No bread is an island

...entire of itself. (With apologies to John Donne!)
I live and breathe breadmaking. I’m an evangelist who would like everyone to make his or her own bread. I want to demystify breadmaking and show it as the easy everyday craft that it is. To this end I endeavour to make my recipes as simple and as foolproof as I possibly can.

I call my blog 'No bread is an island' because every bread is connected to another bread. So a spicy fruit bun with a cross on top is a hot cross bun. This fruit dough will also make a fruit loaf - or Chelsea buns or a Swedish tea ring...
I'm also a vegan, so I have lots of vegan recipes on here - and I'm adding more all the time.

Sunday, 3 January 2021

HOW WIDE IS YOUR CIRCLE OF COMPASSION?



"Our task must be to free ourselves...by widening our circles of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty." Albert Einstein

Dear reader, 

I've no doubt you're a compassionate person, most people are. But I'd like to ask you, just how far does your circle of compassion extend?



70 billion animals are slaughtered, unnecessarily, every year. Unnecessarily, because both the British Dietetics Association, the American Dietetics Association - and the WHO - have stated that you can live healthily on a whole food, plant-based diet - at any age. And there are vegan alternatives for every food you can think of.

Could you go vegan, and leave animals off your plate, so that you no longer play any part in this suffering? 


If you don't like the word 'vegan', 


Would you go vegan to improve your health and thereby be less of a burden on the NHS?










Would you go vegan for the environment?

It's time to stand up for our planet - Chris Packham






Would you go vegan to help feed the 800 million people suffering from malnutrition in this world?


Would you go vegan out of concern for the slaughterhouse workers? 

“Most of us who do or did that job are irrevocably messed up….Ptsd is real. The nightmares are real. The drink and drug abuse that many end up with is real. Some people I know committed suicide cause of working in a slaughterhouse and if you bother to look into it you see it’s extremely common for slaughterhouse workers to take their own lives, and considering male suicide is an epidemic, buying meat doesn’t do the the workers any favours.” (My italics.)



Would you go vegan to prevent the overuse of antibiotics?





Would you go vegan to help save the Amazon - and all the other rainforests under threat?

Amazon fires: a vicious and preventable cycle | Greenpeace




Would you go vegan so you aren't contributing to climate breakdown?

Would you go vegan to help prevent future pandemics? Given that, in the view of many, Covid-19 is just a dress rehearsal.



But it's the animals that are my main concern - would you, could you, go vegan for the animal's sake?




Tell me, just how wide is your circle of compassion?








My loves,
This post is not meant to be judgemental, it's not an opportunity to debate, it's only about love and awareness 💚 Since I went public with being vegan in my stories, I experienced amazing reactions from you, who open their hearts and minds. Some of you started listening to the screaming of the voiceless and started questioning their habits which we've been taught by the industry and society. I grew up eating animals and their secretions, because my parents learned that this is how it has to be. They love me and never would harm me purposely. But that's the problem, we get taught, that it's ok to exploit animals. We get taught, that it's ok, to eat tortured, abused and killed living beings and we get taught, that it's even healthy.
It's a lie. Our bodies and souls are not even made for meat. Humanity will never live in anything near harmony on this planet as long as we eat other individuals. We must stop this injustice. Stop supporting the exploitation of other species and of mother earth. For other species and for the future generations! The strong have to protect the weak instead of harming them. They trust us and we betray them in the most cruel ways. Pigs are smarter than dogs, in fact a pig is as intelligent as a 5 year old child. A cow is pregnant for almost 9 months and she cries and is mourning when her baby is stolen from her just because we want to drink another species mother's milk. It's wrong. When you open your heart, you'll know. Please think about it and start to value life more than taste. Start to accept, that we don't have the right to do this, just because we're humans. There's no such thing as a humane way to kill a living being, who does not want to die, for your 15 minutes meal. It's 2020 and we're destroying our habitat, we're causing pain and death everyday. Millions of animals die every day, it's mass murder. They're sentient beings, it's not about "can they think like us", its about "can they suffer like us"... And they do, they are aware of their lives and they suffer greatly. We cause this cruelty by not going vegan. Please, don't ignore it, listen to the voiceless, thank you 🙏💚
(Nathalie Rieder)

For help in going vegan, there is help and support on Veganuary.com, or visit vegan22.com.

