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, 31 May 2013


Thursday 30th May 2013
I'd forgotten all about this post!

We've had the grandchildren here all week, and made several batches of rolls which I wasn't bothered about posting about - but these I have to share with you.

My daughter (their Auntie Emma) is 6 months pregnant, and the kids are fascinated - especially Alfie, who's now 7. (Just to tell you how interested he is in pregnancy - he's absolutely gutted that his two older sisters are allowed to watch ''One born every minute', and he isn't!)

I'd demonstrated how to shape a tadpole or a mouse with a bread dough, and Alfie, I thought, was following suit...

...albeit going a bit overboard with the tail! 
"What's that, then, Alfie?" I asked, expecting him to say 'mouse', or 'tadpole'. "It's an umbilical cord, granddad," he replied, matter-of-factly.

But he hadn't finished with it - here's his final shaping, with an unusually coloured flower (we had no green food colouring):

On the left is Alfie's final version of an umblical cord - at the top is a reindeer dropping (which will be painted with chocolate spread after baking). And the two rolls on the right are pain au chocolat.

And this is what can happen if you take your eye off the ball!

I have an oft-repeated saying - "If you can't make a mess when you're breadmaking, when can you make a mess?"
 Not sure I had this in mind!

Monday 9th April 2012.
Alfie again made some spicy fruit buns with me for them to take home with them.

We made 16 - smaller ones than last time. You'll need to ask my wife where the missing one is!
The cake is a gluten-free parkin for my son who has a wheat allergy. 

Sunday 8th April.

The grandchildren had a had a young friend visit them today, Elsbeth, who'd never made bread before. So it was decided we should rectify this situation and make some bread while she had the chance.The choices were pain au chocolat, jam doughnuts, iced buns or fancy dinner rolls and shapes - they chose fancy shapes that can be turned into iced buns. 

So Olivia, Alfie and Elsbeth lined up at the worktop and here's how it turned out:
A sweetened dough made with 1 mug of flour - dividing it into smaller pieces

Olivia's rolling out her dough 

There's Alfie mugging up to the camera
More dividing and shaping
Yet more...

Now there are some real shapes

Finishing touches
Clipping a hedgehog's spikes
A whirl

I think this is going to be Olivia's reindeer poo

All the finished bread - proving
Olivia's (at the top) and Alfie's bread. Elsbeth had to take her rolls home to finish them off. We'll ice these in the morning.
Whilst the bread was proving and baking, the youngsters all helped to clear away (with Olivia explaining to Elsbeth that this was the worst part of breadmaking! :) ). Still, she did it willingly enough.

I had to go over everything with a cloth and a brush, but at least they did the most of it.

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