Biscuits are confectionery products that contain mostly flour, which you mix and bake with other ingredients as sweet or savory snacks. Biscuits production involves four primary processes: mixing, forming, baking, and cooling. For you to perform these processes, you need basic biscuit making equipment, including mixers, molders/cutters, and ovens.
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Blooming biscuits with the right ‘flour’
Wheat flour comprises most of the biscuits’ dough and provides its base structure. Its proteins, specifically glutenin and gliadin, and their denaturation during mixing and baking, contribute to the final biscuit texture. As an alternative, gluten-free substitutes include chickpea flour, which boasts a high protein and fiber content.
Another choice can be corn flour, which contains more protein, fiber, starch, vitamins, and minerals than cornstarch. However, using these may also negatively affect your biscuits, such as making the biscuits seem heavier (from chickpea flour) or adding a more yellow hue (from corn flour), while also requiring you to meticulously adjust your recipes.
Proper mixing is a must to better develop the dough. When choosing your biscuit making equipment, three types of industrial mixers suit dough development. Horizontal mixers, for large batches that you mix in short periods of time; spiral mixers, like horizontal mixers but use less electrical power; or planetary mixers, for home kitchens.
Cracking bad (biscuits)
Hard and cracked biscuits are products of overworked dough and/or low oven temperature during baking. Excessive mixing destroys the protein bonds formed during dough formation, while a low oven temperature prevents the caramelization and overall proper baking of the biscuits.
Aside from using the proper processing parameters and biscuit making equipment, simple techniques can prevent the undesirable cracking of biscuits. One method is to keep the ingredients cold, especially the fats, while making the oven hot to ensure quick rising before the top hardens. Another technique to avoid biscuit cracking is mixing in short bursts to enable proper dough development.
Ruling gluten out of your biscuits
Gluten is an allergen commonly present in wheat flour. As an inherent ingredient, you cannot process it out nor remove it through any mechanical means during processing. Regulations dictate that to get a gluten-free product, it must contain less than 20 parts per million of gluten, the lowest limit used in laboratory testing.
For compliance, it is best to substitute gluten-containing ingredients, specifically wheat flour, in biscuits. Aside from chickpea and corn flour, other substitutes include coconut, almond, and rice flour. However, as these don’t contain gluten necessary for dough development, you need to adjust the biscuit formulation carefully to maintain the desired flavor and texture. You may tweak the formulation by playing with the ingredient content as increasing your sugars for better biscuit structure or adding more butter for additional flavor.