Country Choice (Orpington, Kent) has added a Chelsea bun to its thaw-and-serve confectionery range.The bun is spiralled with demerara sugar, cinnamon and dried fruit, topped with more demerara sugar. Supplied fully-baked, it should be defrosted at room temperature for two hours. Once defrosted, shelf-life is one day. The Chelsea bun weighs 90g and joins the Belgian and iced finger bun.
Vandemoortele, the Belgian food group, has confirmed the management structure of its Lipids and Dough Division in the UK.Heading up its UK commercial activities is Adrian Roberts, commercial director UK (right). Those reporting to him include: Gordon Kirkwood, commercial director fats & oils; and Els Vancoille, commercial director for professional products, industry – dough.
The deadline for getting your entries in for this year’s Awards has now closed, and judging is busily under way. Panels of judges for each of the categories will be whittling down the entries to find the top three contestants in each field. The shortlisted three will then be invited to the glittering Awards evening as VIP guests at the Grosvenor House hotel, Park Lane, London, on Monday 17 September. The winners will be crowned the very best in their field.Anyone can attend the Awards by simply booking a seat or a table for the gala event. In doing so, they will get the chance to rub shoulders with the top people in the baking industry and celebrate excellence across the business. What’s more, it’s a great way to meet leading industry figures and decision makers and network with like-minded business people. Or you can simply sit back and enjoy a top evening’s hospitality, food, wine and celebrity presenters.As a special offer, and for the month of June only, you can purchase tickets at last year’s reduced rates. So call Elizabeth Ellis today on 01293 846593 or email [email protected] to take advantage of this limited offer. n
Recently, I had the pleasure of being invited to visit Kingston & District Master Bakers and it made me realise that the majority of regional associations are no longer in existence.While we cannot go back in time, we have lost so much by not meeting regularly with fellow bakers; it is so good to know you are not alone and that almost everyone has the same problems as you do. After dinner, we had an enjoyable question and answer session. One of the questions asked of me was what I thought the future would hold for us.Well I think the future will be very good for us in the trade. Think about it! In the old days, any really good baker we had could leave us and start up on his own, sometimes in competition just around the corner. Now, it is almost impossible, as he would need at least £150,000 just to get started – and that is virtually nothing when you consider the cost of shop- fitting and bakery equipment.So we are in competition with the fast food outlets and we have – or at least should have – most of the advantages. We know our local market, we have complete control of our products and quality and can produce new products very quickly to take advantage of new trends.So why are some bakers not doing better? I think it is because they get into a comfort zone. They may well own their property and make a comfortable living and, quite reasonably, cannot see a good reason to change.Yet any business needs passion and commitment and that is very difficult to maintain, considering the long hours so many bakers work. My managing director Neville does all the work, so it is very easy for me to have enormous interest – and even ambition – for our company, although I must admit that, with so little talent, I never did a great deal of hands-on work – none in fact.However I really did think that, when I reached a certain age, my interest would wane, but it never has and I am as keen to learn today as I was 30 years ago. Even now, I cannot see why the British Confectioners’ Association elected Neville and not me – not that I am envious, just hurt, particularly now that Albert Waterfield knows I am a fellow craftsman!We old folks have to live vicariously on the news Neville brings back from meetings and all the good ideas he learns, particularly when he name-drops. Meanwhile, my wife Barbara and I sit at home watching Tom and Jerry cartoons.Getting older is difficult to deal with and Barbara says my memory is not what it was; so far this year, I’ve forgotten her birthday, our anniversary and who’s boss in the home.The only good thing I can say about old age is you only have to go through it once, although I’m not looking forward to graduation. One final piece of advice: always tell people you are 20 years older than you are, then they will always compliment you on how good you look for your age.
Camilla Parker Bowles opened Marshfield Bakery in Wiltshire on Tuesday. Local press reports said the business had recently moved from a small cottage to a barn, due to increasing demand for its locally sourced products.The Duchess of Cornwall was given a tour of the bakery by owners Lynne and Paul White. She was shown the handmade techniques to produce fruit cake, biscuits, cake and shortbread.Marshfield Bakery is a member of the Taste of the West campaign – for which Prince Charles is a patron.
