Get attached to the Quattro

first_imgApuro (Solihull, West Midlands) has launched the Quattro QPM20 planetary mixer. The company says it is robust, reliable and available through catering equipment distributors nationwide. The 20-litre mixer features a ‘number 12’ hub that is compatible with accessories from well-known suppliers – so bakers needing a new mixer will still be able to use their current attachments. The QPM20 is suitable for high-volume mixing, from heavy doughs to eggs, cream and mayonnaise. The mixer is supplied complete with a dough hook, beater and whisk, and its planetary mixing action ensure a homogenous mix, claims Apuro. A mincer attachment is also available. The mixer is designed as a ‘workhorse’ machine, says the company. A powerful, cooled 0.5hp electric motor drives a heavy-duty heat-treated steel transmission, delivering three speeds (106, 197 and 359rpm), from a standard 13-amp power supply, says the company. The finish is steel and stainless steel, while the bowl and bowl guard are stainless steel. Larger Quattro models are also available.last_img read more

Roasted cashew nut & saffron paratha

first_imgParatha is a laminated flatbread typically found in the Punjab region, of northern India.It is usually made from unleavened chapati dough using wholewheat atta flour, water and salt.While in India I worked with some great chefs who showed me the best way to make a much lighter and flakier paratha.The idea of topping the paratha with a cashew nut and saffron-infused ghee was inspired by a trip to Mumbai in central India.This was the most luxurious bread I ate during my stay. In India, paratha is often filled with paneer (a type of cheese) or grated vegetables.The secret to a lighter paratha is really quite straightforward. Use a blend of white bread flour with the atta flour.I also find the addition of yeast to this typically unleavened bread gives the paratha a better flavour and texture.Finally, the key to a good paratha is a good lamination technique. The rules are the same as for making croissants.Make sure the dough and butter consistency are the same, and chill the laminated dough before use. Paratha lamination is really quite crude but does the job.Makes 18-19 parathasParatha dough recipeWhite bread flour – 750gAtta flour – 250gNatural yoghurt – 140gSugar – 30gFresh yeast – 30gSalt – 20gWater – 480gMelted butter or ghee – 40gToppingCashew nuts (unsalted) – 300gSaffron – 25gCreamed coconut – 30gMelted butter or ghee – 140gFor the toppingIn a frying pan melt 40g of the ghee on a low heat and add the cashew nuts. Cook until light golden brown then add the saffron, which has been ground down in a pestle and mortar.Make sure the cashew nuts do not take on too much colour.Empty the cashew nut mix from the pan into a food processor and add the creamed coconut and the remaining melted ghee and blend into a coarse textured paste. It is now ready to use.For the doughPlace all the dough ingredients into a mixing bowl and mix on slow speed for two minutes and then mix on fast speed for five minutes until the dough is developed.Remove from the mixing bowl, cover and bulk ferment for 90 minutes.Scale the dough into 90g pieces and hand mould into balls. Lightly flour and cover to ferment at an ambient temperature for one hour.Roll the dough piece on a lightly floured work surface to 11in. Spread 25g of softened butter nearly all the way to the edge. I find using the back of a spoon the easiest way to spread out the butter.To laminate take the outside and repeatedly fold over the dough to get the concertina effect.Coil the laminated dough into a ball shape. Cover and refrigerate for at least one hour. At this point, the dough could be kept for up to 48 hours.Remove laminated dough pieces from the refrigerator and allow to recover for 10 minutes before rolling out to 8in. The butter and dough should work together freely.To bake the paratha on a hob use a tava or frying pan. A tava is a griddle pan used in Asian cookery.On the hob, heat the pan on a high heat and place the rolled out paratha directly onto it and bake until golden. Then flip it over and bake the other side until golden brown.Remove from the tava and spread with 25g cashew nut and saffron topping. If the topping has set just place it in the microwave or warm it up a little until it becomes spreadable.Alternatively parathas could be baked on a hotplate or directly on the stone sole of a deck oven operating at around 280ºC.last_img read more

Commodities tracker

first_imgThe RM Curtis Edible Nuts & Dried Fruit Market Report: July-August 2006, revealed that early crop shipments of almonds were predicted to struggle and pricing would be forced even higher in the short term, says Mark Setterfield, trading director at RM Curtis.The bulk of supply is expected to come by late October/early November and it is hoped this will result in cheaper prices from the turn of the year.The forecasts for the Chinese crop, pinenuts, are not particularly optimistic and, with their own domestic market requirements increasing rapidly, this will reduce the amounts to be produced for export. At this stage, the supplemental Russian and Mongolian crops are also reported to be below average.Prices for pecans are already up by 15% since the start of the season, and there are suggestions that pricing will continue to rise. But coconut prices are likely to remain strong over the next two months, with the seasonal weakness expected to recur from November onwards.It is becoming increasingly difficult for Iran to regain its diminishing market share of pistachios, given its poor quality history.Although the major European snack packers are divided in their opinion on which origin offers the best option, price is still king and, should Iran take some dramatic steps to undercut the aggressive pricing of its US counterparts, there could be an eventual shift back and better pricing in the longer term. Short-term, however, RM Curtis expects to see US pistachios dominate supply and prices hold accordingly.last_img read more


