So bread stencils... whats all the fuss about?
Although the use of a stencil on bread to add patterns to the crust is nothing new, (its been around for a long time) especially within the artisan bread and craft baking sector, it does appear to be gaining some popularity on social media, and businesses and individuals are using different ideas to catch "consumers" and "followers" attention.
So being curious (again) we decided to have a play around and see what types of different designs we could come up with. We found that if you get creative with it, not only does it make the final bread more attractive, but can also be used to raise awareness of your brand or event!
Generic type stencils
So first off we have all seen the more generic type stencils of different shapes and sizes. In most cases, we found that you are generally best off creating a stencil digitally, and printing it off onto plastic (OHP film works well.) This is then cut out and can be used for the final bread. This method allows a more consistent finish if lettering features a lot in your design. Some examples of this are below from stencil through to finished baked loaf!
Stencils are also useful for highlighting different events that may be coming up. You have probably seen a few examples of businesses looking for new staff where it says "we're hiring" on the loaf that someone is holding. We think it's a great way of catching peoples attention, and demonstrates something different for potential employees. Here are a couple of designs that we did specifically for events. One included is the #BrumGoesGreen2019 event where we made recycled bread, so it was finished with a recycling logo stencil and dusted with spinach. Another example is one that was made for the Alliance for Bakery Students and Trainees for their #LobTheCob event in June 2018.
Finally, stencils can be used really well as branding for business. Taking into account that the process takes longer to complete, it does demonstrate a point of difference especially when it is your brands logo on the loaf! Can be tricky if the logo is complex though! It may be that only a few loaves are finished using a stencil, and maybe even displayed in the shop window to draw people in. We fully accept that in mass production, this would be extremely challenging and not feasible. Heres an example of some other stencils we designed as well
So whats the conclusion?
No matter what you think about it, the use of a bread stencil definitely draws attention, and is even a conversation starter! If you need any advice on how to go about making your stencil, get in touch! Social media is full of ideas for stencils and techniques to make bread stand out, and we suppose the bigger question is with more people interacting on social media, will that affect the what they expect from bakery businesses? But thats a much bigger discussion!
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