'Bread sommelier' and baker with passion

JRS master baker Gerhard Gröber receives the 'Bread Sommelier' certificate from the Federal Academy of German Bakers in Weinheim from Johann Lafer.

Rosenberg, Dezember 2022

Gerhard Gröber receives the certificate of bread sommelier from Johann Lafer and the head of the academy Bernd Kütscher
Gerhard Gröber receives the certificate of bread sommelier from Johann Lafer and the head of the academy Bernd Kütscher

Gerhard Gröber is a baker with a passion. The trained baker and confectioner from the Härtsfeld was a member of the German national bakery team for over 10 years. In 2008 and 2010, he took first and second place, respectively, in international baking competitions.
In particular, the passion for bread drives the lively master baker, who has been working for 8 years in the baking technology center of JRS, J. Rettenmaier&Söhne, Rosenberg, together with international customers on new, healthier baked goods recipes with the JRS plant fiber ballast.

He can draw on a wealth of practical experience - after his apprenticeship as a baker in Nattheim-Auernheim and his apprenticeship as a confectioner in Aalen, he was drawn to faraway places for the mission 'bread': first he worked in a craft bakery in Cologne, then for 3 years in France in larger and smaller craft bakeries, including one year in Paris - the capital of the baguette.

His penchant for the 'perfect' bread continues to drive him: on November 23, after ten months of further training at the Bundesakademie Deutsches Bäckerhandwerk in Weinheim, he was now able to receive his 'Bread Sommelier' degree from celebrity chef Johann Lafer and academy director Bernd Kütscher. "I wanted to use it to further deepen my expertise in bread," says Gerhard Gröber. He had already taken his master baker's degree at the renowned Weinheim Academy a few years earlier. The final event with the presentation of certificates for the 'bread sommeliers' took place in a very special ambience - in Johann Lafer's large test kitchen studio, there was baking and cooking together with the star and TV chef and, of course, extensive talking shop among professionals.

A master craftsman's diploma in the bakery or confectionery trade or a comparable qualification is a prerequisite for participation in this advanced training course. Bread is becoming an increasingly important topic for consumers and the media. This calls for bread experts who know everything there is to know about bread and its taste, properties and appearance, and who are also ideally placed to pass on their knowledge.

In his final thesis, Gerhard Gröber also dealt with his favorite topic of the day, the use of cereal fibers in bread. This involved application knowledge in the production of healthier types of bread: "Tasty bread forms an important basis in the daily diet, especially in Germany" explains Gerhard Gröber. "However, since many consumers cannot get used to the typical taste of whole-grain products, an important source of dietary fiber for a healthy diet is underutilized. The result is a whole range of preventable widespread diseases, such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease or colon cancer. I have set myself the goal of changing this - recipes with flavor-neutral cereal fiber dietary fiber in ciabatta, light rolls or white breads help to achieve a similarly high fiber loading as classic whole grain products." Particularly important for the 'freshly baked' bread sommelier: "At the same time, the typical, fine taste of white baked goods with their sensory properties is preserved. I have worked this out again in detail from a sensory, technological and health point of view in my final thesis. I would like to spread my knowledge more widely in my work and provide professional support in bread production. I would also like to work against the widespread prejudice that bread 'makes you fat'. Behind this is a major, semi-religious misunderstanding based on an incorrect assessment of the quantities consumed. Bread is extremely important for a balanced diet - for example, as one of the largest sources of dietary fiber. In addition, bread baked with sourdough provides important minerals such as magnesium, iron, calcium, which are made bioavailable by the sourdough."

Vegetable dietary fibers also accompany Gerhard Gröber in his daily work. Together with his application team colleagues, he conducts test series for customer projects in the JRS Baking Technology Center, develops healthier, new baked goods recipes together with customers from all over the world, provides support in the selection of raw materials - and accompanies production processes in large bakeries around the globe.

His employer, J. Rettenmaier&Söhne with its business unit 'JRS Food Ingredients', operates various pilot plant facilities for food applications, including bakery products, meat and meat substitute products, or dairy and beverage production, at its central location in Rosenberg-Holzmühle. As one of the largest manufacturers of plant fiber ballast and functional ingredients from plant-based raw materials, the globally active JRS group of companies with production sites in Germany, the USA and Hungary, as well as regional sales and consulting centers, supplies the food industry with its region-specific needs all over the world.

Gerhard Gröber is a baker with a passion
Gerhard Gröber is a baker with a passion
Johann Lafer and Gerhard Gröber
Johann Lafer and Gerhard Gröber

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