Baking ingredients supplier Zeelandia (Billericay, Essex) has recently launched a new version of its Zedamols Liquid product, which does not contain hydrogenated fats.Zedamols Liquid is an enzyme-based functional product used to enhance the qualities of baked fermented products, including adding moisture and softness. It is used in conjunction with bread improvers. With growing concerns in the marketplace about hydrogenated fats, Zeelandia is removing them from products; a recent example was the launch of Exakt Ciabatta, a mix concentrate free of any hydrogenated fats.According to the company, Zeelandia was one of the first in the market to start removing hydrogenated fats from its portfolio of products.”The removal of hydrogenated fats from our products is a key and important issue for us,” says Dominic Ranger, national sales and marketing manager for the company.
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I am in the first year of a bakery course in Castle College. The course is very hands-on, which is great, as we get to test theories learned in class and transfer these skills in a practical way.I like making and baking breads and cakes on a large scale, as well as croissants, brioches, Danish pastries, doughnuts, pastries and pies. We also learn how to make confectionery items, such as chocolate truffles, toffee apples and so on.confidence-buildingJust a few months into the course, I have found the experience really worthwhile. I always had an interest in the food industry, but did not have the confidence to explore it further. The most I catered for is family and friends on a social basis. These days, however, I have become much more ambitious and would like the course to lead me into setting up my own bakery business. The tutors help in explaining what it would require to run, or manage, a small-sized business. Because my parents are Lebanese, I may make and sell Arabic bread in the future.Studying bakery and confectionery is a good grounding and a skill that you can take anywhere, which is what appeals to me most. On the practical side of things, we explore the whole background to baking, which is not just about following a recipe on paper but understanding why different types of ingredients react with one another. We need to know what makes a good product and how to present it well.It took me a long time to decide whether I wanted to do the course, but after talking with the tutors and seeing for myself what it would take, I knew it was the right choice. I feel that it is an investment for the future, well worth paying for. The course takes about three to four years to complete, depending on what NVQ level you want to take it to. I hope to commit to at least two years and see where it takes me after that.As a first-year student, I thought that the course was going to be mostly classroom-based, learning about the food industry, before we would be allowed to do any baking. But from the beginning, we have had a hands-on approach to learning and getting a feel for the equipment and materials we would be using. We have also been given the opportunity to make and sell the breads and confectionery to the public through our bakery, which is run by the school and encourages me to push myself further.a good decisionI love baking and interacting with the other students. The tutors are great and you can ask them anything. Taking up the course was a good decision. It has opened up lots of possibilities for me and, no doubt, it will to anyone who is thinking of applying for it. n
A price rise of up to £55 on breadmaking flour in the next two months is now tipped as “more likely than not”, after wheat prices rose nearly 10% in the last week.The breadmaking wheat price for November was £142 a tonne (delivered to the north-west) last week, with industry sources suggesting this could lead millers to push through a £40 rise in the price of flour.Since then, November’s bread wheat prices have risen to £155, as markets become agitated by factors including the recent wet weather in the UK and western Europe.And the International Grains Council last week reduced its world crop estimate, leading to further market jitters.A source at one miller commented: “There is pressure to increase prices. It’s more likely than not that these will be announced before the harvest, for implementation around the time of the harvest.”National Association of British and Irish Millers’ director general Alex Waugh said: “Rising wheat costs will inevitably have an impact on the price of flour. Breadmaking wheat peaked last year at just £117 a tonne. This will affect lots of other areas as wheat is so important in the food chain.”The first indications on the crop will be available when the harvest begins at the end of this month, he said. But heavy rains may have damaged crops in areas including Rotherham and Sheffield, he suggested.Federation of Bakers’ director Gordon Polson commented: “Bakers are facing price increases on a variety of ingredients, and clearly they will have to recover costs through price rises, there is no fat in their margins.”Meanwhile, bakeries in the north battled against the elements to keep production schedules on track last week.Fletchers Bakery in Sheffield said that it had to close down its factory for a couple of days last week because there was no electricity or deliveries going in and out. However, it said that it had managed to escape flood damage.Hull bakery Jackson’s deliveries were disrupted in the short-term.At Maple Leaf bakery in Rotherham production stopped for 48 hours last week from Monday until Wednesday night. The power went off at its industrial estate, so it brought in an alternative power supply and the factory was run using a generator.”The mains are back on now,” said Guy Hall, deputy MD. “We are now back to normal and we’re lucky because there was no damage inside our factory. However, we will have to keep a watchful eye on the weather and make sure that we have plans in place, in case this happens again.”The Association of British Insurers said around 5,000 businesses were hit by the storms and the cost was expected to top £1billion.
Fast food chain McDonald’s has announced that global comparable sales in its restaurants rose by 6.9% in October.In Europe, sales were up 6.4%, while in Asia, the Middle East and Africa comparable sales rose 9.4%”We are leveraging our menu variety and value,” said McDonald’s chief executive officer, Jim Skinner, in a statement.McDonald’s plans to release November sales’ figures on December 10. It has more than 30,000 restaurants in more than 100 countries.In the UK, Honeytop Speciality Foods recently developed products for McDonald’s, as part of a trial in north-east England. As an alternative to regular fries for the children’s Happy Meals, it developed the ’tear-and-share’ garlic bread fingers.
