SAN JOSE, Calif. -- Par-baked and pre-proofed breads were in the spotlight at the International Dairy-Deli-Bakery Association's first day-long bakery symposium held here last month.
Using such products enables in-store bakeries to bake bread and rolls frequently and in small batches -- and that alone can raise sales as much as 35%, said Sabine Veit, president of Backerhaus Veit, Ltd., Woodbridge, Ontario, Canada, a manufacturer of pre-proofed and par-baked rolls, baguettes and breads. She addressed attendees at the symposium which was held a day prior to IDDA's 31st annual seminar and exposition here.
"Customers love hot bread and they'll keep coming back to get it," Veit said, noting that research continues to show that freshness is a major concern of consumers. As she made a case for ready-to-bake products, Veit also stressed the control such products offer retailers.
"Show me a scratch baker that has consistency," she challenged, adding that this is particularly rare when it is so difficult to get skilled labor. A consistent product, control of shrink because product can be baked only as needed, and a constant supply of fresh product that alleviates out-of-stock situations are some of the advantages.
"About the only thing they can do wrong is burn it," she said.
She did warn that there is moisture loss since the bread is actually being baked twice, and for that reason, she advised using a steam-injection oven.
Pre-proofed product, she said, is a step closer to scratch baking, but it is not as fool-proof and not as much variety is available. For example, she said, manufacturers do not like to pre-proof items that weigh over 10 ounces because it is more difficult to stop the proofing process at the right moment.