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.