With the still burgeoning demand for artisan products, combining artisan and traditional buns and rolls on the same line is worth looking into, and the industry’s advances in technology over the years have made this investment possible.

Reiser’s Vemag divider produces a variety of roll styles in various volumes.

“The soft roll market is tough,” said John McIsaac, vice-president of strategic business development, Reiser. “In the prime season, the product is usually discounted against heavy competition. Many of our customers see the advantage of producing rolls that differentiate their offerings with items such as harder rolls for quick-service restaurants. They want the ability to adjust to the market and quickly be able to take advantage of trends that provide opportunity. They do not want to buy specialized equipment that can only do one thing.”

AMF Bakery Systems is focused on incorporating artisan bread, said Clint Adams, director of sales, AMF Tromp and AMF Den Boer.

“Our test bakers, engineers and product managers are working with customers to integrate new products with traditional lines,” he said. “At AMF, we are focused on processing these clean label products that have been a struggle for industrial bakers in the past. Our low-stress sheeting incorporates methods that are gentle on the dough and better able to process than higher absorption doughs.”

Because high hydration is key for artisan buns and rolls, the Kemper Soft Star from WP Bakery Group USA can produce weight-accurate doughs with high rest and absorption. The company’s TWS Soft (Tewimat) has a hydraulically adjustable dividing system to handle wetter doughs as well.

To save energy and floor space and cover as many products as possible with one production line, Koenig Bakery Systems builds the same type of equipment for artisan and conventional products that can be altered accordingly. The company calls it a “construction kit” of modules. Its Rex dough dividers and rounders, for example, produce hamburger and brioche doughs as well as batches with chunky ingredients such as raisins, nuts or chocolate chips. An adjustable pusher pressure allows the divider to adapt to various doughs.

Not only does all-in-one equipment allow for artisan products to be produced on the same line as traditional, but it also allows bakeries to be prepared for future product trends.

“When making purchasing decisions, try to find solutions that go beyond addressing your current production challenges,” said Jon Cabral, advertising and marketing director, Erika Record. “Ideally, you would like equipment that can scale up with forecasted demand over the next 5 to 10 years and beyond. Find items that will offer the most versatility and flexibility. The more products you can process and produce with a single piece of equipment, the better.”

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.