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Baguette size is crucial to the crust

By Andy Flounders, senior bakery application specialist

It also makes baguettes that are soft and light inside. So how can you adjust the volume without being a functional ingredient expert?

Crispy baguettes are relatively new to the bakery markets of the Middle East and Africa, where consumers have a growing taste for Western-style products. One issue that local industrial bakers may struggle with is how to get the right volume. Another is how to solve it with functional ingredients that are simple to use but still give bakers an element of control.

The fact is many ingredient solutions for industrial bakeries are today complex blends that provide volume, softness, resilience and other functionalities all in one. They are easy to use but leave no opportunity to adjust the recipe if, for example, more or less volume is required.

Alternatively, bakers can try adding emulsifiers, enzymes and ascorbic acid as single ingredients. But that requires a lot of knowledge and expertise to get the right result.

Modular systems for softness or strength
In our bakery labs at DuPont, we’ve worked on a third possibility aimed at striking a happy balance – two modular systems: a strengthener that provides stability and volume, and a softener to keep the crumb softer for longer. Each module comprises a tailored combination of emulsifiers and enzymes.

When making baguettes in markets where the flour is typically weak in quality, industrial bakeries have the option to use more of the strengthening module to obtain uniform volume and height from batch to batch.

Good slashes give the best burst
This is important on production lines that use an automated cutting system, such as a ‘flying knife’ unit, to make the characteristic slashes on the top of each baguette before baking. Uniform volume ensures the slashes have the same length and depth. These then burst open during baking, giving the final baguette a delicious-looking crust with a soft crumb inside.

Because flour strength varies such a lot both regionally and seasonally, we often receive enquiries from bakery customers who want a tool that gives more strength without softness – or the other way round. Modular systems are our answer to that.

What’s more, they are also suitable for croissants. Read more in Bakery Performance The Pastry Issue.

Drop me a line if you’d like to find out more.

The modular systems described here are POWERBake® 701/702 and POWERFresh® 101/102 from the DuPont™ Danisco range.