Whether baked goods are raw or partially cooked, using shock freezing methods can provide a range of benefits for bakeries that will increase efficiency, preserve quality, and help with profitability.
Unlike other types of applications like chocolate or standard food storage, freezing dough and other baked products comes with a different set of considerations. For example, very cold temperatures can impact the effectiveness of yeast. The structure of dough needs to be preserved, and the ingredients in dough can also impact its freezing point. One way to help mitigate some of these challenges is with shock freezing technology.
Here are three ways shock freezing can help in bakery settings.
PRESERVE DOUGH FOR LONGER PERIODS OF TIME.
When you shock freeze dough, batter, or even par-baked goods, they can be preserved for longer periods of time. As many bakery operations are moving toward models that don't require full production of product, using shock freezers can be a great way to enhance the viability of dough and expand the overall reach of the operation.
SHIP FINISHED BREADS AND BAKED GOODS.
When breads are fully cooked, the best way to preserve quality before storage or shipping is to use shock freezer technology. This is great for extending the shelf life of baked goods, as well as make it easier to preserve quality as product is shipped to other locations.
BE READY FOR BIG RUSHES.
With shock freezing, high-production operations can be prepared for peak demand. Even when day-to-day production capacity might not result in sufficient inventory, shock freezing can allow operations to produce and store enough product without sacrificing quality.
Why does shock freezing work?
When operators drastically reduce temperatures of dough or bread before cold storage, and when the process is done quickly and efficiently, shock freezing can help eliminate the negative effects on starch. Shock freezing can also ensure freshness and help prevent the formation of mold, especially for fully-baked goods that often emerge from ovens in a warm state and are quickly stored in plastic bags. The quicker these breads reach proper cold temperatures, the greater the chance to preserve quality.
With shock freezing, the potential for large ice crystals to form -- or as we know it, freezer burn -- is diminished. Freezer burn can change the flavors and aromas of breads and baked goods, so the goal should always be to eliminate it.