The term Stress Free® is a registered trademark from Rheon which describes the Rheological technique they pioneered for dough handling. The techniques are consistent throughout their dividers, sheeting lines and make up lines to reduce the stress or pressure exerted on the dough. The equipment has become synonymous with high quality, artisan breads and those that are aqueous or sticky, high water content and difficult to handle, but the misconception is that Stress Free is only for these types of dough. In reality Stress Free® benefits all types of glutened doughs.
From tinned loaf to ciabatta and from bloomer to sourdough it is important to retain the gluten network that has been formed in mixing and bulk fermentation and to not destroy the yeasts cells forming within that network. This is beneficial to a tastier, stronger, well formed crust and crumb.
These are not the only benefits to Stress Free® so read on.

why stress free?

"Around 20 years ago I was working on a project for laminated pastry to investigate and establish the best process and freezing method for pre-proofed frozen croissants, I was shown a picture of some studies done into the protein structure on pastry doughs. The proteins had been died red and examined at microscopic levels. the same dough was put through a high stress sheeter, one with single point pressure and the other had been put though a low stress system that had reduced the pressure through engineering techniques. The picture showed how the proteins were more evely spread and of even colour, no destroyed black areas where they had been damaged. The proteins are obviously what give us the gluten to form a good network in the dough and in croissant pastry it is all important in a butter laden sheet that steam expands against aswell as the CO2 from the yeast cells. This picture inspired me to work further with Stress Free® systems and to establish a long working relationship with Rheon as one of the pioneers of this technology"

Ian Ort (I kept the picture)

proteinstructure on standard, single poitn sheeter 

protein structure on stress free system


click on pics to read more

Rheon Stress Free® Systems all start with the V4, this part will take the mix of dough and form a dough sheet. It can then be divided and weighed immediately as in the VX212 or carry on for further moulding and make-up, as in the Universal Line.

how it always begins

The V4 is designed and has evolved to reduce pressure as much as possible to not change the dough mix that has entered its hopper. We contantly monitor tension and speed to ensure a well formed dough sheet.

taking care

Rheon use the basic principle of being able to keep the same force while reducng pressure on the material by increasing the surface area. The Rheon stretcher system uses multiple areas of contact to reduce thickness.

the science bit

The Stress Free®  system isnt just about gluten and yeast cell protection, in laminated pastry it retains the layers between fat and dough and maintains fat temperatures. The picture shows a Rheon croissant, still able to peel back the individual layers.

peeling back the layers

The equipment is precision built for accurate operation and long life and end users will feel the benefits in productivity. Due to reducing the pressure into the dough there is the equal effect back into the machine and you maintain longer life on the mechanical parts, with less maintenance required.

hidden benefits

In the picture we see a fermented ciabatta dough moving to a panning position on a Rheon line, Dividing and forming has been carried out but the dough is still active due to the gentle nature of the line. With this it is often possible to reduce ingredients such as yeast and still achieve positive results.

minor ingredient reduction

When making doughs with inclusions through high pressure systems it can be difficult to avoid breakage of the inclusions, this leads to leakage and discolouration of the dough. the stress free process will reduce or eliminate this.


Whether it is a closed crumb tinned bread, open structure ciabatta or restaurant quality pizza base having a good structure to the dough is all important for the final high quality result. Rheon Stress Free® Systems.

most important part