When it comes to shaping dough, high-speed bread, bun and roll producers need consistency and flexibility to keep up with throughput and consumer demand. Precise controls can unlock quality shaping for bakers.
“Consistently shaped bread and rolls is not only a matter of moulding,” said Patricia Kennedy, president, WP Bakery Group. “The whole process, from mixing to baking, must be consistent and in control.”
Moulders with automatic controls can accommodate changes that happen at the mixing bowl, whether that’s due to fluctuations in flour or the environment. Today’s moulders can precisely position a dough piece for exact and repeatable shaping. Quick tool-less changeovers enable bakeries to expand their product lines to include those specialty bread products consumers are asking for.
“Flexibility is a common request, especially for popular products like rustic, clean label and organic bread,” Ms. Kennedy explained.
Exerting control at the moulder has enabled high-speed operations to adapt to consumer demand while turning out a well-shaped finished product.
More often bread bakers must diversify production from only white pan bread, buns or rolls. Consumers want bread, buns and rolls that are made with whole wheat and feature multi-grains, seeds and toppings. Some people are moving toward bread made with high-hydration doughs. To meet that demand, bakers are expanding their product offerings and need more flexible production lines to accommodate these specialty bread products.
“Bakers want to produce a wide range of products on the line,” said Anna-Marie Fritsch, president, Fritsch USA. “This is why our systems offer great flexibility. The round moulder, for example, forms bread rolls between 30 and 1,000 grams.”
Offering the flexibility bakers need requires the ability to quickly — and sometimes automatically — adjust for the next product’s needs, be that a different shape, weight or hydration.
Fritsch offers operators a quick-tool-exchange system and tool-exchange wagon to make product changeovers fast and easy.
“Moulding speed, radius of the moulding movement and the synchronized movement can be easily adjusted,” Ms. Fritsch explained.
For those hydrated doughs or products that are heavier, she suggested the company’s pneumatically adjustable moulding cups.
For long-moulded products, operators can adjust the intensity by changing the speed of the moulding belts as well as the gap between the moulding and conveyor belts.
“In addition, the calibration roller can be adjusted to calibrate more or less, depending on the product,” she said. “For example, soft doughs won’t use calibration, and stiffer doughs will need strong calibration.”
To accommodate the wide range of product needs bakers have today, AMF offers line configurations for diverse bread moulding.
“Some bakers require no sheeting, while others with very stiff doughs need three sets of sheeter rollers,” said Bruce Campbell, executive product manager, AMF Bakery Systems. “AMF offers all of these as well as options for extending the moulding conveyor to get the perfect dough piece in the pan.”
The company also has a robust moulder board design with multiple adjustments to enable operators to accurately target the moulder for a variety of dough piece weights and sizes.
Sanitation also comes into play for changeovers. Equipment often needs cleaning between product runs, and this can become costly downtime for an otherwise quick changeover. Equipment is being designed to keep cleaning from slowing operators down.
Not only has Stewart Systems engineered its make-up inline moulder pressure board to enable high speeds and quick changeovers, but the company also has incorporated a no-fray blue multi-ply poly belt. It doesn’t absorb oil and can be washed down for easy cleaning.
Gemini’s bread moulders and roll moulders feature high-precision scrapers that enable the easy release of dough. Self-contained air blowers on the bread moulder also dry the rollers to prevent dough stickage and make clean-up easier. The hinged pressure boards give the sanitation team easy access for faster cleaning.
Quick changeovers between different sizes and weights are critical in this diversifying marketplace because many bread consumers are asking for very different make-ups — not to mention production needs — other than traditional white bread, buns and rolls.
“Flexibility is always a concern for bakers, and we are seeing more who not only want to offer an artisan-style loaf but are also looking to make tin breads,” said John Giacoio, vice-president, sales, Rheon USA.
The moulding needs of an artisan bread vs. a pan bread are very different. Consumers want bread that is free from additives and long fermentation times.
“Producing these clean label foods requires increasingly hydrated doughs with pre-proofing times in excess of two hours,” Ms. Fritsch explained. “Such doughs have a higher-water content and are, therefore, softer and more highly developed, giving them a greater tendency to stick.”
These softer doughs have a delicate cell structure that has been developed with a lot of water and time. Equipment can sometimes harm that cell structure, which can damage the final bread or roll. Glimek’s bread dough line features an adjustable pressure board that uses gentle stretching to protect more delicate doughs, such as multi-grain, rye or hearth-baked bread made with lower-protein flours.
Rheon’s moulders have been designed with these breads in mind but are capable of making pan bread with a simple changeover.
“We need to take more time forming the loaf than a typical white pan bread moulding system because we are trying to maintain a certain cell structure,” Mr. Giacoio said.
These artisan breads are often not baked in a loaf pan, so what comes out of the moulder is the final shape of the bread. Rheon equipment replicates a hand process to achieve a more difficult shape.
AMF offers a variety of configurations to match the flexibility necessary for artisan production.
“Some bakers require shot moulding while others require longer moulders,” Mr. Campbell said. “AMF offers all of these options by having a driven moulding belt to ensure the right moulding for that product.”
The hydration level of these doughs causes them to stick to the equipment, which can slow down production and harm product quality.
“Bakers would like to produce with our equipment in continuous operation,” Ms. Fritsch said. “Therefore, our contrarily moving moulding belts are automatically cleaned by scrapers, and the flour duster placed above ensures that nothing sticks to the moulding belts.”
The blower system on Gemini’s BM series bread sheeter moulder prevents dough from sticking to rollers by directing air onto them.
Toppings like seeds and nuts are also in high demand because of the healthy halo they impart on bread products. Seed enrobers can be incorporated at the moulder to help bakers expand their product lines. When designing bread production lines, AMF can incorporate seed enrobers and water sprayers into the moulding process for added flexibility.
As both a part of Middleby Bakery Group, Burford’s high-speed enrober works synergistically with Baker Thermal Solutions’ moulder to provide up to 80 p.p.m. and seed topping reclamation to prevent costly waste.
While meeting consumer requests for specialty bread is important, today’s moulders enable bakers to not only meet those demands but also maintain the same consistent quality those same consumers have come to expect from their bread, buns and rolls. With increased flexibility, capabilities and control, bakers can get the most out of moulding technology.
This article is an excerpt from the July 2019 issue of Baking & Snack. To read the entire feature on moulders, click here.