Posted by Patrick Maness
While it seems everyone has their eye out for the next great thing happening on top of the oven, what’s being baked up inside the oven doesn’t get quite as much attention. But just like other parts of the culinary world, the bakery industry is home to some exciting, delicious innovations.
The ever-improving world of gluten-free bread
Perhaps the biggest wave to hit these shores in the past decade has been the emergence of gluten-free baking. At first, this was largely a matter of experimentation. Success was mixed at first, and if it hadn't been a matter of necessity for thousands of gluten-intolerant people, the experiment may have never gotten past those heavy, rubber loaves of bread.
But gluten-free options are better than ever. The latest breakthrough here is with something known as cloud bread. Not only is it gluten-free, but it’s carb-free as well. Additionally, it requires only four ingredients: eggs, cream cheese, cream of tartar and some sweetener. Once baked, they look like round clouds and provide a chewy, delicious alternative to bread.
3D bakery equipment
If zero-carb, gluten-free bread sounds like the product of extreme technology, you haven’t seen anything yet.
Many people think 3D printing might be the next big thing. This isn’t just a prediction, though, as it’s already happening.
That’s exactly what the BeeHex 3D Pizza Printer does, and it’s surprisingly simple. First, it injects dough, then the sauce, and then it tops it off with cheese. Voilà, a pizza is ready for the oven. Sure, this sounds cool, but is this any more than a novelty item?
The short answer is no. One of the truly valuable advantages is that it offers remarkable consistency. For brands with a nationwide presence, where consistency in taste and in material use has a big effect on the brand's image and bottom line, 3D printing will be an invaluable tool.
On the opposite end of the spectrum, 3D printing allows for an incredible amount of experimentation and variety. Think of how computer-aided design (CAD) has changed how people design cars and buildings. This is the same kind of design and experimentation bakers in the not-too-distant future could have with 3D printers and software. Think of bread that looks like a sculpture of the Eiffel tower, or pancakes that came out looking like cartoon characters. It's all possible.
Imagine kiosks where people can select their ingredients, shapes, sizes and so forth from a touchscreen. This ability to personalize an order and have it made fresh might just become standard practice at bakeries around the nation.
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