Next issue 8 August

l What makes a winner

In the Archives

== September 4, 1925: a bone to pick ==

Top 10 Toasters (+1)

== The Trapdoor Toaster ==

The genius of Dr Allinson

A time long before our corrupted kids took to the streets armed with blades and economy lager (back in Victorian times they preferred catapults and pennyworths of gin), our esteemed doctor had these words of advice for child-rearers. However, BB will not be held responsible for the consequences of freezing your kids...

Rest your wrist - on a croissant

The benefits of allowing your pastry to rest are well-known. Just as important is letting your pastry-making wrist rest at the end of a hard day's work. After all, when it comes to powering up your PC to do your accounts, the rigours of pushing a computer mouse around could tip you over the edge into a nasty case of Repetitive Strain Injury. Thankfully, the Croissant Wrist Rest has been developed to help you tick this health and safety box. It even features a fresh baked bread smell. Sadly, this technological breakthrough was not yet available in the UK at the time of going to press. But gadget websites in America are advertising it for $6. tinyurl.com/6hy5ab

The toast with the most

Bakers are always talking about 'adding value' to their bread. While the cost of a loaf of bread has broken through the £1 barrier, you could easily add three zeroes to that by investing in a blowtorch and sandpaper.

Paper chase

You don't have to be a big-scale operation to take advantage of IT, and a number of smaller bakeries have benefited from a long-established package, tailored to craft businesses, which has recently been upgraded.

IT's all in the margin

People driving SUVs are not the only ones worried about rising oil prices. Its impact is being felt throughout industry, and baking is no different. Add in spiralling costs for wheat and other raw materials, and protecting margins in our business is getting harder and harder.

Tricks for treats

H alloween is traditionally about dressing up in ridiculously unscary costumes, the implied necessity for everyone - well every child - to be out roaming the streets at night, trick or treating and getting someone else in the family to buy and carve a pumpkin. However it is also emerging as an increasingly profitable event for the bakery sector.

Waste savings

Like many businesses, those in the baking trade often feel that they have little spare time on their hands to dedicate to environmental issues. However, this is an area where a little investment can pay dividends in terms of improved resource efficiency and cost savings.

French accent

We have a three-year plan to double the size of our business," says an excited Délifrance MD Ian Dobbie, having just cut the ribbon on a spanking new bake-off plant in Wigston, near Leicester. Having topped the £40m turnover mark at the end of last year, this represents a major kick-on for the business, which has seen around 15-20% year-on-year growth for the past decade. Until now, the firm has been largely perceived as a frozen par-bake specialist, but this is set to change, with a renewed assault on the packaged morning goods category, armed with a new ability to fully bake-off its own products.

Dublin up

Roly's Bistro is a modern rarity: a restaurant that bakes its own bread and confectionery, rather than relying on mixes or pre-baked products. Now it has done something even more rare: it has set up a bakery shop and café to sell the products that were previously the reserve of the restaurant. It is even thinking of franchising the concept - or at least extending it to other outlets.

Seasonal seller

To many people, beetroot is represented by vinegary crinkle-cut slices added on to a plate of uninspiring salad. Yet fresh beetroot has much to recommend it and, because of its relatively high sugar content, is suitable for use in baking.

Master baking/Chilli, Ginger & Coriander Flatbread

by Dan De Gustibus

In my world: the plant baker

== John Foster is MD of Fosters Bakery, ==

In the market for... ethnic breads for sandwiches

By bakery consultant Wayne Caddy

Synergy aims to win by the nose

Synergy has launched a new range of bread aromas designed to enhance taste and reduce costs for bakers. The savoury ingredient specialist has designed the product in a number of varieties, including crusty bread, sourdough, soda farls and dough. The aromas allow for up to 20% salt reduction and, therefore, are particularly effective in reduced salt goods.

Linpac cuts its film to suit

Linpac Packaging has launched a new polyolefin stretch film called MagicLIN. The film has been designed to be easier to cut than traditional cling films, and can be cut by hand, removing the need for a blade.

