The handmade bakery is a not-for-profit community supported bakery in Slaithwaite, West Yorkshire. Handmade Bakery offer a viable local alternative to industrially manufactured bread using local and organic ingredients including stoneground flour from Yorkshire Organic Millers and Shipton Mill.
Initally hiring a pizza oven at an Italian restaurant in Marsden, all bread is now baked in new premises in Slaithwaite which is shared with local food co-operative; The Green Valley Grocer.
The three members (Dan and Johanna and Matt) of the worker co-operative and their committed volunteers operate as a social enterprise and share baking some 1,000 loaves over 5 days a week, using traditional artisan techniques such as folding by hand on site.
Bread is sold in three ways, as a subscription service to the local community, retail at markets and wholesale to a number of suppliers in the region; including Suma Wholefoods, local markets and Unicorn. Loaves are baked fresh on the day with no additives, preservatives or dough improvers. A fermentation time of 16-20 hours ensures great flavour and texture, excellent keeping qualities and the minimum loss of nutrients. The long fermentation also transforms harmful parts of gluten in the flour making the bread easier to digest than industrially processed loaves. Some of their customers who have a wheat-free diet and cannot tolerate supermarket bread can happily eat slow fermented Handmade Bakery bread.
The bakery also offers training courses from baking sourdough bread to how to set up a Community Supported Bakery. The bakery is one of the first supporters of the Real Bread Campaign to highlight the benefits of slow bread. The campaign now has hundreds of members across the country, including Unicorn. To get more involved with the campaign you can visit http://www.sustainweb.org/realbread.