Posts Tagged ‘Baking Industry News’

Here is Part 3 in our continuing Baking and Baking Science education…thanks to Willie Prejean.

There has been a great deal of progress in the methods used to construct bread formulas. Many years ago bread formulas were expressed in Pail, Bucket or Gallon. Today, formulas are expressed in percentages and is referred to as Baker’s Percentage Method…the formula is then converted to pounds and ounces.
When expressing formulas in the percentage system, 100 pounds of flour always represents 100 percent. Percentages of all other ingredients are based on the flour. Although, this may seem confusing, it is a very accurate method which you can see using this method below.
The amount of ingredient necessary to produce a given amount of bread can be calculated right down to pounds and fractions of ounces. The following is an example of a white bread formula using the Baker’s Percentage Method.

Construction of a bread formula to determine pounds and ounces of each ingredient to use, to produce 500 pounds of bread.

Note: Dough losses weight by giving off gasses and moisture and by a small amount of dough that sticks to the mixer. This amount of loss averages about 2 percent. Dough also loses weight during the proofing, baking and cooling. This loss usually averages about 11 percent. These losses must be taken into consideration when constructing a bread formula — the total percentage loss equals13 percent.

The following example explains how to take the above losses into consideration when determining the exact weight of each ingredient to use in the formula to produce a certain amount of bread:

1. Pounds of bread required=500 pounds.
2. 100% = ( Total percentage of ingredients to use to produce500 pounds of bread ).
3. Total loss = 13 %.
a. 100% – 13% = 87% after loss. This is the net percentage of bread ( 500 ) that can be produced from 100% of ingredients.
b. To find how much 100% ingredients equals, it is necessary to divide 500 pounds of baked bread by 87%. This is referred to as the amount of dough required to produce 500 pounds of bread.

Note: Remember that when using percentages, you must move the decimal point two points to the left.

a. 500 pounds of bread required divided by .87= 574.71 pounds of ingredients to use in the formula.
b. 574.71 pounds of ingredients divided by the total formula percent ( 180% ) = 319.28 pounds of flour to use.

Since all ingredients in the formula are based on the flour, the percent of each ingredient is multiplied times the pounds of flour in the formula.
Converting the straight dough formula to a sponge-and-dough formula.

First the baker must decide what percentage of the flour in the straight dough formula will go into the sponge dough formula. This varies with the strength of the flour and with a flour having a relatively high protein content. Also if the protein is of very good quality, 75% of the formula flour would go into the sponge, and 25% would go into the dough. The amount varies depending on several factors, and through experience, the baker can determine what percentages produce the best results. Other percentage ratios can be used such as 60/40,70/30, etc. The baker’s percentage system of formula computation applies as well to the sponge and dough method as it does to the straight dough method.

Note: At this time it is a good idea to mention why water is always listed as variable in bread formulas. That is because no two flour’s have the same absorption quality — only experience will determine this. This usually changes each time a new shipment of flour is received.

Mixing the sponge.
Prepare the ingredients for the sponge in accordance with information contained in Part Two, Principles of Bread Production.

1. Temper the water.
2. Mix the sponge only about 3 or 4 minutes because full gluten development is not required at this time.
3. Have the sponge come out of the mixer at 76 degrees F. rather than 80 degrees F for the dough. Sponges ferment for several hours, therefore the temperature rise during fermentation will remain in the alcoholic fermentation range.

Note: When the sponge is returned to the mixer after it has gone through the fermentation stage. To be remixed with the dough ingredients, the dough must be mixed until the gluten has been fully developed (as explained in Part Two, Principles of Bread Production). The dough temperature should be about 80 degrees F when it comes out of the mixer.

This completes part three on Bread Formulas and Bread Formula Construction. Today people are demanding a variety in foods, part four- Variety Breads will help you to meet this demand.


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Is Chocolate Good For You – Is There any Nutrition Here?

