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, 8 September 2013


Some mushroom slices already cooked, some just added to the pan, and some sultana pikelets
Tempura is just a posh name for a flour and water batter. Most of the recipes you see on line use sparkling water, or beer, generally, and I usually make a yeast-risen batter. However, I was curious to see what could be done with just self-raising flour and water, with a view to adding it to my flour and water post.

(Now I've read the Wiki entry on tempura, I discovered I was closer to the original than I thought!)

I had my chance this morning, when a friend of my wife's popped round for a coffee. Whilst they were chatting I put a frying pan on with a little oil, poured some s/r flour into a bowl and mixed in enough water to make a thickish batter.

Whilst the pan was heating up I sliced up a large mushroom and some vegan polony. Then I dipped the mushroom into the batter and placed them into the frying pan. 

2 or 3 minutes each side was all that was needed, and they were ready for sampling

Think the cooked ones are the polony slices - difficult to see under the batter - and the ones at the top are mushroom slices

Mushroom tempura - so simple, yet so tasty!
I got the thumbs up from my wife and her friend - so I expanded into sliced banana and sultana pikelets:

I just added a tiny bit of water to the batter for the fruit pikelets
40g self-raising flour
60g water

And whatever you wish to use with your tempura. I'm a bit unadventurous, so I started off with mushrooms, which I've always got in the fridge. Then I used polony, banana and sultanas. The mixture was a bit thick for the sultanas - which became pikelets, let's be honest - so I added a little water to slacken the batter. I was amazed at how sweet the banana tempura tasted - just lovely!

Mix the flour and water together and put your frying pan onto a medium heat with a little oil. Slice whatever you're using fairly thinly, dip them in the batter and place them in the frying pan. Cook for a couple of minutes each side.

You could add flavourings to the batter - I'll have to try them with curry powder and herbs, next - but I wanted to use the batter for sweet things as well, so I left it alone. 

(However, there's a thought! Curried tempura batter with banana! I reckon that'd be brilliant!)


  1. Hi Paul. I'm guessing sliced apple would work. Gouinfg to try that tomorrow.

  2. Or sliced pear - I've got some in the fruit bowl, ATM...

  3. Just made these with sliced banana (and added some frozen blueberries to the pan at the end to make a healthy compote) and it was GORGEOUS. Thank you for the lovely recipe - I can see myself trying this with anything and everything I have in the fridge!