Real Bread Campaign


Real Bread logo

Bakers' support

A major part of our work is supporting bakers in making Real Bread accessible to all and able to take its rightful place in sustainable local food economies of the future.

The key element of this support is our book Knead to Know: the Real Bread starter, the introductory guide to success in bringing Real Bread to your local community.

Over more than 140 pages, this book gives you information on business models, legislation, money matters, equipment, ingredients, basic recipes, techniques, voluntary apprenticeships, courses, equipment and ingredient suppliers, further reading, and much more..

As a taster of the sort of thing you can find in Knead to know, please have a scout around this page and the rest of our site.

See also

..and

Elsewhere on the web


Your bakehouse

A bakehouse is the place in which the baking takes place.  It is interchangeable with the word bakery, though the latter often refers to the retail as well as production area.

What is a suitable space for you depends upon the type and volume of products you’ll be baking and your business model. A bakhouse doesn't have to be round the back of a high street shop.  It could be:

  • Your home kitchen, garage, or other suitably converted domestic space
  • An outhouse e.g. on a farm or at a traditional mill
  • A unit on an industrial estate
  • Might there be a restaurant close to you that will let you use their ovens when they're not? e5 bakehouse and The Handmade Bread Company both went through a stage of borrowing (and later hiring) the pizza oven of Italian restaurants that were closed at lunch times. After dinner service, Fifteen London lets the baker (albeit their own) use the kitchen overnight until needed again for breakfast.
  • Are there other local food enterprises with which you can share space, and therefore some of the rent and overheads? Again e5 and Handmade both did this en route to setting up their own bakeries, and Emma Parkin has a bakery within the Real Food Store in Exeter

Jane Mason of virtuousbread.com also suggests:

  • Pubs.  Pub kitchens certainly are not open in the morning and many are not open until the evening.  A tame publican might even simply give you the keys and allow all your gear to be there and all deliveries to be made there.
  • Churches.  Many church kitchens are pretty good and are only used once or twice a week.  Once again (and churches love bread for obvious reasons) they may allow delivery and storage.

You can find a whole chapter on the bakehouse in Knead to Know.

Real Bread training

We are always interested in finding baking colleges and other organisations that do or are willing to develop officially accredited courses in baking Real Bread professionally.

As all of those we have come across are geared towards the needs of their main customers - supermarkets and other larger bakery chains that use additives, to date we have yet to find any that offer any courses that are totally additive-free.

In the meantime, please visit our courses page, which includes some that offer professional training. Those that offer some courses that incorporate advice on setting up a business as well as bread making include:

Bread Matters
The Handmade Bakery
Virtuous Bread

If your college does offer courses in professional Real Bread baking, we'd love to hear from you and to add your details to our courses page, so please contact us.

The Real Baker-e

'...all the emails flying around have helped me enormously. I would like to thank each and everyone of you for joining in and helping struggling novices like myself; I feel really honoured to be part of this bread community.' Jo Bottrill, Jo's Loaves

Real Bread Campaign members have exclusive access to The Real Baker-e. This online forum allows you to post messages, advertise job vacancies (or offer services), equipment, and chat with fellow members.

One very useful function is the opportunity to ask for advice from hundreds of your fellow members.  Amongst them are our Bakers' Angels: some of the most experienced and respected bakers in the country - see below.

For access, join us today.

Bakers Angels

If you are a professional Real Bread baker and really need to pick the brains of an expert,  the Real Bread Bakers Angels are here and boy do we have some brains for you to pick.

Campaign members can post their messages in The Real Baker-e where they'll be seen by other campaign members including the likes of : Paul Barker - (Cinnamon Square), Troels Bendix (The Hungry Guest), Richard Bertinet (The Bertinet Kitchen), Peter Cook (SC Price), John Downes (Shipton Mill), Emmanuel Hadjiandreou (The School of Artisan Food), Tom Herbert (Hobbs House Bakery), Clive Mellum (Shipton Mill), Andrew Whitley (Bread Matters)...

For access, join us today.