Oh, don’t we all want the answer to be yes. Chocolate for breakfast, lunch and dinner and a cup of dark hot chocolate to wash it all down. Soooo, is there any evidence that eating chocolate offers nutritional benefits beyond that glowing warm feeling of satisfaction?

Drum roll please….drdrdrdrdrr….YES!  Well, maybe. While research is not conclusive, there seems to be growing evidence that chocolate and cocoa contain beneficial polyphenols, including the type called flavonoids. Polyphenol compounds act as antioxidants and protect the body from disease and the damage caused by free radicals. A 1.5-ounce chocolate bar contains about the same amount of total phenolic compounds as a 5-ounce glass of red wine. However, research also shows that the quality and quantity of antioxidants in chocolate is very high relative to red wine and other common items such as apples, oranges teas and vegetables. In addition, pure cocoa contains more than 30 organic compounds, including many beneficial minerals such as fluoride, potassium and magnesium. These minerals are important to good health since fluoride protects the bone structure supporting teeth, potassium contributes to a healthy nervous system and a regular heart rhythm, and magnesium is a vital catalyst in enzyme activity and energy production, and assists calcium and potassium absorption.

Say what??? Yes, we got a little heavy there but had to lay it out so that you can brag to people about how that piece of chocolate you are eating is good for you.

Other research seems to indicate that the antioxidants in real chocolate may play a role in heart health.  These antioxidants may also help increase “good” HDL cholesterol levels and protect against oxidation of LDL cholesterol, a process that normally leads to artery-clogging plaques. 

How about diabetes and chocolate? 
Good news! Eating chocolate is no longer frowned upon when it’s eaten in small amounts. The sugar in chocolate is absorbed slowly, giving the body more time to manage the rise in blood glucose. Chocolate eaten after a meal is preferable for diabetics since this also helps to slow the absorption of sugar.

While all of this research is great, they still need to calculate how much chocolate you need to consume to actually receive these benefits. Assuming we only need a little amount of chocolate everyday to enjoy the benefits, great! But what happens if future research shows that you need to munch on a pound of chocolate everyday to enjoy the health related benefits. Oh, it’s such an evil world we live in.

I say just like anything in life, enjoy in moderation.

Cheers, TBN

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Came across this article written by Devra Gartenstein over at ehow (http://www.ehow.com/how_6223494_run-bakery-business.html) and thought it had some great substance, soooo…if you haven’t read it, this is a nice quick read to get you back on track.








Running a successful bakery business involves developing routines and record-keeping systems that enable you to meet demand while producing only a minimal amount of extra inventory. In addition, a bakery must have a core group of recipes as well as efficient systems for producing and distributing goods. Display is important to the success of a bakery as well, because customers are more likely to buy baked goods if they are presented in an appealing way.

Step 1
Create a product line for your bakery. Your operation should have a primary focus such as breads or cookies, and it should also offer supplemental products that expand your niche and give customers a well-rounded selection. Develop recipes that are adaptable, and use similar enough processes and ingredients to provide some degree of consolidation and efficiency. However your product line should be varied enough for your customers to find it interesting. Offer seasonal menus and customized special-order items, such as birthday cakes.
Step 2
Develop an inventory system for storing and ordering ingredients. This can be a computerized system that integrates the amount of each ingredient that you use in daily production with your records for ordering inventory. Alternately, it can be a set of handwritten records tracking how much of each item you have on hand on a daily or weekly basis, and providing space for order information to supplement supplies on hand. Set up a storage system to keep flours and grains fresh and safe from rodents. Check invoices to stay abreast of price changes, and adjust the prices you charge to your customers accordingly.
Step 3
Set up an attractive display system for your bakery business. Use platters and baskets that show off your products, such as a long, tall basket for baguettes or a round platter for cinnamon buns. Create displays that appear bountiful, but don’t stock them with so much product that the items on the bottom will be crushed. Develop a system for rotating stock in your bakery displays so that you sell off older inventory before it grows stale.
Step 4
Train your bakery staff in baking and customer-service protocols. Develop kitchen routines delegating different baking and cleaning tasks to different positions. Post a cleaning schedule. Provide your service staff with detailed knowledge of your ingredients as well as serving suggestions. Teach your counter staff to pack items so they stay intact and fresh.
In summary, this is only touching the surface but the information is good stuff. I would add that while you are running your successful bakery, don’t forget to always present a consistent product and control your ingredients costs. These two factors will put money in your pocket and keep your customers returning.
Cheers, TBN

