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, 24 October 2016

BREADMAKING SESSIONS with the Taunton Association for the Homeless (TAH)

Wednesday 19th October 2016
2 students today, Becky again and her friend (whose name I've temporarily forgotten) made pizzas:

Pizza no. 1 for Becky

And pizza number 2.
When making the dough she added too much water, so she had to add a fair amount of flour to make it into a manageable dough - enough for two pizzas!

Becky's friend's pizza - nibbled a little bit.

She also made this fruit loaf in a frying pan.
Becky didn't make a fruit loaf, saying she didn't like sultanas. However, when she tasted the fruit loaf her friend had made - she really enjoyed it. 

Wednesday 12th October 2016
Just the one student today - Becky, who made battered sausage and mushrooms using a tempura batter made from self-raising flour. I had a bar of dark chocolate with me, so we decided to see if we could make a pain au chocolat using a batter. 

I thickened the batter somewhat, placed a teaspoon of batter in a small strip in the frying pan, then added a piece of chocolate over it, then covered it with another teaspoon of batter. This worked well enough:

Here are the battered mushrooms and (Quorn) sausages

And here's the pain au chocolat, cut in half to show the chocolate.
We were quite pleased with the chocolate pikelets - well worth doing, although I need to do some more experimenting to get the thickness of the batter just right. 

(28th September - no-one came! :( )

Wednesday 21st September 2016
Once again, 3 students turned up - Richard again, Craig and Danny. Between them they made Battered mushrooms and fruit pikelets

Wednesday 14th September 2016
3 students, Jess again, Richard and Lee - and once again, pizzas were on the menu.

(No session on the 7th September)

Wednesday 31st August 2016
Jess and Adam both made pizzas and fruit pikelets.

Wednesday 24th August 2016
Bread rolls, pikelets and pancakes with Michaela and Charlie

No idea who made these, but whoever it was took a small slice out of the pizza!

Wednesday 15th June 2016
Jam - and chocolate spread - doughnuts again today, requested by Becky. We were joined by first-timers Ian and Trevor, who both did very well. No time for a second bread, since I was keen to get to the cricket*. And no pics, either - I completely forgot! :(

Next week, pizzas.

*Unfortunately, the cricket was rained off - ah well!

Wednesday 8th June 2016
Last week's students asked to make Chelsea buns today - but 3 different students attended, none of whom liked sultanas! :(

So they all made jam doughnuts:

...and Lianne's, showing the inside of one.
They were pronounced 'gorgeous' by Lianne.

The girls then went on to each make a soda bread loaf in the frying pan:

...and Lianne's.
Baking bread in a frying pan using the hob on an electric oven is a hit and miss affair. Becky's loaf was baked with the hob on Mark 3, whereas Lianne's hob was turned up to Mark 4 for a while. You need to be careful, since using Mark 4 exclusively can result in burnt bread. Gas hobs on the other hand, are much more controllable.

As an aside, the batch of jam doughnuts would cost less than 15p, and the soda bread loaf less than 5p! :)

Wednesday 1st June 2016
For all my good intentions, I've shamefully neglected this post! :(

However, I haven't neglected the TAH - I haven't missed a single session (apart for the odd holiday), since I started. Attendance by the students has been quite reasonable, on the whole - there have been a couple of times when no-one has turned up, but I've generally had 2-4 students each session. If I do find myself on my own, I'll make a batch of something for the cooks to hand out at dinner along the lines of "This is what you could have made today, guys!" :)

Today I've switched the day from Tuesday to Wednesday - I'm already out for table tennis at the YMCA on a Weds, so it fits in nicely.

And the switch has been OK so far - 3 students came, Jess, Tony and Richard who all made a pizza - Jess and Richard also made a fruit soda bread in the frying pan.

Richard's pizza
...and Jess's
And Tony's
Richard's fruit loaf
Next week we're making Chelsea buns.

