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.

Saturday, 29 June 2013


A good variation on this is, before baking, to run the pizza cutter or knife in between the squares - creating little tarts. No need to separate the dough, they'll just break apart when they're cooked 
200g strong white flour 
1 or 2 dsp sugar
125ml lukewarm water 
1 rounded teaspoon yeast
Splash of olive oil (optional)

2 different sorts of jam

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 pizza cutter if you have one, a sharp knife if you haven't, cut a square from the dough by cutting strips from the edges - you'll need 6 strips in all, one for each edge plus 2 across the middle. Press them down on the edges - they will join onto the base as the bread rises. 

7. Place a good dessertspoon of jam in the middle of each of the squares and spread into the corners.

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.

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