Baking & Snack - November 2020 - 73

EQUIPMENT
Cracker Technology

INTEGRITY
Every part of cracker production can either strengthen
or weaken the dough and the finished product.
by Charlotte Atchley

W

When consumers open the box, they expect to see a collection of even, whole crackers. The last thing they want
is a bunch of broken ones or crackers that fall apart as
soon as they are pulled from the carton. While a sturdy
cracker that can withstand shipping and handling begins
with a strong dough, every part of process has an impact
on the integrity developed in the finished product.
It begins with a well-made dough, mixed for the
proper amount of time at the right temperature and
hydration. But every step after that process - proofing
when necessary, laminating, sheeting, cutting and baking - all can either preserve the cracker's integrity or
undermine it.
" You have to look at every step because if we have

one weak spot in that whole process, the cracker is going to be less than ideal, " said Ken Zvoncheck, director
of process technology, Reading Bakery Systems (RBS).
" I might have the best dough in the world and the best
baking profile, but if I'm not reducing the dough sheet
correctly, the cracker won't be optimized. Once you get
the different processes synchronized, you know you're
going to have a very nice product. "
Cracker dough integrity can be compromised at the
sheeting line and in the oven. As the sheet is reduced,
gluten can suffer damage if it is not reduced properly.
Checking is typically seen as an issue of uneven moisture removal, but it can also be impacted by multiple
steps in production.

Double satellite heads
impart minimal stress
on cracker dough as it's
sheeted to its final
dough thickness.
Koenig Bakery Systems

www.bakingbusiness.com / November 2020 Baking & Snack 73


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Baking & Snack - November 2020

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