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.

Sunday, 22 September 2013


Lovely morning baking with my two classes on Friday morning at Halcon PS!

First, in the second week of my Family Learning course, the group - well, the children -  made petit pain au chocolat and cheese and tomato pizza.

Both these breads are very economical to make - the chocolate rolls cost as little as 5p each. But what really took the parents by surprise was the cost of the 10" pizza, made with 1 mug of flour, one fifth of a tube of tomato puree and 100g of cheese, which we costed at 67p.

Flour - 10p (assuming 1.5kg strong bread flour costs 80p as it currently does at Sainsbury's)
Tomato puree - 7p (assuming a tube costs 33p as it currently does at Lidl)
Cheese - 50p (assuming 500g grated cheese costs £2.47 as it currently does at Sainsbury's)

Total 67p

(No cost for the salt - miniscule - or the yeast, which can be obtained free from Asda)

And no pics, either - I always seem to forget in these sessions! :(

However, in the session which followed this, because my support worker, Mrs Carpenter, was taking pics, I remembered to take a few of my own.

After the FL session, I stay on for a session with a group of four, currently year 3, students, and make bread with them.

I'd had an email from Mrs Carpenter during the week to say that the children had harvested some squash from the school vegetable garden - could we make some bread with it? I replied that we could - so that's what we were making.

The squash had been pureed - and there was enough for just over half a mug each for four students.

Beautiful Japanese winter squash
Instead of using name labels I write the youngsters name on the board - in the position they are around the table - today we were joined by Krystel, Ryan, Dylan - and I can't remember the name of the other child. Something …ary. (Shameful!)

The dry ingredients were measured first, mixed together, so that the spice isn't streaky, then the wet.
Breaking up the fresh yeast into the lukewarm water

Measuring one quarter of a mug of water
The instructions to the children are, to hold the bowl with one hand, make a claw with the fingers of the other, and use the fingertips to mix the dough together.

Using the knuckles to scrape the flour from the sides to the middle, a dough begins to form
(This pic needs rotating)
Once the dough is kneaded, it was divided into 8 pieces

And placed in the tins 

Or on the oven tray (we only have 3 tins)

Then they were placed on the oven to rise

Baked and glazed!

All the year 3 children will get to eat one of these buns before school finishes - with a couple left over for the children in another class who helped to harvest the squash!

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