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The Dough Roller: Exploring the Key Bakery Equipment

That delicious bread we eat every day, with a flavorful crumb and a crunchy crust, is the result of a complex process that involves various equipment, including, of course, the dough roller. This is because the dough roller is responsible for standardizing and compacting the dough, contributing to these aspects of quality.

It is an important tool in the work of baking professionals, especially for high-demand products such as French bread, sweet bread, and even specific types of bread like “sovado.”

That’s why we have prepared today’s post with information, curiosities, and tips for those already in the field as well as those who are just starting out.

Keep reading to find out more!

A brief history of the dough roller

Until the 1950s, only a few bakeries in Brazil had a complete line of equipment. Since the mixers of that time only mixed the ingredients and didn’t provide the final dough consistency, this task was carried out by the dough rollers.

The older models of dough rollers had a heavy mechanical structure and usually consisted of two cast-iron rollers. Additionally, they lacked safety features and frequently caused accidents. This issue was only minimized with the introduction of the NR12 certification and its numerous updates until 2019, which brought more safety to the equipment.

Currently, the best dough rollers have rollers made of stainless steel or coated with hard chrome (non-toxic materials) and can be adjusted using a handle to define the space between the rollers. This facilitates optimal compaction and allows the formation of a gluten network.

Application of the dough roller in modern bakeries

In Brazil, most breads have a hydration level below 60%, which allows the dough to be passed through the dough roller, resulting in smooth, well-compacted bread with a closed and uniform crumb structure. Another factor is that due to our hot climate, the dough tends to rise quickly, and the dough roller removes air bubbles, controlling fermentation and assisting the daily work of professionals. This process is also known as “kneading” and gives rise to the name “sovado” bread.

In modern bakeries equipped with automatic dividing and shaping groups, the dough roller is also essential for making dough sheets or strips, which are used to supply these machines.

Precautions when using the dough roller

Since it is a professional equipment, it is important to follow some recommendations:

  1. Prioritize health and safety: Operate the equipment correctly, maintain good posture, be cautious when handling the dough, and use personal protective equipment (PPE).
  2. Pay attention to the maximum load capacity of the equipment: Operate within the load limits established by the manufacturer to ensure both product quality and the lifespan of the equipment.
  3. Keep the dough roller close to the mixer, worktable, and dough divider: This prevents excessive movement, promotes ergonomics, and improves productivity.
  4. Reduce the use of flour: As the operation involves the use of flour, be careful not to overuse it, avoiding waste, mess, and imbalances in the recipe.
  5. Avoid excessive rolling: Over-kneading the dough can make it heavy and result in a dense product with poor rise.
  6. Perform daily cleaning: However, make sure to turn off the circuit breaker and main switch and press the safety buttons before cleaning.
  7. Pay attention to floor cleanliness: Use neutral and appropriate cleaning products that are not corrosive to avoid damaging the equipment’s base and paintwork.

Considerations for purchasing a dough roller

Here are some tips to help you invest in a safe, productive, low-maintenance, and long-lasting equipment:

  1. Ensure that you have sufficient space: Pay attention to access points and the equipment’s location to avoid purchasing a heavy or oversized machine for your establishment.
  2. Check the equipment’s capacity: In general, models are available with capacities ranging from 15 to 30 kilograms of dough per operation.
  3. Verify if the rollers are coated with hard chrome, as these don’t oxidize, scratch, or accumulate dirt.
  4. Choose models with good motor capacity: Larger models have power ratings between 4 HP and 5 HP.
  5. Look for reinforced structures: Check if the bearings are solid and machined and if the bearings are shielded with permanent lubrication.
  6. Confirm if the elevated feet are made of stainless steel: This facilitates cleaning, prevents contact with the floor, and avoids dirt buildup.
  7. Choose a manufacturer with an extensive network of technical support and spare parts: In case of maintenance needs, proximity to your location is a factor to consider.

Other types of dough rollers

As a generic term, the name “dough roller” is applied to various equipment that performs a similar function. However, dough rollers are not all the same, and it’s important not to confuse them. Let’s take a look at some types of dough rollers:

  • For pastries: Specifically designed for producing pastry dough with a hydration level below 40%, these dough rollers have a very simple structure.
  • For pasta: Used because pasta dough contains high-protein flour and eggs, but it is not suitable for bread production.
  • Laminator: Called so because it transforms the dough into thin “sheets” and is used for the production of puff pastry and similar products.

Professionally speaking, the bread-making dough roller is not suitable for the production of these items, and vice versa. This is due to their structural differences, capacities, product profiles, and desired final quality standards.

In conclusion

you have now understood why the dough roller is of great importance in the routine of bakeries. If you intend to work with larger productions, greater convenience, standardization, and ergonomics, it is worth researching the automatic version of the equipment.

However, bakeries don’t rely solely on dough rollers, right? So why not also learn about deck oven? Click here to continue learning!