VIDEO: Dronfield bakery’s hot cross bun bonanza

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A North Derbyshire bakery’s wares are set to sell like hot cakes thanks to the added ingredient of a new, multi-million pound production line.

Gunstones Bakery, in Dronfield, produces a third of the nation’s hot cross buns and has opened the new production line to cope with the country’s huge appetite for the seasonal treat.

Team Leader, Anna Bukowska, 25. Photo by Rod Kirkpatrick/F Stop Press

Team Leader, Anna Bukowska, 25. Photo by Rod Kirkpatrick/F Stop Press

Bakers at the firm, which produces the buns for Marks and Spencer, use a staggering 30 tons of flour and 20 tons of fruit every day to make some 250,000 hot cross buns.

Bakery production manager Richard Johnson said: “This year we’re making the biggest range ever for M&S.

“New flavoured buns include berries and cherries, golden syrup and ginger, Bramley apple, a healthy option, and, for the chocoholics, we now make a chocolate hot cross bun - that’s my personal favourite!

“If all of our Easter hot cross buns were laid end-to-end, they’d stretch from our bakery to the Nazereth.”

This week is set to be one of the busiest of the year for Gunstones, with buns making 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.