Thanks for reading.

Love and Peace, Paul

Tuesday 20/10/20
[By Ronnie George, from Facebook]
Bacon. Ham. Pork. Hot dogs. Sausages.
~
I ate the flesh of pigs from as early as I can remember. I only stopped in 2018. Shortly after stopping I decided to learn more about the pigs I'd eaten all my life up to that point. I learned that pigs aren't naturally dirty animals (colour me surprised), that they're more intelligent than dogs and that they're incredibly gentle and emotionally complex animals. I also found out that 60% of the pigs killed in the UK were killed in gas chambers. This sounded horrible, so I decided to find out what it looked like. Unfortunately it looked and sounded even worse than what I'd pictured. The industry said the animals just peacefully fall asleep, but the footage only ever shows animals thrashing and screaming in agony before passing out. It turns out that the CO2 burns and acidifies the liquids in their bodies, starting with their eyes before quickly spreading to the moisture around their brain, causing the pigs to feel as though they are burning in fire while they suffocate to death.
That was 2018. Now in 2020 the percentage of UK pigs killed in gas chambers has risen to nearly 90%. There are over 10 million pigs killed a year in this country, almost all of whom are still babies at only 5-6 months old. The industry claim to use gas for pigs as it's "humane" but the truth is it's just an efficient way to kill lots of large animals quickly. The Nazis knew this, the meat industry does too.
All this means that if you're going to be tucking into a bacon sandwich this week then you can guarantee that you're eating the flesh of a young innocent being who suffered immensely. The flesh of an animal whose mother was most likely forcibly impregnated by humans then made to spend the majority of her pregnancy trapped in a metal cage too small to turn around in, before then having to watch her babies be stolen and go through the whole process again.
If the pig whose body parts are in your frying pan was one of the few that are not gassed, perhaps he or she was electrocuted, shot, drowned in boiling water or stabbed to death instead. Those are the only options.
I'm sorry to be so upsetting but the truth isn't always pretty.
Do you want this to stop? Does doing this make no sense to you at all? All this cruelty for the things mentioned above. Bacon, ham, pork, hotdogs, sausages... but not even that, becuase you can have all those things vegan anyway! So what is it really for? Why are we so cruel?
It's not for our health, as bacon, ham, hotdogs and other processed meats are known carcinogens, and animal products are high in saturated fat, cholesterol and animal protein, all leading attributors to our most deadly diseases such as heart disease. Not to mention that exploiting animals causes pandemics such as bird flu, swine flu and covid-19, and the majority of antibiotics that are produced are given to farm animals, increasing the rise and prevalence of antibiotic resistant infections and diseases.
It's also not for our convenience, as raising animals for slaughter takes up huge amounts of land, water and food while also producing a massive amount of waste, so it's many times easier and more efficient to just produce plants.
So what's it for? At the end of the day is it purely just to make money for these industries? Is that really the only reason we continue to tourture and murder billions of innocent animals, so certain businesses can keep making profits?
If that doesn't sound like a good enough reason for animal abuse, you already know what to do. #GoVegan
~
I want everyone who still eats meat to stop viewing animals as products and start viewing them as individuals.
Scientifically speaking we know they are our cousins. We know they experience pain and distress similarly or in some cases identically to how we do. Shouldn't that be reason enough to give all animals respect, morally speaking? Shouldn't we need tremendous justification for tremendous cruelty?
If you're against animal abuse then do what I did and look into how your lifestyle is responsible for things you don't agree with.
You can start here ⤵️
Free documentary about UK animal agriculture
22 days of free support transitioning to a plant-based diet
Links to videos, documentaries, books, recipes and other useful resources

Friday, 1 January 2021

CALORIE COUNTED VEGAN PIZZA - CHEAP, WHOLESOME AND TASTY!

