"Constant ingredients give us time and peace of mind"
BAKKERIJ BEERSE, ALKMAAR
Cheese sticks are in high demand at Bakkerij Beerse in the province of Noord-Holland. And for that, baker Koen Beerse has an explanation: “Cheese sticks are a hit because they’re so fresh! We bake them all day long, and they are never over an hour old when the customer buys them. That’s what makes them so delicious.” He has cleverly organised his production to meet the ever-increasing demand for viennoiserie.
Koen Beerse initially pursued a technical degree. But once he started working in engineering, he became homesick. He longed for the smell of bread and pastries and the bakery that his grandfather’s grandfather founded in 1902. “I tried all kinds of things in engineering, but it just didn’t work out. When this left me at home, my father suggested I join the bakery for a while. I agreed as I had nothing else to do at the time. Moreover, I found the baker’s trade very fascinating from a young age. I regained interest in the profession during this period and decided to follow professional training for bakers. That was ten years ago! We built a new bakery in 2013, and since then, I have been working in the company alongside my parents.”
During his training as a baker, Koen realised there was much more to being a baker than baking rolls, sweeping floors and cleaning machines. He specialised in bread and is particularly interested in sourdough bread. He also experiments a lot with viennoiserie.“We have eight sales outlets: four shops in Alkmaar and shops in Bergen, Oudorp, Zuid-Scharwoude and Sint Pancras. Viennoiserie is a big hit in all these shops. After taking over a bakery in 2009, when we went from two to six stores, our puff pastry production came under a lot of pressure. We started making larger batches, so we didn’t have to bake these products every day.”
A few years ago, Koen experimented with a number of machines that could help him in the bakery to produce his range of viennoiserie. “We took all our ingredients to a manufacturer’s test bakery and started testing lines there with our own recipes,” he says. “In the end, we decided to keep the production completely traditional. On a machine line, I could make three months’ worth of cheese croissants in five hours. But you have to be able to freeze and store them properly. You need extra space and extra trolleys, and that requires a considerable investment. We consciously decided to maintain our flexibility and continue making the products by hand.”
Koen and his bakers enjoy working with Debic’s technical butters. For example, they use Debic Croissant butter for their puff pastry products. “I want to work with 100% butter,” says Koen. “Moreover, we get this butter in sheets, which we can process easily and efficiently. The product gives peace of mind in the bakery. The bakers know that the quality is always consistent and they do not have to worry about it. This saves time and frustration.”
Koen and his bakers choose to work through the night when working with viennoiserie. “There is no need to set the dough; it can be laminated straight from the refrigerator. It is already cold and can be used quite quickly. We roll out the Debic Croissant butter a day in advance and store it at a temperature of around 18°C. In the morning, all we have to do is fold it. In about two and a half hours, six of us use about 75 kilos: 17 eight-kilogram pieces of dough, including laminating. An ideal way to work, thanks to a well-oiled team and the best ingredients.”
"The bakers know that the quality is always consistent and they do not have to worry about it. This saves time and frustration.”
BAKKERIJ BEERSE, ALKMAAR
- Make sure the quality of your products is up to scratch. This means finding good staff and, if that doesn't always work out the way you want, choosing high-quality ingredients.
- By rolling the dough a day in advance and storing Debic's butter at room temperature, you can start laminating straight away in the morning. The dough is cold and quick to work with, while the butter is nice and soft. This saves time.
- Make larger batches of your bestsellers so you don't have to make them every day.