Délifrance's summer offer

Délifrance has launched two new pastries aimed at maximising catering opportunities in the longer days and lighter evenings throughout summer. The first is a lighter Viennoiserie, an apricot fruit basket, topped with half a Moroccan apricot.

Rich indulges in versatile muffin range

Premium and indulgent goods provider Rich Products has launched a new muffin range for retail and foodservice operators.

Ishida links equipment

Ishida Europe is launching a new software programme that can link up to 100 checkweighers to provide valuable production data.

Pantheon issues versatile oven range

Pantheon Catering Equipment has launched a new range of baking ovens, for all types of baking. The range is comprised of four models: YXD-1A - convection heat only; YXD-2A - convection heat and steam; YXD-3A - convection heat and upper heater; and YXD-4A - convection heat, steam and upper heater. The ovens have an internal capacity of 2.23 cubic feet. They feature an interior light, four shelves and an audible 120-minute timer. They also have a steam pulse option and a separate upper chamber heater.

Dupont goes under cover

DuPont has launched the DuPont Tyvek Dual coverall, designed to offer flexibility, breathability and added durability.

Equip's small-scale answer

Equip Line has added a new product to its range. The Fri-Jado Bake Basic 3P programmable oven, designed to meet small-scale baking needs, offers three baking positions, water injection and an oven fan and alarm signal. It operates off a 13-amp plug and is suitable for small bakeries, sandwich bars, or anywhere offering a range of bake-off products throughout the day.

Roberts uses continuous motion for loaf labelling

Roberts Bakeries in Cheshire has installed five purpose-designed high-speed Series 515 print-and-apply labelling machines. The machines allow individual loaves, fed from different lines, to be identified at a central point for loading into trays - either by operators or automatically.

Caribbean specialist chips in

Enco Products is launching its first mainstream snacking range. The new range consists of green banana chips, plantain chips and sweet plantain chips, and will be available in 85g bags.

Walkers takes Baked line to larger format

Crisps and snacks manufacturer Walkers is launching its Baked range in a larger pack, aimed at impulse channels.

Hot flavour added to revamped Pretz

Sun Valley is relaunching its Pretz brand this month following an image revamp. The brand has also added a third flavour to the range and will be focusing on widening its distribution channels into the impulse, foodservice and convenience markets.

KP's new look for nuts

United Biscuits' (UBUK) brand KP Nuts is refreshing its image from July, with revamped packaging and new flavours. It will also be launching a new Clip Strip merchandising unit for its salted and dry roasted peanut. Two new flavours - MSG-free Salt & Vinegar and Spicy Chilli - will be available in 200g and 80g price-marked and non price-marked packs. On the back of the success of KP's Baked & Seasoned Nuts, it has launched Baked & Seasoned Mixes, containing inclusions rather than just mixed nuts. These will be available in Chilli & Lemongrass with Sweet Fire Red Pepper Pieces, and Sea Salt Rosemary with Toasted Pumpkin Seeds, in 110g packs.

The Waitrose way

Such is the pace of change in the spy vs spy world of supermarket buying, that the greatest delight in developing new products comes in creeping up and mugging a competitor with a category first.

The great training debate

OK, so let me confess straight up - I am an accountant and the amount I truly know about baking can be written on a grain of baking powder. The only time I have ever baked was on a 72-foot, 50-tonne yacht in the mid-Atlantic, which was racing for Boston on a 40-degree tilt... and I can assure you that is not good for making bread evenly sliceable!

Clean sweep

A recent announcement by the Gangmasters Licensing Authority (GLA) suggests that the number of foreign workers being exploited is higher than previously thought, particularly in the food processing industry. To tackle the problem of rogue employers, the GLA launched Operation Ajax, an initiative that will see the authority carry out up to 30 raids during the next 18 months.

Staying power

With many messages on the subject of our economy travelling like wildfire around the baking industry, you won't be blamed for supposing we're about to suffer the first recession this century.

