The Street Lane Bakery favourite, the Crunchie doughnut.
Leon Davidson, director and master baker at Leeds favourite kosher sweet treat stop, Street Lane Bakery…
Why is Street Lane Bakery play such an important part of North Leeds?
We’re the only kosher bakery in Leeds – we were without one as a city for six or seven years
before we launched in 2013. Our doughnuts became so popular, we now supply many of the local coffee shops and hipster doughnut joints.
How many doughnuts roll out of your kitchen?
We have two massive fryers and on a regular week, 5,000 doughnuts pass through them without fail. So, in peak Chanukah doughnut season, 3,000 a night isn’t unheard of.
Fess up Leon – what goes into making them so delicious?
I’m afraid I can’t reveal the ingredients, it’s a top-secret recipe we’ve perfected here at the bakery through trial and error over the past seven years.
How many varieties do you offer?
Too many to count! All our doughnuts are vegan and we’re always experimenting with a variety of shapes, colours and flavours, from incorporating popular chocolate bars and biscuits like our famous Lotus Biscoff doughnut to our festive mince pie doughnut – there are literally dozens.
What’s your most popular creation?
The local community love our classic jam, custard, caramel and chocolate flavours – but what are really flying off the shelves at the moment are our Crunchie doughnuts with a honeycomb cream centre and crumbled honeycomb topping.
What other festive treats have you got lined up for Chanukah?
Apart from doughnuts, dreidel shaped biscuits are a big one for us, as well as babkas and pies using wintry flavours. Our chocolate and carrot cakes are always popular this time of year too.
Surrounded by so many tempting treats, how do you stop yourself from overindulging?
With great difficulty! I have an obligation to taste all the new varieties – someone has to do it.
Andrew Addleman of Salford institution Brackmans Bakery on eighty years of Chanukah baking…
Which of your doughnuts goes down best with customers?
We don’t have a massive range – we tend to find every year if we try different things it’s always the strawberry jam one that everyone comes back to.
Which brand is your go-to treat?
When we go to America as a family, the first thing we do is get stuck into a big box of Krispy Kremes because they’re kosher certified out there – they’re amazing, I love them!
Tell us about your earliest doughnut memory…
When I left school to work for my dad in the shop, we had this industrial jammer. To inject the doughnuts, you had to pump the hopper with your foot, a bit like an old-fashioned sewing machine. After a few thousand doughnuts at the end of a busy day over Chanukah, you’d come home feeling like one leg was longer than the other!
How has the process changed since?
We only used to make doughnuts for the festival, but now they really seem to have taken off, we make them all year round. We used to fry a few at a time and it would take forever, so we bought a mega fryer a couple years ago and that revolutionised the amount we can make in one go.
What are the latest doughnut trends?
Years ago, my dad tried a cake batter doughnut. They’re huge in America now but never really took off here. I think he was a bit ahead of his time! In Israel you have all these fancy ones with whiskey shots and all sorts. I don’t think there’s the market here – for people with large families here in Manchester, three quid for a doughnut is a bit steep.
How do you control yourself around those jammy little devils?
It’s hard when they’re warm out the fryer and freshly filled with jam – you’re like: ‘oh my g-d, I just need to eat one of those right now!’
In a box
Andrew shares his dad’s recipe for a classic Brackmans doughnut…
It’s not much different from other recipes out there, but it’s an enriched dough with a bit more margarine and sugar – it seems to work for us. Most recipes work better with an egg in the mix, but we leave them out, so they appeal to vegans too.
1kg all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla essence
Pinch of salt
Mix all the ingredients together to make a dough and shape into balls. Leave to stand on some flour, before frying in oil at 180 degrees for about three minutes each side before filling with whatever takes your fancy.