Profile PhotoMark Floerke
Post count: 223

Hello Islam, this is an interesting challenge indeed.  If you don’t mind, I will also comment that this is also a lesson in product development research.  First allow me to respond to your questions and then comment further.

  1. Mixer: the difference between the mixers will be efficiency, and or dough temperature.  If the Marra is a fork mixer, it is gentler, Les friction, and less heat development.  If the Marra is a spiral, it is quicker, more aggressive gluten development, with increased friction and heat development.  Both are good dough mixers, and one needs to be aware of the friction input for desired end results.  The Hobart mixers are good mixers as well, and generally a little less efficient for dough mixing.  If the batch size is too small for the Marra type of mixer, then a Hobart with a dough hook is the best option.  For focaccia or pizza dough I would generally prefer the Marra type of mixer.
  2. Divider Rounder: depends on volume.  For 100-150 per day it is likely not worth the investment, even though convenient.  An experienced baker can manually cut and weigh that many dough pieces in 10-15 minutes tops.  Of course if you plan on 1,000 or more daily or each run, it could be worth investing in.
  3. Proofer: this will be better consistency and provide more control than you home method.  Proofing times may be slightly shorter.  For focaccia I would target 85-90°F and 80-90% humidity.
  4. Reversible Sheeter: A low stress dough line would be best for focaccia, but that will have to wait until you have enough volume momentum.  Yes, you can simply turn the dough 90° as you reduce it.  It seems like your best option for throughput and consistency at the moment.  You will want to try and accomplish this with 2-4 passes maximum.
  5. Oven & Baking: To stay with stone hearth baking you would need a deck oven, tunnel oven, traveling oven, or revolving shelf oven with stone hearth baking surface.  In the convection rack oven, perforated pans may be the best option, if available.  You may have to preheat to 550°F, and will have to test it out.  A large load is going to give off a lot of its own steam that you may be trying to evacuate out of the oven for even par-bake.  I don’t think steam will be beneficial to you, unless you are trying to keep the partake softer and less color.  Keep in mind, that when you inject steam in to the oven, the temperature can drop as much as 200°F, depending on how much steam you use.
  6. the quicker you can freeze the better you will preserve product quality and freshness.  Definitely freeze before packaging.  Ensure you can pack quickly and make sure case sizes are still all frozen when you return to the freezer for holding.  Don’t try and fill a pallet and then put in the freezer.  If they thaw while packing and stacking on a pallet, it will take several days to freeze again.

Obtaining pre-orders is a common practice.  With a new product some retailers may only be willing to do initial test marketing with select locations, before committing to any regular orders.  Be prepared to provide some free or heavily discounted product for sampling and promotions.

Lastly I would like to comment here on the product development and research process.  It is important to understand impasses and limitations, before you paint yourself in to a corner.  What is available in reach for your startup, or do you have enough investors lined up to custom build a plant to suit your process?