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Blog: Increasing product opportunities with seeding and swirling

Blog: Increasing product opportunities with seeding and swirling

When a market is flat or highly competitive, one sure way to increase consumer interest, sales and margins is by adding value to a basic product.  

Two new options for the Multitex4™ bread moulder achieve this; by fully enrobing loaves with seeds or grains, and by creating attractive swirled loaves

Fully enrobed seeded loaves

Demand for seeded bread is growing strongly, and is usually met by simply sprinkling seeds or grains onto the top of the loaf as it exits the prover. This is OK, but it risks leaving consumers dissatisfied: less than 25% of the loaf’s surface is covered and there is no way of pressing the seeds into the dough, so a lot may be left in the bag. There is also some waste in the bakery caused by seeds or grains falling through the gaps between the tins.

Seeding the top, bottom, sides and ends of the loaf (known as fully-enrobing) adds a lot of visual appeal to the product and supports claims to be tastier and healthier. It also adds value and increases the premium that can be applied.

To make a fully-enrobed loaf, the coiled dough piece has to be rolled in seeds or grains prior to panning. Our solution not only achieves good coverage but simultaneously solves the problems of pressing the seeds into the dough piece and avoiding waste.

Metered quantities of seeds or grains are deposited on the moulding conveyor to be picked up and lightly pressed into the surface of the dough piece as it rotates under the moulding board. There is no waste, and any leftover seeds drop into the pan with the dough piece.

The result is a fully-enrobed loaf, with very few seeds or grains falling off in the bag and no waste in the bakery. Happy customers and happy bakers!

A video of the process can be viewed from the link below:

Creating attractive swirled loaves

The other way of adding value to a loaf is to incorporate inclusions by interspersing them within the coils. This is the technique used to make classics such as French pain-au-raisin and American cinnamon swirl.

Swirling has many advantages compared with simply mixing the inclusions into the dough: concentrating them in thin strata rather than being widely dispersed creates a much more visually interesting product with an intense flavour hit. Damage to delicate inclusions such as seeds, nuts, dried fruit and chocolate chips is avoided and it is possible to use fillings that would adversely affect texture if mixed into the dough.

If you are going to put inclusions between the coils, then it makes sense to have as many as possible to maximise the visual and taste benefits. One of the unique characteristics of the Multitex4™ moulder is gentle dough handling which enables it to achieve a very high number of coils – up to 4.5, depending on weight and dough piece condition.

The close-coupled four-roll sheeting head progressively reduces the thickness of the dough to produce a long thin sheet onto which are sprinkled or spread the filling or inclusions. It is the length of sheet that determines the number of coils, and moulders with fewer rolls or gaps between them simply cannot match the Multitex4™. Some of them struggle to get beyond 1.5 coils without damaging the dough, even when making swirl bread.

The inclusions are added to the dough sheets on a transfer conveyor placed just after the dough sheeter and the sheet is then coiled and moulded as usual. The addition of a transfer conveyor increases the footprint of the Multitex4™ moulder but does not diminish in any way its gentle dough handling characteristics or ability to make standard white, wholewheat, wholegrain and brioche loaves.

Swirl breads with cinnamon or raisins are well established and can readily be made on this machine but bake stable powders and inclusions such as seeds, chopped nuts, dried fruits and chocolate chips could all be considered. The extended machine can also accommodate the full-enrobing facility explained earlier, resulting in a highly flexible moulder that can make a huge range of high-quality standard, enrobed and filled breads.

These simple engineering changes open up a whole new market for premium-priced products with massive consumer appeal. These innovations are available both with new machines and as retrofits on existing moulders.

Read more:

Baker Perkins' Multitex4™ final moulder

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