PROBLEM: Minimizing artisan style bread labor costs while maintaining high standards of handcrafted product.
SOLUTION: Make world-class artisan bread at a high volume output on the WP Crustica line using two bakers.
WP's Crustica Bread line by Kemper Bakery Systems, a North American subsidiary of WP Bakery Group, is the ideal equipment to automate soft artisan bread that in recent years was only obtainable from the hands of a master baker. Now with proper attention to dough quality, any baker can produce thousands of loaves an hour with the help from one assistant. Specifically designed to achieve an open holed irregular crumb structure, the Crustica's flexibility allows bakers to produce all of the most popular shapes and sizes, from boules, batards and baguettes, to small ficelles.
The Crustica can divide, rest and mould very soft dough with a water content of up to 80 percent and a long bulk fermentation time of up to 3 hours. Its production capacity is 500 to 1500 pieces per hour, or higher when proofing is bypassed. “Using our stress free divider with Voluminator we are able to divide the dough pieces without degassing the delicate air pockets that are typical in bulk fermented bread dough,” says Patricia Kennedy, president, Kemper Bakery Systems, Shelton, Conn.
Bakers can choose how to pre-shape every dough piece, from oblong baguettes to round-shaped boules, all on the same line. For instance, the Baguette Pre-Moulder allows the baker to gently preshape all long breads into an oblong shape, promoting the lengthening of the product. The conical rounder has adjustable tracks and speed control, allowing the baker to set the right pressure and speed for each bread type.
An intermediate proofer has continuous dough trays that allow both types of pre-shapes to rest comfortably in the same spot for the desired time. “Most artisan bakers give a minimum of 20 minutes rest before final shaping, so we built our proofer extra big just to handle this time,” Kennedy says. “Not only do we allow the dough to rest for the appropriate time period, we let it do so in a cloth lined tray that can handle excessive hydration without sticking. Final long moulding has three sets of sheeting rollers that allow the baker to choose what quantity of pressure to give each bread type or if any pressure is needed. Many times, with the 20 plus minutes of rest, the dough requires no sheeting at all.”
For true flexibility and finishing, the Crustica has a baguette extender and resting zone, which provides the gentlest moulding. This extra station gives the baker the ability to slowly mould a full-length baguette and still achieve up to 22 inches without stretching. Baguettes can be left for an additional few seconds on a resting zone to relax, so when they are placed in their final proofing place they are already at full length.
PanORama Baking, San Francisco, achieved 20 percent growth without adding people or rearranging work schedules with the Crustica. “Typically, it takes two to three minutes to switch to a different bread, so downtime is negligible on the Crustica. We have been able to reduce our labor force. The Crustica easily helps us make more with fewer men in less time. Now, we almost never have overtime,” says (name, title), PanORama.
WP Kemper's Test Center in Hartford, Conn., gives bakers hands-on experience with equipment, such as the Crustica bread line. Michael Eggebrecht, master baker, Kemper Bakery Systems, helps bakeries prepare for the test and works directly with customers throughout the process.
Lyon Bakery, Washington, D.C., worked with Eggebrecht to test its ciabatta, 85 percent hydration; sourdough, 74 percent hydration and a whole wheat bread, 61 percent hydration. The test gave Alan Hakimi, one of the owners of Lyon, the confidence that he can reduce production time without sacrificing quality. And, since the Crustica can produce more consistent product faster, he can deliver his customers a fresher product.
Bakers who produce 3,000 or more loaves of world-class artisan-style bread per day, cannot ignore the ROI, labor savings and finished product quality associated with Crustica. The Crustica is extremely user friendly and provides flexibility in production.