Baking Tools

Baking can be a lot of fun and with the right tools you can develop each and every recipe like a pro. Here are some of the baking tools I use on a regular basis. These are fairly inexpensive and if you’re developing your baking skills you will need them all. I have these items located in a plastic tool box (except for the rolling pin) that I purchased from a local hardware store for better storage.

  1. Bench scraper: I use a bench scraper often for a number of reasons. It helps divide your dough and clean your work station.
  2. Whisk: A wire whisk is used to blend ingredients in a bowl and for aerating dry products
  3. Pastry bag/tips: Pastry bags and tips are used to decorate cakes, cupcakes, cookies with frosting. They are also used to fill pastries and dispense light pastry dough such as pate a chou.
  4. Pastry Blender: These are used to cut the fat such as butter into flour for such items as pie crust and biscuits.
  5. Pastry brush: The brush is used for many reasons. Applying egg wash and melted butter to the surface of dough. Apply butter or vegetable oil to baking pans and bowls.
  6. Baking scoops: Ice cream scoops/cookie scoops are one of the best ways to dispense cookie dough evenly. They come in a variety of sizes and are spring loaded for easy removable of batter.
  7. Rolling pins: If you wore a tool belt this would be hanging on it. These come in different material such as; wood, marble, metal, silicone and ceramic. They are used to roll out pie crust, pastry and cookie dough.
  8. Wooden spoon: Great for stirring hot sauces, dough and mixtures. Remember to first sanitize then season your spoon before using. To sanitize place it in one part vinegar to five parts warm water and soak for several minutes then allow to dry completely which may take several days. Then season.
  9. Fine mesh sleeve: The sleeve is used to drain wet ingredients and help make dry ingredients lump free for better bake goods. It can also be used to dust finished bake goods with powered sugar.
  10. Measuring cups: These can come in several materials including metal, glass and plastic. Most measuring sets come in 1 cup, 3/4 cup, 1/2 cup, 1/3 cup and 1/4 cup sizes. These are used to measure wet and dry ingredients.
  11. Scrapers: (spatulas): These are used to scrape products such as batters out of a mixing bowl. They are also great to allow you to fold ingredients together in a recipe.
  12. Measuring spoons: The typical set of measuring spoons come 1 tablespoon, 1 teaspoon, 1/2 teaspoon, and 1/4 teaspoon. They can be made of plastic or metal and are used to measure out smaller ingredients such as baking powder, baking soda, salt, vanilla extract, etc.
  13. Microplane grater/zester: Use for developing lemon and orange zest and grating such items as cold butter or chocolate into small pieces.
  14. Cake Spatulas: These come in flat or offset shapes and allow you to spread frostings or toppings onto cakes and pastries. The offset version is angled which allows you to spread close and keeps your knuckles from touching the product.

    Happy Baking
    Chef Brian Klauss

Apple Strudel

Apple strudel is great for breakfast or a late night snack especially with a scoop of ice cream. This is an easy recipe, it just takes a few apples, some raisins, almonds, spices and Filo dough. I make a lot of baklava at the bakery and so I always have boxes of filo dough stored in the freezer. If you don’t have any the next time you run out to the grocery store pick up a few and try this recipe out.

Preheat your oven to 375 degrees and line a 1/2 sheet pan with parchment paper.

1 1/2 pounds of apples, peeled, cored and sliced
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup raisins
1 tablespoon orange zest
1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 box filo dough (12 sheets)
1 cup melted unsalted butter
1/2 cup ground almonds

Mix the apples with the lemon juice and 1/2 cup of sugar in a medium bowl and allow to sit for approximately 30 minutes, then drain off the juice. In the same bowl mix in the orange zest, cinnamon, raisins and remaining sugar.
Lay out the first sheet of filo dough out onto a sheet of parchment paper (always cover the remaining filo dough with a light cloth to help avoid drying out while building your strudel) Brush with butter and top with a second sheet, then brush with butter. Sprinkle this sheet with a teaspoon of the ground almond. Top with a third sheet and repeat the process until you have a total of 6 sheets. At the short end of the Filo dough place half the apple mixture along one end and then begin to roll the filo dough tightly. Place the strudel onto a 1/2 sheet pan seam side down. Brush with the remaining butter and bake at 375 degrees for 18 minutes until golden brown (This recipe makes two strudels)

For the icing
1 cup powdered sugar
1 tablespoons melted butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 – 3 tablespoons milk

Mix all ingredients until you achieve a runny thick mixture. When the strudel is completely cooled drizzle over the finished product.

