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.

Wednesday, 21 May 2014


Wednesday 21st May 2014
Finally poste a pic of these!
Farthing buns - made in my care home session.

19th Jan 2012
I first came across these in The Sunday Times Book of Real Bread, many years ago, recipe by Brian Binns. I've changed it quite a bit, but the basic technique is the same. 

200g (1 mug) strong white flour
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
1 teaspoon mixed spice
100g sultanas
125ml (1/3rd mug) lukewarm water
1 teaspoon of any sort of yeast
1 tablespoon olive oil

50g Pure or sunflower margarine, chilled in the freezer for 15 minutes prior to use

After it comes out of the oven: Brush with a glaze made with 1 teaspoon sugar and 1 dsp boiling water

1.     Measure the water and stir the yeast until it has dissolved (dried yeast takes a little longer than fresh). Place the flour, sugar and dried fruit into a mixing bowl, and mix to distribute the ingredients. Pour in the yeast liquid and add the olive oil.

2.     Have a little water to hand to add if necessary, remember, it is better for your dough to be wetter (slack) rather than drier (tight). Begin to mix by stirring the ingredients together with a knife, cutting through the dough. When it gets too stiff for the knife, use your hand to squeeze the mixture together. As it forms into a solid mass, keep turning it over and pressing it down to pick up the flour at the bottom of the bowl – but make sure it stays soft. Don’t be afraid to add more water to keep it soft! When all the flour has been mixed in, wipe the bowl around with the dough, turn it out onto the worktop and begin to knead.

3.     Knead by stretching the dough out, folding it over, stretching it out and so on and so forth. Do this until it is smooth – or until you get fed up!

4.     Form the dough into a round, then, using flour to stop the dough sticking, roll it out into a rectangle roughly the size of an A4 sheet. Spread the margarine over 2/3rds of the dough and fold it into three. Keeping the worktop floured, roll the dough out again until it is big enough to fold into three again. Carefully now, because the dough is quite fragile, roll it out again to a 15-18cm square. Using a sharp knife, cut the dough into 9 pieces, as if you’re playing noughts and crosses (3 x 3). Place them on a prepared baking sheet.

5.     Cover and leave to prove on your worktop (preferably not on top of a warm oven) until the dough is risen and puffy.

6.     Bake for about 15 minutes at 220C 425F or gas mark 7, checking the colour underneath the buns – they should be browned evenly across the bottom. Brush them with the glaze when they come out of the oven