The Cornish Pasty Association (CPA) is a step closer to attaining protected geographic indication (PGI) status for Cornish pasties after DEFRA confirmed that it is backing its application and will be sending it to the European Commission for final approval.The CPA said DEFRA’s ministerial support is a “significant landmark” in the CPA’s application process. The CPA hopes for a ruling that will limit the use of the Cornish Pasty label to Cornish producers making pasties using a traditional method and recipe.The Cornish Pasty Association (CPA) is a step closer to attaining protected geographic indication (PGI) status for Cornish pasties after DEFRA confirmed that it is backing its application and will be sending it to the European Commission for final approval.The CPA said DEFRA’s ministerial support is a “significant landmark” in the CPA’s application process. The CPA hopes for a ruling that will limit the use of the Cornish Pasty label to Cornish producers making pasties using a traditional method and recipe.The Association exists to protect the quality and the reputation of the Cornish pasty and to stop consumers being “misled by pasty makers who trade off the value of the name without producing a genuine product”.Angie Coombs of the CPA Committee believes that protection of regional food products like the Cornish pasty is important both for consumers and the rural economies and explains. She said: “This application is a genuine attempt to protect the consumer and encourage investment in local economies. We believe it is not unreasonable to ask companies to honestly label their products so that the consumer is guaranteed a level of quality, recipe and origin when they purchase them.”
Three Fuji Alpha 6flow-wrappers equipped to create press-to-close reclosable zipper packs have recently been installed in bakeries – two of the machines are being used by a manufacturer of speciality bread products while the third is handling a premium sliced loaf, supported in a tray.What’s so good about that?The reseal machine creates closures for packaging, which can be opened at the top of the pack. Specialist and premium bakery products tend to be consumed over a period of time and so reclosable packaging helps support much higher consumer confidence in the freshness of the product.Isn’t a zipper bolt-on just going to cause more hassle?Not really – you don’t have to wheel anything in or out because the zipper unit sits over the wrapper infeed and can be quickly switched on or off to run standard or zipper packs within minutes. So it doesn’t affect the footprint of the wrapper itself.Where can I get it?Paramount Packaging Systems is the distributor of Fuji Packaging Machinery in the UK and Ireland.www. paramount-packaging.co.uk
“We sell a bunch of junk. We’ve decided if Whole Foods doesn’t take a leadership role in educating people about a healthy diet, who the heck is going to do it?”- John Mackey, chief executive of Whole Foods Market, takes the moral high ground in The Times by suggesting that the chain could urge customers to “vote out” fatty foods like chocolates, cakes and sweets, by educating its customers to eat well”If you don’t leave behind 6,000 yuan ($880) in your bakery tomorrow, you’ll be responsible for the consequences.”- burglars to a bakery in Yiyang, in China’s Hunan province, resort to written threats, when they fail to discover where bakery owner Yang has hidden his cash”We’re going to have fresh products… (The vehicles) are going to be the Krispy Kremes of the world”- car-maker Ford’s CFO Lewis Booth likens the firm’s drive to refresh its cars and trucks to a brand of fresh baked goods
As BB reported last issue, calls to cut salt in food are showing no signs of quieting down, with bakers still public enemy number one as far as people’s salt intake goes at least in the Food Standards Agency’s (FSA’s) eyes. Controlling salt levels is no mean feat just ask the government, which found it conspicuously difficult when the snow hit earlier this year. So what can bakers do to help the government reach its salt reduction targets and perhaps save a bit back for gritting the pavements?Over the years, salt levels in bread increased to overcome the lack of flavour from the adoption of short-time dough-making techniques. This peaked in the 1970s at 2.2% on flour. Great gains have been made to cut salt since then, but last year, the Food Standards Agency set a 2012 salt target of 1g per 100g for bread and rolls. This level is lower than the 2010 target of 1.1g.In this spirit, BB conducted a tasting panel of reduced sodium recipes. Taste-testing for salt in products is a notoriously tricky exercise, given that one’s palate is easily influenced by salt. So we’re making no claim to a definitive judgement on these ingredients, and of course people adapt to changes in salt levels over time.Salt has two important functions, to help stabilise the gluten structure of the dough and to impart flavour. So we just wanted a view on how consumers