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.

Tuesday, 7 June 2011


Healthy in that they don't go anywhere near a deep fat fryer!

To make them even healthier you can use half and half, white and wholemeal flour

200g strong white flour 
1 or 2 dsp sugar
125ml lukewarm water 
1 rounded teaspoon yeast
Splash of olive oil

A jar of jam
Sugar glaze
Sugar for sprinkling

1. Place the flour and sugar into a mixing bowl, and mix to distribute the ingredients. Measure the water and stir in the yeast until it dissolves (dried yeast takes longer to dissolve than fresh). Add the yeast liquid to the dry ingredients, and add the olive oil.

2. Have a little 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, cutting through the dough. When it gets too stiff for the knife, use your hand 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 it stays soft. Don’t be afraid to add more water to keep it soft! 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 and stretching the dough out, folding it over, stretching it out and so on and so forth. Do this until it is smooth – or until you get fed up!

4. Leave to prove for about an hour on your worktop, covered with a dry tea towel. Or place in an oiled plastic bag until you are ready for step 5. Or go straight to step 5.

5. When you are ready to proceed, take the dough out of the mixing bowl and place it on your worktop. This time, don't 'knock the dough back'! Instead, just roll it out into a large square or circle. 

6. Using a medium size pastry cutter, cut out circles of dough and place half of them on a prepared baking tray - these are the bases. Continue rolling out and cutting out until all the dough has been used up - you're looking for an even number of circles. (The last bit can be turned into a jam pasty!)

7. Place 1/2 a teaspoon of jam in the middle of each of the bases and place a lid on top of each one. Press down all round the doughnut to seal them. Take a bit of time over this, for if you're not careful, all the jam will leak out. I pick each one up and go round the edge pressing the sides together. Move your finger and thumb against each other - just as you would if you were feeling your earlobe!

8.Cover and leave to prove until they have grown appreciably in size. Bake at 220C, 425F or gas mark 7, for about 10-12 minutes.

9. Whilst the rolls are baking, make a sugar glaze with a dessertspoon of sugar and 2 dessertspoons of hot water for a glaze. When the rolls are done brush them with the glaze straightaway. Pour some sugar in a dish and place the sticky doughnuts in it top down to cover them with sugar. Or simply sprinkle the glazed doughnuts with sugar.

Apple puree
Chocolate spread (either on its own - or with half a glace cherry!)

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