Tasty tomato pizza (Cost, around 50p or so)



Ingredients:
150g (1 mug) strong white flour 7.5p (551cals)
1/4 tsp salt
100g (1/3rd mug) lukewarm water
10g fresh yeast 4p (from Sainsbury's - free from Asda) (10cals)
1 dessertspoon veg oil 1p (90 cals)

Topping:Half a tin of tomatoes, reduced, with a tsp soya sauce and dried herbs - 15p (50cals)
Sliced field mushroom and tomato - 10p(?) (20cals)
A little roasted red pepper - 10p (10cals)
A good sprinkle of nutritional yeast (nooch) and oregano - pennies (20cals) [Or use your favourite vegan cheese - Applewood vegan cheddar is pretty good. (Not calorie or cost counted)]

(Total calorie count - 730. A pizza for one, using 100g of flour, would work out at 470cals!)

Thursday, 17 December 2020

FUNDRAISER 2 - A NEW CHALLENGE: An Ultra Marathon

[It's my intention to run an Ultra-marathon next July - this is where I shall detail all my preparations. How I got to where I am today - at the foot of this post]

The ultra I'm planning to run is the South West Ultra Marathon - 102 kms between Minehead and Dawlish, over two days next July. 
So, 9 months to prepare. My intention is, to begin with, run three times a week, one long run and a couple of faster, short runs, gradually increasing the distance each week. I began about 10 weeks ago doing 18-20k a week, now I'm up to around 30k. Before the actual event I would like to have run the 100k over two days, then it'll just be the extra elevation I'll have to contend with - but with about 16 hours in each day to work with, I'm confident I can do this. 
Fund-raising: I've chosen Viva, a vegan charity, who do amazing work on behalf of the animals.

Notes:
I began running on the 30th March, wishing to put the lockdown to good use and come out of it with a new skill. I made such good progress that, by the end of May, I felt able to announce that, over the last 10 days of June, I would run 100km, 10km per day, as a fundraiser for Dean Farm Sanctuary. Much to my surprise, instead of becoming progressively more tired as the runs mounted up - the opposite happened! I felt stronger and fitter the more I did. So much so that I felt able to throw in a couple of longer runs - including a final run of 13km - and finished up with a total of 110km over the ten days. After the first couple of 10kms, I was a little stiff if I sat too long after a run - but in the later stages even that went away. Apart from that, I had no twinges, aches or pains throughout my challenge. And after all my runs I still felt as if I had a bit more left in the tank. My final tally, including GoFundMe, was almost £4,000 for the sanctuary.🙂
So, now I feel I can call myself a runner - what next? Well the obvious half marathon sometime in the future is now a distinct possibility - and someone on here was kind enough to give me a list of the UK Ultra runs that are held all round the country. I'm not going to turn into Scott Jurek, by any means, but I think I've proved that age is no barrier to doing - well, whatever it is that you would like to do* - since I'll be 83 in September.💚👍💚
(*As long as you are on plant-based nutrition!😉)

In the interests of coming clean about my accomplishment:
I had one disadvantage coming into this adventure, and one advantage. Firstly, 5 years ago, I was diagnosed with bronchiectasis from lung damage when I was a smoker nearly 50 years ago - however, I was discharged from the Lung Clinic fairly quickly, since I was obviously pretty fit. Now, I think that, thanks to my WFPB nutrition, I don’t have that any more. All I have left is a nasal drip, which is a bit of a faff when I’m running - but, hey ho!
The big advantage I had when I started running - and it explains, I think, why I was able to make such rapid progress - was that I do a lot of pushups. I started doing them, along with other home-based exercises, to avoid going to the gym, about 4-5 years ago, and found they were an exercise I could make reasonable progress at. To keep myself focused, when I turned 80, I thought I would challenge myself to do 1 million pushups before my 90th birthday. So far I’m up to 325,000, averaging 10,000 a month. So I was pretty fit before I started running.
My other aim in all this has been to inspire others, by showing that you can be fit and healthy and strong, as a vegan, into old age - should I ever get there!

