At Dough Tech, it’s a point of pride for us to help you streamline your bakery’s equipment and cooking processes. We’re proud of the way our mixers, oven racks, water chillers and other products have helped retail and industrial bakeries increase their quality and capacity.
While they’re made with the latest in artisan technology, our industrial Escher mixers still don’t operate themselves – they require constant monitoring from someone with experience using them. This position, known as the mixer operator, is often considered the single most important job in a given bakery. Why is this the case, and what are the areas a mixer operator helps in? Let’s take a look.
Important Monitoring Areas
The primary area that the mixer operator is responsible for is the consistency of the product being made. A good bakery achieves a high level of this consistency – all products that go out are made using the same processes, and to the same specifications, so customers know exactly what they’re getting. This sort of thing builds customer trust and retention over time.
One of the most important factors in bakery consistency? The actual processes taking place in the mixer itself. This means the person monitoring the mixer has to have a detailed knowledge of these processes, plus how to identify any issues that may come up. Here are several areas they have to be well trained in:
- Spec sheet: The spec sheet refers to all the pertinent information for the product being made. Various product elements might impact mixing time and speed decisions from the operator, including protein, moisture, and ash content.
- Water temperature: Water temperature is vital, as it’s the simplest way available to control your final dough temperature. The mixer operator has to be well aware of water temperatures and how they’ll impact the dough quality at the end of the process.
- Mixer type: Certain mixers have mostly automated features, while others require more manual operations. It’s best to have a mixer operator who knows both types, though our industrial Escher mixers come with a great deal of automation, including automatic or semi-automatic lifting.
- Air and flour temperature: There are some cases where the operator will not control these areas. That said, they can adjust mixing speed, mixing time and water temperature to account for uncontrollable changes in air and flour temperature.
“Tailing out” is an issue all bakeries want to avoid. It happens when large batches of dough hit the makeup line, and the front of the batch looks very different from the back. This is due to differences in hydration and temperature of the dough, plus natural oxidation that may take place.
The mixer operator has to be well aware of temperature and hydration factors to stop this from happening, and they also need the right equipment. The Escher mixer with a translating system that we offer allows for a consistent level of dough on the lower divider, which helps limit the risk of tailing out for your dough.
For more on the mixer operator, or to learn about any of our products, speak to the pros at Dough Tech today.