The £500,000 shop, called Joseph Herron’s, Baker & Confectioner, was opened last week by local celebrity baker Stacie Stewart, who has appeared on TV shows including MasterChef.
Visitors to Beamish can watch bakers at work in the shop, using traditional methods, and can buy period bread, cake and biscuits to take home.
A spokeswoman explained the museum’s period food team had conducted extensive research into commercial bakery recipes around 1913, and came upon some “what on earth is this?” ingredients.
The range currently includes Empire biscuits, rock cakes, Grasmere-style gingerbread, as well as bread. Pies, including an Edwardian-style pork and gravy pie, will be added to the range in future.
The plan had been to make stotties (flat round loaves typical of the area) on-site, but research indicated that people would have made their everyday bread, such as stotties, at home. They would go to the bakery for fancier bread, such as bread with a plait, if someone was coming over for tea.
Much of the equipment required for the bakery was already in an extensive collection held at Beamish, including a massive Edwardian dough mixer, donated in 1973. More was sourced from auctions or donated.
Five staff in historical costume work at the shop, two serving customers and three baking.