Bavarian Patisserie - award winning bakes from Bolton

German Christmas biscuits

German Christmas biscuits - Credit: Archant

Angelika Searle is cooking up award winning Bavarian bakes in Lancashire. Emma Mayoh reports

Angelika Searle

Angelika Searle - Credit: Archant

A Great Taste Award is something many food producers spend years trying to achieve. It is an accolade that can transform the fortunes of a food business. But Angelika Searle, a Bavarian baker living in Bolton, didn’t even know what she was entering.

Angelika’s Bavarian Black Bun was awarded the top prize – three gold stars from the The Guild of Fine Food, the organisation that organises the awards. What makes her story even more remarkable is that she launched her business, Bavarian Patisserie, which she runs from home, less than a year ago. She was the only person to receive the accolade in Lancashire and Greater Manchester.

‘I didn’t understand how important the awards were,’ she said. ‘It was £50 to enter and I thought I should give it a go. I’d never heard of it before but I knew it would be good to get an award.

‘I was asked to send more buns. I looked into it more and realised it was a big thing. I could not believe it when I found out I’d won this top award. There are thousands of entries and mine was chosen. I was blown away.’

Bavarian Black Buns and Hiker's Bread

Bavarian Black Buns and Hiker's Bread - Credit: Archant

Angelika moved from Augsburg, near Munich, to Bolton in 2006 when her husband got a post as a natural history professor at Salford University. She was looking at starting her own business. It was feedback last Christmas from the her friends in the congregation of Bolton Family Church, that she decided to launch Bavarian Patisserie.

‘My children were growing up,’ said Angelika, who has two teenagers Sean and Chiara. ‘I wanted to use my skills to do something. I’d thought about other things and even went into making beds but that was too complicated.

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‘This was a hobby and a lifestyle business for me, doing something I really love. Having people at church tell me they really enjoyed my baking was a huge encouragement.’

The talented baker spends her days cooking up tasty treats including that famous Bavarian Black Bun, which is packed with dried fruits, nuts and spices as well as Bavarian Fruit Bread and Hiker’s Bread, a bake that gives walkers, mountain climbers and other athletes a healthy boost of energy.

She also creates other treats for farmers’ markets including nut cake, hazelnut talers – traditional cookies prepared during the festive season, cinnamon and almond cake and small pastries. Lebkuchen – of which she makes many varieties, is also a popular sweet treat.

Many of the products she considers healthier than other cakes, biscuits and desserts. They are packed with fruit that, although containing sugar, it is released slowly.

She takes inspiration for her recipes from the foods she enjoyed as a child in Bavaria. Demand for her products, and the ingredients she uses to make them, are high. As well as selling her baked goods, she also sells the spices and ingredients needed to make Bavarian bakes online.

‘The products I make, particularly things like the lebkuchen, come in lots of different varieties. They are given out to visiting guests at people’s houses and are something many people enjoy in Bavaria.

‘My friends always used to do fruit breads for Christmas and it was something I liked. I think Christmas is going to be a busy time for me. Now, I want to work hard to get things going. I’m very happy with how things have gone so far but it is time to focus on the future.’

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