We have been having issues with the final packaging weight of cream crackers. Each internal package should weigh around 167 grams * 6 packages = 1 kilo. However, lately, we haven't been able to reach the desired weight and end up having to add another internal package (7).
We've played with the crackers' height through oven and line manipulations but we still aren't able to reach the target weight. Everything is more difficult being that we are working with fermented dough (yeasts).
I want to try and make the cracker a little bit denser without hurting the textrue. I was thinking of adding more isoglucose (as a humectant) but I'm not sure that is the right direction.
What is the recommended way to add weight to the final package, given that the length of the package is final and more crackers cannot be added?
The recipe (by percentage):
I will assume that you are not using dust between the layers in lamination, or already tried playing with it. The most common way to raise packaging weight in industries has been to make a thinner cracker, keeping or even slightly increasing the weight of dough piece, thus more crackers could be included in the same packaging length. If done correctly, this will not change the texture in a significant way. There are some ways to achieve this with recipe and process steps:
· Closing extraction dumpers in first and second zones (not completely, as it could generate condensation, damaging your oven structure)
· Adding more pressure to dockering roll. More or broader pins could also help, but that would demand investment to change current roll.
· Change your baking profile, so less heat in supplied in first two zones. You could redistribute this in the other zones.
· Decreasing the amount of leavening powder in dough and/or in dust (some use Ammonium bicarbonate in it.)
· Decreasing the number of lamination layers or the amount of dust between them
I believe this is the easiest way, since making heavier baked crackers without changing stack height is difficult. If you raise the amount of isoglucose to retain more water, your texture will also change. Adding more fat to dough could help, but it is expensive, and could also change your texture. Raising moisture content could be an option, if is not already too high.
1. I will not recommend usage of starch in Cream cracker. If at all you want to use for cost optimization and yield purpose please use only 1kg for 63kgs of what flour.
2. Please select wheat flour having dry gluten percentage around 11% with sedimentation value of 21-22
3. Minimum 7 layers in laminator sheet out. Max you can do as per the machine capability
4. How much hour yeast fermentation given. Is it direct mix method? How much hour standing time. The dough pH should be around 8 when you do the laminating. Your recipe adjustment should be done like that.
5. I could not see ammonium bi carbonate in the recipe. It is better to add following mix and dust through laminator sheets. Normally all present day laminators having this facility to dust wheat flour and other ingredients to go in between laminator layered sheets.
6. The dusting recipe is wheat flour 5kgs, 200gms salt, (salt in the recipe please adjust to balance the taste), 200gms ammonium bi carobonate and 300gms fat or oil. Please reduce the oil in the mix after calculating rate of the sheet and fat available in the sheet and fat available in dust. If dusting is not falling on the sheet please adjust the fat level. This dusting mix should be prepared in dry mixer according to the requirement. Pl ensue through mixing of all ingredients in the dust mix.
7. Please give your feedback.
7. In oven keep the bottom heat more in the initial zones and reduce the same in final zones. Mostly keep the steam and play with steam available in initial zones to the middle of the zones to get desired height, texture, shape and appearance.
I agree with of the suggestions provided by Jose as ways to reduce the cracker thickness, but I assume that you used to achieve the correct cracker thickness so something must have changed.
The most variable ingredient we use to make biscuits and crackers is wheat flour as growing conditions can affect its composition which changes its baking performance, and each new season wheat can be quite different from the last.
I see you are adding Starch to the recipe which is normally done to lower the gluten content of the flour making the dough more extensible with less oven spring. Rather than adding starch which has no gluten content if you have a choice of flours available you could try blending a lower protein flour (cake flour) with your existing flour as this should make the dough more extensible and less elastic during sheeting improving the shape and reducing oven spring. A level of about 60% strong flour and 40% weak flour may be required.
The addition of dough conditioners such as Enzymes or Sodium Metabisulphite will result in less shrinkage and therefore less oven spring. Sodium Metabisulphite can reduce fermentation so it should not be mixed in with the yeast in the mixer but added as a solution once the dough starts to form during mixing, a dosage of approximately 0.02% is recommended.