Legislation

We cover much of the legislation relevant to the small indepedent Real Bread baker in Knead to Know. The following are either not in the book or have changed since its publication.

You can find more information at:

Bread weights

On 1 October 2011, the law regulating the weight of unwrapped bread (i.e. loaves sold at a bakery or sold in unsealed bag/wrapper) changed.

As a result of The Weights and Measures (Specified Quantities) (Unwrapped Bread and Intoxicating Liquor) Order 2011, it is now legal to sell unwrapped bread of any weight (i.e. not just 400g or 800g loaves), provided that the weight is shown a label, ticket or notice at point of sale. Therefore it is now legal to sell loaves of 1kg, 500g etc. or even bread priced by the kilo.

NB If you still choose to sell 400g and 800g loaves you can do so and still simply say 'small' or 'large' loaves - you don't need to show the weight of 400g or 800g loaves.

The Department for Business Information and Skills has published this guide.  You can read the Order here.

We have published advice on scaling weights (i.e. how much dough is needed to produce a loaf of a given weight after the moisture loss during baking) in Knead to Know.

Gluten labelling

New EU legislation of information and claims regarding gluten in all foods came into force in January 2012. The terms that can be used are:

  • Gluten-free = Food with 20 parts per million of gluten or less.
  • Very low gluten = Food with 100 parts per million of gluten or less - however, only foods with cereal ingredients that have been specially processed to remove the gluten may make a 'very low gluten' claim.

NB - Unless spelt, sourdough or any other product meets one of the criteria above, you cannot make any claims about its suitability for people avoiding gluten.

The Food Standards Agency's guidance notes go on to say:

"If food does not comply with these new rules, it cannot be described as ‘gluten-free’ or ‘very low gluten’. But businesses could make a factual statement such as ‘no gluten-containing ingredients’, to let customers know that the food doesn’t contain any of these ingredients. If businesses do use these factual statements it is important that they take appropriate steps to manage cross-contamination from gluten-containing foods. Businesses need to be clear that they are not suggesting the food is suitable for someone with coeliac disease."

For the notes and more information click here.

Wholemeal

The Bread and Flour Regulations 1998 state:

Restrictions on the use of the words ‘wholemeal’ and ‘wheat germ’

1) There shall not be used in the labelling or advertising of bread, as part of the name of the bread, whether or not qualified by other words—

(a) the word ‘wholemeal’ unless all the flour used as an ingredient in the preparation of the bread is wholemeal;
(b) the word ‘wheat germ’ unless the bread has an added processed wheat germ content of not less than 10 per cent calculated on the dry matter of the bread

2) No person shall sell or advertise for sale any bread in contravention of this regulation.

i.e. you can only use the word 'wholemeal' in the name and/or any reference to a loaf if the only flour used in it is wholemeal.

Should you spot a loaf with other flour (e.g. half white, half wholemeal) named or marketed using the word 'wholemeal', it could be in breach of the regulations. Should you wish to take action, please contact your local trading stanadards office - and please let us know how you get on.

You can find official guidance notes from the Food Standards Agency here

Sourdough

Sourdough is NOT YEAST FREE!

Labelling/marketing it as such could land you in trouble with trading standards.

Read more here.

Organic

There are laws governing the use of the word organic. Click here for more information.

Job vacancies

We have now created a bakers wanted page for Real Bread job ads.

Campaign members with job or apprenticeship vacancies, and Campaign members who are professional bakers wanting to find a vacancy, are encouraged to post details in The Real Baker-e as well - messages will go to inboxes, not just on our site.

Anyone is welcome to post relevant job classifieds on our Facebook wall or Tweet using the #realbread hashtag.

Other websites with bakery job pages (though not all will be at Real Bread bakeries) include:

If your site has a page of UK bread making vacancies and would like a link to be included here, please contact us.

Minimising food waste

Reduce

Obviously, you will take steps to minimise wastage, both in your ordering and production. These include:

  • Market research to determine probable demand for different loaves.
  • Looking at daily, weekly and seasonal buying patterns, and adjusting output accordingly.
  • Ongoing promotion of your business and products to help them sell.