Thursday 17th December 2020
Brilliant conditions for running, once again, bright sunshine for the most part, with a little wind, but nothing to worry about. I kept my running nice and slow, with an average pace of 14.40, so the 10 miles/16km took me 2:26.46 and put me on 37k for the week, so far. I was out a bit longer than that, since I delivered about 50 Viva! leaflets - along with my chocolate cake recipe, and a link to the Vegan Cookery post on my blog. Plus the link to vegan22.com and Veganuary.com in case anyone thinks they'd like to go vegan. I was also held up by several conversations that took place, which finished up with me handing out an AV card. The first was to a young guy who was exercising his dog - he was very interested in my training, and, about a vegan diet was '...up for trying anything, really.' the next was to an old friend I last saw at the school gates, 25 years or more ago. He was walking with difficulty, pushing a walking frame, so he got the whole 'I cured my arthritis by going vegan' spiel and promised to look at 'What the Health'. And the third was a young guy mowing his lawn - which we both agreed was quite ridiculous given that we were halfway through December! He said his wife had seen me running around, and had noticed my Vegan Runners shirt. He did a bit of running himself, and was interested in my Ultra. When I told him about Rich Roll's preference for Ultras over Marathons, since you get pitstops every 5/6 miles on an Ultra, he said, 'Well, even I might be able to manage that!' He was aware of - and full of admiration for - Fiona Oakes, and knew that she was a vegan. When I left, I said, only half joking, ' Well, if you do go vegan, you can come and join us on the Ultra'. He didn't say he wouldn't! :)

Wednesday, 18 November 2020

PRESS UP CHALLENGES: 1 MILLION IN 10 YEARS - AND 100 IN A MINUTE

Friday 3rd March 2020
Another milestone reached, today - I've now completed 300,000 press ups - in just over two and a half years! Almost, but not quite, 10,000 a month. If I do 12,000 this month, I'll be on that track, and should achieve my goal a little early - at age 88 and four months. However, I'm still keeping fit, and healthy and strong, which was the other part of my goal. [Finally caught up with my target at the end of May - 32 months since I started, cumulative total 320,000]

Sunday 9th February 2020
Today I managed over 100 press ups in one minute - full story further down. Don't imagine they were all done with perfect form, but I'm working on it.

Sunday 4th August 2019
Today I was filmed doing my 1000 press ups in the centre of Bristol, by 'Friendsnotfood', an animal rights activist film-maker. It took me just under 40 minutes, as usual, but I found it a bit more difficult, doing it in the sunshine. I moved to some shade about halfway through.

And a couple of weeks ago I was filmed mucking about on the London Tube doing some chin ups.


I filmed 40 press ups - about 4 times, to try and get it right - uploaded it here - and now it refuses to play! Back to the drawing board :(
Very strange - I'll try again, of course, but in the meantime, I've managed to upload it to Facebook - so here's a link to that.



Number 2 in the series - My Fitness regime. My 9kg kettlebell routine. (Once again, the above video won't work on here, so I've linked it to my Facebook page.)

Every 3 days I do my kettlebell exercise: 
20 reps of the nine different exercises you see me doing here. Then repeated once more. The whole exercise takes less than 15 minutes, with a 5 minute gap between the two routines.

[Still not working - I'll post it on Facebook, then link to it from here. My kettlebell film on Facebook]
The story behind this challenge:
I turned 80 in September 2017, and, to provide some motivation to keep pushing myself, I decided I would challenge myself to see if I could complete 1 million push ups between my 80th and 90th birthday.
I worked out that if I did 2000 a week, 700 every other day (2000 x 50 x 10 years), I would reach my goal. 

However, after I'd begun, I thought I needed to get some 'in the bank' as it were, just in case I had an accident or something, and couldn't do the push ups for a while. So I upped my total to 1000 every other day. I've now been going just over 6 months - when my total was around 70,000. So my target is so far well within reach. At my present rate of progress, barring accidents, it's possible I could achieve 1 million p/ups in well under 10 years - I did 14000 in March 2018, for instance.

