Dough piece moulding

This step involves giving an elongated shape to the dough pieces. It comes straight after proofing.

Moulding in a machine happens in 3 distinct steps, which are all very important.

- Pre-lamination/lamination to give a nice flat shape
- A nice curly shape (so that the flat shape curls up well) thanks to a heavy belt or a chainmail belt
- Final elongation to get the elongation, laminations and the desired aspect of the baguette or breads.

Pre lamination and lamination


  • The quality of this step is what will determine the behaviour of the dough piece for the rest of the baking process.
  • Indeed, it is essential to get a nice flat shape before it curls up into the moulder. It is important to keep to its best the airy structure of the dough, by trying as much as possible to not degas it, to give a nice taste, an airy structure inside the bread, a better chewing sensation and a longer shelf life.



Better curling of the dough


  • It is also a step that both vertical and horizontal moulders have in common. It is done thanks to a "heavy duty belt" located against the motorized belt, underneath which the dough piece will curl up naturally.
  • With a horizontal moulder, it is usually a chainmail belt where for vertical moulders, they are equipped with a soft material guided by springs, attached to a felt belt.


Final elongation


  • It has to be done with the type of machine that is best suited to the dough pieces that have to be moulded or to the specific process.
  • For a long elongation, or for rather hard dough, vertical moulding is best suited or with a horizontal moulder that is quite long.
  • In order to mould soft doughs, and for a progressive elongation, it is better to use a horizontal moulder. It has the ability to mould many types of breads of various shapes (short, long, flat, loaf bread etc)
  • There are many types of moulders because no model can do it all, being able to mould every type of bread in the world.
  • Indeed, in order to mould loaf bread for example, rye bread, batard bread or short bread, we do not need the same moulder that would mould dough pieces of little weight like baguettes, ficelles, flutes, while elongating up to 60-70cm.
  • Some moulders can be all purpose ones but the choice of type of moulder must be done in relation to the most important volume product.
  • For the moulding of big short breads like loaf bread, rye bread, mould bread, the key element is the lamination (because a lot of the time, the doughs are fairly hard ones) and the sizing in order to control elongation, specifically so that the dough pieces fit in well in the baking pans/ tins.
  • For the moulding of baguettes, it is also important to give priority to the quality of the lamination (especially with a progressive lamination not to degas the dough too much) but even more to the type of final elongation. For a well moulded baguette, it is very important that the dough pieces has many turns/ laminations in the moulder. This is the reason why the speed of the belt is a crucial element.  If a moulder goes too fast, the dough pieces will not be very well moulded and this will have a knock on effect on the quality of the development during fermentation and baking.
  • Industrial moulders can take rates up to 2500-3000 pieces hourly but generally speaking they are very long to elongate the baguettes.