first_imgRotoavant is Polin’s latest rack oven. All vital oven functions have been revised and important new components with increasingly comprehensive software have been introduced, says the firm.These innovations have improved the levels of Polin’s previous rack ovens, optimising efficiency, increasing performance and improving reliability, claims the firm.The Polin Rotoavant is available in gas and electric versions, in different size configurations. Brook Food (Minehead, Somerset) says it offers bakers help to ensure smooth implementation of the ovens.last_img read more

A whole lotta foods

first_imgThe assault on the senses starts at the front door of the Whole Foods Market. As you enter, a rainbow of dewy fresh fruit and vegetables stretches from the front entrance in wicker baskets.Rounding the first aisle, you come upon the deli counter, which runs along the back of the store and, the first of many surprises, a stand where you can serve yourself hot soup. There are six soups of the day. Ringed around the cauldrons are a selection of bakery items to complement the soup – including La Brea breads and flavoured breadsticks. The attention to detail is exquisite.Further along towards the bakery is another stand, with massive cheese cut into rounds to encourage sampling, and flatbreads to accompany them.The main bakery section dominates the far side of the store with aromas of fresh baked bread wafting from it across the store.Here there is a buzz as you catch sight of bakers at work behind a long shiny metallic takeaway counter, which runs along the perimeter of the store.As you wander through the display you can pick up all manner of beautifully merchandised fresh and fine natural and organic breads, cakes and cookies, many of them from local bakers. The range also features European loaves, sandwich breads, baguettes, pastries, and gluten-free baked goods. The IAWS’ La Brea premium bake-off range makes a big splash, with signage flagging up the many unusual breads on display. The breads are baked-off in the bakery behind the counter,Operating from the counter are a number of takeaway options, well signposted and temptingly merchandised. Made-to-order sandwiches and meal deals are on offer here. You can build your own sandwich – for example, a sliced wholegrain bloomer, spread with avocado mayonnaise on one side and a spicy olive paste on the other. And that is just the butter! Fillings on offer include Apple tahini, Portobello mushroom club, steak with Blue Gouda and Tarragon Chicken with an extensive range of salad items to complement them.You can also serve yourself coffee on the neighbouring café area of the counter.picnic areaSo where will you hold your picnic? Well, all along the glass frontage of the store are picnic tables, where customers are enjoying hot and cold items from the deli and coffee area. Just one minor inconvenience in this food paradise? The tills.Prices are at the premium end at this supermarket. But you do get free samples of chocolate nuggets as you go through!Speciality bakery lines include:Cherry Cardamom sconesPotato chapattisCranberry banana Quinoa breadPumpkin breadBlueberry spelt mushroomsWalnut raisin and fennel muffins—-=== Company ethos ===Established in Texas in 1978 by John Mackay, Whole Foods Market grew throughout the 1990s by absorbing many of its competitors: Bread & Circus, Fresh Fields, Merchant of Vino, Mrs Gooch’s, Bread of Life and Wellspring Markets.The Whole Foods ethos is to become part of the community in which it trades, sponsoring events, donating food and money to good causes and becoming a neighbourhood gathering place.The “buy local” message is also big – with a massive focus on local sourcing and sustainability.—-=== The UK supermarket ===scene is set to be shaken up in early June when American supermarket giant Whole Foods Market opens a 75,000sq ft store in London’s Kensington High Street. This will be the natural and organic retail giant’s launchpad into the UK and Europe, with a succession of new stores planned to follow around the UK once the flagship store is up and running.Whole Foods’s 188 stores in the USA and Canada turned over $5.6 billion in last year. The company targets high-income customers with premium-quality “natural” products. It maintains an extensive list of unacceptable ingredients, including all artificial colours and flavours, sweeteners and hydrogenated oils.The retailer first made a low-key appearance in the UK in 2004, when it acquired Fresh & Wild, a chain of seven small outlets that it continues to run under the Fresh & Wild fascia. Whole Foods’ arrival will raise the profile of organic and own-label foods in the UK while raising the bar for supermarkets and their bakery suppliers. Senior vice-president for the North Atlantic region David Doctorow says Whole Foods’ bakery department will be a key customer attraction at the front of the Kensington store, with craft bakers baking from scratch in front of customers. Cooking demonstrations, product samplings and in-house eateries, as well as extensive ranges of fresh wholesome organic and natural foods, are also planned. The focus throughout will be on local sourcing and sustainability.last_img read more

