Warburtons is aiming to tap rising demand for handmade artisan breads with the launch of three sourdough loaves.

Expected to go on trial in stores in the south east from the end of this month, the loaves are hand-crafted and ‘based on a traditional artisan process, with simple ingredients and Warburtons signature sourdough’.

The line-up comprises three loaves – White with Sourdough, Malted Grain and Multi Seeded. Set to sell for around £2.50 each, the 540g sliced loaves will be made in small volumes.

They are being produced at a site previously set up in Milton Keynes by Warburtons as part of a trial partnership with Bertinet Bakery. With the trial no longer running, this has freed up the site to produce the new artisan-style loaves.

Warburtons last year closed another Milton Keynes facility, the Giles Foods business acquired by the baker in 2013.

Recent NPD by Bolton-based Warburtons has included the launch of flatbread-style buns baked with ‘premium’ ingredients such as extra virgin olive oil, grains, seeds and honey. The pre-sliced Bistro Deli Buns launched last month in two flavours – White and Malted Grains & Seeds.

Last year, the business rebranded its Newburn Bakehouse free-from range as Warburtons Gluten Free.