Various fruit breads and sweet doughs can be created with Zeelandia’s (Billericay, Essex) Exakt Zest powder, says the company. From hot cross buns to more artisanal products, bakers need only add flour, yeast and water. The mix will hold a fruit weight of up to 40% of flour weight. Supplied in 15kg bags, Exakt Zest is also available in the ZK variant, which is made without colour and with reduced flavour. This allows bakers to adapt the mix with their own ingredients.Zeelandia recommends the addition of Zedomals – a liquid which adds shelf-life and softness to fermented goods. Zedomals is supplied in 20-litre jerry cans and can be used with existing bread improvers, says the company.
You just cannot believe it! First of all, the dodgy lot who run the country – laughingly known as politicians – tax our pension system into meltdown. Then they impose way-above-inflation wage increases through the minimum wage and, having ruined the pension system, are now proposing we all pay a 3% pension contribution on top of the salaries to pay for their greed and stupidity in doing all the damage in the first place.I am the first to confess I’m not very bright but does that not mean a 3% hike on our wage costs? And if all staff have to pay 4% of their salary into the pension, will they not be wanting a pay rise to keep up with their rising costs.This year we are finding growth much harder and, with the Bank Holiday over, we have found traditional sales declining. Hot cross bun sales are nothing like they used to be, Christmas cake sales have virtually disappeared and sales of mince pies reduce every year.This brings me on to the subject of worry. Again, I confess I am not very good at it, as I consider it a waste of time and best left to your competitors. Let’s face it: they would probably make a far better job of it. Worry does not make you rich or happy, so why do it? A busy person should not really have time to bother with it. So if you are prone to worry, you would be far better off employing someone to do it for you.Now I know it’s easy to say don’t worry when everything is going right for you, and it’s very difficult not to do if you are in one of those phases in life when everything you touch goes wrong. But do try and look on the bright side; we are in a wonderful industry, where most everyone will try and help if they are asked.Many people who have run into hard times might have been helped if they had swallowed their pride and asked for help. The natural thing is to put a brave face on it. But if only help had been sought out earlier, many a business could have been saved.A few months ago, I mentioned that Lucy, a lovely girl in our bakery, was granted a scholarship by the British Confectionery Association for a week’s training at a member’s bakery, Simmonds of Hatfield. Well, she has had her week’s training and the benefits for both her and our company are great. She learned a lot, had a really great time and returned full of enthusiasm for her craft and a desire to learn more.There were also extra fringe benefits for us; it gave MD Neville a wonderful opportunity to get to know the people running Simmonds better. And, when we had a chance to bid for a gateaux contract, we were able to phone them up and get the best advice from people with great knowledge of the gateaux trade.Mind you, I don’t know what they teach the kids at school these days. An office junior caught me practising putting golf balls in my office and asked me what they were. A week later she caught me putting again and said: “Oh I see you have shot another golf.” Tony Phillips is past president of the NAMB and is (allegedly) retired from running Janes Pantry with 10 shops in Gloucestershire
Nestlé Foodservices (Croydon) is introducing the Nescafé Accolade Platinum Colibri, a table-top vending unit that dispenses latte, cappuccino, hot chocolate and other premium speciality drinks.The company claims the machine will help caterers meet consumer demand for hot beverages. The Colibri is a smaller version of the Nescafé Accolade vending machine and enables sites that require a smaller volume of drinks or a more compact system to offer a range of hot beverages in a 9oz paper cup.According to the company, the machine eliminates the need for milk cartons, wet tea bags and other drinks-making paraphernalia. The table-top unit can be used with a water tank and pump kit in unplumbed site.
