Category Archives: Debate

Bread Quote

Bread

[Breadmaking is] one of those almost hypnotic businesses, like a dance from some ancient ceremony. It leaves you filled with one of the world’s sweetest smells… there is no chiropractic treatment, no Yoga exercise, no hour of
meditation in a music-throbbing chapel. that will leave you emptier of bad thoughts than this homely ceremony of making bread.”
― M.F.K. FisherThe Art of Eating: 50th Anniversary Edition

Why are bread prices going up?

What a start to the year it has been so far.  We had Trump, Brexit , Angus, Barbara ,Conor and now Doris, and if that wasn’t bad enough bread prices are going up very soon.

Bread has been too cheap for too long in my opinion, and now because of continued rising costs in the living wage, rates increase , fuel and the deflation of the pound against the dollar and euro. The pound buys you roughly 15% less than before the Brexit referendum, and so a lot of the commodities like on Palm Oil, Softeners & Improvers, Yeast, Soya Flour, Bread Bags and Corrugate, are all costing more to buy.

The average price of a loaf in most supermarkets and discounters is £1 , even for the UK No1 brand Warburtons. I suppose that you have to agree that this works out at  just 12.5p for 100g of bread,  and you cant buy 100g of many foods for 12.5p. Even cat food is more expensive.

Felix Pouch With Chicken In Jelly 100g is just £0.40felix

The problem now is the price marked £1 loaf, is that going to disappear from our shelves? as it will not be viable to hold the price. The consumers love to buy price marked products, it’s a proven fact. Maybe we will see the PMP at £1.09, who knows.

We as always will try and keep our pricing for PMP (price marked packs) at £1 as it is the only way we can compete in the world of bakery competitively. This is going to be a temporary measure for now to help protect sales and keep consumers.

bakestone-low-prices

Our other breads have to go up and it is the same for all the brands. Hovis,  Kingsmill and Roberts have announced that they are to increase their breads, only Warburtons haven’t yet, but inevitably will follow suit soon. Watch this space.

 

Potato Cakes or Scallops?

Big debate going on at work this week as we are about to launch our new Bakestone Potato packaging next week.

bakestone potato cakes

The question on everyone’s mind is why are they called cakes? You wouldn’t expect that would you, a potato being a cake. Well it was interesting when someone said they had read about a twitter feed from Australia that called them scallops. I always say this is a scallop.

scallops

and this to me looks nothing like my idea of a potato cake.

Everybody has different names for them. Our Scottish friends have them for breakfast and they are called Tattie scones, yet there goes another reference to cake with the word scone in it.

Loose potato cakes with butter

But in Ireland the traditional potato cake is called a Boxty.  These are handmade and fried adding parsley to give it a finishing touch. Boxty was used in Ireland to make the potatoes go further.  An old Irish rhyme goes: ‘Boxty on the griddle, boxty on the pan; if you can’t make boxty, you’ll never get a man’.”

boxty

So if you fancy the convenience of buying some potato cakes from the shops, or to simply make your own, here is a recipe.

Ingredients
30 m 6 servings 227 cals

1 1/2 cups grated raw potatoes

1 cup all-purpose flour

1 cup leftover mashed potatoes

1 egg 1 tablespoon skim milk salt and pepper to taste

1/4 cup olive oil
Prep
15 m
Cook
15 m
Ready In
30 m
Toss the grated potatoes with flour in a large bowl. Stir in mashed potatoes until combined. In a separate bowl, whisk together the egg and skim milk; mix into the potatoes. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Drop in the potato mixture, forming patties about 2 inches in diameter. Fry on both sides until golden brown, 3 to 4 minutes per side. Drain on a paper towel-lined plate. Serve warm.

other ways to eat potato cakes…. Grilled and lashings of butter on them as a handy snack anytime of day. Fry them in the pan with your egg and bacon, the fat will add real taste to your breakfast. If you want to go all continental you can grill them, spread cheese on them with a little tomato and make yourself a mini pizza. Or just eat them cold, it is after all only potato!

beansegg

 

National Living Wage

April 1st 2016, is as every business owner knows the day that the minimum pay you can pay a member of staff over the age of 25, is  £7.20 per hour. This is an increase of 50p per hour for the lowest paid.

Is the National Living Wage enforceable?

Yes, this is an  a legally enforceable minimum level of pay, which is promoted by the Living Wage Foundation. It existed before the NLW was announced.
It is calculated by academics as the level of pay that would give workers sufficient for a basic standard of living.
At the moment, that amount is £8.25 an hour, and £9.40 an hour in London.

Everyone should paid a figure that let’s them live comfortably and rewards them for the hard work they do, however in an industry that is seeing bread prices reduced almost daily it could lead to job losses. I am not threatening this or advocating it but merely stating a fact. If the margin isn’t enough to balance the books then something has to go. Usually it’s the thing that costs the most i.e labour. But the problem doesn’t stop there as the job still has to be done and the bread still has to be delivered, so inevitably some bakers are going to close down, or downscale dramatically .

dog drinking

Our business also has it’s own problems in that our drivers work on a job and finish basis, so for example some drivers earn their pay in only 30 hours work and get the same pay as a driver who has a bigger route, or further to travel and earns the same. Now that longer hours driver is going to get a substantial pay rise because he has to earn £7.20 now per hour rather than £6.70.

