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Crazy bread recipes, heat protector experiments and more

As the festive season approaches we’re seeing some truly creative ideas for recipes involving bread. One hairdresser goes to extreme lengths to prove the power of heat protection sprays. The USA is enjoying National Bread Month, and one US bakery reveals a proper heart-warming story. This is our world. Welcome to it.

Eccentric bread recipes flood the interweb

A quick Google news search delivers a basket full of festive goodies. On closer examination they don’t all sound delicious, but hey, they’re creative! If you’re craving comfort food you could try a bread ‘boat’ crammed with cooked cheese, butter and egg, a cold weather special available at the Skalka Georgian Cafe and Bakery in Seattle, USA. There’s even a pumpkin-cheesecake-stuffed monkey bread doing the rounds, topped with a ‘delicious cinnamon sugar glaze’.

At the same time one bright spark recommends apples stuffed with bread and sausage for ‘autumnal comfort’. Hm. The lovely Nigella Lawson has been extolling the humble shower cap as an essential dough proving tool. We like her style. And Down Under the Aussies’ famous Fairy Bread is undergoing a transformation for Christmas in the shape of an entire Fairy Cob Loaf. People are, apparently, going mad for it. As they say down there, crikey.

Hairdresser proves the benefits of heat protector spray

All we can say is don’t try this at home. When one clever hairdresser decided to cover a slice of bread with heat protector spray to prove how effective it is, the experiment worked a treat. The sprayed part of the slice did not become toasted. It remained soft and white. The un-sprayed part of the slice went a nice toasty brown, crisping up beautifully.

We’re not sure what the moral of the story is – maybe ‘don’t toast your hair’?

It’s National Bread Month in the USA

Thanks to The Stranger for this story. On 3rd November it was Sandwich Day in the USA. Now we’re about to enter America’s National Bread Month, and the word on the streets is that this year, millions of Americans will be home-baking their way through every single day of it. As the journalist says:

“When the weather turns cold, every Sunday I dump six cups of flour, three cups of water, a tablespoon and a half of yeast and the same amount of salt into a mixer; then I let it stand for an hour, punch it down, grab a handful’s worth and pop it in the oven at 350; the rest goes in the fridge, and I take out a few bits at a time to make small loaves over the next few days. It’s simple, it’s fast, and fresh daily bread makes your home smell amazing.”

The brilliant South Fork Bakery – A heart-warming story

We love the sound of the South Fork Bakery, a business on a mission to provide meaningful paid employment to special needs residents in the local community. Based at the East End of Long Island, New York, people with special needs are supported to work at the bakery, being ‘encouraged to be a contributing member of their community’. The bakery ‘sees beyond disabilities and instead see employees willing, able and excited to work’.

The business was founded in 2016 to help bring real employment to adults with disabilities. Owner Shirley Ruch specialises in working with children with autism, and these days employs 16 workers with autism and other disabilities as well as a professional baker and special education teacher.

Greggs drops 800 staff, Fermanagh bakery creates 88 new jobs

Swings and roundabouts… the pandemic just keeps on giving and now Greggs the bakers is in trouble, aiming to cut more than 800 jobs nationally. At the same time other businesses are flexing and growing, including County Fermanagh’s Crust and Crumb, which has just invested a cool £5.9m in a bakery and created 88 new foodservice sector jobs as a result.

The UK-based bakery Electric Piñata is searching for a ‘bakery tester’ to test their delicious wares on a paid basis. Nice work if you can get it. And one Derby bakery, Birds, is predicting they’ll sell more than 400,000 mince pies this Christmas, all made using the same recipe used back in 1919 when the company was first created.

Myanmar bakery in child labour scandal

In Myanmar the owners of a bakery have been detained over the alleged forced labour of more than 20 children, some as young as eight. The bakery has been in operation for around three years but the abuse only came to light when a 19 year-old asked for help from local people, after suffering physical abuse from the bakery’s supervisor. Apparently the children were beaten regularly.

A total of 22 children were rescued and taken to the local police station, and other bakeries owned by the same people were raided in an attempt to rescue more children, but no more were found. The business was operating without a license. The children were tested for Covid-19 before being sent to the social welfare department, then on to their parents. Ten of them tested positive but all were found to be in good health.

Baking fabulous artisan bread throughout the pandemic

We did everything possible to maintain our business through lockdown 1, and we’re doing the same this time around. If you want top class, totally delicious artisan breads for your foodservice customers, walk this way. We’ll be pleased to help. In the meantime, stay safe.