Pointers for faster, more efficient and satisfying gameplay
Intro and Basic Knowledge
Here is a list of things that took me a while to figure out, including gameplay basics and tips for efficiency. I’ve learned a lot, but no doubt there’s more to learn, so please feel free to put more tips into the comment section below if you’d like me to add yours.
The Baking Process
The magic of baking is fairly well simulated by this game. The focus is more on the timing and the general procedures, rather than chemical reactions and thermal aspects (vital in real baking). Some things are abstracted, but you need to know how the game works, right? Just in case you skipped the tutorial, are new to baking, or both, here is the basic process followed for making every bakery recipe in this game:
a. Adding the ingredients. Accomplished by grabbing an appropriately-sized mixing bowl, then adding ingredients one by one, in the correct amounts, until everything is in one bowl. Ingredients can be added in any order! See the “Ingredients…” section for more.
b. Mixing. Put the bowl into the mixer (medium or large), or click to transfer the bowl’s contents into the mixer (small bowl / mixer). Run it manually until the timer reaches 100%, or use the mixer’s timer (included with medium and large mixers)
c. Forming and working the dough. Here is where the different bakery items start to behave differently:
– Long and round breads need to first have their dough divided into the right size for the loaf, then worked / kneaded into shape. This can be done on the dividing / working table, where the dough is dropped on the right side, divided by hand via minigame into the desired number of loaves, then worked by hand (again, a minigame) until complete, where the ready-to-bake loaves are on the left side.
Machines exist to do this automatically; the dough divider eliminates the dividing minigame and the bread rounder shapes round and long bread loaves automatically. You can even connect these two machines, drop the raw dough into the top hopper of the divider, put a catch pan at the output of the rounder, and the whole process is done automatically. Which eliminates the minigames.
– Pan loaves and muffins are poured directly from the mixing bowl into the muffin cups or loaf pans. Again, the recipe and icons should make this obvious. These tins go onto baking sheets, three tins per sheet. That means, maximum 3 loaves or 18 muffins per baking sheet.
– Buns must be shaped, either by hand or using the bun shaper, into square, round or triangular shapes, which are then put onto baking sheets. Maximum 9 muffins per baking sheet.
– Baguettes, Croissants, etc. must be done by hand on the forming table; there are special mini-games to support this. They are satisfying, but slow. Beware of the order for 65 croissants! (Anything over 50 is difficult, especially if it’s your first time doing croissants.) Just 6 croissants per baking sheet.
– Doughnuts: see immediately below.
d. Baking. Everything needs to go into the oven, except for doughnuts, who have their own machine (see: Using Machines section). Put the filled baking sheet into the oven, close the door, and wait. If there is a timer, use it.
e. Delivery. After the baking is done, open the oven door. This stops all baking, so nothing will burn. Automatic ovens will fling their doors open when the timer reaches zero, but you have to manually open the door on the Old Oven.
Pick up the pans one by one and aim each at its appropriate shipping crate. Click multiple times or click and hold to move the items from the sheets into the crate. When the crate is filled, fully or partly, and you’re done with the order, stack the crate on the blue mat near the door. Click the door to have the items delivered, or deliver them yourself via a city driving minigame (which is disabled temporarily as of June 2022).
BE SURE TO CLICK ALL THE ORDER(S) TO BE DELIVERED or you might not be able to continue to “call for delivery.” By default, nothing is selected, which is kind of like calling an Uber and not getting into the car you called because you did not realize that you had to actually get in, in order to be given a drive. Ahem.
Other Game Basics
1. New ingredients unlock automatically as you level up.
2. BUT in order to use them in recipes, you often must upgrade your bakery:
– You can start making muffins ONLY after upgrading the loaf pan station to allow muffins.
– Ditto for doughnuts, you need the doughnut machine (duh) before you will get any orders for doughnuts.
3. Once upgraded, your customers will automatically start placing orders for these items.
4. Pans come out of the oven already cool and ready to use again.
5. The fastest way to load a baking sheet is to pick it up, then point to loaves, pans, etc. and click them. They will automatically position themselves onto the sheet until it is full. Doing it this way is MUCH faster then trying to add items one by one onto a sheet sitting on the counter.
Ingredients, Stocking and Restocking
You have several classifications of ingredients. They can be added to your current recipe’s mixing bowl either through a dispenser or via invisible measuring spoons, whose sizes are decreased or increased by pressing Q and E.
First pick a mixing bowl of the appropriate size, point it at the ingredient on the rack, select the right size of measuring spoon, and click to add.
