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.

Thursday, 21 August 2014


Made these with my group of special needs students (note the curried green snake loaf!). There are a variety of fillings - chocolate and tinned peaches, jam and peach and jam and banana.
200g (or 1 mug) strong white flour
1 or 2 dessertspoons sugar
125ml (or 1/3rd mug) lukewarm water
1 rounded teaspoon fresh yeast
Splash of olive oil (optional)

Homemade chocolate spread 
1 (or more!)sliced banana

Brush with a glaze made with 1 teaspoon sugar and 2 teaspoons boiling water.

1. Place the flour and salt into a mixing bowl. Measure the water and stir in the fresh yeast. Pour in the yeast liquid and add the olive oil if using.

2. Have a little extra water to hand to add if necessary, remember, it is better for your dough to be wetter (slack) rather than drier (tight). Begin to mix by stirring the ingredients together with a knife. When it gets too stiff for the palette knife, use one hand to turn the bowl round, whilst the other hand begins to squeeze the mixture together. As it forms into a solid mass, keep turning it over and pressing it down to pick up the flour at the bottom of the bowl – but make sure the dough remains soft. Don’t be afraid to add more water. When all the flour has been mixed in, wipe the bowl around with the dough, turn it out onto the worktop and begin to knead.

3. Knead by flattening the dough out, folding it over and flattening it again. Knead until the dough becomes smooth – and then stop before you get fed up!

4. Now divide the dough into two pieces. Shape them into rounds and roll them out to around 15-18cms, with one (which will be the top) just slightly bigger than the other.

5. Place the smaller round onto your prepared baking sheet and spread chocolate all over, then place the slices of banana on top. Place the second piece of dough over the first and tuck the edges well underneath so that the loaf presents an even finish.

6. Leave to prove until the loaf has appreciably increased in size and bake at 220C, 425F or gas mark 7 for between 15-20 minutes. When the loaf is done it should be a good colour underneath. Place on a cooling rack when it comes out of the oven and brush with the sugar glaze.

Some pics:
One and a half bananas piled on top of the chocolate spread

Brushed with a sugar glaze

Sliced in two, showing that lovely, gooey filling!
For the price of one and a half bananas, some chocolate spread, a little flour, sugar and yeast, you can get a lovely after-dinner treat that will feed four, easily!

Of course, you don't have to make a calzone, you can simply make a sweet pizza:

Easy, or what? Perhaps a few more slices of banana...


  1. Looks so yummy! Might make a Peshawari naan with this filling one day! I know some families regularly make fruit/sugar/jagerry stuffed parathas for their children in India.

  2. Thanks, Mamta!

    It would be tasty, I suppose - however, I don't think this bread needs lots more ingredients.

    Perhaps some creamed coconut? I shall try that next time.

    Cheers, Paul