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, 12 January 2014


[Still a couple of places left on this course - email me! You won't find a cheaper breadmaking course, anywhere!]

This is where I shall post everything about the course - planning, photo's of the breads we make, links to recipes, etc.

Here's the letter that's going out to students prior to the course:

Dear Student,

Breadmaking at Monkton Heathfield Community Hall, Heathfield Drive,
Monkton Heathfield,TA2 8PG, 7-9pm 15th January 2014

This letter sets out what I intend will happen in the first session and includes a list of ingredients and utensils which you will need to bring. If you are new to breadmaking, let me reassure you that it is much easier than you have been led to believe.

The session will begin in a relaxed fashion – the first thing you need to do is to find somewhere to park all the stuff that I ask you to bring, get yourself a drink and a stool to sit on. There is some necessary administration to complete, but we can go through this together. If you need any help with the forms I will be there to give you a hand, so there’s no need to worry. Bring a pen if you can remember, although I will have a couple to spare.

Before we start I’d like to spend some time finding out if you’ve had any experience in breadmaking, and what you expect to get out of the course, so that I can hopefully meet all your requirements.

The breads we will be making on the first evening are: Soda bread, and fancy dinner rolls.

Each week you will make 2 varieties of bread – most of them chosen by you and the other students. However, there are various techniques I want to cover, such as ‘No-knead, overnight bread’, using the cloche method, etc. You will be given the recipes for all the breads we make, plus general breadmaking hints and tips. My aim is for you to become a competent home baker (if you’re not already!), able to bake any bread you fancy.

Bring a large basket or a cardboard box to carry all your equipment and ingredients, and the finished products to take home with you!  Coffee or tea is available at 20p per mug – the kettle is always on. (Or bring your own, of course.)

I want to reassure those students new to breadmaking that my first aim for this course is for everyone to enjoy their learning – I always delight in these sessions, and it’s my job to see that everyone else does. Breadmaking is an easy, everyday craft – as you’ll come to realise (if you haven’t already)!

If you have any questions, doubts, suggestions at all, please don’t hesitate to ring or email me. I always enjoy making contact with my students before the course begins.

Finally, I’d like to draw your attention to the word ‘Companion’. The ‘com’ part means together – as in community – and the ‘pan’ part of the word means bread. So the word ‘Companion’ can be taken to mean, ‘Someone who makes bread with friends’. Which is what we shall be doing on these Tuesday evenings!

I look forward to meeting you and welcoming you on the course.

Course tutor

Shopping list:
500g strong white flour (own brand is fine)
500g strong wholemeal flour (if you want to make a wholemeal loaf or rolls)
Baking powder
Olive oil (optional)
10g fresh yeast (but I'll have plenty available)
Poppy or sesame seeds for the rolls (optional)

You will also need to bring:
An apron
A couple of tea towels, both to cover your dough whilst it's proving and to wrap any warm bread in to take home.
Baking paper (this is unlike ordinary greaseproof paper as it contains silicon)
Something to carry away the finished products (a large basket or cardboard box lined with tea towels would be ideal)

1 comment:

  1. Fresh yeast? I haven't the faintest idea where I'd buy that from.