Reuse

If you do find yourself with leftovers, your options include:

  • Can dough offcuts that are too small to be made into loaves be made into rolls to sell or perhaps even pizza bases for staff meals?
  • Any flour left on work surfaces, inside proving baskets etc. can be swept up, sieved and kept in a container for dusting.Bread left at the end of the day can be recycled as new products. If your bakery includes an eatery, consider adding bread and butter pudding, bruschetta, or maybe panzanella to the menu as daily specials when necessary. Otherwise, try something simple that can be taken away – e.g. dried as real breadcrumbs, fried as croutons, or made up as bread pudding or treacle tart.
  • Finding a local project that makes meals for those in need and that will take your leftovers.

We're working with the charity FoodCycle to encourage more bakers to ensure that any leftover loaves go to a good home. Click here for details.

Here are some more food redistribution organisations that will collect food waste and use it to feed people most in need of a decent meal. 

bestbefore.org.uk
fareshare.org.uk
foodchain.org.uk
planzheroes.org

There might be others local to you. If you run a similar organisation, small or large, and would like to appear on this list please get in touch.

Recycle

This is the last resort if your attempts to prevent left over bread in the first place, or finding ways to make sure someone gets to eat it, fail.

  • Small amounts of flour, dough scraps from the floor and leftover slices can be composted, but be careful as too much in one go can end up as slime. Also be aware that food can encourage rats.
  • Excess stale bits can go to animal feed.
  • For larger quantities of leftover food, anaerobic digestion to produce energy might be an option - but if you're wasting this much bread you really need to sort your operations out!

Links

You can find more enterprise support links on our Community Supported Bakery page and general links on our companions page

Alliance and Leicester
A page of industry sector notes for those considering starting a bakery
www.alliance-leicestercommercialbank.co.uk/bizguides/full/baker/parkes-sector_trends.asp

Bakers Benevolent Society
Provides: "...welfare and care to retired members of the baking industry and allied trades, including their dependants, through its provision of sheltered accommodation and financial support."
www.bakersbenevolent.co.uk

Business Link
The government's free business advice and support service, available online and through local advisers.
www.businesslink.gov.uk

The Carbon Trust
Worried about the negative environmental impact of your bakery or mill? Want to reduce your energy consumption and consequent CO2 emissions?

The Carbon Trust offers 0% interest loans to organisations to invest in energy saving projects. For details and to see if your business qualifies, visit www.carbontrust.co.uk/cut-carbon-reduce-costs/products-services/loans/pages/loans.aspx

For a case study of how a Carbon Trust loan helped the Cavan Bakery, click here

Co-operative Enterprise Hub
'...aims to expand the co-operative economy by creating strong, ethically-led businesses with a deep sense of social responsibility. We offer a package of advice, training and finance to help new and existing co-operatives become more sustainable businesses.'
www.co-operative.coop/enterprisehub

Enterprise UK
Founded in 2004 by the British Chamber of Commerce, the Confederation of British Industry, the Institute of Directors and the Federation of Small Businesses, funded mostly by what is now called the Department for Business, Innovation & Skills.  Aims to '...reach out to new people of all ages and backgrounds, fresh thinkers who spot opportunities, apply entrepreneurial talents and overcome the obstacles to make ideas happen.'
www.enterpriseuk.org

The National Association of Master Bakers
Provides information, advice, training and support for its members in the craft baking sector.
www.masterbakers.co.uk/

Worshipful Company of Bakers
Alongside its other work, the Bakers' Company provides scholarships and prizes for young people in the baking industry, and endeavours to encourage them to become first-class tradesmen/women.
www.bakers.co.uk

SmallBusiness.co.uk
Site includes tips on sources of funding and grants for small businesses
www.smallbusiness.co.uk/channels/small-business-finance/government-grants/guides-and-tips/

Princes Trust Enterprise Programme
Get help to explore and test your business idea. The programme supports unemployed young people aged 18-30 to work out if their business ideas are viable and whether self-employment is right for them. Support includes business advice, mentoring and small start up funding.

www.princes-trust.org.uk/need_help/enterprise_programme.aspx