Versatility and consistency of product are key when it comes to bakery equipment, and this is particularly true of the type of dividers and bread moulders the baker chooses.

“Dividing dough by hand and using manual moulders for example not only slows down production but can introduce inconsistencies in product appearance,” says Chris Huish, technical sales manager at Mono Bakery Equipment, part of the AGA Foodservice Group.

The latest trend in dough handling is speed, but without losing the quality of many of the softer doughs used in today’s bread production, says Huish. Portion control is also vital to ensure that there is minimum waste.

Equipment such as Pavailler’s 1224 Automatic Hydraulic Dough Divider can be automatically programmed to divide into 12 or 24 pieces. Each piece is exactly equal so the product is made consistently every time and with no wastage. The 1224 also features a patented device against flour projection as the flour is caught in a removable drawer at the back of the machine.

Finding the space for moulding equipment to produce a variety of styles of bread can be a challenge for many bakeries too. Most bakeries offer standard baguettes as well as more traditional British oven-bottom, tin loaves and finger rolls, but many are now expanding their ranges with a wider variety of French breads and Italian breads.

A recent development in moulding equipment is for manufacturers to offer multi-task equipment in one design, which saves space and in the long term saves money. The new Bongard Ultra available through Mono takes moulding onto another level, claims Huish, and can produce bread shapes including French sticks, as well as country-style loaves.

The fully automated equipment has 99 different programmes for moulding all sorts of bread. And for baking more rustic breads that rely on long dough resting times, the Ultra comes with the option of an integrated resting table. This means there is no need to buy additional moulding equipment, whether you are producing a standard British tin loaf or a French Pain de Campagne.