n The Flour Advisory Bureau is working with HGCA on an updated education website and programme – The Grain Chain – which will be launched in September. It will feature interactive information in line with the curriculum for key stages two and three, with topics including healthy eating, growing food and the science of baking.n Scotland’s food and drink industry has joined forces to create a new leadership organisation – Scotland Food & Drink – which aims to harness collective resources to create an industry worth £10bn by 2017 – up from £7bn.n The Soil Association is calling on organic businesses to ’Wake up to an organic breakfast’ during Soil Association Organic Fortnight from 1-16 September. Hundreds of events are planned across the country, in which farms, shops, restaurants and cafés can get involved to promote the health, taste, environmental and animal welfare benefits of organic food. Visit [http://www.soilassociation.org/organicfortnight].n Scottish family baker Aulds is now back in a permanent building following a devastating fire at its premises in 2005. Its 210 staff have moved from their temporary facility which was built at the rear of the burnt-out building. Aulds supplies frozen desserts to foodservice companies as well as retail snack products.n Catering supplier Brakes picked up eight trophies for new products at the British Frozen Food Federation 2007 Annual Awards, including Best New Bakery/Pastries Product and Best New Dessert/Ice Cream/Confectionery Product.
Despite being a continually evolving industry, that has survived and adapted to modern technologies and ever-changing consumer tastes, bakery is often considered the poor relation to cooking.Gordon, Delia and Nigella dominate our TV schedules, top 10 book lists and even tabloid pages paint a “glamorous” portrait of cookery. Yet bakery, an industry filled with innovative, creative and passionate people, remains faceless and continually gets left behind.With its vast heritage – archaeological evidence suggests that the early Egyptians first made bread in 2600-2100 BC – age-old methods and staple products, bakery has long been seen by outsiders as old-fashioned and non-progressive. Yet this couldn’t be further from the truth. Intense competition within the bakery market, combined with an increasingly savvy customer, has continued to drive innovation.The industry is hugely creative too – you only have to look at the entries for last year’s Baking Industry Awards to see the astounding level of imagination and originality that is out there. Bakers are also passionate about what they do – so many of us spend our whole career in this industry, developing our skills as we go and becoming real experts in our field.We have to be versatile and reactive in order to keep up with the fast-paced and ever-evolving industry we work in. More and more baked goods, confectionery and cakes are coming on to the shelves and with enhanced choice comes an even more discerning customer. If you fail to use innovation and inspiration to differentiate yourself, like a badly baked cake, you’ll fall flat.The ingredients we use and our production methods are also changing all the time, as tastes alter and consumers look for longer-lasting, healthier alternatives. The recent emphasis on natural colourings and flavours has been driven by the consumer desire for fewer additives and more natural ingredients and, as we have done for thousands of years, we have moved with the market demands.Ours is an industry where there is room for everyone – from the home baker, the bakery production line or the student in training. Irrespective of background or skill level, bakery demands imagination and dedication. And if you want to pursue a professional career, the breadth of training is also vast.As the world gets smaller, we, as consumers and bakers, are being exposed to new and evolving techniques and product types. From the croissant to the crumpet, continental breads, cakes and patisserie are now readily available wherever you are in the world. Cosmopolitan patisseries sit alongside family bakers as the market diversifies and the opportunities have never been so great.Bakery is not cooking’s poor relation – it is innovative, fast-moving and steeped in tradition. nl Claire Bailey is business and technical development manager at Renshaw
Rank Hovis, the miller, has announced price rises in flour effectivefrom April 7 of £34.38 per tonne (55p per 16k bag). Sales and Marketingdirector Jon Tanner said that the last increase was in early Octoberand that this latest increase is necessary because of “unrelentingrises in the price of domestic and world wheats”.
