The GEO Mixer from Interbake (Bury, Lancashire) is designed for cake or pastry products. The structure of the unit is made entirely from stainless steel, while an internal washing system can be programmed to a production schedule. Carbon dioxide gas is piped through the machine, which kills the bacteria. This is then followed by a hot wash process. One design advantage of the GEO Mixer is that, when making sponge cakes or whisking cream, the contents of the mixing bowl are whisked under pressure, reducing mixing times.
Invest Northern Ireland has pledged business development and marketing support to bakeries that explore export opportunities in confectionery goods, such as cakes, biscuits and buns.A new market report, commissioned by Invest Northern Ireland, has pinpointed opportunities for smaller bakeries in Britain and Ireland due to growing demand for indulgent, premium products.The report’s findings were revealed to bakeries attending special workshops last week in Belfast, Dungannon and Maghera.The rich heritage of local craft bakery products, not readily available in other parts of the British Isles, is an important advantage for Northern Irish bakers, said the report. Tradition and provenance, the small size of craft bakeries in Northern Ireland means they are “nimble and quick to respond” to market opportunities, it said. However, challenges faced by the industry include a reliance on short shelf-life products.Some of the bakeries, the report points out, are already supplying multiple retailers, including Tesco, Sainsbury and Asda, in Northern Ireland and should explore own-label opportunities by working towards BRC accreditation.
What will be the biggest issue your business faces in 2008?That was the question posed by British Baker in its last online poll at [http://www.bakeryinfo.co.uk]. Between 10 December 2007 and 5 February, when it closed, 39% of respondents believed that skills shortages would be the biggest issue to face their business in 2008. That’s higher than those who cited rising ingredients costs, at 35%.This will be the biggest issue facing your business and the industry for the foreseeable future, unless something is done to retain the skills left, and instil them into the next generation.What can be done? Quite a lot, actually. The industry has a chance to ensure any future training and education provision it receives is relevant. To that end, the ABST is working on a proposal for a National Skills Academy Training Centre for Bakery (NSATCB). It has already gained support from the British Society of Baking and the Association of Bakery Ingredient Manufacturers and is now seeking support from other leading industry bodies – the Worshipful Company of Bakers, National Association of Master Bakers, Federation of Bakers and British Confectioners’ Association.The case for action will be put forward to the wider industry at the Baking Industry Exhibition at the NEC in April.The future of the industry has reached a fork in the road. It can either carry on along its current path, continuing to lose its skills and knowledge, or it can unite with one voice and work to retain its lifeblood for future generations.So why not engage in the debate and help to ensure the future prosperity of this industry?* Write to Matthew May, general secretary, Alliance for Bakery Students & Trainees (ABST), email: [email protected] btinternet.com or BB: [email protected]
Coffee shops and cafés are playing a “notable” role in the longer-term trend among consumers for frequent eating out of home, according to new research by Allegra Strategies.In the first phase of a major research programme, How Britain Eats, Allegra found 51% of consumers would choose to have a meal in a coffee shop or café.Restaurants remain the most popular choice at 79%, followed by friends or relatives’ homes at 75% and pubs at 56%. Fast food outlets (35%) and sandwich bars (28%) were the sixth and seventh most-popular choices. Only 5% of consumers said they would not eat out in a typical three-month period.
Whereas systems with dough dividers and moulders have dominated the bread and roll market for many years, the significant new trend is production of bread from a continuous dough band, for quality and flexibility, even at the lower end of the scale. Gentle dough handling, along with ease of operation, automation and quality control, are continuing themes, as is versatility. The ability to process many products through the same machine, handling a wide variety of dough types, is especially important for modern products, including rustic and artisanal bread types.Dividing and rollingAs far as single pieces of equipment go, Reiser UK is still stressing the advantages of the well-known Vemag dough divider, which is easily adjustable for dough absorption rates and crumb structures. The company says most of its customers are seeking versatility and the Vemag can handle absorption rates from 45% to 95% for all types of bread, buns and rolls, “from stiff bagel dough to English muffins”.At the heart of the Vemag is the double screw displacement pumping element, which combines gentle and consistent handling with exact weight portions from 5g to 20kg. Versatility coping with absorption rates and crumb structures is achieved through a quick change in the double screw.Fast and accurate, the Vemag can run bread dough through single or double lanes at 200-plus pieces per minute. For greater output, a high-speed Servo divider can be added, giving up to eight lanes of product up to 300 times per minute. Lastly, there is no need for divider oil, saving money and eliminating air pockets and surface blisters.The Combi Line, from leading automatic roll plant maker König, is a modular line that can be adjusted to the requirements of virtually any bakery, according to the UK supplier European Process Plant (EPP). “Bakers define the configuration of the plant depending on the markets they serve and their budget,” says EPP’s director Stewart Morris.Ideally suited to medium-sized businesses looking to step their roll production up a gear, the modular combination five-pocket automated Combi roll plant otherwise known as the König Rex Futura II includes a pre-rolling unit, intermediate resting chamber with nearly 200 swing pockets, a forming station and a traying-up station. It produces up to 9,000 products per hour, depending