Many of us will be faced with the need to solve problems in the bakery. Some will be minor and some extensive in nature, but they will all be important. To a large extent identification of the cause of the problem will be based on sound observation and the application of appropriate knowledge in a systematic manner. As bakers we have to deal with a mixture of complex ingredients and their many interactions with one another and the production processes we use. For practical bakers many of the causes of problems are 'hidden', for example, a change in flour properties is seldom obvious until a defective product leaves the oven.

There is always a need to find the ' quick' solution and traditionally this was based on training and experience. Today' s bakers seem to get little of the former and are seldom given the time to obtain the latter. Modern information technologies can go some considerable way in providing suitable problem solving tools for the modern baker. There is no single unique source that can provide all of the necessary solutions to bakery problems but keen observation, a methodical approach and good information sources will almost always help identify cause and solution.

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