The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Looking for expert in baking mix formulation

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aaaron's picture
aaaron

Looking for expert in baking mix formulation

Hello bakers--

Hope discussing mixes isn't blasphemy for an artisan baking forum, but here goes-- our natural foods startup is looking for baking consultation on formulating healthy (yet outrageously delicious) baking mixes (therein lies the challenge :) ). We're primarily looking for someone with expertise in the "mix" domain and in the San Francisco bay area. We are aiming to develop innovative products in the baking mix category that support healthier lifestyles. If interested, please send info on experience and background to rooster.00@hotmail.com (those are zeros in the address.)

Thanks,

Aaron

 

 

BROTKUNST's picture
BROTKUNST

While I applaud your good intention I think you have the wrong impression about how bread-baking really works.

 

You see, a 'baking mix' is to me probably something what a 'painting-by-numbers-kit' would be for a painter - with the difference that you don't have to eat the number-painting.

 

Baking bread requires much more then having the right ingredients in a bowl, water on hand and an oven nearby ... the taste of a bread is hidden in the ingredients and all the effort of baking is to reveal as much of this flavor as possible and to present the lthis flavor with the texture and shape you wish. If you hide the flavors conveniently in a box, then they are still hidden nonetheless. If you want to explain to your customers in a written instruction what to do with the content of the box, you would need a pretty big box.

 

This may all work for cake because the flavor of cakes derives from different sources and little from the grain itself. (People add sugar, fruits and flavors to them for a reason).

 

A healthier life style may be to slow down a little and trade the wonderbread for something 'real' from your local bakery or healthfood store ... or take a little time to bake your bread at home. It's just flour,water(, yeast,) and salt after all.

 

BROTKUNST

susanfnp's picture
susanfnp

Hi Aaron,

I disagree a little with Brotkunst. I think most people here do not use mixes, but "most people here" aren’t "most people." If a great mix would be an incentive for people who wouldn’t otherwise bake to make and eat something from their own ovens, made from healthier ingredients than what they can get in their local Stop N Shop, I’m all for it.

Sorry I can’t help you, I don’t know anything about mixes myself. I do think in general you might consider giving a little more information about your company in this kind of solicitation. Personally, I would not send any information about myself to a random, unknown email address.

Good luck with your startup, though!

Susanfnp

leemid's picture
leemid

While there is, in my opinion, no way to achieve what the majority of us who frequent this site do or hope to bake in taste, crumb and crust, there are folks who, if they had the nerve to try, could also make quite good bread by hand, experiencing the joy that attends such success, but never give it a try. A well designed mix, used either by hand or by bread machine, could allow them to make and eat much better bread than can be purchased at most grocery stores. Getting them to that point would lead some of them to make the jump to 'true' artisan bread baking, especially if they find this site to use as a resource.

I have been making my own artisan bread long enough now that I am shocked at the crap sold in stores, as I have occasion to eat what is placed before me. Over the last 20 years of marriage my wife has made me bread in our bread machine that I have loved both because she made it and because it beat the pants off of store bread. They have been specialty breads that I have no interest in converting to a hand made recipe because they are excellent and way too easy from the machine. Oddly, they have excellent crust as well. True, the crumb is not artisan-like, but still quite excellent. My wife would never make these breads by hand anyway, so for her, and me, the answer is a mix, or recipe, and a bread machine.

That's my story,

Lee

firepit's picture
firepit

I, too, agree with Susan. But that's not the same thing as saying I disagree with Brotkunst...

The folks here are not your everyday consumers. I believe that people who bake their own bread are already in a very small minority of the general public. The people here? We're probably at least one standard deviation away from your normal bread bakers. All that means is that we are probably not Aaron's target sales audience. Fortunately, it doesn't sound like he's trying to drum up sales, he's looking for someone who can help you come up with good formulas, and as such, there may well be people here that would help.

To be clear, I'm not that guy. I don't have the refined palette or knack for understanding flavor combinations to be a stand-out in the kitchen. But Aaron's post, and Lee's, got me thinking. ...The basics of bread is far more simple than most people would ever believe. 4 ingredients, time and heat. It really couldn't be easier, but nobody believes you when you tell them that. Part of me would feel silly selling someone a box that had pre-mixed flour, salt and yeast in it, but if combining those in the right ratio and giving simple instructions for how to add the right amount of water is what it takes to get someone else baking at home...

Would it be as good as what Brotkunst is turning out? Obviously not. But would it be healthier than the mass-produced stuff at the store? Would it taste better? Would the house smell better? Would the baker have a small feeling of accomplishment? Would we be one step closer to making another addict? I think the answer is yes on all counts.

Given that the American consumers have already shown their willingness to pay a steep premium for someone else to do the prep work ("look, we've already cut your chunk of cheese into cracker-sized slices! (and it works out to be only 9 dollars a pound for Colby!)"), just reducing the bread recipe from 7 steps to 4 steps might be enough...

sphealey's picture
sphealey

=== Part of me would feel silly selling someone a box that had pre-mixed flour, salt and yeast in it, but if combining those in the right ratio and giving simple instructions for how to add the right amount of water is what it takes to get someone else baking atSo home...===

There are already two suppliers of mixes that are sold as making "artisan" bread (I will let them do their own marketing) and the results from those are as good as I think you can expect from a mix. And at least in the midwest there used to be a third, but they were remaindered and have disappeared from a year on. So I am not sure where the market would be for another supplier - there didn't seem to be room for a third player a year ago.

sPh

T4tigger's picture
T4tigger

"We're probably at least one standard deviation away from your normal bread bakers"      

I'm also at least one standard deviation from normal anything!!!!   :-)   Anyone else fit that category?

mkelly27's picture
mkelly27

Just call me....    Abby, Abby something....   abby normal 

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