Originally, pizza dough was cooked outdoors on hot flat stones. Not entirely practical or indeed desirable in this HACCP age we live in, but you don’t have to brave the British weather to produce excellent pizzas. There are options to suit you, from counter-top to conveyor models. Here are just a small selection:== Smart cookie with versatile charms ==If you want a super-hot oven that heats up to 450?C, for Neapolitan-style pizzas, The Whirlpool Smart-Cook Pizza Oven has a patented double cylinder system that transforms it from a conventional convection oven to a pizza-hot oven. Electronic temperature control and two fan motors – one on the top and one on the bottom – are said to ensure uniform fast cooking of the pizza from the edges to the middle. What makes it all the more suited to cafes and food-to-go bakery retailers is its small counter-top size; it’s a free-standing model which, despite its compactness, can cook a large 34cm pizza in less than 90 seconds.[http://www.apuro.co.uk]== Nippy number offers automatic control ==Also pretty nippy is the SelfCooking Center, which now offers a group of features that make the Rational oven suitable for baking pizzas – at up to 100 pizzas in eight minutes. The ’Pizza’ control setting means the oven will create a suitable cooking climate for pizza and the unit’s LevelControl technology means it will automatically adapt the programme for fresh or frozen pizza. So all staff have to do is load it up, push the button and get on with other work.The specially-designed non-stick pizza dishes hold pizzas up to 28cm (11″) in diameter. There’s also a new grill and pizza tray; pizzas can be popped on to the flat side of the tray, which is also non-stick and designed specifically for pizza cooking, and then put into the oven. The reverse of the tray is ridged for grilled products.[http://www.rational-UK.com]== Hot air streams for even cooking ==For a single stack conveyor oven, Equip-line’s Bofi is suitable for pizzas but equally useful in general bake-off operations, making it a decent all-rounder for smaller catering outlets.The XLT 3240-TS uses vertical streams of hot air from four pairs of tapered ducts to cook items passing along the single conveyor belt. The ducts are adjustable and can be configured to suit the operator, to ensure even cooking. The conveyor, which is 199cm wide, can be set up to move either right-to-left or left-to-right, and cook times can be adjusted digitally. It runs on natural or propane gas and no installation is required.[http://www.equipline.co.uk]== Counter-top model that can earn its keep ==For a smaller model, the smallest EKA unit from Katermart, the KF412 electric convection oven, can sit comfortably on a bar counter, for baking pizzas and other morning goods. The compact unit has a 25kg capacity and a temperature range between 50?C and 300?C and is supplied with two trays, grills and grippers. The slightly larger, but still compact, EKA KF620 also earns its keep on the counter where it can warm up pizzas, croissants and frozen food in minutes.[http://www.katermart.co.uk]== Clear view to pizza display ==For displaying your wares, also from Apuro (see previous website reference) are the new 1,000-watt Ital Vetrinetta counter-top pizza displays. These stainless steel and glass heated cupboards have three round gridded shelves to maintain pizza temperature up to 90?C evenly throughout the cupboards, and are available in two sizes.
Australian dessert maker, Pudding Lane, has high hopes for expansion in the UK, after winning a one-star gold award for its Macadamia and Brandy Pudding at the Great Taste Awards.The company, which only sent out its first shipment to the UK for Christmas 2007, plans to send six to eight tonnes of handmade puddings by the end of the year. In 2006, a total of 49.7 tonnes of handmade puddings were produced, 65 tonnes for Christmas 2007 and the 2008 forecast is 80 tonnes. The company has also invested in the construction of a new kitchen to cope with increased demand, and enable more than 200 tonnes of puddings to be produced.
Coffee company FFI is launching Fair Ground, a range of specially- selected coffees available in two varieties – Fairtrade gold roast & ground coffee, and Fairtrade espresso coffee beans.The launch comes after the success of its Fair Instant range, which has seen over £170,000 raised over the past 18 months for Save the Children.Gold roast is suitable for use in fresh-brew machines, while the espresso beans can be used in any bean to-cup and espresso machines.The Fair Ground products are available in 500g food service packs, and with every pack sold, 25p goes towards Save the Children.”I am really excited about the launch of the Fair Ground brand, as it has real appeal for restaurants, coffee shops and caterers alike,” said Austin Sugarman, sales and marketing director.
Somerset-based Pullins Bakers launched a new brand – oh goodie – at food exhibition IFE09, which took place at London’s ExCeL centre this week. The oh goodie range consists of triple chocolate, sticky date & ginger, chocolate chunks and chewy butterscotch cookies, as well as desserts, all of which carry the tagline ‘naughty by nature’.The cookies contain Rainforest Alliance Certified cocoa, and the labels on the packaging are certified by the Forest Stewardship Council. Tristan Hunt, brand manager for oh goodie, said: “We’ve been working on the brand for months, developing the identity and the recipes for the products.“We’ve really thought about the types of ingredients we use in our products,” he continued. “For example, the only dark and milk chocolate we use is made from Rainforest Alliance Certified cocoa, which means the natural habitat in Costa Rica where the beans are farmed is sustainably managed.”The range contains no artificial additives, flavours, preservatives, GM ingredients or hydrogenated fats.