Look at the mini-menu appearing over your mixing bowl to see how much of each item you’ve added. Keep going, using appropriate mixing spoon sizes, until the right quantity of each is added. The tutorial handles this well.
– Bulk dry: flours dispensed from large bins, into a medium or large mixing bowl set on the floor in front of the dispense. Set the desired item and amount using the keypad, then click the lever above the keypad, just once.
– Bulk wet: Water, yogurt, oil, even liquid eggs (at level 3 bakery). Click the “hoop” to lower it, set the medium bowl in the hoop (or drive the large bowl trolley onto the platform), click to drop in the hose, then select the desired item and quantity via the keypad. Click the lever ONCE. After dispensing a bulk item, always look into the bowl to be sure the correct quantity was dispensed.
– Racked items: Smaller quantity items such as yeast, salt and seeds are stored in small bins on a rack. Actually, ALL items start out this way in your first bakery. Then, as you unlock more advanced dispensing systems (often through a bakery upgrade), the bulk wet and dry ingredients move to bins or tanks. For some reason, racks can hold butter, yogurt, milk and eggs without requiring refrigeration. Don’t worry about this.
– Racks can be upgraded to hold more stuff, and also to auto-order items that are low. I am not sure the auto-ordering is efficient; it might take a lot of precious money just to result in unneeded overstocking items. (Let me know your opinions on this via the comments pls.)
At some point early game, about the time you unlock muffins and doughnuts, you start stocking eggs. They can be trouble!
– Initially, you can only store 16 eggs of two sizes, 8 small (45 ml) and 8 large (60 ml). It is tricky to “do the math” to figure out how many of each you need. (See the various egg calculator apps developed by other players)
– Breaking an egg is a touchy minigame which often results in lost eggs. TBH, it is harder in the game to crack an egg properly than it is in real life, for those of us with real world cooking experience. (Also see: flight sims are harder than real life flying, according to my dad, a career pilot)
– Some orders, for instance, for 99 doughnuts, call for more egg than you can stock on your shelf in the upgraded, commercial rack! So you must order more eggs and get them delivered immediately, if you want to complete the order.
– When you upgrade to the biggest bakery, you now have a tank of 150 l of liquid eggs. Your egg problems are finally over.
About Stocking and Restocking
1. Upgrading your bakery also upgrades your ingredient storage, for the high volume ingredients, both dry and liquid. The vast quantities of costly ingredients are apparently included for free. So, if anything, let your stocked quantities get a bit low (but not running out) before you upgrade. You will save a lot of money!
2. Caution, some ingredients run out very quickly in early game, if you are at a “small” bakery and handle some large orders. For instance, spelt flour is often used in doughnuts and muffins, and must be refilled at the end of every day in which you handled a large order, which typically uses 1/3 to 1/2 your total capacity. Also, eggs, butter and yogurt run out quickly. Suggestion: upgrade to the “commercial” rack as early as possible.
3. Be vigilant about restocking all items, especially the ones described above, at the end of each day in which they are used. Some items such as salt and yeast get used very slowly, and are cheap, so they’re not a problem.
4. Big Caution: Do not ever casually hit “order all” on the reordering screen. This is expensive and most often unnecessary. Many of the items simply don’t need to be stocked to capacity. In the early game, 3 kg each of salt, sugar, yeast and seeds will last a long time. (One example: hitting “order all” was going to cost me $1500, where just focusing on the important items I actually needed, cost only $500. I saved $1000 by being careful here.)
Regarding Transferring Items between Inventories
TL; DR: I don’t think it is currently supported, which is a pity, and runs against the grain of real world experience.
Small orders can usually be handled using the small bowl / small mixer and filled from the rack, from the dry and wet ingredients there. But caution! Once you upgrade to the level 2 bakery, you now have two inventory sources for common ingredients, for instance, a jug of water on the rack (up to a few liters) for the small bowl, and a huge tank of water used with the medium and large mixing bowls. The game currently (to my knowledge) does not allow you to:
– Fill the small bowl with liquids using the hose, or
– Refill the rack’s liquid jugs using the hose
Thus, the simple action of transferring liquid to your small bowl can become a problem if a jug runs out in the middle of a recipe. You may have to reorder the liquid, mid order, and pay for all the new liquid delivered both to the tank and the jug. So it can be expensive.
Hopefully they devs add the capability of transferring materials between inventories at some point.
Transferring Items to a Different Bowl
Similarly to the above… Sometimes you run out of room in the bowl you are currently using, i.e. the 5.7 liter, small bowl, or even the 15 kg medium mixing bowl.
If it were real life, you would simply dump the contents into the next larger available bowl. Can you do this in the game? Not yet! (June 2022). So be careful! You may have to start the recipe over in the next larger bowl and just abandon the other bowl of work-in-progress.
