November

Gingerbread house

Grasmere Gingerbread is made using a 150-year-old secret recipe so secret, that it is locked away in the National Westminster Bank in nearby Ambleside. "My husband and father know it and that's it. I don't even know it," says Joanne Wilson of Sarah Nelson's Grasmere Gingerbread. "My son who is four said, 'Don't tell me the recipe, daddy, otherwise someone will kidnap me.'

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David Armstrong

Soda Bread

Chemical raising agents began to replace yeast in cakes, pancakes and some breads during the 19th century and soda breads became particularly popular in Ireland. This recipe comes from Ellen Duffin, who lived in Belfast during the mid-1800s. Her handwritten recipe book has survived and is now stored in the Public Record Office of Northern Ireland.

Making the right match

Millers will repeatedly tell you: "There's no such thing as poor quality wheat - there are just different specifications of wheat." Bakers, on the other hand, have been heard in recent months to exclaim, "This flour is rubbish!" (The expletives have been substituted to avoid upsetting our more sensitive readers.)

Face to face with...

Q How did you come to be teaching bakery?

Dealing with disability

Even though the Disability Discrimination Act (DDA) has been in force for over a decade, employers, employees, lawyers and medics still grapple with this highly complex area of law, in order to address the needs of those who are disabled within the employment arena.

Learning from one's peers

Once again I have been on my travels, getting ideas from my successful peers. The latest of these have come from David Smart of Greenhalgh's, based in Bolton.

Irish independents to struggle

Independent retailers in the Republic of Ireland are set to feel the squeeze from large international players tempted by the market's impressive growth rates, according to a new report.

Commodities watch

The Home-Grown Cereals Authority (HGCA) and Scotland Food & Drink has launched a new campaign called All About Oats, which aims to promote the health benefits of oats and encourage people to eat them.

'Dirt-cheap acquisitions' up for grabs in 2008, says report

Tighter spending and higher commodity prices will combine to make 2008 a much tougher year in the UK bakery market, according to business analyst Plimsoll Publishing.

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