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Festive sourdough recipes assessed by expert bakers for food students' product development task

Posted 15 December 2022

Jones Village Bakery Managing Director Robin Jones and Group New Product Development Manager Florence Roberts discuss the students' sourdough products

A festive product development task for food students at Harper Adams University has seen them work with North Wales’ Jones Village Bakery to develop innovative Christmas sourdough recipes.

The task – which the second year BSc (Hons) Food Technology and Product Development students have worked on during the winter term – saw 17 students following a brief set by the bakery, based in Wrexham.

Each had to develop their product with a festive theme or element for their product – which was then assessed by Jones Village Bakery Managing Director Robin Jones and Group New Product Development Manager Florence Roberts.

Both Robin and Florence met each of the food students, tasting their products, giving feedback, asking questions and more during the event.

Among the sourdoughs developed by students were truffle; rosemary and sloe; dark chocolate; and cherry beer-based breads – with staff and students from across the University, including Vice-Chancellor Professor Ken Sloan, visiting to choose their favourite festive treats.

Harper Adams Senior Lecturer and Food Course Manager, Rachel Hilton said: “When it came to developing a festive sourdough, the Jones Village Bakery were an obvious choice.

“There are strong links between the bakery and Harper Adams, with students from the University spending their placement year in industry there – indeed, one of our sourdough developers at today’s event will be a placement student next year.

“We always aim for our student projects to have industry relevance, so having the Jones Village Bakery not only set the brief for our students, but also come and evaluate their products, is invaluable.

“For our students to share how they developed their products with Robin and Florence and gain their insight has been wonderful, and I’d like to thank them so much for their input.”

Having spent the morning tasting their products, Robin told the students that – as someone who baked bread daily - he was very pleased to see what they had done with the brief, and with his sourdough.

Speaking afterwards, he said: “It has been brilliant – it was a great display with some marvellous ideas and involvement.

“The best thing for me was that the students had clearly really thought about their products.

“It was what I would call a really good Harper Adams display – the products were fantastic!”

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