Yorkshire favourite Bluebird Bakery has made itself at home in Leeds Kirkgate Market – we caught up with them to find out what you have to look forward to.
Over the last few years, we’ve had lots of new bars, restaurants and shops, but it’s not often that we get a new bakery – which is why the arrival of Bluebird Bakery, an established name and Yorkshire favourite, is so exciting. They’ve taken up a new spot in Leeds Kirkgate Market, where they’ll be plying the public with freshly baked bread and cakes to takeaway.
Bluebird Bakery is an independent success story. It was born of a passion for proper bread, using time-honoured traditions like long-fermentation and handcrafting to make a loaf of bread that puts quality first. And it’s that passion that has helped Al Kippax to turn his small market stall into a string of bakeries across Yorkshire.
“I’m an ex-chef and I’ve always been interested in great food – both preparing and eating it! After doing a bread-baking course in Scotland I became a tiny bit obsessed about making my own and getting it right,” Kippax explained. “It all started at my own kitchen table with a small oven in 2011 – I would bake at night then sell the loaves at a market stall in York. It was really well received so I moved into a space in Malton and set up a proper bakery there. The aims are still the same as they were in 2011 though – to bring back the lost traditions of long-fermentation and hand-crafted loaves which need no improvers or additives.”
It’s a refreshing alternative to the mass-produced loaves on the shelves of the supermarket. Quality is at the heart of what they do, and you’ll see it in everything from the ingredients to the methods. Wherever possible, they source their ingredients locally, using organic flour and wholesome grains like wheat, rye, spelt and even kamut, when they can get hold of it.
Their Leeds bakery will be a traditional shop-style affair, perfect for picking up a loaf to take home or grabbing a slice of cake on the go – but don’t be surprised if you find yourself spoilt for choice, because they have a whole medley of options for you. “The sourdough are our most popular loaves; we have wholemeal, white, seeded, rye and spelt varieties to choose from. We also offer the usual bloomer, granary, baguettes and loads more. Our chocolate brownie is an award-winner though, if you’ve got a sweet tooth,” Kippax told us. They also offer a delicious range of pastries – pork & fennel or spinach & chickpea? Oh okay, we’ll try both.
You’ll find Bluebird Bakery at the top of the old Fish Row, which is being refurbished ready to welcome in a host of new traders – and over the coming weeks, you’ll have plenty of opportunities to try their wares, because they’ll be giving out free samples throughout February.
But be warned, because if Kippax is to be believed, it could change the way you feel about bread, “We like to think that once you’ve tried ‘real bread’ (which ours is, because it meets the criteria set out by the Real Bread Campaign) there’s no going back, for all the right reasons.”
Bluebird Bakery, Kirkgate Market, George Street, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS2 7HY.