On the 17th September 2013 a group of bakers with varied experience including Worshipful Company award winners, skilled craft bakers and representatives from milling and specialist bakery ingredient manufacturers met in London for the start of 4 day educational trip to Germany. The trip included a 2-day course in German baking at Akadamie Weinheim, a detailed visit to Gortz bakery in Manheim and a tour of bakery shops in Heidelberg.
The award winners included 11 of the best student bakers from across the UK and Ireland, who were successful in receiving an educational bursary from the Worshipful Company of Bakers Benevolent Fund. Winners of the prestigious ABIM, Joseph Travelling, Scacco & CBA Awards also attended the trip.
On the course we learnt traditional and modern methods of producing a range of German breads, cakes and pastries including traditional, spelt, and quark stollen, lye pretzels, Berliner doughnuts, rye breads, streusel, and black forest gateau.
The trip to Gortz bakery gave all delegates an opportunity to see a large and efficient part automated bakery making a range of high quality craft products. The Gortz bakery business mainly has outlets in retail and industrial parks offering a fantastic alternative to what in the UK has become an area where we are most likely to find fast food franchises.
The visit to the historical town of Heidelberg allowed delegates to have a leisurely walk around the many small craft and artisan bakers and chocolate shops to taste products, take photos, and gain ideas and inspiration.
The evenings allowed delegates to enjoy the relaxed and picturesque town of Weinheim, to reflect on what had been learnt during the day, and to network and learn from each other’s ideas and experiences.
Returning to London on the 21st September, delegates have gained a wealth of knowledge and skills, which they will retain, develop and pass on throughout their bakery careers. All have also gained lifelong industry friends who will hopefully continue to network and share knowledge, skills and opportunities for many years to come.
The trip was well structured, professional, educational and enjoyed by all who attended. As the group leader it was a pleasure to travel, and learn alongside such a passionate and dedicated group of fellow bakers.