What are the options?

We will probably have to reduce the hours of our driving staff by stopping daily deliveries to some of our customers who only buy a low volume. This will get the driver back earlier. Another idea is to stop the drivers chatting in the morning when they are loading up their vans and taking a long time to do this. We will have to make sure that they get loaded quicker, thus a saving on their hours.

fast loading time

Still it all amounts to just some of the challenges that you face if you want to run your own business.

 

 

 

Joey Eccles

TOWIE but not as you know it – The only way is Eccles (Cakes)!

When we say TOWIE we’re not talking about people from Essex with teeth whiter than white. We’re talking Eccles! More precisely Eccles Cakes – the classic round flat cake that’s made with flaky pastry, filled with delicious sweet currants and finally topped with demerara sugar has been around for almost 250 years!

This week, at Bakestone, they have started baking them in their factory that’s in the heart of Eccles, Lancashire – less than half a mile away from the original bakery that first made them.

Bakestone Bread Eccles Cakes

The original bakery was James Birch’s shop, on Church Street, in the centre of Eccles. James Birch’s shop is documented as selling small, flat raisin-filled cakes in 1793.

They were an instant worldwide hit, said to be sold at all the markets and fairs around, even being exported to America and the West Indies.

Nowadays they are still being exported all over the world. Particularly to British expats, looking to get a taste of home.

eccles-cake-plaque

 

From humble roots in the heart of Eccles, they have become one of the nations favourite in the top selling cakes list.

They will always be a favourite on the cake counter.

More recently Eccles cakes have even been discussed in Parliment! Regarding whether they can still be called Eccles cakes if they aren’t made in Eccles!

 

Do you like Eccles Cakes? If

So you may be wondering, ‘what’s the big fuss?’ Eccles Cakes have been around for hundreds of years, yes they have, but they haven’t been made in Eccles since the 60’s.  We’re bringing the famous cake back home – and we’re really passionate and proud of this.

Eccles_Cake_Boxed

So why buy Bakestone Eccles Cakes?

Here are just a few reasons:

  • They are actually made in Eccles.
  • They are a handy snack, you can eat them anytime.
  • Eat them cold or warm, great with fresh cream
  • Unrivalled quality with flakier pastry.
  • Made by hand in Eccles, Lancashire  “The Home of Eccles Cakes”

We have started production today, so if you and your customer base want the closest thing to a traditional 1793 Eccles Cake please get in touch: sales@coultonsbread.co.uk

 

Providing essential bread supply for your business needs

Of the groceries which are at the heart of the staple diet for most people in Britain, it’s usually milk and bread which are used in “price wars” between retailers. Both are the most purchased grocery items in the UK today, and the perception is that consumers will take all of their grocery shopping to the store where they find they can get one or both of these the cheapest.

Whilst price is certainly an important factor for shoppers, when it comes to bread it is not quite as decisive or as important as reports sometimes suggest. In the overwhelming majority of cases, consumers want quality, freshness and choice, and it is these factors which determine their shopping habits as well as price. Although obviously people do not have a “spare no expense” approach to buying bread, it is nonetheless clear that quality is crucial when they are choosing where to shop.

We are committed to making sure you can harness all of these factors in your shop. Our bread and bakery category features close to a thousand different products, and we are perpetually adding to the selection. This means that whatever your customers are looking for in your bakery section, we are the people to supply it. We also deliver it at a time and on a frequency which suits you. Whether it’s early morning or late afternoons that would suit you best, or whether you need daily or weekly deliveries, we will work with you to get a time in place that ensures maximum freshness for your customers.

Costing is of course an important factor. That’s why we strive to present the most affordable service, allowing you to make savings which can be passed on to your customers. We firmly believe that it is possible to deliver high quality service at a low cost, and time and again we have proudly delivered on this belief. Over the course of the last three decades we have been able to provide outstanding bespoke bread supply in The North of England and beyond, and we are ready to provide the same for your business.

 

The perfect number of slices in a loaf

Bread is a staple of diets in countries around the world because it is cheap to make, versatile, tastt and packed with essential nutrients. The importance of bread means it is often produced in huge volumes to meet demand. However, this also leads to it being one of the most frequently wasted foods because people tend to buy more than they need to ensure they don’t run out.

In order to tackle the wastage, buyer trends would need to change. This can already be seen in some cases, particularly with the introduction of half loaves over the last few years. These are designed for people that only want a small amount of bread rather than a whole loaf that they may struggle to use up. They were introduced as an alternative to the smaller loaves because many people still want full size pieces of bread; they simply want fewer slices.

This has solved one problem, but it leaves another for people who consume slightly more than a single loaf of bread. Typically they would need to consume less or be forced to buy an additional loaf. Naturally both options are not ideal but the second could dramatically increase waste. We recognised this issue and introduced our long loaf to meet consumer demands. Longer loaves are perfect for people that need more bread than a single loaf but less than two.

