Dr Chrissie Jenkins, who runs a Harley Street consultancy, Waistrim Foods, for allergy sufferers, is seeking bakers, preferably London-based, to develop a new range of breads.The doctor told British Baker that she has spent 15 years researching suitable breads and dough products that are “really good-tasting and palatable”, while at the same time being suitable for those with a nut or gluten allergy or other intolerances.The products will need to be made for supply in either fresh or frozen formats. Dr Jenkins’ formula uses no additives, just plain ingredients such as rice flour and other flours, water, yeast, salt, sunflower oil and olive oil. She described the ingredients as “very pure”.A bakery in Glasgow already manufactures flatbreads accor-ding to her formula but she said: “We need other bakers to make the other products in the range.”The products are not only nut- and gluten-free but also egg- and milk-free and contain no xanthan gum. “They taste like real breads,” she commented. As well as being aimed at coeliacs and allergy sufferers, Dr Jenkins said that products made to her formula also help sufferers from irritable bowel syndrome. Her recipes are suitable for a range of goods including pizza bases, potato scones, breads and flatbreads, cakes, sandwich wraps, pancakes, and muffins. She added: “A chain of 30 hotels in London has already expressed an interest in obtaining the finished products.”Any bakers who are interes-ted in finding out more and who could make the products, fresh or frozen, for delivery to the London area can contact Dr Jenkins’ colleague, Nigel Timm, whom she decribed as “knowledgeable about grains, flour and bread”, at Waistrim Foods Nutrition Consultancy on 020 7580 5755.
National Doughnut Week 2007 will run from 5-12 May and will raise money for The Children’s Trust, a national charity that provides specialist care and rehabilitation for children with multiple disabilities.Last year, the week raised over £35,000 for the charity and more than 600 bakeries took part all around the country.To help bakers across the UK raise money this time round, sponsor BakeMark UK is offering free doughnut concentrate mix, publicity advice and point-of- sale material.As well as giving away enough mix to make 900 doughnuts to any bakers who register before 24 March, ingredients supplier BakeMark is also providing posters, banners, price tickets and counter-top information.The company is also giving away publicity guide packs, advising bakers on how to get the local media involved with the campaign, including a template press release to send out.Last year, Warings Bakery in Reading ran two competitions with the local radio station. “It’s all about raising money for The Children’s Trust and having fun at the same time. This has the added benefit of raising our profile in the local community and improving staff morale,” explained Kim Cowley, sales director of Warings Bakery.To register, please go to [http://www.fundraising.thechildrenstrust.org.uk/nationaldoughnutweek] or call Christopher Freeman on 020 8340 1614 or 07776 480032.
Baking industry showtime in Italy this year runs from May 5-9. In Milan, AB tech expo and AB tech expo pizza – the AB stands for Arte Bianco or white art – will take place in two halls of the ultra-modern new exhibition centre in Milan, called Rho.Much of the emphasis will be on machinery, although ingredients and finished products will also be represented.The show is being run by Aldo Taglibue, who always extends a particular welcome to British visitors. The event will focus on bread, cakes, pastries, pizza and pasta, and the machinery used to make them all.Many of the stands at AB tech expo will have working machinery, capable of producing the most up-to-date items, including Arab-style breads, American breads and the popular Mediterranean breads. One of the latest design features of machinery is an emphasis on health and safety issues and manufacturers will be highlighting this at the show.Unusually in Italy this year, there will be two bakery shows running simultaneously: SIAB in Verona at the city’s Veronafiera showground with AB tech expo one hour away by direct train, in Milan at the Rho showground. Both shows run May 5-9, which came about after an organisational split. Cheap flights are available to both cities.Creativity in products, as well as the latest machinery, will be in evidence at both events.Italy has many different shapes and sizes of breads, while confectionery is leaning towards more use of fruit, so health and indulgence can be balanced.Verona is a medieval city with a good choice of restaurants. Milan is the industrial heart of the country with a famous cathedral and reputation for shopping. n
Bakers and butchers across Britain are gearing up for this year’s World Scotch Pie Championships, taking place at Lauder College, Dunfermline, on 7 November.Entry forms have been sent to the 135 members of The Scotch Pie Club, with a record entry expected.Last year’s Scotch Pie Champion, Keith Stuart, has seen his overall sales rise by 10% since his debut win last November.Stuart, bakery director at Stuart’s of Buckhaven, which has 19 shops in Fife, said: “We were absolutely delighted to win the event for the last year and our overall sales have seen an increase of 10% in the period since November 2007. Part of that rise has been due to the marketing of our unique Irn-Bru sausages, which took off with our regulars and also with the media from all over Britain.”The baker is likely to stick to the same recipe that won last time round. He added: “It’s been a brilliant year for the company, but I know competition will be fierce.”Previous winners that are also expected to enter include: Lewis Maclean of Macleans Highland Bakery, Forres; Paul Boyle of Boghall Butchers, Bathgate; Thomas Auld & Sons of Greenock; Robert Cowan of the Bon Bon Cake Shop, Airdrie; and Alan Devlin of Sugar and Spice, Auchterarder.A Scotch pie consists of a thin pastry shell filled originally with minced mutton mixed with rusks, seasoning and water. It is topped with a thin pastry lid.Organiser Alan Stuart added: “The Scotch pie is one of Scotland’s best-loved food icons.”
