Water Chillers: Important Equipment for Bakeries
To produce high-quality products in your bakery, besides having the dedication, the willingness to do some hard work and a good team, you also need great ingredients and functional equipment. Although it’s not taken as seriously, water is crucial for the final products to be excellent. Even though flour is the main ingredient in baked goods, the use of water can either make or break the dough. Unfortunately, beginner bakers often take water for granted and don’t think too much about how it can affect the final product quality.
There are three factors that bakers should be taken into consideration when thinking about water quality – taste, chemicals, and temperature. When it comes to taste, you want to make sure that the water used for baking is drinkable and tap water can usually do a good job. But what’s more important is that the temperature and chemical content of the water can largely affect the dough’s main characteristics and as such the whole baking process.
Many bakeries are concerned with the water quality and this is why they decide to install a water chiller. This is a piece of equipment used for the natural process of hyper-filtration. It reduces the chemical content and impurities that stay in tap water. It also keeps water fresh and cold for longer. If you still haven’t got your chiller, here are a few things you need to know.
The Effects of Water in the Baking Process
Water has a big role in the entire baking process from mixing the dough to the process of rising, regarding, baking and even the final products’ shelf life. Maintaining the right temperature and quality of water with the range of industrial water chillers for bakeries is crucial for getting the desired dough characteristics.
It Hydrates the Flour Component and Helps With the Dough Formation
The two main components of the flour are protein and starch. Water is used to hydrate the starch and so that dough formation can begin. The protein in the flour will absorb some of the water and will start to form the gluten. In this stage, the protein will absorb water slower than the starch.
It Controls Dough Consistency
The amount of water can be adjusted to get the desired final dough consistency. Using a lot of water will create a softer dough while a lower amount of water will generate stiffer dough. The softer dough has a weaker gluten structure and is less elastic and more extensible. Soft dough benefits from longer fermentation time and folds during the first fermentation process. The use of cold water with the help of a water chiller helps prolong the fermentation time.
Stiffer dough makes a stronger gluten structure and is less extensible and more elastic. The shorter fermentation time is more suitable to prevent the dough from becoming too rigid during shaping.
It Affects All the Chemical Reactions & the Temperature of the Dough
The use of water will affect the all-natural chemical reactions that occur in a dough system. The two most important are fermentation and enzyme activity. Without water, these two reactions won’t activate, making the baking process impossible. As mentioned previously, the more hydrated dough will ferment faster while the less hydrated dough will ferment slower. In lack of a dough retarder cabinet, you might be able to use the amount and temperature of water to prolong the rising process to suit your establishment’s needs.
Dough temperature, on the other hand, is crucial to obtaining good fermentation activity. Water is the easiest ingredient to change in temperature (you can simply use a water chiller or a water heater). You can use this to control the final dough temperature. Obviously, cold water will generate cooler dough temperature, and warmer water will make for warmer dough temperature.
Why Do Bakeries Need a Water Chiller?
To put it simply, it’s important to get the precise temperature of water fast so that there’s no delay in the production process. Water chillers industrial machines keep the water chilled no matter the outside factors. They work to regulate and deliver chilled water according to your exact input. When producing delicate baked goods, you should always have the appropriate consistency and using a professional-grade baker chiller will keep all ensure you always get perfect products at a suitable temperature without any fluctuations.
How to Choose a Water Chiller for Your Bakery
When choosing a water chiller for your bakery, make sure that it can keep up with the demands of your clients. You won’t just bake a few things. A top quality chiller for a busy bakery should have the capacity to keep more that 100 litres of water. Most modern chillers on the market are able to deliver more than 30 litres per hour. If you need more than 40 litres of water per hour, you will probably need to install a second unit.
For accurate dosing of chilled water, you will also need to make sure that the unit can be connected to a water meter. Since different doughs require different ratios of water, the meter can allow you to precisely adjust the amount of water for a specific recipe.
If you’re going to be using water from your standard kitchen mixer taps, you also need to make sure that the chiller unit can work with water delivered at town pressure. Units that have no need for a pump are easier to install and operate and are more energy-efficient. Remember, the future of bakeries is in sustainability, and investing in more energy-efficient machines is a great way to save money. If your bakery also uses ice for making cold drinks, you can also invest in a chiller that stores ice perfectly and get two machines in one.
Your bakery business is surely not run because you love baking so much. This industry is competitive and if you fail, your clients will simply turn to another bakery. You must protect your investment in this business by investing in reliable bakery equipment such as water chillers.