Blackburn with Darwen Food Alliance

More than just sourdough- Zafroz Bakery a micro-bakery- aka Haris

For this series of “Putting a face to our food” I wanted to include a baker who used limited processed ingredients and additives in their products and given we are entering September  thought we could link it with the Sourdough September and the work of the Real Bread Campaign.-Get ready for Sourdough September! | Sustain (

What makes Zafroz Bakery a micro-bakery

Zafroz Bakery is a small producer serving Burnley and surrounding areas. So what makes Zafroz different from a large baker with a high street presence? “So for the sourdough it’s a long process. I start to feed the starter the day before “(The starter is the term used for the main ingredient of a sourdough bread- it’s a live culture used for leavening/fermenting the dough, no additives or processing aids are used, simply flour and water –  for more information on this – Real Bread Campaign slams Defra loaf labelling inaction | Sustain (  )”After the starter is ready, the dough is mixed, which can take up to 3 hours, depending on how many varieties are being produced. The dough is then proved for as long as it takes to be ready, usually between 4-5 hours.  Along the way it is given a few “stretch and folds” which aims to increase the strength of the dough.  Once ready the dough is then scaled, pre shaped and then given a final shape.  This is all done by hand.  Finally the dough is refrigerated  to slow down the fermentation process and develop more flavour. To get a quality product, such a long process is necessary and would be difficult to produce on an industrial scale – well not with 1 person anyway. Its all about quality over quantity”

Currently there is just Haris and his working day comprises of  baking, deliveries, social media, accounts and plenty of cleaning!  The dough from the night before which has been ‘resting’ in the fridge is baked in the morning.  He then delivers the bread (which can take up to 3 hours some days), usually arriving still warm.  After returning, the mixing for the next day’s bread starts.  Due to the long process this usually takes the whole day.  In between plenty of cleaning is done and any other tasks such as accounts, ordering, social media etc.  After all the bread is mixed and shaped, the starter for next day’s dough is mixed which will ferment overnight.  Then if he’s lucky he can go to sleep :}  and then again up early for the morning bake

Haris ensures his ingredients are all organic or as close as possible  i.e. no use of pesticides or herbicides. He explained that he uses a mix of stoneground and roller milled flour- stone ground flour is milled in a more delicate way which preserves more nutrients and taste, roller flour is processed more aggressively but gives a flour with more strength, which is important to make an airy and light product.  Although some of the grains maybe sourced from the continent, all the flour he uses is milled in the UK from British millers. They use grains which are grown on either organic or regenerative farms. Accordingly the price of his ingredients reflects this.  Currently he uses Matthew Cotswolds and Wild farmed flour, but in the past has used flour from Cann Mills, Fresh Flour, Yorkshire Millers and Gilchesters.  All great and conscientious British Millers.

He uses a cultured butter product in his pastries from the Edinburgh Butter Company- again this is produced with live cultures and goes through a fermentation process. “ In my opinion using these superior ingredients ensures there is literally no comparison between more industrially made products. I think they re just totally different products.”

Haris hopes more people will start to understand the differences in baked goods between those from establishments like his and those you buy which have been mass produced. “Mass produced bread is just a totally different product to a genuine small scale sourdough production”

For more information on this please look at The Real Bread Loaf Mark | Real Bread Campaign (

The future

He would like to get a bigger customer base in his home town of Burnley and is planning to expand into a retail premises.  He has expanded his products to desserts and homemade curries with traditional bread and offers delivery of these through Deliveroo and his own website.  Again with an emphasis on small batches with quality ingredients.

Zafroz Bakery


Zafroz Bakery (@zafroz_bakery) • Instagram photos and videos

Where can you buy from:

Earth Evolution Darwen Facebook

Plentiful Wholefoods  Plentiful – Ramsbottom Wholefoods Shop (

Gorgonzola Clitheroe – Georgonzola Deli (@georgonzoladeli) • Instagram photos and videos Georgonzola – A Cheese Deli in Clitheroe, Lancashire – Great British cheese from a Great British cheese shop

Also eaten at a number of establishments around Bury and Ramsbottom.