27th September 2019currently aiming for 10,000 a month

Oh, and I'd also like to be able to do 100 perfect press ups in 1 minute - that's my immediate goal.

20/1/19: I've now settled on a weekly routine, prioritising my press ups. So, Sunday - press ups; Monday - chin ups; Tuesday - kettlebell exercise; Wednesday and Friday press ups, with Thursday and Saturday being rest days.

As an aside, another reason I'm doing this is to show that vegans can be strong and fit into old age - should I ever get there! ;)



[Caveat: I have a rolled up towel on the floor, which I touch with my forehead on each dip. It's probably about 7-8cm thick. Gradually, I've been unfolding the towel - so my press ups are closer to the ground. Which is why, last time I tried it, I only managed 74 press ups in one minute. 
And now, in the last month or so, I've been just folding the towel and pressing my face into it. However, that's not every press up - tonight (29th Oct 2019) when I was going for how many I could do without stopping, they were all full press ups. When doing my set of 20 every minute, I'm doing them all as full press ups - until I get tired then first 15 as full press ups, and the other 5 not going all the way down. I calculated that 900 of the 1000 were full press ups.]

My efforts have come to the attention of a wider audience - here's an article about my 1 million challenge. It's been picked up by Plant Based News, and Somerset Live, an online newspaper - and I even got a mention on the Great Vegan Athletes Facebook page, which is crazy!



Thursday, 22 October 2020

HEALTHY VEGAN FLAPJACKS

 Healthy - and I mean healthy and guilt free — flapjacks:

200g chopped dates

50g water

200g banana

200g rolled oats

50g peanut butter


Turn oven on to 180C/350F


Soften the dates with the water - I microwave them for 2 minutes.

Add the banana and mix into a paste - I used a hand-held blender for this

Add the oats and the peanut butter - I get mine from our zero waste shop, just pure peanuts.

Mix together into a stiff, but very sticky, dough, using a table knife,

Place the dough onto a baking paper lined oven tray and press down evenly to your chosen thickness - 5mm or 1/4”. Wet your knife or spoon, whatever you’re using for this, and cut into squares.

Place in the oven for 20 minutes, then turn the temp down to 150C/300F for a further 15 minutes.


TBH, I was trying to get them to crisp up a little at this stage, but they still remained a bit soggy - albeit with a pleasant, chewy texture. 


I also did some in the frying pan over a low heat. Place spoonfuls of the mixture around the pan, press them flat with the back of a wet spoon. Turn over after 5 minutes. Keep turning over until you think they’re done. 


Enjoy!


Think I’ll add some cocoa powder next time. And you could add sultanas/seeds to this, no problem. I reckon a pocketful of these would keep you going for a few hours, at least!


Pancakes - blitz:

1 cup rolled oats

1/2 cup oat milk 

1 banana


Monday, 21 September 2020

WHAT CAN BE MADE WITH JUST SELF-RAISING FLOUR AND WATER

I tell my students never to bother buying plain flour - always go for self-raising flour. You can make so many different products with it. And I wouldn't go for the expensive stuff - the basic, or budget flour does the job just as well.

A simple soda bread*

Pancakes - just as good as the ones made with milk and eggs

Pikelets - This calls for a thicker batter which doesn't spread out over the pan. Add sugar and sultanas for fruit pikelets.

Tempura - A slightly thicker batter again: simply dip in some thin slices of your chosen 'filler', and shallow fry

Pasta - without need for a machine!

Sourdough. This needs time, but a flour and water batter, left for a few days will begin to ferment - and then you can turn it into bread!

Naan breads - done in the oven, under a grill, or in the frying pan


Pastry Here's a very simple rhubarb pie recipe - just self raising flour and water, with a little sugar and some olive oil, mixed together and rolled out. For a savoury pastry use a little salt instead of sugar.

Chappatis, of course. No need for a link, there are many recipes on line for this.

Dumplings Mix self-raising flour (plus any flavourings - dried herbs, etc) and water together into a dough, form into small balls and add to your stew! Talk about 'Easy-Peasy'!



