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.

Friday, 8 January 2016


(Not be confused with these.)

No, these are your traditional Shrove Tuesday pancakes, mostly sprinkled with sugar and lemon juice.

[I've put my latest, thoroughly tested, recipe in a separate post.]

I first made these a couple of years ago, and now they’re a firm family favourite every Pancake Tuesday – and occasionally, in between!

The recipe I initially followed I found on this thread on the BBC Food boards, but I’ve played about with it a little, since:

200g self raising flour
30g sugar
100ml soya milk
250ml water

These are every bit as good as the traditional ones which contain eggs.

It’s another illustration of how we are often in the grip of traditional recipes handed down by our forebears. My mother certainly always used eggs in pancakes, just as she always used eggs in sponge cakes.

I never imagined you could make pancakes without eggs – until I made one. Similarly I never thought sponge cakes could be made without eggs – until I began making them.

As a vegan I’m very happy to spread the word that you can dispense with eggs in these recipes – it’s not just the animal cruelty issues (male chicks are gassed at birth, for example), but for those on a restricted income, with the price of eggs these days, it’s a huge saving. 

Tuesday evening, 21st Feb.

I've been away for a couple of days and only just got back a couple of hours ago. I wanted to do an experiment - I hadn't made these since last year and I remembered I'd simplified the recipe, but I couldn't find anything written down.

So I made them to the above recipe - and they turned out fine. The mixture was a little thick, so I added a little water to get it to the consistency I wanted.

Then I made another batch leaving out the soya milk - but increasing the water. Once again the batter was thicker than I wanted, so I added more water.

And again, they were fine! I had them with sugar and lemon juice and they tasted just as I remembered pancakes tasting.

I'd need to have a side-by-side tasting to see if they're as good as the traditional recipe - but, without that, they were excellent.

So here's my amended recipe:

200g self raising flour
30g sugar
380ml water

Whisk together and start frying over a medium heat with a little oil. Adjust with extra water or flour if the batter is too thick or too thin. Makes about 10.

Wednesday 22nd Feb.
Felt the need to make another batch today - I wanted to be more accurate with the liquid.

I initially increased the water to 400ml (which pleased me, since this gave a ratio of 2:1 water to flour), but still found that a little thick - so I increased it again, this time to 440g.

And this was just about right. These pancakes are gorgeous, IMO, but I needed a second opinion so I popped one over the fence to see what the neighbours thought.

5 minutes later there was a knock on the window to hand the plate back and give me a report. The mother and two sons both thought they were 'real' pancakes and thoroughly enjoyed them. The mother was very surprised to learn it was basically flour and water - and summed up her impression of them by telling me I should get a patent on them, they were that good!

Friday 24th Feb.
I've now tried them without the sugar - makes no difference that I could see.

So we're left with only two ingredients - flour and water!

Tuesday 28th Feb.
Been making these for the past week, and I've decided that the batter could be a little thinner - so I now make them using:

200g self raising flour
600ml water

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