Scrap is inevitable on a donut line, when producing yeast-raised donuts. There will always be a net of unused dough left behind as donuts are removed after cutting and enter the proofer. Every donut manufacturer must have a plan for what to do with that scrap.  

Most donut manufacturers simply rework that dough into the next batch. With yeast-raised donuts it can actually be a benefit to flavor. 

“Trim dough isn’t a bad thing by any means,” said David Moline, vice president of sales and marketing, Moline Machinery. “It’s one of the key ingredients for premium donuts.” 

However, as bakers automate, a few things around scrap, or trim dough, can come into play. First things first: The amount of trim dough leftover might change, and this can change the formulation and parameters of the dough, causing inconsistency. 

“Certain products when you automate you may have to deal with a trim dough percentage that you may not be used to, so there may be formulating challenges when you grow into automation,” Mr. Moline said. 

Getting around this simply requires testing, testing, testing. 

Moving to a longer production run can also change the way bakers use their scrap dough. When working with a 40-lb dough batch, they may have been able to get three or five different products out of their scrap, explained Alex Weissbach, head of technology and product management, Rondo, but that changes when working on longer runs. This goes back to issue of consistency. 

“To run an automated process, you have to keep the parameters as constant as possible,” he said. “You have to rework the same amount of fresh dough, the mixing times must be the same, the dough temperature must be the same and so on.”

This can be limiting on the amount of rework that can be used, but there are ways to use the leftovers that don’t get immediately put back into the line. That dough can be brought back to the mixing area to use as pre-dough for the next batch, developing flavor for a premium batch of donuts.

This article is an excerpt from the June 2022 issue of Baking & Snack. To read the entire feature on Donut Processing, click here.