Tuesday 9th June 2015
3 students today; making chilli bread, a request from one of the students, and fruit buns (one student was not a chilli fan!).

Riley's chilli loaves - top, baked in the oven, bottom  (made with self-raising flour) done in the frying pan

Studded with red and green chillies

Fruit buns - made by Jess. Could have been taken out of the oven a little earlier
No recipe link for the chilli bread as yet, but the ingredients were:
1 cup bread flour
1 veg stock cube, crumbled
1 teaspoon fairly mild curry powder
1 red and 1 green chilli, seeded and chopped small
1/3rd cup lukewarm water
1 heaped teaspoon fresh yeast

It was very pleasing to hear that Riley has been making lots of bread since he started coming to my sessions. He told me he's now making his own loaves of bread - and giving them away to friends - plus chocolate rolls filled with chocolate spread.

Tuesday 26th May 2015
Lentil and potato parcels - pasties and parathas - today with three students, 2 returners and 1 new student.

So, one cup (approx 150g) of flour made 2 pasties and 4 parathas. Filled 

Tuesday 19th May 2015

Another busy session, perhaps the best yet - in that 6 students turned up in the end (which is just about the most that can be fitted in the kitchen).

I'd planned for everyone to make a loaf of bread, but one of them just wanted to make a soda bread in the frying pan, and a couple included dried fruit in their loaves. Once the bread was rising, 3 of the students made a fruit soda bread in the frying pan.

They've all indicated they want to return next week, and wanted to make pasties again, so that's what we'll do.

The pics:

Two fruited loaves and a cottage loaf

Bread rolled out flat then folded over
Just two cups of flour. Nice looking loaf - brilliant for a first timer. 
                                              1 cup s/r flour, 1 dsp sugar, 1 tsp mixed spice, 1 cup dried fruit, 1/3rd cup water

Mixed into a dough, flattened out and dry fried 4-5 mins each side (and then nibbled!)

Tuesday 12th May 2015
We had a busy, fun session this afternoon, making, first of all a lentil and potato stew (or hash), then using this to fill pasties made with bread dough!

Two remains of soda bread loaves (made in a frying pan) and 4 pasties -  one of which is bursting with good ingredients
(trying to get as much filling in as possible)
When I arrived at just after 3, one of the students was already in the training kitchen making bread. He made a batch of frying pan soda bread without any input from me. He made another one later – just because he could! (BTW, he has realised that he can come to the kitchen and make bread at any time, not just when I’m there.)

2 other students arrived later – neither of whom had been before - and everyone participated in making the lentil and potato stew, and then the pasties. Both the hash and the pasties went down very well with everyone.

[Link to the pasties to come]

Tuesday 5th May 2015
3 students each made a batch of cheese rolls and breadsticks:
1 cup bread flour
1/4 tsp salt
1 chunk of cheese, grated
1/3rd cup lukewarm water
1 heaped teaspoon fresh yeast

Mixed into a dough, then shaped into bread rolls - except that one made a 4-strand plait:

Cheesey loaf

Fancy dinner rolls and breadsticks

Fancy dinner rolls - including a pretzel shape

The students found the whole process incredibly easy - and were very surprised by how quickly the bread was made and then baked.

I'm only there for just over the hour - and everything, from collecting the ingredients from the kitchen, through to final clearing up has to be done in that time.


  1. Proved and baked in an hour? That's pretty close to Chorleywood speeds.

  2. Paul 'collared' me last week, with about 26 minutes to spare, he had mixing flour, rolling, adding cheese, tomato and mushrooms on top and baking some splendid little pizza-type rolls!! LOVELY!

  3. Hi Mike
    It's all about the amount of yeast used - approx 25g to 150-175g flour.
    Then, the oven is already on, bread placed in the oven for a quick blast of about a minute, rest for 5 minutes then put it in to bake.

    TBH, it was more like 35 minutes with 'Anonymous'! :)

    And the 'pizza-type rolls' were bread wraps - which I call sizzlers:
    Great fun! Paul