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Hey lover’s of chocolate…or maybe hater’s (don’t worry, we still like you). Today we’ll take a look at how chocolate is made.

First, let’s start off with the 5 main components:

  1. Cocoa Substance (cocoa liquor, cocoa butter, cocoa powder)
  2. Milk Substance (milk solids, milkfat whey)
  3. Sugar (sucrose, lactose)
  4. Emulsifier (usually lecithin)
  5. Flavouring ingredient (usually vanillin)

To produce such an addictive delight, there is a complex process that needs to be followed — First cocoa beans (typically imported as fermented and dried) are cleaned, then blended. Several varieties of beans may be combined to give the desired flavor. The beans are next roasted to develop their flavor and reduce moisture content to make it easy to remove their outer shells. After this step, only the nib or kernel of the cocoa bean remains, containing the essence of chocolate. The nib is ground to a paste and the liquid mass that emerges is called chocolate liquor. Grinding also releases the vegetable fat or cocoa butter from the nib. By law, the amount of cocoa butter in chocolate liquor can vary only between 50 to 58 percent. Cooled and hardened into blocks or bars, chocolate liquor becomes basic unsweetened chocolate. With further grinding, some chocolate liquor is used to make cocoa powder.

For regular, plain chocolate, chocolate liquor is mixed with powdered sugar. Cocoa butter is added to enhance the consistency and make a stiff paste that is further refined to soften and smooth the texture. The chocolate next undergoes the conching process where it is kneaded under heat in a large basin to develop the flavor, remove additional moisture and squeeze out more fat particles. The conching process may take several hours and up to a week depending on the quality of chocolate required. As a last step, vanillin or another flavor is added.
A tempering process involving further heating will also take place to stabilize the chocolate mass.

Back for round 3 in our “All About Chocolate” real soon…till then, Let them Eat Chocolate I Say!

P.S – Did you know that White Chocolate really isn’t chocolate? Anyone out there know what it really is and how it’s made?

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You’re probably thinking, what does AI 10 have to do with Baking, or Bakeries or even anything edible…well for the most, nothing…but you can equate a bakery with the performances and eliminations:

Think about walking into a bakery…the fresh look, smells, colors and the familiar audibles tones…mmmm, wow, hot…you get where I’am going. While most of these “idols” look great and probably smell great, their “tones” can sometimes be an aquired taste. Just like a Red Bean Curd Sticky Bun or Christmas cake. Christmas cake looks wonderful, very colorful and yah, usually smells great but one bite will leave a much different taste and outlook on Christmas Cake.

Don’t get me wrong, some of these “idols” are rocking the mic and should be on display just like the glistening cinnamon buns on the pastry shelf…but there are a few here that should be put on the “gotta go” shelf or stamped with the ever popular 50% off sticker. Seriously folks, has it come down to your look, your smile and the way your hair seems to naturally flow? I can make a dessert look like the most delicious creation around but if it doesn’t taste good, who wants it!

I’ll be back in a few to continue with our study on chocolate.
Cheers, TBN

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Okay, this is a huge can of worms about to be opened but a necessary one if you have considered making a living from one of the oldest trades in history…baking of course!

