Welcome to the first in a new series of ‘Meet the Baker’ interviews. We thought you’d like an insight into our bakery and how the bread is made, as well as introduce you to a few faces of the people that love making your Vogel’s.
Vogel’s operates a 7 day, 7 night a week rota in the bakery. All our loaves and rolls are baked with no added sugar, emulsifiers, enzymes, or artificial preservatives or flavourings and are GM free, using 100% British wheat.
Every few weeks, we’ll introduce you to new team members and if you have any questions that you’d like answering, please post your comments below and we’ll answer them next time. For now, we hope you enjoy this first interview!
Name: Mick Darlow
Job title: Director of Baking
How long have you been baking or in the food industry?
I’ve been lucky enough to have worked in the baking industry for 47 years – all my working life.
What do you love about bread?
I love that it’s possible to make so many different types of bread from just five key ingredients: flour, water, yeast, salt, and vegetable oil. By using different methods every baker, whether in their kitchen or in a large craft bakery like ours, can end up with so many different and exciting textures and flavours.
What’s your favourite food?
Well, apart from bread of course, it has to be any type of seafood.
What made you want to bake Vogel’s rather than another kind of bread?
At Nicholas & Harris, the group which Vogel’s is part of, we make many different types of bread but Vogel’s is my favourite. All the varieties taste amazing and the bread makes great toast. There’s an interesting texture to each of our loaves which is like no other bread.
How many steps are there in the process of baking a loaf of Vogel’s?
The seven steps are: 1. Weighing up ingredients and soaking the grains 2. Mixing 3. Proving 4. Baking 5. Cooling 6. The loaves are sliced and wrapped and the rolls are bagged 7. All the products are collated into an order for delivery to your nearest store! Each of the seven steps is staffed by dedicated experts in that part of the baking and production process.
How much bread do you have the chance to eat each day, all in the name of ‘quality control’ of course?!
I eat bread most days, especially if we are developing new products! We also have a daily taste panel that tries products every day.
Anything else interesting?
What makes Vogel’s breads really wonderful is the kibbling process, where we crush the grains into little pieces rather than finely milling them, so they retain more nutritional content. That, and the fact that our Original Mixed Grain loaf recipe remains unchanged from the one that Alfred Vogel created in 1954.
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