The Angels’ Share Bakery based in Richmond has been crowned the North East and Scotland Regional winner of ITV’s programme Britain’s Best Bakery this week.
The Angels’ Share Bakery is owned by Alex Franks and specialises in handmade bakery, patisserie and Mediterranean produce.
Alex competed in the programme with Di Dinsdale who has worked for Alex for the past four years and is her renowned bread maker.
Alex owned The Angels’ Share Delicatessen and Café on Grange Road in Darlington for a successful 11 years and opened the Bakery in Richmond six years ago.
Alex commented: “Two years ago I sold the Deli in Darlington as I wanted to concentrate and put all my efforts into the bakery at Richmond.”
Alex studied languages at University and then went on to work in Banking in London but soon realised her true passion was for cooking and baking and she chose to pursue this as her career instead.
Alex made her first television appearance on the very popular Masterchef programme and in 2007 she won the Waitrose Small Producers Award for her Cumberland Ham, Sage and Apple pie.
The Angel’s Share was one of 60 bakeries from all over Britain which the ITV1 show carefully handpicked to compete for the prestigious title of Britain’s Best Bakery.
The Yorkshire heat of the show took place on Monday, where the judges presented three challenges.
A table of items to represent the bakery with one stand out speciality bake, a test of invention with a method and ingredient chosen by the judges, and finally a bakers dozen challenge.
For these Alex and Di chose Cumberland Pie, A Pimms and Polenta Citrus cake and the bakers dozen challenge was Rhubarb and Custard Muffins.
The Angels’ Share won the title of the Best Bakery in the Yorkshire area and then proceeded to the next round which was competing for the North East and Scotland regional title on Friday.
Alex selected the finest local ingredients such as Whitby crab, Yorkshire ham and Wensleydale cheese to create a Yorkshire inspired afternoon tea.
Alex commented “The real difficulty was in deciding which local ingredients to use. We are very blessed in the North with the finest fish, meat, cheeses and produce and we really did want to show it at its best.”
After going head to head in the North East competition, Alex successfully took the title.
She commented: “It’s a fantastic endorsement of what we do to have won the title of the North East Best Bakery and we are thrilled to be now going through to the final stage.”
The finals commence on Monday 10th February at 4pm when Angels’ Share will be competing for the title of Britain’s Best Bakery.