Friday, 11 September 2020

GLUTEN-FREE BREADS AND BAKING

[First posted 26th September 2013]

I ran a couple of breadmaking sessions (making pain au chocolat) at a SureStart centre here in Taunton this morning – one for dads and their kids, and one a general drop-in for families.

After a conversation with one of the mothers about gluten-free breads (her husband was trying to avoid wheat and dairy) I said I would post something on the subject on my blog.

So here’s where I’ll try and gather all the info that I have about gluten-free breads and baking.

Firstly, some of the GF breads and cakes on this blog:

Socca - gram flour pancakes, socca made into an 'omelette', traditional pancakes, chocolate cake, scones. (There's more - just put 'gluten free' into the search box)

And I have a recipe for a GF loaf of bread further down this post.


Tuesday, 4 August 2020

Monday, 27 July 2020

BREADMAKING WITH CHILDREN (the original playdough)

[31/7/2013]
I started breadmaking with my 20month-old granddaughter and thought that was early enough. However, when her younger sister was 15 months old and we could no longer ignore her cries of, “and me!”, we hoisted her up to the worktop and they’ve both been making bread ever since. They’re now 11 and 9 and have been joined by my grandson, who is now 7 - they all absolutely love making bread. The oldest one rang me the week before her last birthday and asked me to make petit pain au chocolat with her guests at her birthday party. Her friends all made a batch each and went home with several in a party bag instead of the usual guff!

Breadmaking with kids is a simple, painless way into the subject if you’ve never done it before. If you just set out to make a simple playdough (and it is the original playdough!), then shape it and leave it for a bit, you’ll find it’s risen – it may even double in size – then you can bake it. If you’re happy with the results, then the next time you can make some pizza, or whatever.

 The ORIGINAL Playdough

(Note: Please try and let your kids do as much as they are able to. Parents in my Family Learning classes invariably say how impressed they are with their kids abilities when given their head!)

Ingredients:
1 mug (200g) flour – preferably bread flour, but any wheat flour will do
1/4 teaspoon salt (optional) – or a dessertspoon of sugar
1/3 mug (125ml) lukewarm water (I call it bathwater - well it is the same temperature!)
teaspoon yeast (any sort)

Method:
1. Fill the mug with flour (or weigh 200g) and tip it into a mixing bowl. Add the salt or sugar depending whether you want a savoury or a sweet dough. Measure the water and add the yeast. Stir until all the yeast has dissolved, then add to the flour in the bowl.


2. Holding the bowl with one hand, mix the ingredients together into a soft dough, then knead (flatten and fold) until the dough is smooth. Stop kneading before you get fed up - all kneading does is distribute the ingredients evenly.

3. Shape the dough as below, leave to prove (rise), covered with a dry tea towel, until it’s doubled in size, then bake it at 220C/Gas 7 until it’s coloured underneath (you'll always get colour on top, but you need to see the bottom is done as well). Place on a cooling rack to cool. 

Here’s a few ideas as to what you and your child can do with it:
    • Teddy bear shapes, made with different sized balls of dough. Use tiny balls for eyes, buttons, etc.
    • Caterpillars, with the all the same size balls of dough – except for the head which should be slightly bigger. Put a face and feelers on the head.
    • ‘House’ bread; roll out the dough to about pizza-sized then make a house shape – first cut a square (counting the sides as you do it) then a triangle – with each side a bit larger than a side of the square. Place these together on baking parchment then use the trimmings for windows, doors, chimney, etc.
    • Banded snake bread; roll the dough out into a long snake and curl it onto your baking tray. Brush with water at 2cm intervals and sprinkle sesame seeds on the wet dough. Brush with water in the gaps and sprinkle with poppy seeds. If using currants for eyes, cut a slit in the dough to take the currants – otherwise they just fall off as the dough rises. Make a 2cm tongue and slit the end.
    • Hedgehog rolls. Make a short finger roll and point one end for the nose. Use currants for the eyes (or tiny balls of dough). From behind, snip spikes with a pair of scissors held at about a 30 degree angle.
    • Look out for different shaped pastry cutters.
    • Make different coloured bread dough:
    • Red – grate some cooked beetroot and add it into the mix (use any liquid as part of the liquid for the dough)
    • Brown - add a dessertspoon of cocoa powder along with the flour and sugar
    • Smiley face mini pizzas, using cherry tomatoes, peppers and mushrooms – or make these out of the dough.
    • Make their name out of dough. Roll out an oval of dough (to use as a plaque), put their name on it, then bake and varnish when it’s cold.
    • Finally, encourage your child to suggest or make their own shapes.
When making bread with your youngster(s) it’s important to let them do as much as they can – you only need to come in and help if they’re finding something too hard for them. Getting the dough into a lump, and getting it off their fingers, younger children find difficult – so give them a hand at this stage, but let them do anything they are capable of. And your kids are more capable than perhaps you realise!

