Most, if not all of the products in a bakery are made of dough. Considering this, every baker knows that the quality of the dough is key to his success. However, only the best bakers know how to mix up a smooth and homogenous dough and form it into the desired product, whether it’s artisan bread or croissants. So, what is the secret to becoming one of the best bakeries?
To be honest, there’s really no special science involved. It mostly comes down to making sure that every step in the process is performed flawlessly – from mixing to baking. And to do so, you can enlist the help of dough processing machines which won’t leave any room for error. No more throwing out failed batches of dough! With the help of these machines, your products will have consistent quality.
Of course, every dough production process starts with mixing and mixers. However, not just any mixer can do. When it comes to commercial models, you can choose between planetary and spiral mixers. A planetary mixer (also called vertical) features an agitator that turns and a bowl that remains stationary. As a result, these types of mixers are mostly suitable for restaurants and small-scale bakeries. On the other hand, spiral mixers include a spiral-shaped agitator that doesn’t move and a bowl that revolves around it. This design allows for mixing larger quantities of dough at the same time.
An industrial water chiller is one of those bakery appliances that you don’t think you really need, when in fact you do. Many bakeries believe that they have all the equipment needed for dough processing and still end up with unsatisfactory results. If this is the case, then what you’re missing may be a good industrial water chiller.
When the dough is mixed, the friction creates heat which can cause the dough yeast to deteriorate. To prevent this, you can attach an industrial water chiller to the mixer. An industrial water chiller consists of a powerful generator and an insulated tank where water is cooled and maintained at the ideal temperature for dough mixing. The chilled water inside has no contact with ambient air or outside factors, thus avoiding to be polluted. The machine also features a thermostat which allows you to precisely control the temperature of the water.
Since it usually has a small size, an industrial water chiller can be installed in almost every bakery. However, different chillers can have different temperature ranges, usually somewhere between 20oC to 1oC. They also differ in the capacity of water they can chill in an hour, from 40L to 150L. With that being said, what type of chiller is right for your bakery depends on the size of your mixing batch, the number of batches per day, the cycle time between mixing and the ambient temperature coming into the chiller at the hottest time of the year.
Divider and Rounder
If you have been dividing and rounding dough by hand, you know how laborious it can be. To help simplify this task, you can use a dough divider and rounder. This machine can divide the dough and form it into precisely sized pieces with a uniform shape. You just need to program the machine to produce a specific size and shape and watch it do its work. Not only can this machine help produce the final products faster, but it also eliminates the repetitive task of cutting and rounding the dough. As a result, it can help prevent fatigue and repetitive-strain injuries in employees. In addition, it also allows you to portion control your output, which can be highly valued among customers who want to regulate their daily caloric intake.
Once the dough has been properly mixed, divided and kneaded, some time needs to pass in order for it to fermentate and acquire the appropriate texture before you can shape it into bread loaves, croissants, or cookies. This process is called proofing and it involves the millions of yeast cells that give the dough its unique texture and taste. To regulate this process, bakeries use a proofer cabinet. A proofer is an airtight cabinet with a system that allows you to control temperature and moisture levels. The proofer cabinet allows you to speed up the process of proofing by increasing the temperature. You can also increase the moisture level in the proofer for more crispier outcomes or decrease it to prevent crusting.
And finally, it’s time for the last step – baking. Of all the types of ovens used in bakeries, convection ovens are the most common and least expensive. They can bake quickly and evenly a variety of pastries and other products from large bread loaves to small cookies and brownies, and from cakes to pies. Convection ovens have internal fans that provide air circulation for even browning.
Some artisan bakeries or those that prepare specific types of European bread might benefit more from a deck oven. This type of oven uses stone cooking decks which create pastries with a distinctive, crispy crust and a soft, creamy inside. But compared to a convection oven, the deck oven is bulkier and can take up a large amount of your space, so keep that in mind.