Bakers, their suppliers and other industry experts offer advice on a range of topics.

Perfect pastry every time

Five things to remember when crafting crisp, flaky pastry:

  • Always work in a cool environment. Remember that your hands will get hot while they work, so keep them cool by running them under the cold water tap and patting dry before handling the pastry.
  • Rest the dough in the fridge between folding.
  • Keep the dough and butter (or margarine) at similar temperatures, to give you good layer formation.
  • The more folds you put into your pastry dough, the more layers you will achieve in your pastry. This will create a controlled lift and give you a light, crispy pastry.
  • Cook your pastry at a temperature of around 200°C (180°C fan oven).

Maxine Hood, pastry expert, Pukka Pies

You get what you pay for

“The most common mistake is buying the equipment with the lowest price. Reliability can quickly deteriorate as
the machine begins to wear and, combined with poor performance, the result is an overall higher lifetime cost.”

Keith Graham, business development manager, Baker Perkins

Bulked up biccies

Popular confectionery and branded inclusions allow bakers to charge more for their biscuits and cookies. Premium ingredients such as pecans, raspberry, pistachio, sea salt, dark chocolate, salted caramel, praline and honeycomb are also trending at the moment.”

Cristiana Ballarini, category marketing director, CSM

Sharing the knowledge

“The key to running a good ‘introduction to bread’ class is to be the best you can be, and make it fun. Get to know your students and don’t blind people with too much science, just make sure all the basics are covered. Also, have opportunities to eat bread!”

Liz Wilson, founder, Ma Baker

A firm foundation for your icing

“Instead of buttercream or marzipan underneath a fondant/sugarpaste icing, we use a chocolate ganache (3:1 dark chocolate to whipping cream). This provides a firm structure for the cake inside and ensures you can get a smooth, sharp-edged finish.”

Rosalind Miller, Rosalind Miller Cakes