Bakels has launched a clean-label powdered bread improver with added sourdough, suitable for creating high-quality artisanal crusty loaves.

The baking ingredients firm has created Premium Ferment 4%, an ingredient that can produce long-process bread in less than three hours, with only one hour required for bulk fermentation and no sponge dough required. It is suitable for both hand-moulding and automated equipment and can help deliver the appearance, crunch, flavour and aroma of sourdough breads, such as baguettes and ciabatta.

The improver is used at 4% of the flour weight and can be incorporated with standard bakers’ flour, saving on costs of speciality flours. It also offers the added benefit of increased yield through greater usage of water at up to 74% in the standard recommended recipe.

Pauline Ferrol, national sales controller for British Bakels, said: "The unrivalled quality and consistency of breads produced from our new Premium Ferment 4% really stand out from other crusty goods. They have a distinctive and appetising appearance and really do eat and taste as good as they look."

Bakels’ Premium Ferment 4% is available in 15kg bags.