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.

Friday, 16 June 2017

SPREADING THE VEGAN MESSAGE

I'm a member of an informal discussion group, meeting monthly. Whoever hosts decides the topic to be discussed.

Yesterday we met at mine - and I chose veganism, with an emphasis on health, but necessarily touching on animal welfare and global warming.

Over the last few weeks, I've been sending them links and references on the subject, including the film Cowspiracy.

I began the session intending to show them the first 10 minutes of Michael Greger's 'How not to die' video. I thought I'd better cut it short when Michael Greger had finished with the subject of halting and reversing CAD, but the group wanted to carry on watching. We watched a further 10 minutes, on the subject of cancer, then we had a discussion on what we'd seen and heard. They were very receptive, much to my surprise. I was helped by one of the group who had been reading my copy of 'How not to die', and several times read pertinent passages from it. He made a particular point of telling the group that the science was sound - there were 135 pages of references at the end of the book.

After an hour or so, I gave them coffee, plus a selection of about a dozen vegan goodies which I'd prepared - Fry's colony; 2 types of hard cheese (including Vegusto); cream cheese; homemade pizza and breadsticks; my Thai chilli non carne; nutritional yeast; seitan; Mrs Crimble's stem ginger cake; Booja Booja chocolate ice cream; and some dark chocolate. My message was that you don't have to be deprived on a vegan diet.

Then we had a further half an hour of discussion - I was asked to relate my own story, so I told them how and why I became vegan, including the positive effects this had on my own health - and we wrapped it up.

Outcomes:
One of the group took us all by surprise by saying that he intended to give a vegan diet a go for a fortnight! He very much related to my story of how my sinuses had dried up after giving up dairy - he not only had a constant nasal drip, but he had asthma as well. So we'll see how well he does.
The friend who'd borrowed my copy of the book, and another friend were concerned that their main stumbling block would be how their wives would react. I said that if they bought some vegan goodies, the mere fact that they were in the house would make it easier to begin the process of transitioning. Something I'm working on myself.
Another member of the group emailed me to say, "Brilliant morning. Lots to consider now for a life change." After the discussion, he'd confided in me that he hadn't been looking forward to the morning, expecting simply a boring chat about veganism!

So, 4 out of 5 ain't bad! It's certainly the best reaction to my spreading the  word that I've had in 14 years!

Tuesday, 6 June 2017

BREADMAKING MADE EASY Wellington 25/5/17

Mon 6th June 2017
Last session today - here's the group with some of their bread. Over the past 6 weeks together they made around 18 varieties of bread.


Naans, pitta, marzipan and apple tartlets (with dates as an alternative) and a college, tear and share loaf to finish with.

Here's a pic that Dave sent me after missing the last session. He made a small chocolate and banana loaf and turned the other half of the dough into Chelsea buns.

Tuesday 23rd May 2017
Stuffed mushrooms, chocolate and banana bread and loaves. We didn't bake the loaves in the session, instead the students took the dough home and baked it there. Here's a pic that Wendy sent me of her loaf:

Cottage loaf with cuts
And Elaine sent me this:

A tinned loaf


Tuesday 16th May 2017
Fun with jam, sizzlers and Peshwari naan