Ingredients are combined in a large mixer that also rapidly cools the dough. The dough is divided (most often by weight) into sizes needed for the products. The dough is poured into a mold, and is then conveyed through a chamber that dusts it with flour, seeds, seasonings, etc. The product is allowed to rise in a temperature-controlled environment. The products are baked in gas-fired ovens, and are cooled with cool air to prevent overcooking, before being packaged and sold.
The primary energy user at commercial bakeries are the bake ovens. Typically large tunnel ovens are used to continuously bake products on a 24/7 basis. Daily and seasonal demand changes the actual hours of operation, as daily deliveries are tightly matched to production due to the very short shelf-life of the product.
Watch a 5 minute on-line video of the entire baking process at http://www.flowersfoods.com/FFC_CompanyInfo/VirtualBakeryTour/index.cfm
Natural Gas Technologies
American Institute of Baking (AIB) International www.aibonline.org