A new ’Better Organic Bread’ project has been launched to boost the country’s organic bread market.The project, organised by the Campden & Chorleywood Food Research Association Group (CCFRA), along with Defra and the Home Grown Cereals Association (HGCA), features milling and baking trials with different wheat varieties in a bid to reduce the amount of wheat imported from abroad. More than 50% of the wheat required for the UK organic bread market is imported.The project is sponsored by Defra through the Sustainable Arable LINK Programme and by HGCA, with 14 ’grain chain’ partners and the University of Newcastle upon Tyne.
“At the time the police agreed to let it go ahead, there were fewer than 100 people signed up. Now there’s more than 1,200 and, unsurprisingly, the police aren’t too happy about it.”- A ’pie fight spokesman’ on having to postpone a record-breaking attempt for the world’s biggest custard pie fight, organised through social networking site Facebook and due to be held in Brighton last Saturday, due to fears innocent passers-by could be targeted with pies”They’ve kept the doors open at the back and the pigeons came in on the first morning and pooed on some of the stands.”- One of Caffè Culture’s exhibitors who, reasonably enough, didn’t expect pigeons to take over the place. And you thought that was foam in your latte…
Ingredients supplier National Starch Food Innovation has launched a new speciality starch for the reduced-fat cake market. This can be used by bakery manufacturers to create cakes using up to 75% less margarine, butter or shortening.It has been designed to meet the challenges bakers face in producing products with reduced-fat content, while retaining the same taste and quality.The starch-based solution also allows a 30% reduction in calories in high-ratio cakes. Other bakery products such as muffins, cookies, cake fillings and buttercream can also benefit from using up to 30% less fat.”Consumers are often disappointed by the inferior taste and texture of reduced-fat cakes, which affect their best-laid healthy eating plans,” commented Alison Knight, European technical development manager, bakery, National Starch Food Innovation. “By reducing the use of butter by up to 75%, bakery manufacturers can achieve a more significant fat reduction than has previously been possible.”[http://www.foodinnovation.com]
Before you even begin taking the first steps towards designing and fitting your bakery shop or café, it’s worth considering the sustainability of the materials to be used, as eco-policies and ’green’ credentials are becoming an increasingly fundamental part of business basics. Store design has had to follow suit and, to many people’s surprise, it isn’t all hessian and yucca plants at an inflated price.There are some successful eco-designed restaurants and cafés that are regularly seen as examples of how to be ’green’ – such as Inn the Park in Green Park, with its sedum roof and timber cladding, or the Waterhouse restaurant next to the Regent’s Canal with its various energy-saving investments.However, an overall store design containing a heat exchange system, some solar panels and a wind generator, along with rainwater recycling, is great in a newly built environment but there is little of this that can be retro-fitted to a high street store at reasonable expense while keeping the planners happy. More significant for the majority of stores is to know which materials can be designed into a store that have ’green’ credentials and can fit into a refurbishment or new store budget.Innovation is happening at an incredible pace in the development of new eco-friendly materials. There are work surfaces being used that are made out of recycled washing up bottles, wellies and coffee cups, which have the same practical operational qualities as Corian but at a fraction of the cost. Fabrics are manufactured using nettles, which are also durable and cleanable, while a new cladding material that looks similar to stained timber is made using waste coffee grinds. All these materials are affordable and can be used as direct replacements for laminates and other finishes, with a great brand-boosting story.I’ve worked on a store that is under wraps in the south west, which has many of these new recycled materials sitting alongside classic, natural materials, such as slate, granite and marble. For many customers these traditional materials are a reassuring sign of quality and tradition and have inherent environmentally friendly properties.The juxtaposition of modern and tradition is highly successful when used correctly and, by introducing these new materials into shopfits in the future, businesses can develop their brands and their green credentials at a realistic cost while appealing to existing customers and attracting new ones.
Launched on 1 April but apparently not an April Fool’s gag is the strictly for adults only website Rude Cakes. A spin-off from The Cake Store (www.thecakestore.co.uk), Rude Cakes is following the economy’s descent into the gutter by establishing an X-rated emporium.”Perhaps the recession is responsible for Brits getting saucy and ordering explicit cakes for laughs,” explains Tim Slatter, co-director of Rude Cakes with brother Kevin.Sales of rude cakes have apparently risen by 140% in the last six months. The site features all the cakes that customers have requested so far, as well as a new line of “poor-taste wedding cakes and divorce cakes that’ll really shock”. Don’t say we didn’t warn you!www.rudecakes.com
The case is Shah v First West Yorkshire. Mr Shah was off work for three months between January and April 2009.During that period, he received contractual sick pay, with the exception of the pre-booked period of annual leave, when he received full holiday pay. His holiday year ran from April to the end of March. After his request to claim back four weeks’ holiday that he had previously booked – and which fell within his period of sickness absence – was refused, he brought a claim. The tribunal found that, “Shah is entitled to take the holidays that he was prevented by ill-health from taking in March of 2009 at some subsequent time in the following leave year.” The UK Working Time Regulations (WTR) clearly state that if any employee does not take his/her statutory leave during the leave year, then while the additional statutory leave (1.6 weeks) may be carried forward with the agreement of the employer, the basic four weeks’ statutory entitlement is lost. While the European case may be binding immediately on public sector employers, some private employers may have decided to wait until the government changed the WTR before changing their own practices. However, while this tribunal case is not binding on other tribunals, it does suggest that tribunals are prepared to comply with EU law, regardless of what the UK legislation says, and employers wishing to follow best-practice – or to minimise risk – should change their policies to allow leave to be carried forward due to illness.