reacted to changes in formulation across three factors: cutting salt levels; salt alternatives; and flavour enhancers. Not every product of its type on the market has been benchmarked. The panel was relatively small, involving 12 tasters in each test.Two standard products were picked a bread roll and a hot cross bun. Would people be able to tell the difference? And would any change in recipe be less noticeable in a spiced product?BB approached John Haynes of JRH Associates a consultant specialising in bread projects and food assignments to run some tests. With decades of experience in bakery not least, breaking the field-to-loaf Guinness World Record Haynes said he liked unusual bread recipes and formats. He got his chance, with a salt alternative made from seaweed.All doughs were treated in the same conditions. When it came to dough performance with the hot cross buns, “volume after proving with Test 2 was larger than all other tests,” says Haynes; Test 3, containing Asco (seaweed), was tight and needed 1% extra addition of water; and the dough with Test 6 was light brown in colour. All other doughs performed similarly.With the bread rolls, “Test 2 was slightly larger at the end of proof and did not collapse in the oven,” he says, while the dough in Test 3 “was very discoloured and an extra 1% of water was added”. However, the colour of the crumb improved after baking. Test 6, The Fermex ingredient, “was difficult to mix into the dough”, thus why we abandoned it for the taste test, but it was “very golden brown in colour and had a good flavour profile after baking”, he explains. Test 8 was slow in proof, so proved for 60 minutes, but resulted in “nice bold rolls”, he adds.And the outcome? With the control bread rolls, which had a calculated sodium content of 0.50g, the best result on taste came from Test 8, which had a salt level of 0.5% with the addition of an Italian Natural Yeast (BFL Levis+); this has a sodium content of 0.15g, a significant sodium reduction without apparent loss of flavour. Not far behind in points were the two Fermex sourdough-based flavour enhancers, followed by Kudos’ salt alternative. The saltier control came only fifth in the taste test. Many people complained that it was too salty.There was a marked difference with the hot cross buns. None of the samples ranked better overall than the control with 1.7% salt on flour weight although the Fermex and Kudos products were not far behind.”These baking results show that the addition of a flavouring additive or a blend of sodium and potassium chloride (Kudos low salt) can help replace the perceived flavour loss due to the lower salt additions,” says Dr John Allen of consultants MTA Associates. “Dried sourdough powders, sourced from Northern Europe have often been used to help replace the flavour loss, but they are an acquired taste for the UK consumer. Better results can be obtained from southern European products, as can be seen from the results of the ingredients used in this test.”Of course, there are cost implications to reducing salt, which is significantly cheaper than flour, let alone salt alternatives and flavour replacers. Successful sodium reductions can be achieved, but they will come at a cost, and until the consumer can see a benefit it is questionable whether they would pay extra.”Keys to the success of the sodium reduction campaign are for either a solid general industry-wide agreement; or provide some new additive that can replace the flavour lost associated with the salt reduction; or, as was suggested in the last issue of British Baker, replace some of the sodium chloride with potassium chloride.”So cutting salt levels is not the be-all and end-all of developing products to meet salt targets. The lesson is that there is no one-size-fits-all. Consumers’ expectations differ greatly and testing should be done on a product-by-product basis. The other lesson learned? Leave the seaweed to the fishes… [Please see 26 February issue of British Baker for test results and recipes]
Lantmännen Unibake is to move into sweet pastry production in the UK for the first time.Work has now begun on a new 8,000sq m factory near Bedford, with the first phase of investment scheduled to start operating in May 2011, announced the firm.The new unit – a cold bakery – will employ over 200 people. It will comprise two separate lines for manufacturing pre-proven dough as ready-to-bake Danish pastries, for in-store bakeries and caterers.The products will be distributed by its sister company, Bakehouse, which currently takes its products from a Unibake factory in Denmark.CEO of Lantmännen Unibake UK Søren Landtved said that Lantmännen Unibake had always believed that the product needed to be produced close to its customers.“The UK is Lantmännen Unibake’s single biggest market. We firmly believe that moving our production base from Denmark to a local UK site in Bedford will greatly benefit our overall growth opportunities within the marketplace here,” he explained.