Chef Brian Klauss

Cinnamon Crumb Cake

One of the most popular and well used spices at the bakery is cinnamon. I love working with cinnamon and we purchase it in 5lb containers at a time. This is a great recipe to do with the whole family since everyone is waiting out the current situation. This recipe can be made in a lot of different forms; a cake pan, muffin pan, cupcake pan by just separating the batter differently. I made mine with a muffin pan because my wife loves muffin shape and size and they are easy to store or freeze.

There are two parts to this recipe…one is the cake and the other is the filling & topping. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and line a muffin pan with 6 paper liners

Cake Batter
2 cups of all purpose flour
3/4 cup milk
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup sour cream
1 egg
1/2 cup unsalted butter (melted)
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/8 teaspoon salt

In a stand mixer fitted with a whip, mix the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt together. Then add in the sour cream, butter, milk, egg and extract until well incorporated. Set off to the side.

Filling and Topping
1 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup cold butter (cubed)

In a medium bowl add the flour and sugars and mix well. Add in the cold butter cubes. Using a pastry cutter blend in the butter until you form a crumb type mixture.

Line a muffin pan with paper liners and lightly spray the pan with a vegetable spray. Using a small ice cream scoop or a tablespoon add approximately two scoops of batter (1/2 filled) Then add a large table spoon of the filling. Now fill with another two scoops of filling and top it off with more of the topping. Bake for 35 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean. Remove from the pan after slightly cooled and place on a cooling rack.

Chef Brian Klauss

Looks like everyones home today waiting for the Virus to pass. It’s a great time to sit with your family, play board games, see what’s new in their lives and of course bake something special. I decided to make a combination of a cake and a cookie. The cake/cookie will have a crunchy base with a slightly on again off again dense cookie filling. Then when you top it off with some fresh raspberries it will add a little tartness to the overall taste.

Cake Recipe:
2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 3/4 cups sugar
1 1/4 cups milk
3/4 cup soften salted butter
3/4 cup semisweet chocolate chips
3 eggs
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon salt

In a medium bowl add the sugar and butter and cream. Add the eggs one at a time then the vanilla extract. In a separate medium bowl mix together the dry ingredients flour, salt, baking powder. With your mixer on slow add the flour mixture and the milk into the butter mixture alternating until completely mixed. Stir in the chocolate chips and set off to the side.

Cookie Recipe:
1/4 cup unsalted butter
1/4 cup of shortening
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 egg
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1/4 cup semisweet chocolate chips

In a stand mixer at low speed add the butter, shortening, sugar, brown sugar, salt and baking soda until well combined. Add in the egg and vanilla extract then slowly add in the flour. Mix in the chocolate chips by hand. Set off to the side.

Combine the two:
Pour half of the cake batter into the prepared pan then crumble half of the cookie dough evenly over the cake batter. Repeat the process with the cake batter over the cookie dough then the remaining cookie batter over the cake batter. Bake at 375 degrees for 35 minutes or until toothpick comes out cleanly. Allow to cool completely (if during the baking process the top appears to be browning too much you can cover the last ten minutes of baking with foil.)

Chocolate Frosting and Fresh Raspberries:
You can use your favorite chocolate frosting and two containers of fresh raspberries to cover the top of the cake.

Chef Brian Klauss

Cherry Flips

One of the most popular items at the bakery are our flips. They are made with Puff Pastry and pie filling, either Cherry, Apple, Blueberry or Peach but just about any pie filling will do as long as it’s a good quality filling. Flips are light and crunchy and can be served just about anytime.

