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.

Saturday, 28 February 2015


Starter: Baked onion bhajis
Main: Chilli non carne with seitan, coconut milk and Thai spices
Pudding: Apple strudel

Baked onion bhajis

I left these a couple of minutes too long in the oven - so they've just caught a little
2 large onions, sliced fairly thinly
Oil (for the frying pan - I use rapeseed)
1 teaspoon curry powder (my made up curry powder consists of 3 parts chilli powder to 1 each of cumin, coriander and turmeric – you may wish to reduce this ratio)
½ teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
100g gram (chickpea) flour
2 teaspoons bouillon powder
2 dessertspoons tomato puree

Fry the onions for about 8-10 minutes until soft
Stir the spices in with the onions and fry for a couple more minutes
Mix the gram flour, bouillon powder in a bowl, then add the tomato puree and enough water to form a batter.  Add the onions and mix altogether. It should be a fairly loose mixture.

Using a dessertspoon, place heaped spoonfuls of the mix onto a prepared baking sheet (I simply oil mine), and bake at 200C for 20-25 mins.

Thai chilli non carne with seitan

Start with a vegetable curry.

To which add a tin of coconut milk, a dessertspoon of Thai curry paste, a dessertspoon each of soya sauce and lemon juice, and a squeeze of garlic paste.
Then add a tin of red kidney beans (or 240g of dried, cooked beans), the Seitan chunks and simmer until the chunks have softened.
Adjust seasoning
(Personally, I would add an extra dessertspoon of Thai curry and a splash of Encona West Indian Hot Pepper sauce, or similar)

Serve with Jasmine rice

Apple strudel

This is one of the strudels made with my special need's students. If you look  carefully, you can just make out a K (on the right) made from a scrap of dough - which means it was made by Kestor.
You can, of course, make this with ready made puff pastry which is easily available and very often vegan.

However, I find a strudel made with your own croissant dough to be, not only tastier, but very satisfying to make.

1 portion of croissant dough, made with 200g flour and a dessertspoon of sugar instead of the salt. Once made, keep it in the fridge, in an oiled plastic bag, until you're ready to use it.

3 medium apples, peeled and thinly sliced
200g sultanas
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon each cinnamon and nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground clove
100ml orange juice

Either stew the fruit in a saucepan on the stove until the apples are soft - but still retain their shape; or, microwave the fruit for approximately 10 minutes.

Let the fruit mixture cool before shaping the strudel.

Once you're ready to go, roll the dough out to to approximately 35cm x 25cm (a little bigger than my laptop!) and place it onto a piece of baking parchment, with the long side across in front of you.

Spread the filling in a thick band across the length of the dough, leaving a couple of centimetres at each end. Gently, using the baking paper as support, bring the dough over the top of the filling until it is covered. Roll it over an extra 2-3 cms to create an overlap.

Trim any spare width of dough (bake as nibbles), and carefully tuck in the ends.

Using the baking parchment, slide the strudel onto a baking tray and, using a sharp knife, make shallow diagonal cuts in the top of the dough. Cover the strudel with a dry tea towel and leave to prove until the dough is risen and puffy.

Turn the oven onto 200C, and carefully brush the strudel with a sugar glaze - one dessertspoon sugar to two dessertspoons boiling water.

When the oven is up to temperature, place the strudel in the middle of the oven and bake for 15-20 minutes. Brush again with the sugar glaze. 

Either serve immediately, with Alpro custard, or place to cool on a wire rack.


Just to show that these are not as difficult as people would have you believe, these were made with one of my special needs groups. Here they are 

Baked and brushed with a sugar glaze. As you can see, we also made iced buns

Saturday, 7 February 2015

VEGAN PIZZA My best yet!

Choice of two toppings
Saturday is pizza day in our house - and today, I think I excelled myself.

I wanted a variety of toppings, so I covered half of the pizza with a rich tomato sauce and the other half with three layers: First I spread it with Pateole mushroom spread, then Meridian pesto and finally topped it with a layer of hummus.

I then scattered mushrooms, tomatoes, roasted red pepper, sun-dried tomatoes and a few pieces of vegan cheese (Violife). I neglected to add a sprinkle each of nutritional yeast and dried oregano, but, no matter, the pizza was absolutely gorgeous.

I have to say that, of the two toppings, the mushroom pate/pesto and hummus combination just edged it for flavour. I've used these three ingredients in different pairings before, with very good results, but the three together are absolutely amazing!

Friday, 6 February 2015


One of the reasons I first began intermittent fasting (IF) in February 2012 was evidence that fasting had some effect on cancer cells. It was the reference to prostate cancer cells being susceptible to fasting that provoked my initial interest!

The evidence suggested that, whilst fasting, the body’s cells go into repair mode – but invasive cells (cancers, tumours) are neglected and become easier to treat.

Since then evidence continues to accumulate that this is so – but in my experience, the research is disparate and scattered.

I wanted to bring any research that I have come across into one place; to which I can refer any friends and relatives who may know someone with cancer – unfortunately all too common an occurrence latterly, it seems to me.

These articles are all available by searching online, of course. However, the purpose of this post, apart from bringing much research all together, is also to link to forums which will give support to anyone deciding to fast, and will also advise on the different fasting regimes – of which there are several.

Intermittent Fasting
The best resource I am aware of concerning Intermittent Fasting – and one of the most supportive is this forum 

It has many members actively searching for the science behind Intermittent Fasting and posting the results here

There is a lot of science and research on the forum  - putting ‘Fasting and cancer’ in the search box brings up 250+ results.

Another supportive forum is on the Mumsnet website. The first thread was begun the day after the Horizon programme which brought Intermittent Fasting to the attention of the British public. The latest thread (6th July your 2015) is Nr 55.

Also on the site is a research thread full of Tips on intermittent fasting and Links to much research – well worth looking through.

Monday 21st April 2014
Dr Miriam Stoppard, in her health column in the Daily Mirror had this to say about Intermittent Fasting (I've tried to find this online, but it doesn't appear to be there yet):
"I'm keen on Intermittent Fasting. It's very efficient and doesn't only help you to lose weight, it also prolongs your life.
"It works by increasing your sensitivity to insulin - a very good thing - so it controls your appetite and gets rid of cravings.
"It protects you from heart disease and diabetes, too, and should you need chemo for a malignancy (heaven forbid) it makes your tumour more sensitive to the treatment programme. 
"All in all, a good thing."

(My italics)

 I shall add to this post as and when I come across other research on the subject.