Bakers often turn to bread mix suppliers to help meet demand for variety – and some are using mixes as a base for their own creations.
Today’s shoppers are looking for variety – they want sourdough flavours, inclusions, ingredients with a story behind them, and exciting tastes inspired by world cuisine.
“Demand for products with provenance and artisan craftsmanship presents a challenge for the world of bread mixes,” says Bakels marketing manager Michael Schofield, adding that while some consumers are interested in how products are made, a “significant proportion” are more focused on taste and aroma.
“High-quality mixes with sourdough properties present opportunities to produce great-tasting, authentic-style breads, but without the long process times associated with these types of breads.”
Suppliers have extended their ranges to tap trends – such as CSM Bakery Solutions with its Pantique Ancient Grains – and work with customers to develop mixes to meet their specific needs. But some bakers prefer to use a mix as a ‘blank canvas’ they can adapt themselves.
“Bakers mainly use our mixes as supplied but can be very creative with them to develop their own bespoke products,” says Lee Pugh, national sales manager at Ireks. “We provide ideas for use of our bread mixes as starting points to be able to make a range of products.” He adds that, as many bakers have limited time for experimentation, Ireks’ technical service team can help customers with recipes.
CSM says it is finding more bakeries are adapting mixes with their own recipes to meet the demand for unusual and innovative bread products.
“If bakers feel confident in experimenting with our mixes, then great,” adds CSM product marketing director Miriam Bernhart. “We also offer recipe brochures.” CSM says its Pantique Ancient Grains holds the addition of fruits, nuts and seeds “extremely well”, enabling production of artisan-style flavoured breads.
One business that has developed its own recipe using Pantique Ancient Grains is Dunn’s Bakery in Crouch End, London, which has used the mix to produce a sourdough starter.
“It provides a great talking point with our customers – the colour of the loaf is glorious, the flavour is unique and our customers love it – it’s now our bestselling sourdough loaf,” says Dunn’s managing director Lewis Freeman.
Macphie, meanwhile, produces a complete bread mix for bakers who are
less specialised, and has also developed a high-quality base bakers can adapt to suit their own styles and complement their outlet’s signature foods.
“Experimentation is always good and using a good-quality base mix means that failure is much less likely,” says Macphie head baker Alan Leith. “It’s a great way to differentiate yourself from the mass market by using locally sourced inclusions like cheese, meats or fruit in a quality base to make something really different that reflects your establishment.”
Another option is to use speciality bread concentrates and blends as inclusions.
“Our blends and concentrates make for highly nutritious, extremely tasty products that appeal to an increasingly health-conscious public,” says Edme sales director Mike Carr, adding that the range includes pulse flours, seed mixes and grain blends.
“Using mixes containing nutritious ingredients can help challenge negative portrayals of breads as purveyors of empty carbohydrates. They can rebuild a product image as a fantastic, tasty medium for delivering health and nutrition benefits.”
And that is an image that anyone in the bakery industry would be happy to have on their canvas.
Date & Walnut Bread
- Pantique Ancient Grains from Arkady Bread Mix, 50%
- White Bread Flour, 50%
- Yeast, 4%, (on ﬂour + mix) *
- Water, 53%, (on ﬂour + mix) *
- Walnut, 7%
- Date, 7%
- Raisin, 7%
*Water and yeast may vary with bakery conditions
- Spiral mixer. 3 mins slow and 6 mins fast.
- Dough temp 23-24°C.
- For no-time dough, process immediately.
- Divide at chosen weight, round up and rest for 10 mins.
- Mould, apply seeds or toppings as required. Spray or roll in water to help seeds adhere.
- Tin or tray up in desired configuration.
- Final proof 35°C-40°C. Relative humidity of 80%.
- Normal bake with initial steam. Remove steam after the first half of baking.
Source: CSM Bakery Solutions
Artisan Mixed Olive Flute
- Bakels Artisan Bread Complete, 5kg (100%)
- Yeast, 100g (2%)
- Chilled water, 3.5kg (70%)
- Mixed olives, 1.75kg (35%)
- White flour, 5kg (100%)
- Bakels Artisan Concentrate, (7%), 350g (7%)
- Salt, 90g, (1.8%)
- Yeast, 125g, (2.5%)
- Chilled water, 4kg (80%)
- Mixed olives, 1.9kg (38%)
- Mix for 10 mins slow speed, 10 mins fast speed.
- Add olives on slow speed for 1 min or until fully dispersed.
- Place into oiled container and leave to bulk for 60 mins.
- Tip onto floured table and scale into 350g baguette shapes.
- Dry prove for 25-30 mins.
- Cut as desired and bake (with steam) at 240°C for 25-30 mins.
Case study: Macphie and Elior UK
Bread mix has proved its worth to the hospitality industry over the years, says supplier Macphie, needing only water to make a flavoursome loaf.
Food and hospitality services supplier Elior UK uses Macphie’s Complete Bread Mix across its sites after being impressed with breadth of product range the mix could provide.
“We are always looking for innovative products that are simple to execute but offer a premium feel and consistent finish,” says Elior UK menu management head Mark Crowe.
“What was even more exceptional was the fact you don’t need to be a professional baker with years of experience to be able to achieve great results every day using the Macphie product, “adds Crowe.
Ongoing support is important, and three times a year Macphie hosts a masterclass with Elior UK chefs to demonstrate the versatility of the mix.
“The Macphie Complete Bread Mix is a fantastic product and alongside the technical support training the Macphie culinary team can offer makes it the perfect choice for Elior’s diverse business,” adds Crowe.