Keep in mind that ‘If you can’t make a mess when you’re breadmaking, when can you make a mess?’ Make a game of clearing up and you’ll have a helper for life.

Here are some pics from my sessions. 

More pics.

Thursday, 16 July 2020

Dough scraper/cutters and spatulas - and their uses

[First posted 23rd July, 2011.) 

I've got several dough cutters that I use:





The wooden handled one belonged to my dad - it was always known as a Scotch scraper, I'd love to know why! It was old when he took over the bakery, in 1948. (He was a bus conductor for many years before this.) It feels really comfortable in my hand, but the blade isn't as sharp as I'd like.



The one top right I've had for about 15 years and it came under the Graham Kerr (Galloping Gourmet) label. It's the one I use most as it has a sharper blade and is just slightly flexible. This is particularly handy when I'm kneading a sticky dough - that way I only have one hand to clean! I have seen similar ones in kitchen supply shops for around £6.



Bottom left was from Macro (I think), and the one bottom right came from Creed bakery supplies. I bought a dozen  to sell at my Saturday workshop sessions - just before they were cancelled, and I haven't done one since!  I've still got about 9 left! (Now only 4 left after my Autumn evening course!)



The spatulas are really handy for mixing a dough up to about 500g of flour - the shape means that you can easily scrape around the side of the bowl and you can readily cut through the dough with them. These used to be available at my local Cook Store, but they haven't been available for over 10 years. I first came across them in schools, back in the 90s - every school kitchen had dozens.


For a bigger batch I use a curved knife given to me by a butcher relative - it's an abattoir knife which I put to much better use!


Also available are small plastic scrapers in the shape of a D, which are very useful. Bakery reps used to give them away - possibly still do! Richard Bertinet always uses one when kneading dough.


The plastic scrapers are bevelled along the curved side and are great for scraping dough - or cake mix - out of a bowl
The metal dough cutter/scraper in the pic is one I used to sell many of in my workshops before Ikea stopped making them. At £1.50 each, they were a bargain  - and they fit very well into the hand, as well.


But my favourite cutter is the Graham Kerr one - I thought I'd run through some of the uses of the implement.


Apart from the obvious uses - cutting dough, scraping the worktop clean - it's very handy for handling a sticky dough. I push the dough flat with my left hand (I'm left-handed when it comes to kneading dough - right-handed in most other things) and use the scraper in my right hand to lift the dough up and over - so I only have one hand sticky with dough.

But apart from breadmaking, this tool has many other uses:
Chopping potatoes for mashed potato, for instance. You can chop away then scoop the diced potatoes up and drop them in the pan in one easy action;
Turning fried mashed potato. I like to gently fry my mashed spuds to get a crust on each side. Using the scraper, with its large area, makes it much easier to turn the potato over;
If I ever I get some crusty bits on the bottom of my cast iron frying pan (it does happen!), it's the work of seconds to scrape it off. (But I wouldn't let it near my non-stick frying pans - for obvious reasons!);
Finally, I use it for scraping any bits around on my worktops before  I wipe them clean - I can reach under the microwave with it, for instance.