Every baker knows the importance of pastry consistency. It can literally make or break your dessert.
Like a souffle, the art of making perfect pastry is a delicate process. Everything from the temperature of your bench and hands and the amount you knead your dough can affect the outcome. Another thing that makes pastry so tricky to make is the time it takes. Most pastry recipes require resting and chilling of at least 20 minutes in the fridge before and after rolling out and shaping it for a dessert.
Working with unchilled dough may be quicker, but can lead to a crumbly consistency, which makes it harder to roll out and will greatly affect the visual appearance as well as the texture of your final baked goods. It’ll be heavier and doughy, and will really drop the ball for your delicious lemon meringue tarts.
That’s why a blast chiller will be of such importance in your bakery. Moffat offers a wide range of commercial baking equipment for your business, and among them, French manufacturer, Friginox, comes out top with their state-of-the-art blast chillers and freezers featuring iChilling technology.
Why a blast chiller or freezer?
It’s not a fridge, it’s not a freezer, it’s pure innovation. Friginox have created something that will save both time and money for your business.
A blast chiller, as explained in an interview with Moffat food production equipment expert Scott Graham, is a machine that will chill your products very quickly without compromising on the quality of the chilled food. It prepares the food to be stored in the fridge, bringing it down to the optimum chilled temperature, “typically 3 degrees for Australian fridges”, as explained by Mr Graham.
A blast freezer works in exactly the same way, albeit lowering the temperature of food very quickly for freezer storage.
This cuts out the middleman of leaving hot baked goods to sit on your bench to cool. You’ll save on space as well as time because you’ll be able to put food, including pastry, straight into a blast chiller/freezer and then from there, straight into your fridge or freezer.
For pastry chefs, it’ll remove the need to wait for pastry to chill in your fridge. A blast chiller allows you to shape the dough in a pan or tray within a portion of the time it would take to chill slowly in your fridge. This means bakers can create delicious desserts quickly to meet the hungry demands of your customers, providing a reliable amount of goods whilst delivering high-quality products.
Chilling and crystals, cells and crispness
There’s nothing worse than working with crumbly or overworked dough. Chilling it will help to relax the gluten as well as prevent shrinkage, so you won’t come out with a batch of mismatched and badly sized pie or tart bases.
Chilling also helps to retain moisture in the dough, which prevents your pastry from cracking due to dryness when you roll it out. However, the amount of moisture will have a substantial impact on the quality of your pastry. Mr Graham illustrates the exact benefits of a blast chiller in this case.
“If you freeze slowly, you tend to get ice crystals, and when looking at pastry, the ice crystals will deteriorate the quality of the food quite quickly.”
So while chilling in a normal fridge helps to retain moisture, it’s likely that you’re getting too much moisture which can lead to soggy pastry, affecting the appearance, taste and texture of your dessert.
If freezing your pastry for your commercial business, to stock up for a big day or just for a backup of supplies, the blast freezing process will prevent your pastry from drying out. The quick freezing process will prevent moisture from leeching out, so the cell structures of your product aren’t broken down.
That way, your iconic lemon meringue or apple tart will remain crisp, hold its shape, and consistently taste delicious thanks to Friginox’s range of blast chillers.