The decision to run artisan buns and rolls on a traditional line isn’t always an easy one, and sometimes it might not be the right one.

A bakery must examine its present and future portfolio carefully. First, it should analyze the products that will be made — their shapes and weight — and predict what will be in demand in the years to come, said Richard Breeswine, president and chief executive officer of Koenig Bakery Systems.

“Then it is essential to know the throughput for each product, such as the number of pieces required per hour/day,” he added. “We experience that rapidly growing bakeries purchase a second line to expand their production and to have a ‘back-up’ line in case of seasonal business or service works.”

Another deciding factor involves looking at the degree of production disruption.

“When you don’t want to interfere with your normal production line, and sometimes the downtime time between batches can be too long, then it could be better to run your artisan products on a separate line,” said Magnus Soeson, area sales manager for North America with Sveba Dahlen, a Middleby Bakery company.

Bakers also cannot have the mindset that an artisan product can maintain the same high speed as a conventional one.

“When artisan breads are made, they usually have more water and longer floor time on the dough after mixing but before processing,” said John Giacoio, vice-president of sales, Rheon USA. “A product like ciabatta should have large open cell structure evenly through the loaf. This cannot be accomplished by pushing the dough through a traditional divider.”

Bun and roll companies should consider investing in a separate makeup line to maintain a fast, continuous traditional line’s pace while incorporating artisan products that are in high demand.

This article is an excerpt from the December 2019 issue of Baking & Snack. To read the entire feature on bun and roll technology, click here.