Ovens at the ready as bakery meets demand for Easter treat

Team Leader, Anna Bukowska, 25, unloaded trays of freshly baked hot cross buns.
Team Leader, Anna Bukowska, 25, unloaded trays of freshly baked hot cross buns.

If you eat a shop-bought hot cross bun over the forthcoming Easter holiday, it’s highly likely to have been made at Gunstones Bakery in Dronfield – which is adding a new production line to satisfy demand.

Gunstones produces a third of the nation’s hot cross buns, including those sold in Marks & Spencer, using 30 tons of flour and 20 tons of fruit every day to make 250,000 buns.

Buns make their way through giant ovens, proving machines and along a labyrinth of conveyor belts that criss-cross the whole bakery.

At one end of the new production area, a giant ‘helter-skelter’ brings the buns from a conveyer belt near the ceiling, down 16 tiers to be cooled by giant fans, before they reach the packaging area below. Picture by Rod Kirkpatrick.