Bakers who specialize in doing it all take on projects that are never too big or too small. But even in the most versatile of bakeries that cannot say “no” to a new opportunity, too much of a good thing can wreak havoc.
On the production floor, that means everything from bottlenecks to making products by hand as a last resort. When it comes to automation, technology such as sheeting and laminating lines have come a long way, but even their much-touted flexibility has limits. That’s because many times the dough types are not compatible to run on the same line, according to Baking & Snack’s equipment report in its December issue.
Bakers, for example, would not run a highly hydrated and fermented ciabatta dough down a line designed for a puff pastry dough. That’s because the process and sheeting profile are so different that bakers would have to sacrifice efficiency somewhere.
When laminating, that tradeoff often means adding more labor to the line, but doing so strategically might provide a big payoff in adding versatility with minimal investment. If the laminating line can create slabs, adding just one person could broaden a baker’s product portfolio immensely.
Manual stacking of these slabs provides an almost unlimited number of layers in your dough sheet, allowing bakers to create everything from croissants to puff pastries on the same line. On sheeting and laminating lines, making up isn’t hard to do.
To be the jack of all trades, bakers need to rely on every trick and tool available. It’s the only way to succeed when saying “yes” is the answer to every opportunity.