October

Bread and butter tale

"Hovis bakes 3,300lb bread and butter pudding" was the eyebrow-raising headline in The Telegraph that stopped Stop the Week's week this week. "A bread and butter pudding weighing the same as two baby elephants has been unveiled," it unveiled.

Bloody scary

I always prefer to top my cakes with fresh fruit, nuts and ingredients that work with the overall flavour of the recipe. It seems a shame to put so much work into getting a cake right and only to dust it all over with sugar-shock sprinkles or ultra-sweet fondant, unless I'm making a sculpture or the job absolutely demands it. You can usually come up with ways of using ingredients that work well with the flavours of the cake to decorate cupcakes.

Fairtrade sets sights on bakery

Watershed moment alert: chocolate giant Cadbury is stepping up its activities in bakery. While you may have spotted the marketing splash about its switch to Fairtrade for consumer chocolate, you may not yet be aware that it is also ramping up the hitherto less-developed part of its business bakery cocoa supply. Such is the potential for Fairtrade growth in bakery, the chocolate giant is targeting craft bakers and bakery manufacturers by launching Fairtrade cocoa into the market.

Par-baked poser

So (drumroll please)... what's the verdict? "We can say that part baked technology is a good technology," says professor Alain Le Bail, co-ordinator of an EU-funded project that has been pondering the matter. Or at least it could be. It found that par-baked bread demands around twice the energy of conventional breadmaking if the partial baking and the final bake are done in a baking oven. Another problem lies with the freezing of par-baked bread, which demands a lot of energy, especially if it is likely to be stored frozen for longer than a month.

At the Double

You could say that a baker's job is never done until they have produced a great product, delivered it in pristine condition and made it so enjoyable that shoppers come back for more. Reputation is all to the smallest craft baker or the biggest bakery food manufacturer. But it is only as good as your last delivery.

Home is where the start is

If interest in the recent National Cupcake Week showed us anything, it's that a huge cottage industry has sprung up in recent years made up of professional bakers working from home. It's not just cupcakes either. A wide variety of baked goods are being produced professionally in domestic kitchens.

In the market for... stone-baked campagne baguette

The ancient concept of leavened dough dates back at least to the Egyptians, writes consultant baker Wayne Caddy.

Spice rack: Mace

Mace is the lacy, bright scarlet outer covering of the nutmeg. Once it is peeled away and starts to dry, it turns golden yellow. As blade mace, it is added to sauces to infuse flavour before being removed. Its flavour is reminiscent of nutmeg, but more delicate.

Brand clinic: Visual brand ID - science, not art

Don Williams, CEO of brand specialist Pi Global, continues his series looking at the secrets of building a strong brand

In my world

David Powell, Master of the Worshipful Company of Bakers

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