'Proving' there's more to baking

Whilst TV programmes have helped popularise baking, the science behind baking and the range of careers the industry offers is often overlooked. This has led to a skills shortage in the industry and is why Barking & Dagenham College and Zeelandia, the Bakery Ingredients Manufacturer have teamed up to show students what the industry is all about.

Keen to support local talent, Zeelandia, based in Billericay, ran a workshop with the College’s patisserie and bakery students. As part of the workshop students tried out their baking skills in tasks such as mixing, hand moulding and making sourdough. They then got the chance to turn the College’s bakery into a laboratory to learn the “Science behind Baking!"

Andrew Taylor, Technical & Development Specialist at Zeelandia was on hand to show how the characteristics of bread change when different ingredients are added and demonstrate some of the many bread production processes that are used. The students were quick to experiment with the bread, seeing how ingredients work, such as how the protein structure expands and sets within a loaf. As student Danielle Tomlinson, 18, said:

It was fascinating to see how science comes into baking, I really like science and I thought it was good to find out there’s so much more that goes into baking than you’d think.”

The workshop also included the chance for students to find out from Andrew about the many and varied career routes in the bakery industry. Indeed currently there is high demand for skilled and specialist roles across the industry. The students learnt how jobs, as well as those in bakeries themselves, also include positions in product development and quality assurance and expert roles such as becoming flour confectioners and specialists, in which knowing the science behind bakery is essential.

Andrew said:

"The bakery industry has such a wide range of careers available that people just don’t know about and with the workshop, we were able to give students an insight into all the opportunities there are. It’s important to us that we support the bakers of the future and help further develop the industry. Linking with Colleges such as Barking & Dagenham College is one way for us to help do this.”

Bakery lecturer Kelly Andrews added:

The students were really enthused by the session and it was great for them to learn about the industry and the science behind baking in a fun way.”

'Proving' there's more to baking