on the scaling weight, the dough type and the type of roll being produced which can be round, oval, rounded and stamped, longrolled, longrolled and stamped, flattened, convoluted, cut, fruited and seeded.EPP rates the König Mini-Rex as “the best small automated dough dividing and rounding machine on the market”. This two-pocket model has a small footprint and produces up to 4,000 pieces per hour. Simple to use, with a gentle dividing and rounding action, the sturdy design is easy to clean and maintain. Product weights range from 13g to 140g, and up to 50 product settings can be stored on the computer control.Versatility, reliability and longevity have been key to success. EPP says it has installed some 900 König roll plants in the UK and Ireland and many automatic machines installed in the 1970s are still producing today.At industrial level, the Industrie Rex Hyper automatic divider-rounder, launched at the iba show in Germany last October, can be taken apart for cleaning in 15 minutes “a major step forward in roll plant design”, according to Morris.Multi-purpose systemsFritsch, meanwhile, is one of the suppliers offering multi-purpose lines for bread and pastry. The company’s Laminator 300, presented at iba last October, is its latest line of this type and features the Fritsch Soft Processing concept, incorporating the satellite and calibration head, combining the pinning/reduction and controlling functions.Sensors at all the operating stations monitor the process continually, and continuously control the shape of the dough loop at every transfer point, managing belt speed as necessary, so the dough never buckles or tears. While Laminator 300 “masters the art of puff pastry, croissant and Danish dough”, with least stress and high quality in largely automated ways, John Edmondson of Fritsch UK says the Laminator 300 Plus produces perfect dough sheets for all types of bread and roll products, including soft doughs for the modern trend of rustic baked goods. Baguettes, seeded rolls, ciabatta loaves and laminated dough sheets can all be made on the same system.For industrial scale, the Fritsch Impressa system also features soft processing and a synchronised guillotine that avoids unnecessary sticking or jamming of the dough. Product quality is achieved with reliable performance and continuous operation over long periods of time. Servo-technology using a more expensive drive gives better precision and ease of control. “There is no dough that cannot be worked by this machine,” says Edmondson, citing gentle treatment from beginning to end, with sparing use of additives and many other features, including hygiene and ease of cleaning.Also pursuing the multi-purpose, modular approach, Rondo says its Smartline all-purpose, semi-industrial machine provides suitable conditions to obtain high-quality dough, whether the baker wants to produce ciabatta, focaccia, baguette, pizza, seeded bread rolls, doughnuts or other products including laminated pastry. Smartline allows the baker to process both soft and sticky doughs, as well as bread and rolls, yeast and short dough, and laminated dough. Smartline also features a satellite head system; sheeting of very soft to firm dough is effected by adjusting the angle of the head using patented Rondo technology.Rondo’s industrial bread production line is also characterised by gentle handling and a wide variety of product styles, with “numerous intelligent detail solutions and a modular concept”.Dividing and rollingFrom Rademaker, the Crusto bread line, developed in 2006, also has the multi-purpose, modular approach, with new features being added. The latest of these are the stress-free sheeting system already introduced in several European countries which works without extruders, and so portions the dough in a continuous sheet without any damage to the gluten network or any concession to the structure of the dough.Among the optional modules, the bottom-seeder is able to moisten and seed the bottoms of dough pieces for improved eating quality; the baguette injection line can add (garlic) butter to baguettes and pistolettes; and there is a bending and pinching unit for croissants.New bread linesMeanwhile, Benier UK has just launched its new integrated baguette and speciality bread plant, based on the DrieM sheeted bread dough technology, which David Marsh, MD of Benier UK says “means that speciality bread and baguette manufacturers can produce fully automated products to artisanal standards”.The DrieM dough sheeting system produces almost any size of baguettes, buns, rolled buns and specialist or cut products at high capacity and high quality. “DrieM handles the dough much more sympathetically than traditional divider moulders, which cuts down on the potential damage on baguettes and other products that traditionally have a higher water content,” says Marsh. “The result is a fully automated artisanal bread line which delivers top-quality products, with more accurate dimensions.” He says that baguette manufacturers can now produce a 600mm long baguette from a 350g dough piece, each and every time which would be “quite a challenge for traditional systems.”Part of the Kaak group, Benier’s extensive portfolio includes provers, ovens, coolers, freezers and post-baking systems, such as adding garlic butter to baguettes.A brand new bread plant concept, called the Fusion, has just been introduced by Mono Equipment, which marketing manager Roy Kitley says “is already generating a lot of interest from major supermarket groups who have seen its capabilities”. Eighteen months in development, Fusion incorporates a divider, intermediate prover and combination moulder into a single production unit, capable of producing up to 1,000 pieces per hour, depending on weight.The volumetric divider includes a flour-duster that is adjustable to allow for increased water content. The 180-pocket intermediate prover, with conveyor, provides an 8 or 10 minute intermediate proof, and features removable and interlocked catch trays and a newly designed dough centralising guide on the off-take conveyor.A digital counter is incorporated into the main control panel, for an instant visual check on throughput. The moulder has a soft-start function that increases durability, and is fitted with a motorised off-take conveyor, set at an ergonomic height for easy traying-up.