Oakdale hits rocks for second time

first_imgOakdale Bakeries, renamed Bakesense Bakeries, has called in administrators for the second time this year.With sites in Doncaster and Wigan, over 200 jobs remain uncertain. The company makes mince pies, tarts and fruit pies.Glenn Bancroft, co-owner, acquired Oakdale Bakeries from administrators in March. Last week, he told British Baker that the rocketing prices of wheat, oil, energy, packaging and butter had taken its toll on the business. Butter prices have also risen by 40% since January 2007, according to a report from Staple Dairy Products.Bancroft stressed that the bakery’s parent firm Bakesense, a bakery sales and marketing com-pany, remained unaffected by the latest trading under administration, as did its other bakery in Wales.”As for the Oakdale business, it’s extremely unfortunate because, over the past 17 weeks, our team managed to slash weekly losses from nearly £200,000 down to £17,000.”Bancroft added that because margins had been squeezed by rapidly increasing costs, the business forecasts for the year failed to secure the required investment.”Our team is now focusing on Bakesense’s bakery in Wales. Although the administration of the two former Oakdale sites is disappointing, it has been an experience that we will learn from,” he said.Oakdale originally called in administrators on 26 January and a deal was completed with Bakesense on 9 March. A spokesman for administrator Deloitte said it was seeking support from custo-mers and would continue to trade the business while looking to sell it as a going concern.last_img read more

Functional foods

first_imgThe baking industry could do its bit to combat cancer by including extracts from mangos in a range of products. Mangos are rich in antioxidants and dietary fibre, according to new scientific research.The Journal of Cereal Science reported that, during the research, mango peel powder had been used to make soft dough biscuits that passed a consumer acceptance test. “It may be concluded from the present study that mango peel powder could be incorporated up to a 10% level in the formulation of biscuits, without affecting their overall quality,” scientists from India’s Central Food Technological Research Institute stated.Confirmation of the high concentration of dietary fibre in mango extracts comes amid mounting evidence that dietary fibre can help combat cancer and cardiovascular disease.However, a survey by Columbia University showed the average daily intake in the US was 12.5g, which falls well short of the 32g recommended daily intake advised by the US National Fibre Council.Researchers from Venezuela and Ecuador previously extracted dietary fibre from unripe mangos and incorporated it into cookies and bread with favourable results. These were published in the journal LWT ? Food Science and Technology, published by the International Union of Food Science.last_img read more

Lucozade spends £8m on latest sports sector drive

first_imgLucozade Sport will be supported with an £8 million TV and press campaign this year.The push – by brand owner GlaxoSmithKline – will highlight the soft drink’s links with sport. It will kick off with TV advertisements on sports channels including Sky Sports. Press, radio, outdoor and digital ads will support the TV campaign.Lucozade will also be pushed at sports events, including the Barclays Premiership football matches.Brand manager Adam Prentice said: “By driving education and awareness, we can successfully grow the sports and exercise drinks category.”RRP: 85p[]last_img read more

