The world of baking has witnessed significant advancements in equipment and technology over the past four decades. From manual labor and traditional methods to the emergence of modern bakery equipment, efficiency and time-saving capabilities have revolutionised the baking process. We took some time to explore how the time saved by each piece of equipment has transformed the baking experience for modern bakers compared to their counterparts 40 years ago.
In the 1980’s ovens used by bakers were primarily conventional models that required a significant amount of time to preheat. It was common for bakers to spend 30 to 40 minutes waiting for the oven to reach the desired temperature, resulting in considerable delays in the baking process. Additionally, maintaining consistent heat distribution was a challenge, leading to unevenly baked goods.
Fast forward to today, where bakers benefit from advanced convection ovens with rapid preheating capabilities. These modern ovens can reach the desired temperature in a fraction of the time, reducing the preheating period to an average of 10 to 15 minutes. The precise temperature control ensures consistent baking results and saves bakers approximately 20 to 30 minutes per baking session compared to 40 years ago.
Mixing and Kneading Machines:
Four decades ago, the mixing and kneading process heavily relied on manual labour, requiring significant physical effort and time. Bakers would spend a substantial amount of time kneading the dough by hand or using basic mixers, limiting the quantity of dough they could prepare within a given timeframe.
The advent of commercial stand mixers and dough-kneading machines revolutionised the baking industry. The modern mixer has the capacity to handle large quantities of dough efficiently, significantly reducing the time required for mixing and kneading. Compared to 1990’s, bakers now save an average of 30 to 40 minutes by utilising automated mixing and kneading equipment.
The proofing process has also experienced substantial improvements in recent decades. 40 years ago, bakers had limited control over temperature and humidity during dough fermentation, resulting in inconsistent rising times and unpredictable outcomes. Proofing required several hours to achieve the desired results.
Modern bakery equipment, such as temperature-controlled proving cabinets, has transformed the proofing process. These cabinets provide precise temperature and humidity regulation, creating an ideal environment for dough fermentation. Bakers now save an average of 1 to 2 hours in proofing time compared to 40 years ago, ensuring consistent and efficient dough rising.
Baking and Cooling Racks:
In the past, baking and cooling racks were relatively simple and lacked optimised airflow and heat distribution features. Bakers had to contend with unevenly baked goods and longer cooling times due to limited air circulation.
Today, specially designed baking and cooling racks enhance heat distribution and airflow, resulting in evenly baked products and faster cooling times. Bakers now save an average of 20 to 30 minutes in the overall baking process, enabling them to increase productivity and meet customer demands more efficiently.
The evolution of bakery equipment over the past 40 years has been nothing short of remarkable. From advanced ovens with rapid preheating capabilities to automated mixing and kneading machines, each piece of equipment has contributed to significant time savings for bakers. With the introduction of temperature-controlled proofing cabinets and optimised baking and cooling racks, the efficiency and consistency of the baking process have improved considerably. As a result, bakers today save approximately four hours each and every day. Meaning setting the alarm is getting later and later every decade.