Find balance with dusting flour

by Charlotte Atchley
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Dusting flour plays a major role in handling artisan and gluten-free doughs. These doughs can be sticky, making it difficult to run them through equipment. Stickiness can make intermediate proofing, sheeting and even transferring the dough difficult, said Merle Cooper, Adamatic sales manager, Belshaw Adamatic Bakery Group. Dusting flour — be it milled from wheat or a gluten-free grain — is the typical answer, but bakers must strike a balance between too much and too little. “You can’t add too much flour, or the dough piece will slide through the sheeting rollers,” Ms. Cooper said. “It won’t sheet as well and doesn’t mould well.”

David Moline, sales and marketing manager, Moline Machinery, also warned about using too much dusting flour. “You want to minimize your flour usage because dusting flour is expensive,” he said. By coating the dough with a precise pattern of flour, Moline Machinery’s flour dusting system ensures bakers won’t overdo it. Because the pattern is consistent and even, bakers don’t need to overcompensate with more flour.

Some gluten-free doughs also need a form of dusting flour in order to be machined properly; however, traditional wheat flour simply will contaminate the gluten-free product. Rice flour is a gluten-free substitute for those products.

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