Every month, bakers, their suppliers and other industry experts offer advice on a wide range of topics from sugar craft to equipment use.

Seedy business

“To get seeds to stick to the top of your breads, spray the top of the proved loaf with water, egg or milk and then sprinkle seeds on. Alternatively, roll the shaped loaf in a damp tea towel, then roll onto a tray with seeds and oats.”

Liz Wilson, founder, Ma Baker

Brewing up flavour

“Using spent grains from the brewing process can bring different characteristics.

“However, there’s a surprising amount of moisture left in the grain, so make sure you drain it – failure to do this increases the hydration of the dough to sometimes unworkable levels.

“For small quantities, take the grain in a cloth and then wring it out. For larger volumes of grain keep it in the mash tun, then with the tun tap open, push down with your hands.”

Matt Townley, One Mile Bakery Hale

Make the cut

“To create more intricate patterns, chill your shaped dough in the fridge before attempting the cuts, or do the whole final rise in the fridge. Use a very sharp blade and keep the cuts swift – don’t dig into the dough and deflate it.”

Rhiannon Abbot, founder, The Epsom Bakehouse

Timing is everything

“When it comes to ovens, the way to organise the working day is very important. If you are continuously changing the temperature, or opening the door during the baking time, these contribute to a big loss of energy.”

Graham Smith, country manager UK and Ireland, Salva Industrial