Snack Crackers

Process Guide from Baker Pacific “Biscuit Baking Process and Engineering Manual 2014”

Crackers:  A wide range of products characterised by crispy, open texture and savoury flavours. Crackers include soda and saltine crackers, cream crackers, snack crackers, water biscuits, puff biscuits, “Maltkist” (sugar topped crackers), “TUC” type, “Ritz” type, vegetable and calcium crackers.

Crackers 1

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In general crackers may have some of the following features which influence the baking process:

  • Doughs which are leavened and fermented with ingredients such as yeast, ammonia and sodium bicarbonate
  • Doughs generally have a high water content (15 – 25%)
  • Cracker doughs are laminated, (the dough sheet is made up from multiple thin layers)
  • Cracker doughs spring or lift in the first part of the oven to achieve an open, flaky texture, this requires humidity and high heat input
  • Some crackers are cut and baked in strips or complete sheets and broken into individual  biscuits after baking
  • Some crackers require a colour contrast between dark blisters and a pale background colour
  • Traditional English crackers such as cream crackers and water biscuits are normally baked on light wire-mesh bands
  • Traditional American crackers, such as soda or saltine are baked on heavy mesh oven bands, which are pre-heated to transfer heat rapidly by conduction into the dough pieces
  • Crackers are baked to low moisture contents (1.5% – 2.5%), which requires a high energy input

 

Process for Snack Crackers

 Crackers 2

Description

Snack crackers are successful in every market; light and crispy with oil spray

Product specification

Dimensions:                48.0 mm diameter

Thickness:                    4.9 mm

Weight:                       3.0g

Appearance:                Evenly blistered

Colour:                        Golden

Texture:                       Light and crispy

pH:                               5.5

Moisture:                    1.3 – 2.5%

Formulation

Flour                                                    100.00

Sugar                                                       8.02

High fructose corn syrup                    2.85

Vegetable oil   (soya bean)               11.66

Lecithin                                                  0.20

Ammonium bicarbonate                    1.84

Sodium bicarbonate                            1.08

ACP                                                         1.08

Salt                                                          0.77

Enzyme                                                  0.01

Water                                                    29.47

 

Critical ingredients

  1. Flour should be weak with a protein content of 8-9%
  2. Proteolytic enzyme

Mixing

An “all in” mix on a horizontal mixer.

Temperature of about 33oC for enzyme doughs

Crackers 3

 

 

 

Baker Perkins horizontal high speed mixer with shaft-less blade

Standing time

After mixing, the dough is stood to allow the enzyme to react with the gluten. The standing time is about 2.0 – 2.5 hours at 35oC. The time must be determined carefully depending on the amount of enzyme and the quality of the flour in order to achieve the soft, delicate eating texture of the cracker.

Forming

The dough is laminated with 4 laminations, approximately 4mm thick. No fat/flour filling is used

Crackers 4

 

 

 

 

Baker Perkins forming line: (right to left) laminator, 3 gauge roll units, relaxation conveyor, rotary cutter, scrap lift and return conveyors

 Baking

Baking time                 5.0 min.

Zone temperatures:    220 / 220 / 230 / 230 / 180oC

Band pre-heated to:    180 – 200oC

High bottom heat in Zones 1 and 2 of the oven is required

Z47 type wire-mesh band

Pre-heat is required

DGF pic

Baker Pacific Direct Gas Fired oven for crackers

 

 

 

 

 

 

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