Getting Started: Essential Equipment for a New Bakery

baking

If you’re constantly getting compliments about your cakes, cookies and pies and you love baking them, then opening up a small bakery is the perfect business venture for you. Of course, the first thing to do is get thoroughly informed about the requirements and legal obligations of starting a food business in Australia. But once you’re done with the pile of bureaucratic responsibilities and found the perfect location, you can move on to the last step of the puzzle – buying processing machinery.

Relying on state-of-the-art bakery machinery helps to speed up production, reduce the burden on workers and ensure that all of your products have consistent quality. But with the wide range of bakery equipment for sale, figuring out what machines you really need can be hard. So, here’s my advice – when you’re new in the business, it’s best to start small by buying a few basic pieces of equipment that are enough to take care of the basic operations. And once your business has generated considerable profit, you can invest in additional machines that might not be as essential in the beginning.

But until then, here’s a list of the basic equipment for bakery that can meet all your essential needs like dough processing, proofing, moulding and baking.

Oven – Your Big Ticket Item

A Baker is taking out a naked bread from oven

When starting a bakery, the oven is going to be the most expensive item on your list. After all, a good, reliable and versatile oven costs more. To choose the right oven, it’s crucial to consider your specific needs. For instance, if you plan on producing standard bakery products like bread, cakes and cookies, a convection oven is a good option. Convection ovens do a great job of evenly baking a variety of items in high volumes.

On the other hand, if you’re planning to produce well-crafted artisan bread or more specific baked goods you should consider investing in a stone deck oven or a hearth deck oven. Thanks to their superior heat distribution, deck ovens allow you to produce products with a thicker, crispier outer texture while the inside remains soft and moist. But compared to a convection model, a deck oven takes up considerably more room so keep that in mind if your space is limited.

Additionally, you also need to decide between a gas or electric oven. One significant difference is the price. Electric ovens can be a lot cheaper than gas models. They are also easier to install since you only need to put the plug into the nearest socket. On the other hand, you can only install a gas oven as long as you’re connected to a gas line. Even though they are more difficult to install and usually more expensive, gas ovens are cheaper to run. Moreover, they are known to heat up pretty quickly and thus save you valuable time.

A Great Mixer Can Save a Lot of Time and Effort

Baking starts with the dough. In order to get the desired quality and texture of a pastry, the flour should be mixed properly. And to do so, you will need at least one reliable mixer, if not more. Not only will this piece of baking machinery speed up operations, but it will also preserve the energy of your bakers which can be put into decorating the final product.

A woman preparing dough for baking

Bakeries can benefit the most from planetary and spiral mixers. But it’s important to note that these types of mixers are designed for different consistencies of dough. For instance, a planetary mixer includes an agitator that turns and a bowl that remains stationary. As a result, this type of mixer is suitable for softer dough, like for instance, laminated dough or cake batter, as well as whipping creams and jams.

On the other hand, spiral mixers include a spiral-shaped agitator that doesn’t move and a bowl that revolves around it. This design allows for mixing thicker consistencies of dough, suitable for bread making. For greater variety in your product output, it’s recommended to have both types.

Proofer – Making Sure the Texture Is Perfect

Before you can shape the dough into bread loaves, cookies or croissants, a lot of time needs to pass in order for it to ferment and acquire the appropriate texture. Obviously, you’re familiar with this process which is called proofing and know that it’s essential for giving the products their recognizable texture and taste. To speed up this process which can take a lot of time and ensure that the dough has gained the right texture, you need to use a proofer cabinet.

displaying baked items in a shop

A proofer is an airtight cabinet with a system that allows you to control temperature and moisture levels. It allows you to tailor the process of proofing by increasing the temperature and controlling the moisture level within the cabinet. By increasing the moisture level in the proofer, you can get crispier outcomes. On the other hand, by decreasing it, you’ll prevent the products from crusting.

Prevent Fatigue With a Dough Divider and Rounder

If you have been dividing and rounding dough by hand, you know how laborious these repetitive tasks can be. But you can make it easier for you and your employees by using a dough divider and rounder. As a result, it can be a great way to prevent pain and repetitive-strain injuries and fatigue.

This bakery machine can divide the dough into precisely sized pieces and round it for proofing so that you can work with it more easily. You just need to program the machine to form a specific size of dough and watch it do its work. In addition, it also allows you to portion control your products, which customers who want to regulate their daily caloric intake will definitely appreciate. 

Show It All Off With Display Cases

lighting in a baker shop

Of course, in addition to preparation, presentation is also important for a bakery, and this is why display cases are vital pieces of equipment for bakery. There are both refrigerated and non-refrigerated cases, and you will probably need a mix of both if you’re selling a larger variety of products. You will also need to consider whether you want self-serve cases or ones that are designed for serving customers behind the counter. Cases that feature strategically-placed LED lighting can help you show off your products better so that no one can resist the temptation. 

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