Using your Bakery’s Machines
1. Make full use of the timers! Every mixer and oven, except for the ones you start with in the first bakery, has a timer. If you set the timer, the action (mixing or baking) will stop when complete, and you will hear an alarm to announce this. Your work will pause. As long as needed. Using timers allows you to work on different projects simultaneously. For instance, the 1 minute baking time for most breads is a great time to shape buns and put them onto sheets.
In the early game, you might just stand there and wait for the process to reach 100%, then stop the mixing or open the oven. This is OK if you have nothing else to do. With multiple orders in play, you don’t have the luxury to stand around.
2. Bun shaper: Took me a while to figure this one out. Used for automatically shaping up to 10 buns at once, in square, round or triangular shapes.
– First, put the red plastic tray inside the “jaws” of the machine.
– Set the knob to the desired shape.
– When the dough is ready, point it at the middle of the tray, inside the machine. There is no prompt or icon for this; just point, click and hold. You will see dough spreading out on the tray.
– Operate the machine lever, which will press the top down onto the tray and magically form the dough into shapes. Up to 10, maximum, per tray load.
– Pick up the tray, walk to a baking sheet on a counter, and click up to 9 times to move buns to the baking sheet. Find a second sheet and move the remaining buns onto this sheet.
– Put the tray back inside the jaws of the machine.
– Repeat pouring dough onto the tray until it is all used up.
3. Doughnut machine: It is simultaneously the worst and best machine you can have.
– It’s actually kind of hilarious, using it the first time and not knowing what you’re doing. But if you are a perfectionist…
– Before using, always set the customer order shipping crate at the end of the machine, on its platform, where it will automatically catch completed doughnuts. Also, set the fry oil temperature a few seconds before actually using. About 10 seconds is enough.
– Upgrade it to add the “middle paddle” and “end paddles” as soon as possible. Adding the middle paddle flips the doughnut at the right time, so all you have to do is click them when they reach the end and have cooked to 100%.
– If you don’t flip at the right time, or remove the flipped doughnuts soon enough, they burn. You have only 1-2 seconds of leeway before burning starts. And with a fry oil belt full of doughnuts at different stages of burning…What a mess. Thus, an un-automated doughnut machine might be the most challenging device to use in your bakery.
– However, with both mid and end paddles equipped, and the customer crate placed at the end, the doughnut machine becomes fully automated. So much so, that in a three-order day, I always start with the doughnuts (gathering, mixing, and dropping into the doughnut machine) because over the 3-5 minute of operation time, I can do anything else, and forget about the doughnuts until it’s time to ship them out at the end of the day. It’s a total freebie, in terms of time.
4. Dough divider: This machine simplifies the task of separating a big gob of dough into equal portions, for bread loaves and other items like baguettes and croissants. When paired with the bread rounder, you can automatically form loaves for long and round breads (not baguettes).
Baguettes and croissants will need to be moved to the forming table for the final step of working by hand, and their associated minigames.
5. Loaf and Muffin Tin Station: Used for “square” loaves. Not round or long. After upgrading your loaf tin station to unlock muffin tins, here’s how to use this station.
– Click on the pile of loaf pans and then click to the right, to arrange up to 6 individual loaf pans. KEEP THEM HERE. They cost ~10 units each, which seems a lot, but ignore this cost.
– When the dough is mixed, point it at each tin in turn to fill it. Fill up to 6 very quickly. Don’t worry about the slope of the station; the dough won’t fall out of the tin.
– Grab an empty baking sheet, walk to the station, and click on up to 3 loaf tins to quickly position them on the sheet. (It is slow and twitchy to pick up the tin first and arrange it on the sheet.)
– For muffins, you can arrange up to 4 on the station, to the right of the pile of tins.
– First, you have to click and hold to fill all 6 muffin cups with muffin papers. This step if required before putting in the dough.
– Similar to square loaves, point the mixing bowl at the paper-lined muffin tin. Just point at one cup and all 6 will fill instantly, with a squishing sound.
– Grab an empty baking sheet and point it at the filled muffin tins to quickly add up to 3 per sheet.
– Put sheet(s) into oven and bake as usual.
You keep your tools through Bakery upgrades….for the most part.
As you upgrade your bakery, the previous bakery’s tools are available in the next bakery, so you don’t have to pay for them again. This is helpful at bakery level 2, because sometimes a small order, i.e. for 12 buns, can be handled easily in the small bowl (5.7 kg) and small mixer. But, the small bowl disappears when you upgrade to the big, level 3 bakery. It is replaced by a humongous, 100+ kg bowl that you can only move around using a hand trolley. Which otherwise works the same way, except you need to left click it to get it to move, then right click to have it engage with the dry and liquid dispensing stations.