Yes, I know you’ve been told that you make the best cheesecake ever or your cookies are to die for but it is much different baking from your home than it is from your business. Sure the principles are all pretty standard from home to bakery but it is now a business and should be treated as that.
You have inventory such as ingredients, equipment and tools, rent, refrigeration, ovens, ventilation, wages (if you’re lucky you can even pay your self), the location, the color of your walls, plumbing, electrical, insurance, packaging, accounting, banking…get the point yet.

I am not trying to scare you, just simply putting it out front as raw as possible. Baking can be one of the most rewarding skills but with the reward comes alot of hard work. The world will always eat baked goods. From sweet and sticky to warm and savoury. Just name me one person that passes a bakery and does not utter the sound…mmmmmm. Seriously folks, fresh baked pies, pastries and cakes cannot be replaced by any comparison.

I could spout off for hours here about the do’s and don’ts but instead, I am going to leave this post for a few days to see if we can start building on any insight out there in the world of experienced bakers and business owners.

Come on you people, give us a shout. Drop your company name but in return, I want some great advice posted here.


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At the end of the day, sugar is and always will be sugar. Whether it be brown, white, maple, powdered, castor, granulated…it’s all the same with different twists. Sugar is simply a carbohydrate derived from various plants and usually with the addition of some man made elements.

Sugar has been on the hot seat for many years and has been blamed for everything from diabetes to premature aging of the skin (sugar is an inflammatory and is believed to cause wrinkles). And even though there are numerous claims about how bad sugar can be for us, we still consume sugar at an enormous rate…it’s in everything…how can we possibly avoid it. And hey, who doesn’t like ice cream on a warm summer afternoon or a chocolate molten lava cake with a huge dollop of chantilly cream on a cool autumn evening.

The thing with refined sugar is that it contains no vitamins or minerals. In order for it to metabolize, it must draw from the body’s reserve of vitamins and minerals. Once these reserves are depleted, metabolization of cholesterol and fatty acid is constrained which in turn, contributes to higher blood serum triglycerides, cholesterol — promoting obesity due to higher fatty acid storage around organs. Simply put, refined sugar contributes to weight gain.

I am not going to get into all the types of sugars such as maltose, dextrose, fructose, sucrose, and high fructose corn syrup but I will touch on the most abundant type of sugar…glucose.

Glucose, also known as monosaccharide is manufactured by the body with carbohydrates as the primary source. The body uses proteins and fats to create glucose. The pancreas is responsible for regulating the use of glucose through the production of insulin; the liver is the primary manufacturer. Glucose is necessary for everyday functionality — it is the primary fuel for your brain and body. When the glucose levels (blood sugar levels) are to high in your body, this is known as Hyperglycemia (high blood sugar).

With that said, natural sugar is a very important part of our carbohydrate intake…our primary energy source. But too much sugar can attribute to various diseases that will eventually break our bodies down. Consuming large amounts of sugar is a silent addiction…an addiction that you cannot afford to lose.

Hey, I’m not saying I don’t consume my fair share of processed sweeteners…nothing better than a little treat mid day or after a nice dinner. But I do make a conscious effort on looking for treats sweetened with Agave Syrup or Evaporated Cane Juice (far less processed than everyday white sugar).

This was taken from an online post by Mellisa Strom McJunkin – “Research shows that the etiology of most human diseases is caused by a systemic fungal infection. And guess what? Fungus feeds, thrives and breeds off of sugar. Here are just a few symptoms of an overgrowth of fungus in the body; Anxiety, Arthritis, Cancer, Chronic Fatigue, Depression, Diabetes, Fibromyalgia, Gout, Hyperactivity, Indigestion, Memory Loss, Obesity, Panic Attacks, PMS, Sinus Infections, and Tooth Decay just to name a few. Cut off it’s food supply and the fungal infection dissipates and so do many of the symptoms and even the disease itself.”

Pretty heavy stuff to think about.
Bottom line — read the labels and educate yourself on where the sugar is coming from and be sure to try and keep track of how much you consume.


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