Artisan breads might be the trendy product for the foreseeable future and might even continue to increase their shelf presence in the bread aisle and in-store bakeries. However, equipment manufacturers encourage bakers to be forward thinkers and consider the flexibility of the equipment. A big investment such as automated equipment deserves to be used for decades regardless of the latest products consumers demand.

“Today’s fad is artisan bread, but tomorrow’s may be totally different,” said Eric Van Hees, vice-president, engineering and system sales, Moline Machinery, Duluth, MN. “You can just reconfigure our system to continue to make today’s newest item. We’ve adapted the machines to work on flatbreads, biscuits or whatever it may be, so a key consideration for us is to future-proof our equipment as best we can.”

Rheon USA, Irvine, CA, also considered the future when designing its V4 stress-free dough feeder, which uses rollers to gently form high-absorption dough into a continuous sheet. Although particularly suited to artisan bread dough, the V4 can produce a wide range of baked foods such as pizza shells and pan breads.