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.

Monday, 20 February 2017


There are several dishes that can be made with just self-raising flour and water - and here are the ones I've posted so far.

Finally, I've got around to adding dumplings to this list - and, once again, they are simple to make, cheap - and surprisingly good!

Today, I had a rich vegetable sauce simmering on the stove, and I thought it's time I made the effort!

So I took a heaped dessertspoonful of self-raising flour, added a pinch of salt, 2 or 3 dessertspoons of water, and mixed it into a dough. This I kneaded for a couple of seconds, formed it into a ball and dropped it into the hot, bubbling sauce.

It had been in the sauce a minute or two before I took the pic, and it had already grown a little
Six or seven minutes later, I looked at it again.

Doubled in size
After about 10 more minutes I turned it over in the sauce - and left it for a further 20 minutes. Then I took it out and, with difficulty because it was very soft, sliced it in half...

It was light and fluffy - everything you'd want from a dumpling!
I should have made more - in the end, to bulk out the dumpling I tore pieces off a quarter of a soda bread I'd made earlier, and simmered them in the sauce.

Next time I do that, I'll make sure I add sufficient water, because the soda bread soaked up all the liquid - and my lovely sauce was nearly burnt!

I don't think these dumplings require measurements - but for those of you who don't agree with me, here's the recipe:

1 mug or 200g self raising flour
1/4 tsp salt
1/3rd mug or 125ml water

1. You'll need a stew of some kind to cook these in! :)

2. Place the flour and salt into a large mixing bowl, add the water and begin mixing with a table knife or similar.

3. Mix together into a soft dough, stirring and cutting through the dough as it forms, adding more flour or water as needed. 

4. Keep the dough as soft as possible - even a little sticky, since they're going into a liquid, after all.

5. Divide the dough into 8 or 10 or 12 pieces - depending on how big you want them - and form into balls a bit smaller than the size of a golf ball - then place these gently into your stew.

6. Make sure there is enough liquid in your stew to carry the dumplings. Turn them over after about 6-7 minutes. They'll be ready about 20 minutes after going into the stew.

Ring the changes with these - make them with half and half white and wholemeal flour. If you don't have self-raising wholemeal flour, add a teaspoon of baking powder at the rate of 1 teaspoon to 100g of flour.

Add herbs and spices to the flour to pep them up a bit.

I posted this recipe on Mumsnet, and AmberLeaf responded:

"You should try Jamaican dumplings, plain flour and water, sometimes cornmeal [fine] 50/50 with the plain flour."


  1. Thank you Paul. Been waiting for this recipe.Will be trying this tomorrow (Sunday). I also have an idea about a stew and I will let you know how I get on.

  2. Thank you just settled an argument with MIL she said you had to use suet my mother always made with just water

  3. Anon reader here just to confirm this recipe works, who know dumplings where so easy(and cheap).

  4. Thanks, Anon! Don't forget to check out the other cheap and easy recipes in the link above.

    Mike, what did you think of them?

    Cheers, Paul

  5. Thank you sooo much for this. Follow the recipe and feel the dough, it will be perfect!! Absolute success! 😋 flo

  6. My mom always made dumplings with just self rising flour and ice water. She rolled them out cut them up and dropped them in the stew. They are the best.