Raisin & Orange brioche

“This is much lighter than a muffin because there is less fat, but it has a similar look,” says baker Dominique Homo, who developed the product for California Raisins.

Hovis sales are up, announces Premier Foods

Premier Foods’ Hovis Milling and Bakery division saw sales increase across branded lines, despite a “markedly tougher” third quarter for the firm.

Nationwide entries encouraged for Scotch pie championship

Bakers south of the border and in Northern Ireland are being encouraged to enter the World Scotch Pie Championship.

Dunbar Community Bakery finds premises

Dunbar Community Bakery is a step closer to opening its doors after signing a 25-year lease on a high street shop.

Warburtons director switches to Genius as gluten-free sector hots up

Warburtons' former commercial director Roz Cuschieri is set to front market-leading gluten-free bread brand Genius, in a move that will pit her against her former employer.

Irish sandwich study reveals potential danger

More than a quarter of pre-packed sandwiches sold in shops and cafés in Ireland are stored at temperatures higher than 5°C.

Neill's packs in new investment

Belfast-based Neill's flour mill has invested £200,000 in innovative new Fawema packaging machinery, which puts bulk flour into retail packs.

Global grain markets to feel continued pressure

Agricultural analysts are warning of continuing uncertainty in global grain markets for the foreseeable future, due to possible bad weather and future harvests in the southern hempishere.

Capway unveils greener technology for baking

Capway Systems has opened a test baking facility at its head office in Driebergen, the Netherlands to show how new electro-magnetic wave technology can cut baking time and energy bills.

Chatwins buys up four P&A Davies stores

Craft baker Chatwins has taken over four shops previously run by fellow Cheshire firm P&A Davies, which went into administration earlier this month.

Bakers refute negative statistics on training

The proportion of bakeries that have arranged or funded training in the past 12 months has fallen by 17%. It went from 70% in 2007 to 53% in 2010, according to a new report from Improve, the food and drink sector skills council, prepared by BMG Research.

Next issue: November 5

lDesserts & puddings

Zombie cakes pt.137

Here's a delectable zombie-chainsaw rampage-gore cake to whet your appetite for Halloween, and so we can say we never let a week pass by without a zombie bakery story. Next issue we'll be reporting from a 'Zombie banquet' to mark a baker's launch.

Toaster of the week: Jesus toaster

Toast impressions are nothing new we've seen everything from cartoon characters to football insignia burnt onto bread. Similarly, Jesus' favoured medium of appearing on bread products is well-documented. Now, the two have made an unholy alliance in the form of the Jesus toaster. "It's really a natural parody to the phenomenon of seeing Jesus everywhere," said its inventor Galen Dively, founder of Burnt Impressions.

Caught in the web

The world's largest "toast mosaic" has been made using 9,852 slices of toast - the work of 40 Facebook friends as a birthday card for one Sandra Whitfield's 50th... bit.ly/9kgjBr

Mouthing off

Bake like a Palaeolithic

Egyptians invented bread? Pah! Tear up those history books (or more constructively, post an amendment on Wikipedia), because it looks like Palaeolithic humans got there first 30,000 years ago. New research suggests flour was developed as a way for hunter-gatherers to survive harsh seasonal climate changes. The Italian Institute of Prehistory and Early History in Florence analysed hand-sized grindstones found in Italy, Russia and the Czech Republic and found signs of wear and traces of plants that point to a knowledge of flour-making.

Proving a point

Dramatic developments in both technology and consistency of results have encouraged bakers to embrace the world of retarder provers and the benefits they can bring, according to manufacturer Williams Refrigeration.

Put to the test

A few eyebrows were no doubt raised when the small Welsh miller Bacheldre Mill recently told British Baker that it was in talks with the likes of Warburtons around the potential to carry its branding and its rich artisanal backstory on some of the plant baker's products (see BB, 13 August). With the major brands looking to play the provenance card, are craft bakers in danger of being blind-sided?

Barmy days for bread

The best way to understand the characteristics of the traditional breads of any particular country or region is to look at flour milled from the local grain. The cereal crops traditionally grown near the mill would once have defined the local bread, affecting the crumb, crust, flavour, breadth and volume of the loaf much more than skills alone ever could. So if you replace that local grain with imported flour, you instantly change the crumb and crust of the loaf it makes and, no matter what skills you apply to it, that loaf will never be the same again.

