Baking & Snack - November 2020 - 74

CRACKER TECHNOLOGY

CRACKER DOUGH MUST
BE VERY THIN. TO
REACH THAT GOAL
WITHOUT DAMAGING
THE DOUGH, GENTLE
SHEETING IS IN ORDER.

A strong cracker dough
can be damaged by the
sheeter if the reduction
isn't even across all
sheeting heads and
done with care.
Reading Bakery Systems

" All stages of production can contribute to product
checking: consistent ingredient recipe, mixing technology, correct product docking, correct baking process optimization and ambient cooling parameters, " said David
Hamilton, sales director, Spooner Vicars. " If checking
has recently occurred, investigate any change to the
whole process, including factory ambient conditions. "
And between these two processes, crackers can lose
their shape in the transfer from rotary cutter to oven,
which creates mismatched, inconsistent product. Bakers
who optimize these steps help ensure every box of
crackers delivered to the end consumer is full of whole,
consistent product.

Forming the dough sheet
Cracker integrity starts with the dough. Ingredients
need to be well dispersed and hydrated. Dough temperature needs to be just right. But as Mr. Zvoncheck said, a
well-mixed dough can be undone down the line if other
parts of the process aren't optimized. The first place this
can happen is the sheeter.
" If we don't apply even pressure along each reduction,
we're subjecting the gluten to damage, which will cause
breakage in the cracker, " Mr. Zvoncheck explained.
The crackdown ratio of this reduction typically falls
between 2:1 and 3:1 to prevent this damage from occurring. Any crackdown ratio more than 3:1 will start
to weaken the dough. Not only should each reduction
station fall within this range of ratios, but they also
shouldn't vary widely.
" The more equal pressure we can put on the dough
all the way through, that's going to be the gentlest
crackdown, " Mr. Zvoncheck said. " That's one of the
main causes of broken crackers, assuming the dough is
properly developed. "

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

Cracker dough must be very thin. To reach that goal
without damaging the dough, gentle sheeting is in order.
For Koenig Bakery Systems, that means modules that
gently reduce the dough and provide enough rest time in
between each station.
" For Koenig's Menes dough sheeting line, we recommend including at least two Twin Sat double satellite
modules and two to three finishing units, depending on
the final dough sheet height, " said Werner Koetz, master
baker and baking specialist at Koenig Bakery Systems.
The Twin Sat double satellite head imparts minimal
stress on the dough sheet as it's reduced, producing a
virtually tension-free dough sheet. The two satellite
roller heads are positioned one above the other, which is
how the machine can reduce the high mechanical loads
that would be imparted to the dough, damaging the gluten structure.
Rademaker USA works backwards from the final
product dimensions to build a sheeting line that can
sheet the crackers gently enough without damage.
Knowing the final size, weight and capacity helps determine if an extra gauging station needs to be added.
" If you're talking about thinner crackers or lower
absorption crackers, we tend to add additional sheeting heads to ensure the dough sheet is getting reduced properly, " said Nick Magistrelli, vice president,
Rademaker USA.
Not only is it important that sheet reduction be consistent from one gauge roll to the next, but it's also critical for the reduction to be even across the width of the
line. As rolls have become larger, the pressure they exude has gotten higher, which can cause separation to occur, wrecking the evenness of the dough sheet.
" When the dough goes under such extreme pressures, especially at the final gauge roll, it's actually


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Baking & Snack - November 2020

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Baking & Snack - November 2020

Baking & Snack - November 2020 - 1
Baking & Snack - November 2020 - 1
Baking & Snack - November 2020 - 2
Baking & Snack - November 2020 - 3
Baking & Snack - November 2020 - 4
Baking & Snack - November 2020 - 5
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