Many Americans love a little something sweet in the morning. A hot coffee and a danish, a donut or a chocolate-filled croissant really hits the mark.
Bakers have been busy keeping shelves stocked with these treats, especially as the coronavirus (COVID 19) pandemic has kept people home and boosted retail sales. While millions of Americans are still working from home, they’re stocking their pantries with these treats.
“The demand for donuts – almost any variety – is stronger than ever,” said David Moline, vice president of sales and marketing, Moline Machinery. “Having a system with maximum flexibility to produce a variety of shapes and sizes is very important to meet changing market demands.”
Gentle rolling, the right temperatures at every stage of the process, and proper handling of the toppings all contribute to the ideal conditions for processing sweet breakfast pastries.
Creating puff pastry can be a tricky process. Success depends on careful handling to ensure the layers of batter and fat are maintained.
“When creating the layers in a rolled dough, it’s very important not to crush or break the layers as you cut the dough sheet to final thickness,” said John Giacoio, vice president of sales, Rheon .
“The broken layers allow fat to escape during cooking. Rheon offers stress-free lines that won’t crush layers. This means we can actually do fewer layers with our system and get even more oven jumps. It also means that the final product will be less fatty.
Butter or margarine used in laminated dough should be evenly distributed, said Randy Kelly, applications specialist, Fritsch, a Multivac Group company.
“This is done by creating a consistent, continuous layer of grease from our grease gun on top of the dough, creating an even layer before the rolling and rolling stations,” he explained.
Consistency also depends on temperature control, said Alexander Weissbach, head of technology and product management at Rondo. This not only produces a high quality product, but also helps bakeries manage costs through proper ingredient handling.
“The temperature of the dough and especially the ambient temperature must be kept constant at a certain level,” Weissbach said. “Working with butter requires lower dough and piece temperatures compared to margarine rolled products. For rolled products, rolling fat is the most expensive raw material. Especially today, where the prices of raw materials increase considerably, it is important to maintain the exact percentage of fat content.”
Knowing the melting point of the fat used makes it possible to maintain the texture of the dough, which is important, explains Marion Montillot, bakery and pastry product manager at Mecatherm.
“Folding is a major step in the croissant recipe, so the texture of the fat must be close to the texture of the dough to obtain layers of dough and fat of the same thickness and to obtain a homogeneous and well-structured interior crumb. open,” says Ms. Montillot.
Each bakery product presents its own challenges.
“Yeast rings, for example, can be subject to oval shapes if the product is not gently formed and transferred properly,” Moline said. “Yeast donuts produced on a rolling line result in the highest quality product.”
Nick Magistrelli, vice president of sales, Rademaker USA, also emphasized the need for gentle handling to maintain the donut’s shape.
“This is accomplished by using the right sheet components and selecting the right makeup section that ensures a properly shaped donut that has a soft texture,” he said. “Handling donuts is also very critical when they are transferred from the make-up line to the racks in the proofer.”
And when donuts are fried, a stress-free dough won’t tear apart, which means the product will absorb less oil, Giacoio said.
Ms. Montillot said precision in the fermentation and cooking stages will produce consistent products.
“As with the folding step, you need to have precise control over the temperature and humidity of your fermentation chamber,” she explained. “For example, if the temperature is too high, there is a risk of fat melting, and the number of layers will then decrease..”
Baking a good pastry means baking temperature and heat transfer modes may need to be adjusted depending on what a bakery is trying to accomplish, Ms. Montillot said. Radiant heat provides color contrast of the different layers, although the sides may not receive the same intensity of heat, causing them to be undercooked. Convection heat provides fast and even heat transfer for product.
“That’s why we advise mixing radiant heat and convection to bake the croissants to keep the typical color contrast and a stabilized shape,” she said.
This article is an excerpt from the March 2022 issue of Baking & Snack. To read the full article on Sweet Goods Processing, click here.