How to control flake-off damage in fully baked and par-baked frozen pastries.
Delicious though they are, croissants and Danish pastries just don’t look appealing if they have taken a battering on the journey from the bakery to the store. Flakes of the brown outer crust fall off, giving pastries the appearance of being old and tired.
It’s a particular problem for pastries that are either fully or par-baked prior to freezing and transportation to sales outlets.
The water issue…
To cut a long technical explanation short, what happens is that the water expands as it turns into ice on freezing. Because the pastry crust contains less water, it comes under pressure from the ice crystals inside the pastry.
Temperature fluctuations in the cold chain cause the ice crystals to move and join, becoming bigger crystals that put the fragile crust under more pressure and increase the likelihood of flake off during transportation.
… and how to solve it
The answer is water management – using a hydrocolloid blend with the capability to slow water movement and increase tolerance towards varying temperatures.
We have tested a number of hydrocolloid combinations in the lab, achieving the best results with a 0.1% dose of alginate and xanthan. With only a very slight impact on pastry crispness, flake off is significantly reduced. Volume, taste and mouthfeel are unchanged.
Another good thing is that you don’t have to alter your formulation. Just add the blend with the other dry ingredients and follow your usual straight dough procedure. Your baked frozen pastries will then be better equipped for the rigours of transport.