Book Review

Alan Dunn's Christmas Cakes

Traditionals with a twist flapjacks by Fiona Burrell

Traditionally, flapjacks are made using butter, golden syrup, sugar and rolled oats. They are very simple to make and are delicious and popular as they are. However, they do lend themselves to various additions or variations. For example, dried fruits, which have a little sharpness to them, counterbalance the sweetness well; try dried apricots, dried apples, dried cherries or dried cranberries. Mashed bananas can also be added to the mix.

Serve & return: is poor customer service costing you money?

Over the last 15 years, I have worked with independent bakeries in several countries and, in doing so, have clearly identified what makes the difference between a good and a great bakery. Put simply, the really great ones understand and appreciate the need to invest in training their front-line staff to sell more product.

In my world

Jo Fairley is co-owner of Judges organic bakery and grocery shop in Hastings and co-founded and sold Green & Black's chocolate firm, with hubby Craig Sams

Lunch! Product round-up from the trade show

Handmade slices up market

Add sparkle to Christmas

Edible glimmering pigment powder from Cream Supplies is designed to add a bit of sparkle to your Christmas products.

Puratos extends Satin feel

Puratos has relaunched its Satin Cake Range with a number of new mixes. Joining its already popular Satin Crème Cake Range, the company has added muffin, farmhouse and moist-cake mixes.

Bako lists dried cranberries

The Ocean Spray Ingredient Technology Group (ITG) is to have its products listed in the Bako North Western portfolio.

Nordic brings Fibrex to UK

Denmark-based Nordic Sugar is promoting a moisture-retaining product to bakers of gluten-free products. The firm, which claims to be the world's only manufacturer of sugar beet fibre, says Fibrex a gluten-free dried sugar beet fibre has a unique ability to retain moisture in bakery products, contributing to longer-lasting softness and a pleasing mouthfeel.

Open Date looks to iQ for bakery

Open Date Equipment has launched a new thermal transfer printer the Thermocode iQ. The firm claimed it offers higher print quality, as well as a high level of sustainable performance.

Butterbursts out

Byron Bay has launched a new limited-edition festive cookie as well as a range of biscuits specifically targeted at the hospitality industry.

Hollywood highlights

As Niall Irwin, director of Irwin's plant bakery, Portadown, NI, incoming president of the Irish Master Bakers Association, received the chain of office from outgoing president Patrick Smyth, it was a significant moment. "He has been inspirational for the trade!" said Irwin.

Talking trends

One of the things enjoyed in the 'community' of baking is the chance to network, share ideas, and enjoy good food and wine. There is a real 'warmth' in the bakery trade that you don't find in other sectors, said a Sainsbury's buyer recently, and this was apparent at the British Society of Baking (BSB) conference.

Food in the news

Photographs of a McDonald's Happy Meal taken every day for six months, by American artist Sally Davies, revealed that the burger, bun and fries had not started showing even the first signs of mould, reported The Daily Mail. Davies said that at six months old, the food felt plastic to the touch and had an acrylic sheen to it.

Report: Price still the deterrent to organic purchase

Consumers still balk at the price of organic food, a new report from YouGov SixthSense reveals. Price remains a strong deterrent, with 58% of UK consumers stating that they avoid purchasing organic foods, because of perceived high prices.

Reporting in: Wheat market firm, but pricey

Alex Waugh

Thorntons plays it cool with bakery and desserts

Thorntons has made the move into the branded chilled bakery and desserts sector with the launch of a nine-strong range into the grocery channel this month.

In Short

In Short

In Short

Tunnock's dispute over

Staff at Tunnock's biscuit factory have accepted a pay deal following a walkout at the Lanarkshire firm.

In Short

Supermarket giant Tesco delists Hovis bread lines

by Sylvia Macdonald

Q & A

QWhat is the proper comparator in a disability discrimination claim?

Equality Act - in force

The Act brings together nine existing pieces of discrimination legislation into one single Act.

Members update

The NAMB is delighted to welcome the following new and returning members:

A ruling on benefits

The European Court of Justice has been looking at benefits provided to employees under salary sacrifice schemes.

Increase in the National Minimum Wage

Just a reminder that the National Minimum Wage increased on 1 October 2010, and that those aged 21 are now entitled to the full adult rate, as follows:

A holiday pay victory for employers!

Employees accrue annual leave during periods of sickness absence. But a new case seems to offer you a tactic that can limit the impact. So how does it work?

Membership renewal

The time is nearly upon us. Not only is Christmas not far away, but for most of our members it is time for subscription renewal. Members who use us regularly and read all the information sent to them know what the association can provide over other subscription-based companies.

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