Ten of the best artisan bakers in Lancashire and the Lake District
09:07 13 May 2014
It’s time we used our loaf and tried some proper hand- crafted bread. Here to help you are ten of the finest
Expert bakers believe artisan bread is a lot like wine or cheese. And that is certainly evident when you compare factory-made loaves with the real thing.
Traditional bakers control the action of the natural bacteria and the fermentation process and, depending on the flour, they will produce a range of breads from strong, dark and rustic to light and delicate.
Like wine or cheese, the great pleasure is trying the different types because each has a different flavour and texture - from a sturdy sourdough to a light, crusty baguette. Just like their bread, each baker is different, using unique blends and styles. The term artisan baker might seem a little pompous but that’s probably because the British have under-valued bread since the war, happy to settle for something that has been steamed to create the consistency of damp cotton wool.
When you are looking for ‘real bread’ start with the ingredients. It should contain little more than flour, water, salt and yeast unless it is a flavoured loaf with herbs or nuts, for instance. Chemicals are definitely not needed.
Lancashire and the Lake District is lucky to have a growing number of artisan bakers trained to understand the chemistry and know how to mix, ferment, shape and bake hand-crafted loaves. Here are a few of our favourites - let us know if you’ve found a brilliant baker.
Nestled in the South Lakes village of Staveley, you will find an award winning artisan bakery. More? launched in 2006 and is located next to the excellent Hawkshead Brewery, an ideal place to stop for a pint after choosing your perfect loaf. The bakery creates an evolving range of artisan breads, seasonal desserts and patisseries using only the finest quality, natural ingredients. Their delicious hand crafted products are produced using traditional baking techniques. Don’t forget to try their famous ‘Muddees’.
More? The Artisan Bakery, Mill Yard, Staveley, near Kendal, LA8 9LR, Tel: 01539 822297,
In the heart of west Lancashire is a bakery ruan by a third generation bakers or confectioners. Food is part of their family, and with 60 years of combined experience within the food industry they are dedicated to producing top-of-the-range goods. All of their breads are made using traditional slow fermentation techniques to develop a deeper flavour and improve shelf life. From wild yeasts in their sourdoughs to starter yeasts in a traditional tin, they use several varieties of local wheat which is stone-ground in a nearby farm. They alsoeven stock produce in The Atkinson Centre in Southport.
Artisan Foodworks, Unit 703, Merlin Park, Ringtail Road, Burscough, Lancashire, L40 8JY Tel: 0845 860 2141
Hunter’s the Bakers
Since 1968, the Hunter family have been baking quality artisan breads. Based in Bolton, husband-and-wife duo Miriam and Brian incorporated son Nigel as a partner into the business in 1995. Alongside a great range of breads, Hunters the Bakers also produce delicous homemade pies and pasties, baked daily by Nigel.
Hunters the Bakery, 23-25 Church Road, Bolton BL1 6HE Tel: 01204 840608,
Broughton Village Bakery
Since taking over the business in October 2011, Shaun and Christina Bryant have received many accolades including being one of the top three bakeries in the UK in ITV’s ‘Britain’s Best Bakery’. Here you’ll find traditional tins and granary loaves, to the more adventurous organic cranberry and hazelnut loaf or spinach‘n’feta tear-and-share. Broughton Village Bakery aims to source their ingredients locally and organically, including using Melville Tyson, a butchery and greengrocer which is situated just next door.
Broughton Village Bakery & Café, Broughton in Furness, Cumbria LA20 6HQ, Tel: 01229 716 284,
All You Knead
Formed in the kitchen of Craig and Julie Dugan in 2012, All You Knead has blossomed into a successful business. Now situated in the food hall of the Botany Bay shopping centre, they started their bakery after visiting a local farmer’s market, and saw there was great local produce but no fresh bread. Craig, who had originally trained and worked as a baker before pursuing a career in civil engineering has now put his oven mitts back on to bake full-time artisan breads using only the finest ingredients and without preservatives.
Unit 3661, Botany Bay, Canal Mill, Botany Brow, Chorley, PR6 9AF, Tel: 07972 293388
For the last 40 years, Barbakan has been baking speciality breads. The bakery produces over 15,000 loaves of bread a week and supplies restaurants, sandwich shops, café bars and hotels - as well as its own award winning delicatessen at the front of the bakery. With over 50 different types of bread ranging from cheese, bacon and tomato to Norlander Rye, there is a great selection to choose from. Don’t forget to try the popular Chorlton sourdough bread. Each loaf at Barbakan is individually hand crafted and baked on the sole of the oven, using no tins to improve the appearance, texture and ensure the full flavour of the bread.
67-71 Manchester Rd, Chorlton cum Hardy, Manchester, M21 9PW Tel: 0161 881 7053,
An award-winning bakery specialising in making slowdough and sourdough breads, Épi Microbakery opened in January 2013. Evolved out of the passion of Tim Kirk, Épi use their own natural starters, ferments and organic flours with no additives to create high quality, hand kneaded loaves. Tim became a keen amateur baker after travelling the world frequently, experiencing different food and cultures during a 25-year career in medical science, device and biotechnology industries. He soon developed his own starter cultures from wild sea buckthorn berries from the Birkdale sand dunes and white currants from his garden, forming the base of many Épi breads. Épi also produce bread for the Warehouse in Southport - home to Michelin starred chef, Matt Worswick.
Épi, 125 Liverpool Road, Birkdale, Southport, Merseyside PR8 4NT Tel: 0777 177 1217
Located in Liverpool’s ever-evolving Baltic Triangle, the popular Baltic Bakehouse is run by brother and sister, Sam and Grace Henley. Since opening in March 2013, fresh, traditional sourdough and yeasted breads are baked here each day using the finest quality Shipton Mill organic flour. With no additives or preservatives, Baltic Bakehouse is committed to using traditional techniques and ingredients to bake bread that is unique in Liverpool. After purchasing a loaf of Baltic Wild, a traditional white sourdough, why not sit in their café to try a delectable salted caramel and hazelnut tart.
Baltic Bakehouse, 46 Bridgewater Street, Liverpool, L1 0AY Tel: 0151 708 6686,
Not just one for commuters, Lovingly Artisan is based in Oxenholme Railway Station in Kendal. Aidan Monks opened his artisan bakery in 1988, and since it has been a popular destination for bread lovers. With a ‘simple baking style and from the heart’, Aiden’s passion for baking has stemmed through family generations as his grandfather was an acknowledged baker and retailer. Inspired by his vegetable garden, local farmers’ markets and food retailers, here you’ll find creative and tasty breads baked by Aiden.
Lovingly Artisan, Oxenholme Railway Station, Kendal, LA9 7HF, Tel: 01539 735332,
Filibert’s Bakery produce a large selection of delicious speciality breads, from roast potato to roasted pumpkin seed, to chilli cheese and cracked rye and black pepper bread. Since opening in July 2013, they have been a go-to destination for savoury and sweet treats in Lancaster. In an aim to cater for all customers, Filibert’s also bake a range of gluten-free and sometimes vegan breads and cakes.
20 King Street, Lancaster, Lancashire, LA1 1JY