Breadwinner! Alexandra's Wakefield sourdough lands top global rating

Artisan loaves made in a Wakefield kitchen will now bear a stamp of excellence after being given a top rating by industry leaders.

Alexandra's sourdough has now picked up two accolades.
Alexandra's sourdough has now picked up two accolades.

The seeded sourdough and multigrain loaves made by The Crow's Rest Bakehouse in Agbrigg, has been awarded a one-star by Great Taste, considered the most trusted and food and drink awards in the world.

Alexandra Vaughan, who set up the bread-making company in 2018 in her own home kitchen, already won best a prize at the Britain’s Best Loaf Awards earlier in the summer.

Alexandra said: “As the owner and sole baker of a home-based microbakery where everything is made by hand it is really important to me to be able to show to my customers that there is more to what I offer than meets the eye."

Working from her home in Agbrigg.

The judges described her seeded sourdough as a "beautifully-crafted loaf" with a "moist, aromatic crumb" with a "delightful nuttiness".

They said her multigrain sourdough was an "attractive looking loaf of bread", were impressed with a use of ancient grains.

Both loaves were produced entirely with organic ingredients and stoneground flours milled at Worsborough Mill, a Water Mill in Barnsley.

Over 300 judges, made up of respected food critics, restaurateurs and even a Masterchef champion, they blind tasted more than 14,000 products from around the world for this year's awards.

Originally from Portugal, Alexandra moved to London 15 years ago, initially working for a retail company and baking loaves at the weekend.

She then took the plunge and opened the Crow’s Rest Bakehouse microbakery in Camberwell, London, but moved to Agbrigg in 2018, after her visual artist husband landed a project looking at mining in Yorkshire.

Alexandra took a job working in a bakery in Brighouse, before getting a job at a bagel bakery in Leeds.

But her passion for home-made bread proved too strong and she fully re-opened the Crow’s Rest in Wakefield.

Converting their modest two-bedroom Newland Street home, the spare room became the lounge, allowing Alexandra to convert much of the ground floor into work space.

With a mailing list of over 500 customers, she produces batches for restaurants, as well as one-off loaves for individuals.

Typically, she makes up to 350 loaves a week, all baked to order, with her working week divided into making dough, baking and collection days.

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