Choosing the Right Mixer for Your Bakery

When it comes to choosing the right mixer for a bakery, there a few things to take into consideration, like “how much space do I have for a mixer”, “what exactly am I mixing” and “how big does my mixer need to be”?

If you are mixing more than just dough, it may be a good idea to go with either a horizontal or a planetary mixer. If you are mixing dough only, and it’s important to keep the dough at a certain temperature, you’re probably going to want to go with a spiral mixer. Let’s dive a bit deeper and take a look at the pros and cons of each mixer so that we can help you make an educated decision on which mixer is right for your bakery

Planetary Mixers

Planetary mixers come in many sizes, from smaller countertop mixers to very large mixers capable of mixing 200 to 800 kg of product at a time. Planetary mixers are great for mixing and beating things like eggs, cake batter, cookie dough, potatoes, pizza dough and many other things. They come with many attachments, including a whip, hook and beater, as well as attachments that allow the mincing of meat, the cutting of vegetables and the grating of cheese.

All this makes the planetary mixer a well-rounded machine, though the drawback to this is its short life span when constantly ran at high speeds. Also, it is not the best mixer for most types of bread dough, and if dough is your main concern, you may want to consider a horizontal or a spiral mixer.

Horizontal Mixers

A horizontal mixer gives you a clear advantage when you’re trying to mix thousands of pounds of dough in a very short amount of time. Medium-to-large-sized bakeries and factories depend on this type of machine because of its sheer size and capability. This type of mixer is perfect for the mixing of things like short doughs, tortillas, fillings, pie doughs, health breads, cheesecakes, muffins and many other things. Horizontal mixers come with a selection of mixing arms that allow you to customize based on the type of dough you are mixing. They also allow for continuous mixing, meaning once the mixed dough comes out, exiting easily into a trough, the next batch can go into the machine on the other end.

The disadvantage to this choice is that heat generation is a concern. The friction from the dough rubbing on the sides of the mixing chamber causes the dough temperature to rise, which can be damaging to some types of dough. It is important to take this into consideration when choosing the right mixer, especially if you plan on mixing mostly bread doughs.

Spiral Mixers

Spiral mixers are great for mixing many varieties of dough, including bread, pizza, bagels and many others. Spiral mixers come with two motors, one to turn the mixing tool and one to turn the bowl, mixing dough more efficiently and more gently than a horizontal mixer, so heat from friction isn’t as critical of a concern.

These characteristics allow bakeries to produce a range of different products with consistent quality. Spiral mixers also use an energy efficient mixing process, making the cost to run them lower than that of a horizontal mixer. They are usually less expensive than horizontal mixers as well.

Though great pieces of machinery and perfect for mixing bread dough, there are a few drawbacks to purchasing a spiral mixer for your bakery. First, they are not as big as a horizontal mixer. The Spiral mixer can mix anywhere from 50 – 600 kg of dough at a time, and while that is a very big amount, a horizontal mixer can mix more. Second, like we said before, the spiral mixer is great for bread dough, but not ideal for anything other than dough. If you need to mix anything other than dough, this is not the mixer for you.

Being a Versatile Bakery

Some bakeries will opt to purchase more than one type of mixers depending on their size and what they need to do. They may be making bread as well as pastries, cookies, pies and bagels, all in the same day and at the same time. This would be very hard to achieve with only a spiral mixer because each mixer has a specific use. At some point your bakery may expand, and when that happens give us a call and we will be happy to help you choose the right mixer for your needs

Donuts Frying in Shortening

Making Great Donuts Using an Open Kettle Donut Fryer

If you work in a bakery and make donuts, it may be a good idea to know and learn how to make a great cake donut. Luckily, we are here to help you make the perfect cake donut using a donut fryer. There are only a few steps, and followed correctly, will yield a great looking and great tasting donut.

Caution

It goes without saying, that shortening at temperatures of near 400 degrees can cause serious injury, please always be safe and cautious.

Making Sure Your Batter Temperature is Correct

This is the first trick to great donuts should be followed closely. If your batter is too warm the donuts will lack volume and may come out misshapen. If the batter is too cold, the donuts will have to stay under longer and fry too slowly, causing them to crack. We recommend a batter temperature of 75-80 degrees Fahrenheit, but make sure to check the manufacturer’s instructions as the temperature of the mix may change a bit.

Using the Correct Floor Time

Floor time is to donuts what proofing time is to dough. If you leave the donuts too long to prove, they can gas off and your donuts will lose volume and shape. A floor time of about 10 minutes should be good, allowing the baking powder in your donuts to react with the water as well as allowing your shortening to penetrate through the donut. Do not exceed 30 minutes though, this may cause your donuts to absorb too much shortening, leaving you with a donut that may fall apart in the fryer. Having a good donut proofer can really help when it comes to proofing as they are very convenient and made for production.

Using the Correct Frying Temperature

Keeping a shortening temperature of 370 to 380 degrees Fahrenheit will yield the perfect donut, though most old-fashioned recipes will suggest about 340 degrees Fahrenheit. If your shortening is too hot you could get a donut that will fry too quickly on the outside, lose volume and be too dense. Too cold and the donut will spread or form large rings and may crack open, as well as absorb too much shortening, leaving you with a very greasy donut.

Shortening Level

This is important when using a donut fryer because if there is not enough shortening, the donuts may come out irregular, cracked and rough crusted. Too much shortening may cause the donuts to cook unevenly because they may flip while submerged and cook unevenly. We recommend having at least 1 to 1-1/2 inches between the cutter and the shortening. If your having trouble figuring out how to get your shortening into or out of your kettle, you may want to consider getting a filtration system. It depends on the type of fryer you are using, but Stratton Sales has Fryer Filters that can pump shortening into or out of your fryer, without all the mess and mishaps.

Absorption of Shortening

The final trick in making donuts is all about the amount of shortening your donuts absorb. We recommend 1-1/2 to 3 oz of shortening per dozen, depending on the weight of the donut. The previous tips, when followed correctly, should make this easy. If not, your donuts may have not got enough shortening and they will not keep well. If they absorb too much shortening, they will be misshapen and may lose some of their volume. Remember to turn your donuts when they are golden brown. Turning them only once will help as well.

Make Donut Frying Easy with a Donut Robot©

Another way to go when frying donuts is to use a Donut Robot©. Donut Robots© are rightly named because they are an automated donut dropper and fryer that can really help your bakery get great consistency and speed when making a lot of donuts for production. Check out the Stratton Sales website for info on all our Donut Robots©.

We hope this helps you in all your donut making adventures. From all of us here at Stratton Sales, good luck and happy baking