Spiralling flour and fuel costs have helped propel the UK up the global ranking for bread prices, but the country remains one of the cheapest places to buy bread in the world.Figures from the Economist Intelligence Unit’s (EIU’s) Worldwide Cost of Living Survey show the average price of a kilo of bread in London rose from £1.09 in September, 2006, to £1.45 a year later. In Manchester, prices rose from 88p to £1.11.The EIU said rises had been compounded by the strength of sterling and the weakness of the US dollar, which has seen the relative cost boosted further compared to countries with weakening currencies or those linked to the dollar.”Bread prices in the UK have risen in local currency terms as rising commodity prices have been passed on to consumers,” said Jon Copestake, food and drink analyst and EIU survey editor. “In Manchester, the prices we surveyed rose 15.2% in the last year, although only 1.2% in the past six months. In London, bread prices rose 20.1% in the past year, 13.6% of which came in the last 6 months.”Despite the price rises, the UK is still one of the cheapest places in the world to buy bread. Of 130 cities surveyed around the world, London ranked number 70, up from 81 in 2006, in terms of price, while Manchester was at 93, up from 103.”Bread in the UK is seen as more of a staple than other countries. Production is highly developed and commoditised,” said Copestake. “Large scale consumption allows companies to exploit economies of scale and the market is highly competitive.”The research was based on bread from three categories of retailer. ’Low’ covers multiples, such as Tesco, ’medium’ equates to top-end supermarkets such as M&S and specialist shops, and ’high’ comprises food halls.
This mouthwatering cookbook, written by the founder of organic box delivery company Abel & Cole, taps into trends towards local sourcing and seasonality. As well as being full of recipes for salads and soups that could be adapted for café menus, the book is peppered with full-colour pics. Interspersed with the recipes are full-page focus pieces on vegetables and fruit, ordered according to the season of the year.Baked treats include pumpkin and Parmesan bread, carrot cake, and traditional Cornish pasties. Abel suggests substitutes if one or another veg is not available. Fennel or celeriac can be used instead of celery, while sweet potatoes or pumpkin are alternatives for squash. As he says: “Substitute your heart out, it can be very rewarding!”
The Co-op is rolling out its re-launching its entire range of in-store bakery products into its own brand, and revamping its in-store bakeries. The change will take effect from 6 October. It means that Co-op’s ISB products will have to meet strict guidelines, be made with only free-range eggs and be free from artificial colours, flavourings and hydrogenated vegetable oil.The range includes many premium Truly Irresistible products, including all-butter croissants and French baguettes. Speciality breads include Truly Irresistible Multigrain Rustique bread and Truly Irresistible Tomato Tear & Share Bread. For customers with a sweet tooth, the Truly Irresistible range also includes tempting new cookies, including triple chocolate, maple & pecan and white chocolate & cranberry varieties. Category buyer for bakery Ian Kevitt said: “The bakery team has worked closely with experienced suppliers and bakers to introduce a fantastic, all-encompassing in-store bakery range designed to really tempt the tastebuds of our customers.” The Co-operative operates 1916 in-store bakeries in stores throughout the UK.
Although available all year round in frozen or dried form, fresh cranberries are in season now. Native to North America, they are the fruit of low-growing, creeping shrubs that grow in acidic bogs. When the fruit turns red in early October, the beds are flooded and a harvester removes the fruit from the vines. The fruits are graded for quality and 95% are used for drinks, sauces and sweetened dried cranberries. The best quality are sold fresh or frozen.Cranberries, when ripe, are acidic and need a fair amount of sugar to counteract the sharpness. They can be used in muffins, loaf cakes and breads, in tarts and pies, cakes and cheesecakes. They mix very well with orange zest and juice, apples, dark and white chocolate, ginger, cinnamon, almonds, hazelnuts and pecans. They can look spectacular cooked with a little sugar and used as a glaze on a rich decadent chocolate cake. Or, as a different take on a Bakewell tart, a few can be mixed with raspberry jam and spread on the pastry base before topping with frangipane.Make a cranberry and apple tart or crumble by mixing apples with cranberries, pecans and cinnamon. They can also be added to mincemeat just before using in mince pies for a Christmas twist.In season: end of October – end of DecemberBy Fiona Burrell, co-author of Leiths Baking Bible, from the world-famous Leiths School of Food and Wine
Wine business Vinopolis has been given the go-ahead to open a bakery, restaurant and shops by London’s celebrated food market, Borough Market.The development will house a combined 24-hour bakery and retail unit, which will supply products sold in the new retail units as well as to the St John group, which operates the Cantina, Brew Wharf and Wine Wharf outlets at Vinopolis, together with two restaurants in Clerkenwell.Southwark council’s planning committee has backed the plans, which involve the re-use of existing railway arches on Park Street. “The plan is for a small artisan bakery, and we hope to employ around 15 staff,” said managing director, Rupert Ellwood.
Combining Indian food with a traditional bakery offer is proving a hit with customers of Hurst Bakery & Provisions, based in Berkshire. Owned by brothers Jitu and Duras Miah, it produces bread, rolls, cakes, morning goods and sandwiches – but Indian food is also on the menu. The brothers bought the 78-year-old shop as a going concern in 2006 and wanted to offer something that other companies didn’t. The pair’s restaurant-owning background means they can serve up curries, naan bread and samosas to custmers, which Jitu says is proving a success. Spicy food is also on the company’s new catering menu – launched in February – and already bringing in orders for work events and parties of up to 200 people at a time. “It’s an unusual bakery,” said Jitu, “but we’ve also tried to create a homely atmosphere.” He added that the pair had launched the catering side of the business after getting lots of enquiries from customers. “There’s definitely demand for the service and I’m confident that it will take off,” said Jitu.