A community bakery hopes to open its doors before Christmas, after raising thousands of pounds from local shareholders.Dunbar Community Bakery has negotiated an agreement in principle to lease a shop on Dunbar high street in East Lothian and convert it into a working bakery. The group has raised more than £23,000 in equity from more than 230 shareholders since it was formed in June 2009 and has also received promises of £35,000 in interest-free loans.The community started raising cash when the village bakery closed after 155 years. Chairperson Jane Wood said it had the potential to raise tens of thousands of pounds more in grants and loans.”We’ve got enough money to take the project forward, but we still have a funding gap for some of the start-up costs,” she said. “We need to get equipment and the first lot of stock, so we’re hoping to get some sponsorship, but would also be grateful for any good quality second-hand equipment.”The group plans to recruit a bakery manager in the next few months and the bakery will produce mainly organic, artisan bread and cakes. Wood added: “We will employ six people initially and the busi-ness should break even within three years.”
The fourth International Bakery Exhibition (ibex) is to be held from 17-20 October 2010 at the International Permanent Fairground in Tehran, Iran.The country has population of more than 70 million, and the government is actively working to improve the quality of bread in Iran.The aim of the exhibition is to improve the culture of using industrial bread and to improve the investment in Iran’s bread industry.Ibex attracts a range of different businesses including flour millers, machinery and equipment manufacturers, enzyme and yeast firms and oven manufacturers.For more information, or to register for the exhibition, visit: http://ibex.ir/defaulten.aspx
One book we’re unlikely to be reviewing is Knitted Cakes by Devon-based textiles author-cum-time-waster Susan Penny, which features a “mouth-watering” selection of mohair muffins and furry fairy cakes.This estimable tome to knit-wittery contains “twenty hand-knitted cakes to make and keep and twenty more to make and give away!” Yes, to Oxfam. If they’ll take them.There appears to be a cottage industry around knitted confectionery for pillow biters (if that term hasn’t already been mis-appropriated), as this “McKnitie’s Jam Sandwich Cream” (right) attests. One blogger put it down to “an eerie connection between knitting and cake”. Eerie? Actually yes, it is rather creepy. “Where there is the sound of softly clacking sticks and string you will probably find cake crumbs. Knitting-themed cupcakes seem the perfect way to connect the dots.”If you say so. Those of you intent on knitting cake, please endeavour to make the eating experience more pleasant than being gagged with a scarf. Here’s a guide on how to knit marzipan: http://bit.ly/doC03i
We have 74 associations throughout Italy in different towns. Our members represent 16-18,000 different firms. It is a challenging market, with changing demands the latest of which is salt reduction. But there is also the challenge of frozen breads, which the French have tackled well. Now we are fighting back too.”But first let me tell you about salt. At the moment the permitted level is 2% on flour and 1.36% on finished products. We are making a 5% reduction every year for three years amounting to 15%. From 1 June this year our members have been encouraged to offer some breads with a 50% reduction at the same price, so customers can choose.”However, there are a number of challenging issues facing our bakers salt is just one. Italy was one of the best countries in Europe for making bread, but now, with frozen breads, how do you know who made it? We are petitioning the government for strict rules. In Naples, they have already agreed that frozen breads must be sold wrapped. The distinction needs to be that craft bread is unwrapped.”Another challenge is the age of bakers and their experience. We have older bakers and we are succeeding in attracting younger people into the profession, but there is a gap that falls in the middle generation. Bakery is hard work and there used to be a feeling that it did not pay enough. But now many young people do not want to spend years studying and are coming back to bakery. The pay is better and good bread is even more esteemed.”The best thing is that young bakers become good friends; we encourage this with competitions and social events. That way they can share the challenges of dough, pastry and cake-making as well as the challenges of life. We are also launching nine new colleges to improve bakery skills. They will be dedicated only to bakery and confectionery. Other colleges also offer bakery, so it is now available in the 20 regions of Italy where they train mainly 14- to 19-year-olds.”Our key role is to help bakers modernise and extend their range of products. We offer advice and demonstrations and we lobby governments and councils on behalf of bakers on everything from parking to business rates and planning laws.”Fresh bread, though, is key to who we are and what our members do. We are trying to get new laws introduced on fresh breads 85% is still craft production.”I was a baker myself and I know how bakers care about their breads, pastries and cakes. There is much to do for this wonderful profession.”
Warburtons confirmed that it is planning to enter the free-from sector with the launch of a range of gluten-free products.“This is an exciting opportunity for Warburtons to use its brand-leading baking expertise to bring higher-quality products to a fast-growing food sector, to complement its continued commitment to the established bakery category,” said a spokesperson for the firm told British Baker.“By providing enhanced choice for people living with gluten intolerance and food allergies in the UK, we aim to grow the free-from sector and generate incremental business opportunities.” The firm said it would be able to provide more information on the range later in the year.>>Brace’s in bid to save Warburtons bakery from closure