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Yorkshire Leaven Loaf

The Yorkshire Leaven is one of the signature loaves produced by the Handmade Bakery in Slaithwaite, near Huddersfield.  If you're unfamiliar with the Handmade Bakery, they're a not-for-profit bakers collective who together produce around 1,500 fresh loaves and patisserie every day.  They're a central part of the local community and customers come from all around to sit in their cafe, eat fresh bread and cakes and enjoy the warm atmosphere.  They shared this recipe a while ago and we think it's long overdue for a fresh airing.

Afbeelding: RealBreadWeek_Photo_2a_27022018


This recipe calls for a wild yeast sourdough starter. If you're unfamiliar with sourdough starters, getting them going and maintaining them, there are lots of resources online that you can use.


For the 'production’ sourdough

  • 80g Yorkshire Organic Millers Superior white flour (or white bread flour)
  • 45g Warm water
  • 14g Mature rye sourdough culture

For the dough

  • 450g Yorkshire Organic Millers Superior White (or white bread flour)
  • 50g Yorkshire Organic Millers Wholemeal (or wholemeal bread flour)
  • 10g Salt
  • 325g Warm water
Afbeelding: RealBreadWeek_Photo_2b_27022018


  1. Ten to 12 hours before you plan to bake, weigh and mix all the production sourdough ingredients together in a bowl until they are all incorporated.
  2. Leave covered for 10 to 12 hours at room temperature.
  3. Preheat the oven to 240 C/ Gas Mark 9.
  4. Weigh the dry 'dough’ ingredients into a bowl then add all of your production sourdough and the water.
  5. Mix together until all the ingredients are incorporated and you have a sticky, ragged dough.
  6. Knead on a work surface for 10-15 minutes until you have a smooth and workable dough.
  7. Leave in a covered bowl for about an hour or until the dough has almost doubled in size.
  8. Tip the dough out on to a floured surface.
  9. Gently stretch the dough and fold it back in on itself.
    You may need a scraper to help with this as the dough will still be quite sticky.
  10. Return to the bowl and allow it to rise for a further hour.
  11. Turn the dough back out on to a lightly floured work surface, divide into two pieces and shape each loaf into a tight round ball.
  12. Heavily flour two tea towels and place them into two appropriately sized bowls, flour side up.
  13. Place your loaves into the bowls with the underside (the untidy side with a seam) facing upwards.
  14. Leave to rise until they have roughly doubled in size (about an hour).
  15. Turn out each loaf carefully on to a floured baking tray, slash the tops with a sharp knife, and bake for about 30 minutes until the surface looks crusty and golden.

This loaf is just wonderful, especially warm from the oven. Our huge thanks go the team at Handmade Bakery for sharing this recipe in the first place.