once we got it fixed, I realized what an incredibly beautiful, valuable piece of our advertising it is. When we first got it working, I used to circle the block, at night, just to look at it. So now I keep count, when there are five or six bulbs burned out, in the chasers, I dash for the ladder. When a section of one the words, is out, I don't sleep.

Moral of the story, things that gradually deteriorate, are un-noticeable, until you realize how good they can really be.

Gotta get upstairs. There's a few hundred pounds of chocolate brioche screamin' to get in the oven. By the way, the idea of chocolate brioche worked out really well. You folks that shop at the Aville market are in for a real treat. We are gonna bake chocolate brioche in a round crimp pan. You all can slice it real thick, make the most bad-ass French toast on the planet. June 23rd, gotta wait until then.


Blogger Laminatrix said...

I haven't worked there in more than two years, and, especially since I'm packing stuff up, I still find pockets of flour here and there.

Incidentally, I've found a way to "re-purpose" my bakery work clothes: I'm learning how to make decorative ceramic tiles, and clay dust is as persistent as flour, it turns out, so I'm just taking my kitchen clothes/shoes to the art studio.

I would really like some chocolate brioche right now, please, perhaps with some ground hazelnuts sprinkled on top?

You could also do a variation of monkey buns with the leftover chocolate brioche--again with some chopped hazelnuts. Wouldn't suck.

April 9, 2010 at 11:29 AM  

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