Makes 20 Flips
2 Puff pastry Sheets 15″ x 20″
Pie Filling (I used Cherry)
2 cups sugar
1/4 cup Ground Cinnamon

Pre-heat your oven to 375 degrees
Coat 2 -1/2 sheet pans generously with vegetable spray

Puff pastry sheets can be purchased at your local grocery store usually in the frozen food section or at a Gordon Food service store. You can also make them yourself, even though very time consuming, by a combination of cake and bread flour, salt and butter (Normally this takes approximately 4 hours, see recipe online)

Start out with 2 puff pastry sheets 15″ x 20″ and attach them at the 20″ side overlapping them by 1″ and egg washing the bottom sheet to ensure bonding. Then you sprinkle generously with ground cinnamon. Begin to roll up the pastry from the 20″ side until you have a 20″ long log, Cut into 1″ sections and then place off to the side. Using a full sheet pan pour approximately 2 cups of sugar into the center of the pan and spread evenly. Take each 1″ piece of pastry and place it flat into the sugar. Using a rolling pin flatten out while continuing to flip into the sugar to create a 6 1/2″ circle by 1/8″ thick. Spoon about 2 to 3 tablespoons of filling into the center and fold over the pastry and seal the edges using a fork. Place onto a well sprayed sheet pan about 1 1/2″ apart. Slice three small slits into each flip and bake at 375 degrees for 20 to 25 minutes in the center of the oven. Make sure that the bottoms of the flip caramelize by checking with a fork, lifting one end. Your flip should be perfectly raised and slightly brown top with a medium caramelized bottom when completely baked. Remove each flip while still hot to a cooling rack.

Chef Brian Klauss

Apple Pie

Whats better than a homemade slice of Apple Pie. In Michigan apples are found at just about every roadside stand during the fall season and you don’t have to drive very far to experience the opportunity to pick your own. The best apples for pies are the ones that hold their shape when cooked and maintain a good texture such as; Granny Smith, Cortland, Braeburn and Pink Lady.
The other important element is to make a great flaky crust.
Here is the recipe I use and a few tips on making a great apple pie.

Double Pie Crust:
2 1/2 cups of all purpose flour
1/2 cup shortening
1/4 cup cubed cold unsalted butter
1 teaspoon salt
Approximately 1/2 to 2/3 cup Cold water a tablespoon at a time

Pie Filling;
3 1/4 pound of apples I used Granny Smith, Peeled, cored and sliced (approximately 9 apples)
3/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup apple cider
1/4 cup corn starch
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoon apple pie spice

When making the dough it is important to achieve a nice flaky crust. You should never over mix the dough because it could cause the dough to develop gluten which makes the crust tough. Heres how to do it.
1. Using a dough cutter, Cut the shortening and butter into the flour until the mixture resembles peas shapes.
2. Add a tablespoon a water at a time and with a fork by moving the mixture from one side to the other to gather the moisture.
3. Once the mixture is moisten and can be formed into a ball with a nice smooth texture remove it from the bowl.
4. Place the dough onto a floured surface and divide in half, then roll out each half to form two 13″ round circles.
5. Roll your 1st dough up onto your rolling pin to easly transport it, then place it in center of a 9″ pie pan. Set the second dough disk off to the side for the moment.
Preheat your oven to 425 degrees

In a large bowl, stir together the apples, cider, lemon juice, and vanilla. Then in a separate bowl whisk together the cornstarch, sugar, salt and pie spice. Now add the dry ingredients into the apple mixture coating well.

Spoon the mixture into the dough lined pie pan. Lay the second dough over the filled pie pan and crimp the edges. Brush the top with milk and sprinkle with course sugar. Make several cuts into the top layer to allow for venting while the pie cooks. Bake for 15 minutes at 425 degrees then reduce to 375 degrees and allow to cook an additional 45 to 55 minutes. The top should be nice and brown.

Chef Brian Klauss


Paczki’s are deep fried dough filled with a variety of fillings from Plum Jam and fruit filling to custards and bavarian cream. Paczki day is usually the last Tuesday prior to Ash Wednesday and the beginning of Lent. The reason for this tradition was to use up lard, sugar, eggs and fruit in your house because the consumption was forbidden by Christian fasting practices during the season of lent. This year Fat Tuesday will be celebrated on Tuesday February 16, 2021. In Michigan just about every store carries them and when I operated Flamingo Label I always made it a point to have plenty available in our lunch room on this day. Because Bake Krazy Bakery is seasonal we will not be open at that time but it didn’t stop me from making some at home. If you decide to make your own here is a recipe for you. If not stop by Bake My Day Bakery in Shelby, Michigan at 46715 Van Dyke Ave. or call in your order at 586-842-5457 and Tony would be glad to help you out

