February 4, 2017 - 10:54am
recipe credits for bakeries
I have a small out of home baking business. I have always developed my own recipes. However, I am wanting to introduce some items that I have found in cookbooks. The recipes I make aren't always identically, but are usually fairly similar. How does this work for a business? Does every bakery develop their own recipes? I don't disclose my recipes to my customers, only ingredients, so it seems strange to disclose the recipe and where it's from if it's not my own. Just curious how this subject is approached in a professional setting.
When I worked professionally, we went by a rule that if a recipe was adjusted by at least a minimum of 10 percent, you could in theory claim it as your own. Now I dont know if it is like that everywhere, but here in New York it was. I see the need to list ingredients re: food allergies etc. but I dont know that you actually have to give out a recipe. but if you feel the need, then just make a list of bakers percentages.
Most bakeries have recipes based on recipes supplied by books or even supplier's and trade publications. For me you first use a recipe as is and then you think how can I improve this, we have these ingredients available and don't have another so how would substitution affect the outcome and eventually you have a similar product but adapted to your business. I don't really think it is anybody's business where you sourced the recipe from, if you want to let people know fine if not that is fine as well.
I just list the ingredients on my labels. I have many recipe books, and books about bread, and do a lot of browsing online, but usually end up modifying the original recipe over time anyway. As others have said, when the dough is made from flour, water, salt and yeast it's kinda hard to claim anything proprietary! Some bread, such as Pane di Altamura, is protected (at least the name is). This from Wikipedia:
But there are recipes for bread made with durum flour and the same hydration, etc. all over the place. You're just not supposed to use the name. Kinda like Champagne. :)
from the patent office:
From my experience, ten bakers can be given the same list of ingredients with specific quantities and the end result will be ten different loaves of bread.
Time, temperature, handling, starter quality, scoring and steaming methods... you get the point. Each of us will do things a little differently and that will change the final product.
This is why I am very generous with sharing my formulas, which are all adaptions of someone else's formulas. While the ingredients are important, it is what each of us does with those ingredients that makes our bread unique.
In my opinion most, if not all bread formulas go back thousands of years and just because someone published them in a book doesn't transfer ownership rights.
millions of bakers over thousands of years and there just isn't much new when it comes to bread or any other recipe for that matter. Those that think they own a recipe are just full of themselves.
Copyright law doesn't usually apply to recipes since they are considered procedures, not artwork. If the prose in a recipe is artful or especially original, that prose may be copyrighted but the recipe itself can't be copyrighted. If you are using identical ingredients to a recipe that is not yours, the nice thing to do is to say "adapted from..." or if you are changing ingredients from the original source "inspired by...." Be aware that some commercial recipe publishers will pursue action against you if you use their name (the name of their company, book or website.) So, if do you rework a recipe and say "inspired by....", check to see whether the author has asked that you not use their brand in print without their permission. This is especially true with subscription cooking sources - the ones that are big enough to regularly hire attorneys or have them on staff. Bottom line, credit the author unless they asked that you not use their name.
And more or less what most of the above have said; Try a recipe adapt it to local conditions and go for it. However, names may be the subject of copyright and trademarks (forget patents; copyright, trademarks and PDO are more important).
The common one in the UK is Granary bread. The word "Granary" is a trademark of Hovis (or whoever owns that brand today), so my "malted wheat flour bread with malted grains" is called: Maltster. The mills who make such flour (other than Hovis) call it by various other names (Maltstar, Country Flour, etc.) for the same reason. I can make Granary bread and sell it as such, but I have to buy genuine Hovis Granary flour to make it with.
For other things - same applies; I have a "French style almond cake (No gluten containing ingredients) and a Carrot cake recipe (also no gluten containing ingredients - which is the correct term in the UK - can't use the words gluten free unless I can prove it has less than 12ppm gluten in it!) My carrot cake recipe is my own recipe, but I got inspiration from a few others my almond cake - well, that's pretty generic and sometimes I add lemon rather than almond essence and it's then a Lemon polenta cake... Some names are generic though - e.g. flapjack (at least in the UK), so it's up to you to to call it with your own local variant. As for bread - just how many "insert your town name here" Sourdough breads are there? I sell "The Buckfastleigh Sourdough". Shop 3 miles up the road sells the Ashburton Sourdough, and so on.
So go for it - list ingredients and allergens according to the laws of the country you're in and carry on baking!
Some pages for a read (UK ish though)
-Gordon @moorbakes in Devon
Most breads seems to derive their names from the ingredients i.e. 7 grain, ancient grain, muesli, or traditional names like Kaiser rolls, deli rye etc. I can see if a bread was named after a competitors bakery name or something that someone might take issue. If your competitor is named xyz and you call your bread xyz crusty loaf you may be treading on someone's turf.
to give credit to one you follow. Just bake, sell and list the ingredients if required by law.
Thank you all for your thoughts. It's a great help and I don't feel like I have to reinvent the wheel for every item I provide for my customers. I love to experiment, but sometimes it's nice to not have to. For my bread I only use ancient grains, so developing my own recipes hasn't been an issue, since there aren't many to go off of that use exclusively ancient grains.