The great outdoors

first_imgWith summer just around the corner, outdoor parties are promising to be in full swing – and you don’t need to be an events organiser to cash in.Commercial kitchens are in high demand and, if you’ve got one, you can maximise your profits and even raise your profile at the same time. Catering to outdoor events and the corporate market has proved a lucrative option for many bakeries and cafés. So if your kitchen stands unused for half the day, then read on.”Local bakeries are often well-placed to take advantage of other catering opportunities in the area,” says a spokesperson for London-based Orchard Green Group Catering. “They have all the existing facilities, and have already paid out to get everything above-board in terms of health and safety, so they have quite a lucrative resource in their catering kitchens. If they’re looking to supply outdoor events, there are a number of options they might consider. Contract caterers who already supply events, for example, are always looking for suppliers. However, the larger organisations have very tight margins and mark-ups will be low and based on high volumes, so smaller bakeries will be better off aiming for local contractors.”Corporate businessAnother area which Orchard Green suggests bakeries can consider is supplying sandwiches for offices, who are often in ready need of a good supplier. “There are some huge companies who do this in London,” explains its spokesperson. “But equally, smaller companies are also looking for people to supply them with bread. In this area you’ve got to be able to consistently supply bread at three or four in the morning, because they start making the sandwiches really early, so this may or may not fit in with your usual operations.”Local events, such as weddings, funerals and other celebrations, are also potential outlets for bakeries to supply direct, provided they market themselves effectively and are aware of their limitations. Get it right, however, and there’s no reason why you shouldn’t successfully expand your output into one or all of these fields.One company that has done just that is Parkinson’s Bakery in Leyland. The family bakery has made both corporate lunches and events a significant part of its daily operations. “We came into events catering gradually,” says Sally Wright, herself a fourth generation of the Parkinson’s family, who branched out into a marketing career before returning to the baking business.Capitalising on its reputation as a well-loved local bakery, Parkinson’s began offering funeral teas, providing their popular cakes, pies and quiches. “Then we expanded into corporate lunches, and now we’re even doing outdoor events and weddings,” says Wright.”The expansion has mostly been by word-of-mouth, and it helps that we’re well-known in the area,” she says. “In the beginning, I would arrange to take secretaries out for a free lunch and tell them a little bit about what we could do. We supply local events, but we have four outlets, which makes it easier for us to get the food out to different places. We also have a local venue right next to one of our bakeries who know us and recommend us to anyone holding an event with them, which is really helpful.”Like many bakeries, Parkinson’s can capitalise on its ready oven and kitchen facilities to offer competitive services that other caterers cannot match. “One of our big selling points was we could do lunches that much faster than a lot of other companies, because we’re all set up and we have four bakery outlets in the area,” says Wright. “So if a secretary phones with an order, we can have it in a few hours.”The fast turnaround and canny marketing has made the corporate lunches very successful, and Wright believes that an awareness of modern-day office politics has also played a part in their popularity. “One of our very popular sellers is a basic corporate lunch, which is a round of sandwiches per delegate along with some fresh pies or a quiche, some crisps, some fruit, or a homemade cake,” she says. “It’s important to get the price right with corporates, because it’s not about the big power lunches of the 1980s any more, and people are operating to a budget. Also, there are a number of outlets trading from their own kitchens with lower overheads who can undercut you so you have to be price-conscious. The other big difference is that we take credit cards now. A lot of smaller companies cannot do this.”For other events, the bakery produces a combination of its fresh-baked pies, quiches and cakes, along with classics such as Lancashire hotpot and canapés. “We make up products fresh for events, but we do hold some items that we can bake-off immediately,” she says.But while outdoor events and other corporate catering can boost a baker’s profits and keep the kitchen productive all day long, there are great benefits to getting your name known in the local area and beyond. So if you’re thinking about expanding to events catering, you might want to show your face at local trade shows and other events as well.”I think it’s important for bakers to get out there” says Richard Bertinet of The Bertinet Kitchen. “If you ask people in England to name 10 chefs, they can do it easily, but they cannot name two bakers.” The French baker feels so passionate about his public that he regularly holds free bakery classes at local Taste events to showcase his trade.”We’ve got involved with the Taste festivals,” says Bertinet. “We started out with the Taste of Bath, and they have given us a great opportunity to have people get their hands dirty and find out what we do. We run a hands-on class for about half an hour, where people will make bread or pastries. It has been very popular and, this year, we’ve moved to cover the London event as well.”Getting known in the communityFor Bertinet, showcasing your trade at an event or show means more than extra profits. It’s a chance to get your name recognised for quality products, and to impart a powerful message about the importance of bakers in the community. “Bakers should be known among the community; they should be part of that,” he says. “People need to appreciate that bakeries are not about toast and soggy doughnuts. It’s a very simple process to take breadmaking to people and it makes a big difference to their appreciation of the product. I’ve had people who have come to my classes at the Taste festival and you build up a rapport with them. Then they come into your shop every Saturday and buy two loaves of bread.”Bertinet also believes using outdoor events and shows to your advantage can help absorb the inevitable rise in bread prices, as wheat costs soar. “If people feel they know their baker and they trust their products, they will be prepared to pay higher prices for their loaves, because they trust that they are not being ripped off,” he says.So while you might be looking for outdoor events and corporate catering as a way to boost your profits, properly done, it’s an activity that could have much more far-reaching implications for your reputation and your brand. Not to mention a chance to get out in the sunshine and meet the people who really matter: your potential customers.=== Tips for success ===Ten-shop Gloucestershire-based Janes Pantry turns over £6,000 a week in catering to corporate events and buffets. MD Neville Morse explains what you need to do to make this trade successful:It’s got to be fresh: all the food for the event should be made on the day it is to be consumed. Janes’ dedicated buffet team make up the sandwiches on the morning of the event and these are then delivered in refrigerated vans to their destination.It must look professional: everything should be smart, right down to the logoed menus, napkins and plates that are provided.Market it well: shout about your service – on all accessories and on your delivery vans.Vary the offer: Janes does buffets ranging from £5/person to £9/person plus VAT.Keep it simple: “a good wholesome buffet” is what Janes offers, so don’t be tempted to go too fancy.Do your research: make sure you know what market is out there and target it accordingly; phone companies in your area and email them the menus or send them in the post.Consider your image: think about the packaging of the food, how it’s going to look when it arrives, how easy it is for the customer to put out and what they will do with the packaging afterwards.last_img read more