As the trend toward high-quality artisan breads shows no sign of abating, bakers are paying more attention to proofing for its role in flavor development. This crucial step also has greatly improved production efficiency and flexibility–as operators can offer fresh baked product around the clock, according to Harry Jacoby, president of MIWE America, Hillsborough, N.J.
“Separating dough preparation from the baking stage has greatly increased efficiency and led to dramatic improvements in bakery refrigeration systems,” Jacoby says. “Proofing, refrigeration and freezing equipment now takes up about three times as much floor space as baking systems.”
While traditional proofing is done at 95°F with similarly high humidity for faster results, products nowadays are being proofed between 68° and 72°F. Temperature variation can work much like a secret ingredient, as it helps regulate biochemical processes that dough undergoes during production–especially during chilled storage–that can affect the look, taste and feel of the end product, Jacoby says.
“There are two ingredients in particular that can be influenced by chilling,” he says. “Yeast makes the dough and dough pieces more tender by generating gas bubbles. A variety of enzymes break down starch in a series of complex, chemical processes, and thus has a crucial effect on factors that determine aroma, color and taste. The temperature-dependent activity of the yeast and enzymes determines the main temperature ranges which are used in bakery refrigeration.”
Long-cycle proofing, which occurs between 41° and 68°F, stretches proofing times as long as 24 hours. Proofing retardation, between 19.4° and 41°F, is the temperature range for very low yeast activity up to 36 hours with high-quality results and relatively low energy consumption. Interrupted proofing, between -0.4° and 19.4°F, slows enzyme activity and ceases yeast proofing, with shelf life dependent on the product and how it is packaged. Deep freeze, below -0.4°F, stops all yeast activity and most enzyme activity. Shelf life is largely dependent on how quickly the product can be frozen.
“Because dough pieces need very specific humidity conditions depending on the product you want, proofing state and temperature interval, it is a mark of excellent refrigeration systems that the relative humidity can be controlled and monitored very accurately in the cooling chambers,” Jacoby says. “The art of baking consists of skillfully manipulating temperature and moisture to achieve the color, aroma, taste, volume, etc., you want in the end product by maintaining a harmonious balance of yeast and enzyme activity.”
To meet increased demand for long-cycle proofers, MIWE introduced the MIWE GV proofer that allows product to be stored up to 24 hours and has a special heating unit that can defrost products under controlled conditions. The MIWE GUV proofer features a double row of evaporators and CS controls for proofing retardation, rapid chilling and other techniques operated at temperatures hovering near freezing. The manufacturer’s GVA fully automatic proofer covers temperature ranges of -4° and 113°F and allows for relative humidity variation between 60 percent and 98 percent.
“To an increasing extent, rationalization is no longer the primary goal,” Jacoby says. “Instead, proofing and refrigeration systems are being used to enhance product quality. Clever bakers have long realized that skillful manipulation of refrigeration parameters such as temperature and humidity can do much more than simply extend the long-term availability of their baked goods.”
Smooth conveyor proofer
The Lanham Proof and Bake design is the basis for modern high-tech Turkington USA conveyorized proofers. Single and double ovals or figure 8 configurations ensure system layout flexibility. The conveyor proofer offers continuous smooth metered loading and unloading at convenient elevations. It has low in-feed and low discharge, and a pan gap monitor ensures uniform pan spacing. Combined with AF controlled electric drives, and a sophisticated speed tracking chain oiling system, the proofer provides smooth and vibration free product movement throughout.
919 674 3750
The MIWE GVA fully automatic proofing machine offers a solution for any climate control task from -4° to +104°F. Ideal for proofing, proofing retardation, fast cooling, proofing interruption or stiffening, the GVA’s touchscreen control system, MIWE TC, allows up to eight program selections. The active humidification system immediately supplies available steam.
908 904 0221
The 7100 Proofer by Revent can handle a variety of products with its capacity for as many as six single racks or three double racks. Options include: with or without floors; one or two doors; digital time, temperature and humidity controls; and electric heat. The interior and exterior are both constructed from stainless steel.
800 822 9642
Designed for industrial donut proofing
Belshaw Adamatic’s HV industrial proofer is designed specifically for high-volume industrial donut production. Its features include an active release system that prevents sticking with minimal fl our dust; independent dual-zone temperature and humidity control; and stainless steel, insulated, lift-off doors.
Belshaw Adamatic Bakery Group
800 578 2547