Pastry comes in many forms, the myriad types having uses in sweet and savoury recipes alike. While many people enjoy baking pastry at home, commercial operations produce such baked goods on a much larger scale. In either case, the process typically involves producing individual items from a larger sheet of pastry, and this requires the use of cutting machines.
Pastry Cutting Wheel
A pastry cutting wheel is simply a sharp-edged metal wheel attached to a handle. This is a basic tool for reducing a sheet of pastry to individual pieces, with the equipment typically wielded manually and having a use in the home and smaller bakeries. Many pastry cutting tools have only one wheel, although they can come with two or more wheels set side-by-side, as this can help speed up the process of cutting a sheet of pastry. Cutting wheels tend to work best on firmer baked good, such as brownies, while they also work well on raw pastry.
A pastry fame, or pastry guitar, is another simple manual machine for cutting pastry, and works well for softer baked goods, such as petit fours and sponge cake. It comprises a base, on which a sheet of pastry can sit; the frame, hinged at the base; and a number of cutting wires strung across it. When the frame folds down, the wires slice through the pastry, cutting the sheet into individual pieces. Many frames have wires strung straight across, which cuts the pastry into strips, although other frame styles can cut pastry into different shapes.
Pastry Cutting Guillotine
A pastry guillotine can function as an individual machine, though more generally it forms part of a production line in a commercial bakery. The pastry feeds through the guillotine on a conveyor belt, with the blade housed in a guarded cage for safety. The blades available for a pastry guillotine often produce simple, straight cuts, but the machine can be used for more elaborate shapes if required. A guillotine works well on many firmer baked goods, including gingerbread, sausage rolls and Danish pastries.
Water-Jet Pastry Cutter
A water-jet pastry cutter is a style of commercial machine that uses a focused, high-pressure stream of water as the cutting tool. To operate the machine, a sheet of pastry sits on a special open-grid tray, which allows the water to pass straight through both pastry and tray without any rebound. The computer-controlled water-jet can produce simple and elaborate shapes. With no metal blade involved, hygiene is improved, and there is less chance of damage to the pastry. It can therefore have a use in the production of many baked goods, from lighter puff pastry to waffles and cakes.
Ultrasonic Pastry Cutter
This style of commercial machine uses a metal cutting blade that can make high-frequency slices. The process makes it less likely the pastry will stick to the blade and can provide a cleaner cut that can benefit when working with more delicate pastry. This makes it useful for lighter pastry goods, such as cream puffs and eclairs.
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