1 1/2 cups warm milk (100 -110 degrees)
2 teaspoons dry active yeast
1/2 cup sugar
4 ounces unsalted butter (room temperature)
1 large egg (room temperature)
3 large egg yolks (room temperature)
1 teaspoon brandy
1 teaspoon salt
4 1/2 to 5 cups all purpose flour
Large container of Crisco Shortening
Large can of chopped apple pie filling or fruit of your choosing
1/4 cup sugar for coating

In a small bowl add the warm milk and yeast and whisk well, set aside. In a stand mixer with a paddle attachment add the sugar and butter, then mix until light and fluffy. Add in the egg, egg yolks, salt and brandy, mix well. Slowly add in about 4 1/2 cups of the flour then milk mixture alternating. If the dough is still to sticky add in the additional 1/2 cup flour little at a time until you obtain a nice smooth dough which has pulled away from the sides of the bowl cleanly. Pull the dough and spray the inside of the mixing bowl with vegetable spray, then flip to coat both sides. Cover the bowl with a kitchen towel and allow to rise (proof) in a warm area (until double in size)
Punch down the dough and place on a lightly floured surface and roll out to 1/2″ thickness. Using a 3″ round cutter cut approximately 18 circles and place onto a lightly floured 1/2 sheet tray. Allow the dough to proof again to about double in size in a warm area. In a large dutch oven or tabletop fryer bring the oil to 350 degrees. Fry them for 2 – 3 minutes on one side then flip and fry for about 1 – 2 minutes on the other side. (make one and test before moving forward to ensure fully cooked). Drain onto paper towel and sugar coat while still warm. When totally cooled use a pastry bag with a filling tip to fill each one with your favorite filling. You can then roll them in sugar

Chef Brian Klauss

Sourdough Baguette

We try to make baguettes everyday at the bakery and normally it’s made right from our white bread dough recipe. However, in this recipe Ive developed a sourdough starter using whole rye flour, water, molasses and after about 7 days my starter was ready. The remaining starter I have decided to store in my refrigerator and feed once a week with the hopes of keeping for a long time. There are a number of ways you can make your starter, I recommend checking out King Arthur Flour’s recipe which begins with water, whole rye flour and a small amount of molasses. In any event what you will be doing is to collecting wild yeast and friendly bacteria in the air which creates a flavorful leavening agent for your sourdough.

DOUGH (makes two small baguettes)
2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup whole wheat flour
3/4 cup warm water (110 degrees)
1/2 cup sour dough starter
1/2 tablespoon salt
1/2 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon dry active yeast

In a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook, add the flours, water, starter, salt, sugar and yeast. Mix at a medium speed to incorporate. If the dough appears to dry add additional warm water to achieve a smooth elastic dough. Spray a medium bowl with vegetable spray and drop in the dough, flip so both sides are coated. Allow the bowl to sit covered with a towel in a warm area for approximately 1 – 1 1/2 hours to double in size. Refrigerate your dough covered overnight in the refrigerator. Remove from the refrigerator and divide in half, roll into two 5″ logs and allow to relax for 30 minutes. Press down on the dough to ensure to release any gas. Fold the dough then roll out to the desire length (I made mind approximately 14″ long) Place the dough onto a 1/2 sheet pan lined with parchment paper and cover with a damp towel and allow to proof a second time in a warm area. ( 1 – 2 hours) Pre heat your oven to 475 degrees. After almost double in size, egg wash and score the tops of the dough. Place the sheet pan with the dough in the center rack of the oven, also place an oven safe pan containing approximately 2 cups of ice water in the bottom. (the ice water will allow the dough to stay moist during the beginning rise and help form a nice crusty exterior) Bake for 15 minutes then reduce to 425 degrees for another 10 minutes. The baguettes should be a golden brown. Allow to cool completely on a cooling rack.

