We find that our Viennese fingers go soft very quickly after baking How can we prevent this from happening

When biscuits go soft after wrapping it is usually due to moisture uptake during storage. When a biscuit is wrapped in a well-sealed, moisture-impermeable film, softening does not occur. There are other possible explanations. These are:

• the presence of moisture in the filling which leads to moisture absorption by the biscuit as a result of moisture movement from the filling;

• the presence of invert sugar;

• underbaking of the biscuit originally so that more moisture remains in the product;

• condensation on the internal surface of the packaging film.

Softening of the biscuit can be prevented by the use of a moisture-free filling such as a compound shortening or hardened palm kernel oil, instead of margarine, which contains some moisture. Check that the recipe does not use invert sugar syrup. Ensure that the biscuits are well dried out in baking and that the biscuits are cooled adequately before packing. Especially avoid transferring products to a cold atmosphere after packing since such changes in temperature can result in condensation on the inside of the wrapper.

12.9 We freeze our unbaked pizza bases in a nitrogen tunnel. On defrosting and baking we get bubbles forming on the top of the product accompanied with an open crumb cell structure. How can these problems be overcome?

It is important to ensure that the temperature in the nitrogen tunnel is not allowed, at any time, to go below —30°C. Below —30°C the integrity of the yeast cells is broken, releasing the glutothione and proteolytic enzymes which weaken the strength of the protein films between the small air bubbles in the dough. As the dough begins to expand, the weakened gluten film ruptures and adjacent gas bubbles coalesce to form large ones. This is likely to be the origin of your open cell structure and the bubbles that you observe.

Other ways of producing a finer cell structure and reducing gas bubble formation include:

• adding low levels of an emulsifier or fat to improve gas bubble stability;

• minimising any dough resting time after mixing.

• increasing the level of improver that you use in the recipe;

• using a stronger flour.

Continue reading here: Our scones are made from frozen dough but frequently lack volume We also find that the crumb colour is rather brown How can we improve our product quality

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