There are a range of Bakestone long loafs to choose from including white, brown and wholemeal in medium and thick sliced varieties. We are proud to offer our bread supply across the north of the UK, catering for the needs of all kinds of business owners. We are committed to offering the most reliable bakery supply services in the region, both in terms of the range of products we offer and the flexible deliveries we can arrange. If your customers are looking for longer loafs of premium quality bread, we can certainly provide the products you need.

Bakestone Range
Bakestone Range

Great ways to use your leftover baked goods

As the specialists in bakery and bread supply in the North West, we’re passionate about bread and we want to make sure that everyone gets the full benefit of our products. Many of us buy too much bread and are unable to use it all up before the use by date, but bread still makes a fantastic ingredient even when it is past its best. Here are some great ideas for ways to use up those leftover baked goods.

– Stale bread is great for making breadcrumbs, which can be used in all kinds of recipes and stored in the freezer until you need them. Simply put your stale bread through the food processer and you have a ready supply of breadcrumbs to coat meat and fish, scatter over pasta dishes, make a crust for casseroles, and add to countless other dishes for texture and crunch.

– Croutons are an easy way to use up bread while adding a new dimension of flavour and texture to soups and salads. Simply cut your bread up into cubes or chunks and sautee them in some oil and seasoning of your choice, until they are crisp and golden brown.

– Leftover bread can also be used in sweet dishes, particularly in puddings. Why not try a classic bread pudding made with eggs, sugar and mixed fruit, or a summer pudding packed with berries?

Ingredients

Serves: 7
100g sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
5 slices of any bread
Butter
3 handfuls sultanas
500ml milk
2 eggs

Method
Prep:10min › Cook:30min › Extra time:5min resting › Ready in:45min

Preheat oven to 190 C / Gas mark 5. Lightly grease a baking dish.
Mix together the sugar and cinnamon.
Butter 5 slices of bread, cut in half.
Layer the bread in the dish adding a handful of sultanas and the sugar mix as you go, covering each slice.
Mix the milk and eggs together and whisk.
Pour over the bread and leave to absorb for 10 minutes.
Bake in the oven for 35 to 45 minutes, until the pudding is set and browned.

– Bread can be used as an ingredient in salads. One of the most famous bread salads is panzanella, an Italian recipe which traditionally incorporates chunks of bread and tomatoes soaked in olive oil and vinegar and flavoured with herbs. This recipe actually works much better with stale bread than fresh, as it holds its structure better after being soaked in the dressing.

bread pudding
Bread Pudding

Ingredients

200 g stale bread
600 g ripe mixed tomatoes, , roughly chopped
sea salt
freshly ground black pepper
1 handful small capers , drained
1 small red onion , peeled and very finely sliced
280 g jarred red peppers , drained and roughly chopped
8 anchovy fillets in oil , drained and finely sliced (optional)
red wine vinegar
extra virgin olive oil
a bunch of fresh basil

Method
Tear the stale bread into rough 3cm pieces and place on a tray.

Place the tomatoes in a bowl and season with salt and pepper. Rinse the capers, squeezing out any excess liquid and add to the bowl, along with the onion, peppers, bread and anchovies, if using.

Toss the mixture together with your hands, then stir in 2 tablespoons of vinegar and about 3 times as much extra virgin olive oil. Taste and add a little more salt, pepper, vinegar or oil, if needed.

Tear in the basil leaves, stir together and serve. Delicious with barbecued meats or roast chicken.

Italian_Panzanella
Panzanella salad

A tasty and new product exclusive to us

My favourite flapjacks

Alongside bread supply in the North, we also offer a variety of cakes and confectionary which are ideal for stocking in any shop or cafe. With a wide range of choices to satisfy any sweet tooth, we are confident that our products will help to give your business a boost and ensure that your customers keep coming back when they are in the mood a sweet treat.

We currently have a brilliant offer on a delicious new sweet product. My Favourite flapjacks are exclusive to us, meaning that you won’t be able to get them anywhere else. They’re available in six fantastic flavours including white chocolate and raspberry crumble, and there are 48 flapjacks supplied in each box. They’re perfect for breakfast or as an afternoon snack with a hot drink, and have already proved extremely popular with customers – they’re flying off the shelves of our clients who have already stocked them in their shops.

These flapjacks don’t only taste great, they’re also affordable. We can supply them to you for just 37.5p per flapjack, or £18 a box, and they can be sold at 65p each or two for £1, providing you with a healthy profit. One of the biggest bonuses of these flapjacks is that they have a long shelf life, meaning you don’t have to worry about your stock becoming outdated before you have the chance to sell it all. With such high demand for these tasty items, it’s likely that you’ll need to restock very soon anyway.

If you’d like to stock up on these exclusive high quality flapjacks in your cafe, shop or canteen, or if you’d like to learn more about any of the other products we offer as part of our bakery supply in the North East, get in touch and we’ll be happy to set up an account for you. With great prices and prompt delivery, you can always rest assured your business will be well supplied when you are working with us.

My Favourite Flapjacks