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Glazer

I’m the Donut Person at work. The person who makes the donuts almost every morning (except when I have the day off).

I was taught how to make the donuts by a few people and other people gave me points and tips. But, over the last couple of months, I have developed my own routine and techniques. As long as the we have enough of each variety, without having too much, and they are out by the time the store opens (or close to the time), then I can be as individual as I want in producing the donuts.

We have five varieties of ring donuts: glazed raised, chocolate raised, maple raised, chocolate cake and plain cake. The “raised” donuts are made with yeast and are light and airy. The cake donuts are, well, cake.

We have six varieties of filled donuts: boston cream (pastry filled with chocolate frosting), maple filled (vanilla frosting filled – yes, it is filled with frosting, with maple frosting on top), raspberry, blueberry, lemon and apple. All the fruit filled, except apple, get dusted in either sugar or powdered sugar. The apple gets a light frosting of glaze and then nut crumb topping.

We also have donut holes which come in either plain or chocolate and are cake (like the cake donuts). They either get glazed and then dipped in chocolate crumb, nut crumb or sprinkles or they get rolled in sugar or powdered sugar.

I also am in charge of topping and baking the muffins, baking the croissants, the raspberry and apple turnovers, baking and glazing the cinnamon buns and baking and finishing the danish. When I say “finishing” I mean that I brush a honey glaze on them and then drizzle them with white frosting.

Oh, and I also bake and frost the black & white cookies, bake the muffin tops (blueberry and cinnamon chip) and do the cinnamon rolls (bake, brush with the honey glaze, frost with either white or cream cheese frosting and then package).

All of this, except the black & white cookies and cinnamon rolls, have to be done between 4:00 am and 6:00 am, when the store opens. So far, I have come close to having all the donuts done and out by the time the store opens. At least I was close last week. This week I haven’t managed to do it once. Of course, we are doing a lot more of all of this because it is summer and people are buying more.

Did I mention that after I get all of this done, except the black & white cookies and cinnamon rolls (which don’t have to be out right away), I go and bag all the fresh crusty bread and rolls so they are ready as close to 7:00 as possible. Then I try to take a break, come back and finish the cookies and cinnamon rolls, package the other croissants and mini croissants, package the other turnovers and fruit bites (little fruit strudels) and some of the rolls. Oh, and also, in between donut/muffin time and bread time, I label and put out bags of bagels, label and put out packages of donut holes (which I made while making the donut holes that go in the case) and package, label and put out four packs of muffins.

Also, before I get to do anything, while stuff is baking, I count and discard any day old donuts, bagels and other baked goods (except muffins), count and organize the muffins (put them in a new basket with new paper so it looks nice), wash the bulk case doors and the coffee area, and put out trays of bagels in the bulk case. All this is also done between 4:00 and 6:00.

Which brings us to the title of this entry. The glazer.

I was told when I started not to worry about using the glazer because, with the small number of glazed donuts and cinnamon buns I was doing, it wasn’t worth the effort to clean the glazer after using it. So I have been using a metal spatula to “frost” the donuts and buns with glaze. Not to mention dipping the donut holes in the glaze, rolling them in my hands (I wear gloves…always) and then rolling them in their various toppings.

But this week, with the volume of baked goods we are producing, I have started using the glazer. Today was the first day.

The glazer was underneath the cover of the one table I was using the make my donuts. Lift up the cover and there it is! It involves a slightly sloping section that leads to a deep (maybe 8-10 inches) section where the glaze is kept. Someone else had filled the glazer with glaze and put parchment paper and the rack on the sloping part. We try to use sheets of parchment paper as much as possible because it saves on having to clean up all the stuff that spills while making stuff.

Inside the deep section, there is a large scoopy thing that is the width of the glazing table. After placing a rack of donuts on the sloping part of the glazer, I picked up the scoopy thing which was filled with the glaze. Then I held it over the donuts and slowly released a wall of glaze down over the donuts. Then I let them sit for a minute to drip and then very carefully picked up the rack and moved it over to the large cookie sheet the donuts had baked on. Then I did the next rack.

I only had two racks to be glazed this morning but I have been told that during July and August, I will have many racks to glaze throughout my shift.

I must say, now that I have used the dreaded glazer, it was so easy and fast! Granted I didn’t get the donuts out any sooner and may have even been a little slower, but I chalk that up to using the glazer for the first time. As time goes on, I know I will get faster.

And clean up wasn’t so bad. I lifted the cover again, removed the rack that was on top of the parchment paper, very carefully lifted the glazed soaked parchment and threw that away, then very carefully wiped up the excess glaze without getting water into the deeper well part that holds the glaze. Not too bad, if you ask me! I have been told that every so often, the glaze needs to be completely emptied out of the glazer and the whole thing cleaned. Apparently that is simply a matter of putting a large bucket under the hole in the bottom of the table, undoing the cap, letting it drain then running hot water through the glazer and down into another bucket until it is cleaned. I’m sure someday soon I will have to do that task.

All in all, after weeks of hearing about the glazer, it wasn’t as bad as people made it out to be. Granted it is extra work to clean it but it sure makes donut production much faster.

So that is what I did this morning. All in all, not a bad morning’s work!

Oh, by the way, being surrounded by all those donuts, muffins and other baked goods makes me really, really, really want…something savory and salty. All that sweet stuff has spoiled my appetite for all that sweet stuff!

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