Baking & Snack - July 2018 - 84


is not meant to be extruded," he said.
And then there is the finished product shape. Artisan
products are often identified by their irregularities while
consumers expect commercial breads to be consistent
shapes and sizes. Conventional rounders can shape
dough into perfect round dough balls at high speeds,
but that's not what artisan bakers need. Today's artisan
moulders shape dough as gently as human hands and
mimic the inconsistencies they create.
All that water in artisan dough creates a stickiness that
does not lend itself to running on equipment. Among
the high-water content, delicate cell structure and consumers' expectations, artisan bread requires some special accommodations for commercial processing.

Processing dangerously
Damaging the cell structure, or degassing the dough, is
probably the biggest threat equipment poses to artisan
breads. It's why artisan bakers have been, and some continue to be, hesitant to incorporate automation into their
process. "Artisan bread is known and characterized by
large cell structure and long fermentation," said Eric Riggle,
president, Rademaker USA. "If you run that through a divider, you tend to destroy all that you worked so hard for:
pre-fermentation, irregular cell structure, gassiness."
Every time it's touched, or has too much pressure
put upon it, the dough is de-gassed, and those open
cells are lost. It's important that from the beginning
of the makeup process through the oven that the
dough is handled as gently as possible.
This philosophy does not lend itself

Damaging the cell
structure, or degassing
the dough, is probably the
biggest threat equipment
poses to artisan breads.
to a high-speed operation. "We have found that people
try to rush the process," said John Giacoio, vice-president of sales, Rheon USA. "They want to throw 1,000
lb in a hopper and just process it, but you don't want to
do that because it's not going to be a gassy, large dough
structure anymore."
Rheon designs its hoppers to handle smaller loads of
dough at a time: 100 lb rather than 10 times as much.
This prevents operators from overloading the hopper,
degassing the dough under its own weight. This also
keeps the dough coming out the other end of the hopper
at a consistent weight too, which will help with weight
and quality control later down the line.
Rademaker also starts with creating a continuous
sheet of dough, using double-chunking sheeting and
low-stress sheeting systems. The sheet is cut into lanes
with circular knives, and then a guillotine cuts those
With control over pressure and speed, automatic rounders give bakers the
adjustability necessary to create a handmade irregular look.

84 Baking & Snack July 2018 /

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