Baking can be a bit more complicated in Utah. While getting the right equipment can be easy, elevation and dry air can mess up the most basic recipes. You’ll need a bit of tweaking and experimenting if you want your bread and cake to come out perfect.
An oven, 1 or 2 cupcake trays, and few cake pans should be enough to get you started. Of course, you’ll also need a digital scale, measuring spoons, and measuring cups. A mixer would definitely make things easier, but you can make do without one. Grab a few design molds and piping tips, as they would make decorating your cakes and cupcakes easier. You can use your usual food processor to crush nuts, whip cream, and make bread crumbs. A bit of internet research should give you a few recipes, and a few video tutorials on YouTube should teach you the basics of almost every baking procedure.
Utah’s elevation and dry air will require you to tweak your recipes to get the best outcomes. You’ll need to adjust ingredient proportions — particularly the amount of liquids and baking powder. Changes in air pressure over 4,000 feet also require an increase in baking temperatures. If you’re in Salt Lake City or any other place with similar elevation, you’ll need to reduce the amounts of baking powder and yeast listed in recipes by 10-25 percent. This will make your baked goods rise at the normal rate.
Reduce sugar by around 2 teaspoons for every cup, or stick to the recipe if you like it sweet. Add 2-4 tablespoons for every cup of liquid to make up for the drier air. Otherwise, your cakes and pastries may turn out a little too dense and dry. Oven temperatures need to be hotter by at least 25°F but cut baking times by 10-20 percent to compensate for the higher temperatures. If you live higher up in Park City, you will need to reduce the baking powder and yeast amounts by up to 75 percent.
Low atmospheric pressure will cause your batter to rise easily, requiring a minimal amount of leavening agents. Make sure to grease your pans thoroughly and line them with parchment paper to prevent cakes from sticking. Keep your pans half-filled instead of the usual 2/3 in your first few attempts to familiarize yourself with how much it rises.
Selling Your Goods
Utah laws — particularly Utah’s Food Freedom Law and Home Consumption and Homemade Food Act — are quite friendly to home bakers. The state doesn’t require any licensing or inspections. Bakers are not required to use a separate kitchen exclusively for baking, and they can use their usual kitchen items to prepare their goods. Bakers can sell from their homes, deliver to customers, or sell at special farmers’ markets.
There are no restrictions on products and ingredients, except for some items that include meat. You can easily supply cakes, cupcakes, and other baked goods to parties and other private events. Go for a payday loan to cover bigger orders. The profit you get from a big order of cakes and cupcakes will be well over 100 percent of the production cost and should cover whatever interest you may accrue. Once you start earning enough money, you might even want to go full-time and ditch the daily grind of being an employee.
Once you hit it big, you’ll need more equipment to handle larger orders. Switch to a more powerful mixer — preferably one that can handle 8 quarts or more. A bigger mixer will shorten your prep time and keep your products more consistent than using 2 separate mixers. If you want to cater to bigger and more opulent weddings, you’ll need a bigger oven. Wedding cakes that go up to 5 tiers can have 16-inch bases, so you’ll need an oven that’s at least 20-inch wide.
A bigger oven also helps when making larger batches of cupcakes or pastries. Working with fondant can be tiring. A fondant sheeter can make things easier for larger cake orders, or you can use a pasta machine (the wide ones) to flatten and press your fondant. Large cupcake orders might require batter depositors. Frosting a single cupcake can take half a minute. A large order of 100 or more cupcakes can take hours to finish, but filling machines can have it done in a few minutes.
Baking is one of the most profitable businesses you can run at home. Make marvelous cakes and pastries and enjoy in the delight of your customers.