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.

Wednesday, 24 July 2013


We have my mother in law staying with us at the moment, and, given that she's very fond of my Chelsea buns, I thought I'd make her some tonight. 

I knocked up the dough, and, while we were talking about the merits of Chelseas versus other fruit breads - hot cross buns, bara brith, etc, she suddenly decided she'd rather have a fruit loaf.

No problem - as my blog title suggests, every bread is connected to other breads - after several hours proving, I shaped two loaves and put them to prove before baking. I had just over 1000g of dough, so I made one large (600g) and one small (400g):
Shaped and put to prove

Hour and a half later, ready to bake
Baked for about 40 minutes at 175C
Won't be cutting into them tonight, since I'm liquid fasting today - and if I sliced into one, it might be too much for my iron resolve.

Here's the crumb - and you're probably saying, where's the fruit? Well I can assure you there is a lot of fruit in there - 200g sultanas which were soaked for about 36 hours. The soaking removed all the colour from the fruit, so it blends in with the spiced bread.

I intended  to post a  recipe, as well, but it's probably not necessary, given the link above. Instead, here are the ingredients I used on this occasion:

400g strong white bread flour
2 dessertspoons Billingtons Natural molasses sugar (very dark)
2 teaspoons mixed spice
2 teaspoons cinnamon
200g sultanas (soaked in water for over 36 hours)
200ml lukewarm water (the soaking water, of course)
20g fresh yeast

Normally, I would use 250g of water, but the sultanas were very wet indeed, so I didn't need so much.

I have to say how impressed I am with the moistness of these loaves - and the keeping qualities. I'm having to revise my choice of favourite fruit bread - which used to be Chelseas!


  1. This is really worth reading, it has too much details in it and yet it is so simple to understand, Thanks for sharing the picture it has great detail in it and i really appreciate your true artistic work!
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  2. Thanks for stopping by and giving me that feedback! I'm very grateful to you! :)

    Cheers, Paul