Fresh dough versus bake-off: which do you choose best?

The hot bakery prepares its breads, pistolets, sandwiches, cakes and tarts with fresh dough. Supermarkets typically use bake-off products: frozen preparations from industrial bakeries that are baked in shop. In the space of a few minutes, this gives them delicious results.

Does it still pay to switch to fresh dough? And which machines are ideal for retailers for bake-off preparation? We dive deeper into the topic of fresh dough versus bake-off in this blog. If you still have questions after reading, do not hesitate to contact us.

The differences between fresh dough and bake-off

Baking with fresh dough or prepared baked goods follows much the same process. Bread is prepared with a limited number of basic ingredients: water with flour or flours, to which a raising agent (yeast or sourdough) and usually salt are added. Let the resulting dough rise in its proper shape several times. You then choose whether to bake the dough into a fresh loaf immediately or pre-bake and freeze it so you can bake it briefly later.

Bake-off and fresh dough in retail

Supermarkets and other food retailers have been selling bake-off products for years. Logical: in the morning, you take the desired number of breads and rolls out of the freezer and bake them for 10 minutes, after which they can go straight into the shop.

So very practical, and what’s more, the range and quality of bake-off products have been improving noticeably for years. These days, the taste, shelf life and crispiness are almost indistinguishable from fresh rolls. An airy pistolet is more difficult to make using the bake-off method, but there are now alternatives for that too.

Today, we find that more and more retailers are considering preparing bakery products with fresh dough. With their artisanal methods and delicious smell and flavours, they hope to make a difference in a very competitive market. For the same reasons, they are betting on offering fresh, local produce and improving service in their butchery department.

These are all good ways to create a unique advantage for your shop, but not every option suits every shop. Let us therefore weigh up the advantages and disadvantages of baking with fresh dough.

Advantages and disadvantages of fresh dough versus bake-off

Working with fresh dough continues the tradition of artisan baking, leaves the most room for creativity and potentially leads to higher quality. You do need a real professional for this, though, not just one of your employees who happens to be in your bakery department. Moreover, with baking with fresh dough, it loses out to the bake-off method in terms of efficiency.

Fresh bakery products respond to customers’ penchant for the artisanal and artisanal. But by carrying out the entire baking process in-house, you take more steps to achieve a tasty end result. This increases the likelihood of errors.

Moreover, fresh preparations require serious investment. Specialised bread ovens often cost twice as much as a good bake-off machine. Don’t forget to add the purchase of proofing cabinets and the additional cost of staff hours.

Also important to take away: fresh bread will only keep for a few days, frozen bake-off products will keep for months. This means that working with prepared dough ensures significantly less product loss.

Ovens for fresh dough and prepared dough

Fresh dough or prepared dough? In D’Heldt’s wide range of products, you will find the bakery machine that fits you and your business perfectly. To do so, we work with German manufacturer DEBAG, which combines baking tradition with the latest technology.

For baking with fresh dough, you don’t need a special oven, but you do need a good bread oven with steam injection. This makes the DEBAG DILA suitable for both fresh dough preparations and bake-off products. Can it be a little more? Then DEBAG DECON is your dream machine. This oven features an even more powerful steam function, allowing you to make even the most complex bread products. DECON stands for DEbag CONvection oven. So that is an oven and combi steamer in one, in which you prepare not only bread, but also vegetables, meat and fish.

D’Heldt, your specialist in bakery machines

Within the DILA and DECON ranges, you further choose from various options, such as the number of shelves and working with load carts or manual loading, so that you put together a machine tailored to your needs.

In doing so, you count on personal advice at D’Heldt. Even after sales, we are happy to help you further with the creation of new baking programmes or with our technical services.

We have been selling and servicing professional food machinery for more than 60 years. Questions about fresh dough versus bake-off and which is your best choice? Feel free to contact us, we will be happy to help you.

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