When the baking is over…
Deliveries, or How to Get Paid:
First, note that driving the orders yourself is currently (June 2022) not supported, as the devs. work out some issues. So your only current means of getting the fruits of your hard labor delivered, is through driver / courier service. But this is OK! It’s actually convenient and does not (currently) cost that much. I’m probably going to stick with it in future, unless they raise the price after they add driving back into the game.
– Hire the driver and pay them (June 2022) 10% of your income for an order. (This 10% includes the tip, see below)
– Give them a tip to ensure they deliver with 100% certainty. Else, there is a 35% chance the delivery will fail. It’s not worth the measly cost savings. Just pay the driver (and thank the bus driver).
– You can still make tons of money, because as you upgrade your relationships with your customers, you get paid more per order and pay the driver less, as you unlock those perks. So the cost of delivering orders is just not a problem.
– Early game, you can only do one order per day, and deliver only one order per day.
– After you upgrade to the truck (Grandma’s Bakery’s first major perk), you can fulfill and deliver up to 3 orders per day.
– Upon completion of the orders, filling and stacking of the crates, you click the door to activate the delivery part…
– Click to select the orders for delivery. (Currently, June 2022, they are all de-selected by default). Only then you can click “call for delivery” to bring your courier driver into action. If you deliver only part of your orders, you might lose the ability to deliver them after the driver leaves. And it might even lead to a buggy game situation (I reported on this issue June 2022).
Cleanup: It’s for schmucks.
Don’t do it at all, unless you have to. Just leave everything dirty at the end of the day, and the next day, everything is magically cleaned and back in its place. Maybe it’s your over-paid and underutilized driver who is washing the bowls and mopping the floors for you, out of sympathy?
The only reason to clean (by this I mean aim your item at the garbage can and click to dump it) during your daily work is to make room for a different item, if you have run out of baking sheets.
Gradually, as your business expands, a new customer will unlock, and they will begin placing orders. You can select which order(s) to fulfill; none or obligatory.
I usually do the order for the newest customer, when they first appear, in case it helps to keep them as a customer. (Don’t know what happens if I ignore them…anyone know?)
When you ship an order to a customer, the customer will react to it and give it a grade, from 0 to 100%, depending on a number of factors:
– Order complete, or items missing?
– Food quality, which is a result of the recipe being followed correctly or not. Can include correct amounts of ingredients, mixing time, baking time and temperature, and whether appropriate (and optional) spices were used.
– Order delivered on time?
With a high enough satisfaction rating (and 100% is not that hard to get once you have practiced a little), your relationship improves, and your progression chart marks “yet another order for X customer.”
Every 3 successful orders with a customer unlocks a global perk, which applies immediately to your business. Such as, getting a truck, so you can now do 3 orders per day instead of 1. Or, more pay per order. Or, your quality level automagically goes up. Or, your driver now requires less pay. Are we starting to feel like the “1%” now? Oh, such wealth.
Each order gives you cash money (income) as well as XP (for level progression). Your cash pays for ingredients, bakery machine upgrades, bakery building upgrades, and driver deliveries. The XP unlocks new machines (availability, not the machines itself), upgrades to new bakery buildings (ditto) new ingredients and new recipes. As noted earlier, to start doing the new recipes, you need to upgrade your machinery.
As mentioned elsewhere, the orders you get from customers depend on what you are capable of making, and little else. Sometimes, a small order will garner the same pay and XP as a much larger, more difficult order. So you may pick and choose, but choose wisely.
Financial Considerations…Should I Take out a Loan?
I would say: try to avoid it, for the usual reasons.
It helps if you always leave a cushion of $1000 or more. There’s no rush; take your time and upgrade only when you have money available. You can take out a loan, but again, if you take your time there will be plenty of money for everything you want to do, even without a loan. I’ve been able to unlock everything by about level 25, no loans.
Focus, instead, on 100% customer satisfaction and unlocking customer perks. Get better and more efficient at all the in-game baking processes. You’ll have more fun, and the money will follow.
At some point in the early to mid-game progression, probably when you first upgrade to the second bakery layout. a spice rack of optional-to-use items appears. Using these items may increase or decrease your customer’s satisfaction with your products.
There is at least one guide dedicated to tabulating which spices should be used with which bakery recipes. However, you might find it more fun to experiment to see what works.
Do you like to do alchemy in Skyrim? I imagine it’s the same deal.
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