Happy New Year to all our lovely BakeryBits customers. 2016 was a pretty tumultuous year for most and for us it was no exception. Moving to a new warehouse was pretty hectic but now that we are nicely settled the benefits are clear with plenty of space for more sensible quantities of stock and the Dispatch team is very much more efficient – and no longer tripping over boxes.

What’s coming in 2017? If the events of 2016 are anything to go by then predictions need to be treated with caution – but – ours are based to a large extent on what you tell us, ask us to stock or to create a recipe for.

Is there anything you would like to see from us in 2017? A particular piece of equipment or ingredient? Maybe a recipe for a particular loaf that we could task Vanessa with? Perhaps a look at a technique or process that we should cover? You’re generally full of excellent ideas and as always we would love to hear them. Send us an email. For those that we use, we’ll send a prize as a thank you…let us know, don’t be shy!

What does Vanessa predict for bread in 2017? She’s let us have her predictions and since she is the one setting many of the sourdough trends, some are more likely than others!

PS. There are lots of new jobs in the baking industry to start the New Year. See below for the latest.

I have loved reading about the food predictions in the papers this week and found myself agreeing with many of them. So what are the main bread baking trends for 2017? There are several topics emerging and I am looking forward to writing more about them throughout the year – here is a taster.

Image courtesy of Aidon Shifon

Fun Colours

I can see a trend emerging for playing with colours. Black bakes, using charcoal powder started the trend last year, but there are more colours emerging. Green, blue, yellow and pink breads emerging, using spinach, matcha, turmeric, beetroot and other vegetable dyes. One of the people to look out for is Guy Frenkle as he loves his rainbow colours.

Image courtesy of Guy Frenkle (Instagram: ceorbread)


I can’t think of a year that flavour hasn’t featured especially in recent times since the real bread re-emergence, but this year I believe that flavour will really play an even bigger part in bread making. To be more accurate, I think this means a greater use and demand for slow breads, whether sourdough, polish or slow-proofed fresh yeast breads, all of which develop a more complex flavour.

I also think that malted products of all sorts will pay a much more significant role in bread making this year. We stock a range of them and I think we’ll be seeing home bakers using malts a lot more – simply because they add a fantastic layer of flavour and colour to the dough. I’ll be talking about malted ingredients and how to make your own over the coming months.


2016 saw endless photos on social media of holey, the bigger the better seemed to be the way. I think is was seen as an artisan badge of honour resulting in the “best” being impossible to spread with butter without it falling through onto the plate. I think there will be a calming of this in 2017 with a more measured view of the varied holes made by high hydration and wild yeasts. There will be more focus on the quality of the overall texture (and flavour of course) rather than just making holes…I picked up several loaves with huge holes in on 2016 that looked incredible, but were actually devoid of flavour.


There is no doubt in my mind that the digestibility of bread is coming to the forefront of baking. There is a steady stream of clinical studies on sourdough in particular that are showing the real difference that lactic acid bacteria, wild yeast and long slow fermentation makes to both the nutritional value and digestibility of sourdough. I have a particular interest in this subject and I have been researching this intensively for my forthcoming sourdough book due in September. I’ll be returning to this all through the year but if you can’t wait to get going then you can get some sourdough starter and get going with my basic starter recipes here.

Home Milling & Nutrition

I think last year’s trend on clean living has filtered down to bread. We are all becoming much more nutritionally aware and home bakers are often interested in the extra nutritional punch their bread can deliver. I expect a real trend to emerge for home milling of grains, already established in countries such as Austria and Germany. We’ve already noticed the increasing interest in home milling as all our mills are really selling well as is the grain. I will be writing more about the benefits of baking bread with freshly milled flour later this month.

Stoneground Flour

Patrick tells me that stoneground British flour is getting more popular every year. I think we can expect to see an increase in daily loaves made from the best nutty, moist organic British stoneground flour as bakers continue to celebrate the rich history and flavour of these flours. Read about Foster’s Mill, Stoates Mill or Redbournbury Mill for a taste of milling history.

Asian Breads

The Asian bread market is exploding onto the world scene. I’ve met several bakers this year from Hong Kong, Korea, Singapore and Malaysia, The Asian bakers are just fantastically creative with their baking and steaming too. They are using the long, slow fermentation of sourdough and creating some amazing textures. I’m getting really excited about a super soft Chinese bun recipe I have up my sleeve and a Hokkaido milk bread, and oh...a really easy Tangzhong method that I have developed is in the pipeline. I also spotted a Korean Mochi Bread From Scratch–Korean Black Sesame Mochi Bread (韩国黑芝麻麻糬面包) which I will be working on. I love this exchange of ideas across the globe and it seems set to continue as bakers exchange ideas and inspiration openly on social media, with bakers such as William Woo leading the way.


This year is the year we will really see more about Scandinavian bread. The back end of 2016 saw a movement celebrating hygge - a way of living that celebrates life and nature and simple pleasure…and bread is right at the heart of this simple natural approach to life. Sprouted grains, rye and cooler flavours will dominate this year. Think caraway and malt flavours. I’ve plans for 1000 seed Danish muffins, seriously scrumptious Nordic brunch breads, raisin buns and darker Norwegian breads made using whole grains and buttermilk, baked to retain the moisture in tins.

Double ferments

Last but by no means least I think that double ferments will come into their own: 2016 was a year that fermentation really got going. I think that there is a trend for layers of fermentation, including Asian style fruit ferments, making bread-using kefirs, fermented sprouted grains…watch this space. I’ll be writing more about how to add double ferments into your everyday bread as the year goes on.

Whatever the bread trends are you can be sure that you are in for a super year of inspiring recipes, tips, techniques, news stories, and the latest equipment and ingredients from Patrick and the BakeryBits team.

Stay in touch with us. We love photos of your bread [BB INstagram] and will always do our best to find what ever it is that you are looking for that is, if we don’t already stock it.

Vanessa Kimbell runs the Sourdough School, Northampton