From freezer to oven in one small step

by Peter Thomson, bakery application specialist

Non-proofed frozen pastries are smaller in size and cheaper to transport and store. But do they live up to expectation after baking? We ran our own test.

Consumers can be harsh judges of the foods sold in industrial markets. If a product does not look appealing, more often than not they will move on to the next alternative. For the frozen yeast-raised pastry category, that can put business profits under serious pressure.

The issues often lie in the bakery skills of the person responsible for in-house baking and the cost of transport and storage.

Success with pre-proofed dough
Because the personnel in hotels, petrol stations and supermarkets are generally not trained bakers, manufacturers can choose to deliver frozen croissant or Danish pastry dough that has been rolled, folded and pre-proofed. All the restaurant or outlet has to do is put them in the oven and bake as specified on the box – for appealing, crisp pastries time after time.

At Nutrition & Biosciences, we have obtained good results with frozen, pre-proofed pastry dough using an ingredient system comprising an emulsifier, enzyme complex, stabiliser and ascorbic acid. As we described in a previous issue of Bakery Performance, our frozen croissants had almost the same volume after baking directly from the freezer as a freshly made croissant.

Next step: non-proofed
Our recent bakery trials have taken the next step and looked at whether a freezer to oven yeast-raised pastry, which had not been proofed prior to freezing, could match the pre-proofed pastry in volume and quality overall.

The objective was to investigate the possibility to skip the proofing process completely. In this way, we hoped to enable significant cost savings as production would be faster and the frozen pastries reduced in size for efficient transportation and storage. Non-trained personnel would still be able to bake appealing products without the complication of defrosting or proofing beforehand.

We ran the trials using the same ingredient system as in our previous trial with frozen, pre-proofed croissants. After rolling and folding, the croissants were immediately frozen to -18°C.

Smaller to transport and store…
The benefits for transportation and storage speak for themselves. As our pictures  show, the frozen non-proofed croissant is only around half the size of the frozen pre-proofed croissant. In other words, a standard box can contain around 70 non-proofed units, compared to just 48 of the pre-proofed – a considerable saving on freezer space.

… and still appealing
But what about the volume, crispness and texture after baking? Take a look at the non-proofed croissant next to the pre-proofed one . The non-proofed croissant is only slightly smaller. And, when we took a bite, both baked croissants were as crispy and light as we had hoped for. We even thought the non-proofed croissant was a little better – but that is just our opinion!

What we have shown is that non-proofed, freezer to oven croissants with good baking characteristics are a possibility. Get in touch, if you would like to learn more.

We tested GRINDSTED® POWERFreeze 406 Bakery Ingredient System from the DuPont™ Danisco® range.

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