Indian retail deal for Au Bon Pain

American bakery café chain Au Bon Pain has struck a deal with Indian-owned Spencer's Retail, to open 100 stores across India. Au Bon Pain signed a master franchise agreement with Spencer's Retail, part of RPG Enterprises, which plans to open the target number of stores within the next two years.

Carr's gives bullish profit forecast

Carr's Milling Industries has raised its profit forecast for the year to 30 August, 2008. The mil-ling and machinery giant said it had enjoyed strong trading since its last update on 27 May.

Coffee Republic chief takes a back seat

Coffee Republic's chief executive Steven Bartlett is to stand down at the company's forthcoming Annual General Meeting.

Singapore firm plans foreign foray

Singapore-based bakery retailer BreadTalk plans to open around 800 more stores around the world over the next three years. The company, founded in 2000, currently owns 83 BreadTalk and Toast Box shops and 118 franchised outlets worldwide.

Premier Foods reports positive first-half forecast

Premier Foods has said it expects an increase in sales for its Baking & Milling division in the first half of this year.

Richemont Club comes to Bakers' Fair

The Richemont Club of Great Britain will judge its fifth National Competition at The Bakers' Fair on 19 October at Sheffield's Don Valley stadium. The event will see bakers battle it out to take top position in a range of categories.

Pupils' bakery challenge

Pupils from Manchester High School for Girls used their loaf in an Apprentice-style lesson with a difference at Cheshire's Frank Roberts & Sons bakery.

Uniformity needed for food hygiene appraisal

A nationwide ratings system for food hygiene needs to be implemented as soon as pos-sible, bakery retailers have told British Baker.

Parliamentary food group launched

An All-Party Parliamentary Food and Drink Manufacturing Industry Group has been launched this month. The group has a broad remit, including providing a forum for debate and discussion for industry issues, such as increasing food prices or the impact of the food industry on the environment. It also aims to raise the awareness of these issues in Parliament.

First finalists revealed for Baking Industry Awards

The waiting is over - British Baker can now reveal the first batch of finalists in our Baking Industry Awards 2008.

RGFC to tackle costs with increased prices

Food manufacturing group the Real Good Food Company (RGFC) has reported strong sales in its bakery ingredients division, up 13%. RGFC indicated it would seek to again increase prices in response to its own rising costs.

FSA sets new targets for salt reduction in bakery

The Foods Standards Agency (FSA) has published new salt reduction targets for food manufacturers for products including bread, cakes, biscuits and snacks. The FSA has launched a public consultation on proposals that will make its voluntary targets stricter. They include tightening 2010 salt reduction targets for 85 categories of food and setting more challenging 2012 targets for 80 categories of food.

Warburtons turns in good performance

Warburtons enjoyed another successful year in 2007, with profits and turnover up on the previous year.

FSB points to small firm abuse

The Federation of Small Busi-nesses (FSB) has accused large firms of "exploiting small businesses" by delaying invoice payments and imposing new terms and settlement fees.

ADM forced to raise flour price

ADM Milling has announced a flour price increase of £18.20 per tonne. The rise will be effective from 1 September, 2008.

In the Archives

To refer specially to the fact that bread has been made entirely by hand does not create any impression - at any rate, favourable - on the public of today, who associate the use of machinery with almost every conceivable manufacturing process. The public also associates improved hygienic standards with the greater use of machinery, so that "made entirely by hand" has nothing to commend it on that score.

Holding a bun to your head

Here's a great candidate for our regular shop design feature Interior Motives. One café in a strife-ridden suburb of Beirut, Lebanon, has been decked out like a military post. Patrons at Buns and Guns can enjoy scoffing 'Terrorist Bread' to the sounds of gunfire, blasted over the speakers. Other delights on the menu include 'rocket-propelled grenade' (chicken on a skewer), which you can eat surrounded by replica weapons and camouflage netting, reports the BBC.

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