Chef Brian Klauss

Bacon Chedder Muffins

One thing I enjoy is BBQ Baby Back Ribs. I owned and operated a pizza carry-out business several years ago (The Perfect Pizza) in Washington Michigan. My daughter, my brother and even my nephew worked there. It was early in my Culinary years and I still had a lot to learn and plenty of mistakes were made, but you can never put a price on experience, good or bad. Anyway we sold “great fall off the bone ribs” and we always sold out of them everyday. The way I made them was to simmer the ribs for about 45 minutes on the stove top, then bake them off in the oven at a low heat for three hours in a small amount of the liquid left over from the pot. We would bast them in Baby Ray’s Original BBQ Sauce. Just thinking about them makes my mouth water!. When I made these Bacon Cheddar Muffins and took a bite of them it made me think of BBQ. These have cheese, bacon and pecan nuts in them and I could see myself wiping up the left over BBQ sauce on my plate with them………

2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 cup milk
1/2 cup sour cream
1 egg
1 1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
5 cooked slices of bacon, chopped
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup chopped pecans

Preheat you oven to 350 degrees and spray a cupcake pan with vegetable spray. In a large bowl whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt. In a separate small bowl whisk together the milk, egg and sour cream. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients then pour the milk mixture in. Stir with a wooden spoon until incorporated, then fold in the cheese, nuts and bacon. Spoon the batter to the top of each cupcake insert. (should make 8) Bake for approximately 20 – 25 minutes in the center rack of your oven. Allow to cool slightly then remove and place on a cooling rack. These are great served warm with a a nice pat of butter.

Chef Brian Klauss

Chocolate Eclairs

Making the Pate a Choux which is the shell for the eclairs is very easy and can be made ahead of time and frozen until you decide to fill them. You could even add cheese to the hot dough and make a savory shell, great for dipping into melted cheese or your favorite vegetable dip. I make Eclairs at the bakery all the time and usually fill them with a bavarian cream and top them with chocolate ganache. Today I’ve decided to make a chocolate filling that you can make right at home and a chocolate ganache to top them with. The finished product should be a nice crunchy shell with a smooth filling topped with that great chocolate ganache.

Pate a Choux (dough)
1 cup water
1/2 cup unsalted butter (one stick)
1 1/4 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 eggs

Pre-heat your oven to 425 degrees and line a 1/2 sheet pan with parchment paper

In a medium sauce pan add the butter, water, salt and sugar and bring to a boil. Quickly add in the flour and whisk, mix well until incorporated and the dough pulls away from the sides of the pan. Remove from the heat and place the dough in a stand mixer fitted with a whip and begin to mix at a low to medium speed. Allow the dough to cool and mix for approximately 5 minutes (you don’t want to cook the eggs) When cooled add the eggs one at a time until a sticky dough like batter forms. In a pastry bag fitted with a star tip Wilton 1M begin to pipe out 3 1/2″ dough strips rocking slightly to form your eclairs onto the prepared sheet pan. Bake at 425 degrees for 15 – 20 minutes (should have almost doubled and turned slightly brown on the edges) Then reduce the heat to 350 degrees and bake another 20 minutes (the second heat is to allow the dough to dry out and form that crunchy exterior). Place on a cooling rack and allow to cool completely.

Chocolate Pastry Cream
1/2 cup sugar
3 tablespoons cornstarch
3 tablespoons cocoa powder
1 1/2 cup milk
4 egg yolks
3 tablespoons unsalted butter cubed
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon salt

In a medium sauce pan whisk together the sugar, cornstarch, cocoa powder, egg yolks and milk. Heat over a medium to high heat whisking until you form a smooth thick consistency. (8 – 10 minutes) Remove from the heat and add in the vanilla, salt and butter, stirring until the butter is melted and incorporated. Remove from the pan and place into a small bowel and cover with plastic wrap pushing down slightly to make contact with the mixture. (this will help avoid a skin layer from forming) Refrigerate and allow to cool completely.

Fill a pastry bag fitted with filling tip Wilton 230 with the chocolate pastry cream and fill each shell from both ends.

1/2 Cup heavy cream
1/2 cup semi – sweet chocolate chips

In a small heat proof bowel add the chocolate chips. In a small sauce pan heat the cream until its begins to boil. Pour it over the chocolate and allow to stand until you see the chocolate melting. Whisk to form a nice smooth mixture.

Dip the tops of your filled eclairs and allow to cool. Keep refrigerated until serving

Chef Brian Klauss