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, 18 July 2014


Here's where I'll post my planning and preparation for this workshop.

And here I've posted the result of a similar workshop I held in High Ham village hall, High Ham, Somerset in December 2013.

Thursday, 17 July 2014


(Read about my 12 month's experience of IF here. Which caused my excellent blood results here!) 

Last week I was invited to address my local Humanist group (Taunton Humanists) on the subject of Intermittent Fasting (IF) - here are my notes for the talk I gave:

In the 1930s, studies on mice discovered that calorie restriction (CR) resulted in longer-living, thinner, healthier mice

…and many studies since have confirmed this finding with a variety of animals – rats, rhesus monkeys, worms – and even yeast!

Around the middle of the last decade several scientist/researchers in the US and in Manchester here, revisited this research and began their own studies.

In August 2012 Dr Mike Mosley’s Horizon programme ,which investigated current US research into longevity, Calorie Restriction (CR) and Intermittent Fasting (IF), was broadcast.

(Here’s a review by Brad Pilon, author of Eat, Stop, Eat, who has been practicing IF since 2006. His is a website well worth browsing!

Friday, 11 July 2014


On Monday and Tuesday next week - 14th and 15th of July - I'll be making bread with Yr 4s and 5s - the whole year groups! About 60 youngsters each morning.

Each child will make two different shaped rolls - of her/his choosing.

Here's the email i've sent to the teacher outlining how we're going to set about it:

Dear Teacher

Looking forward to next week!

Here’s the plan:
For each class of 30, I shall need 10 tables arranged in the form of a U-Shape with a table at the top of the U for me plus a separate table for my equipment/ingredients.

(When I’ve done this before, teachers have found it easier to use the same room for each group of students, if that’s possible, of course.)

Students will be in groups of three, one group to each table. There will be a mixing bowl, cup and teaspoon to each table.

After a demo from me, each group will make a batch of dough. After another demo – this time of shaping – the students will divide the dough in three so each student will have one third of the dough to make 2 rolls each.

Each student’s dough needs to be identified by a number made out a small piece of dough. I’ll give each student a number and demonstrate the way to do this.

Each group of students will share a baking tray, lined with baking paper, which I’ll have with me.

I shall need:
Lukewarm water (for the yeast liquid)
Name labels and marker pen
Flip chart or whiteboard for the ingredients.
A table or tables against a wall somewhere to put my ovens. (In my daughter’s school they used a couple of ovens which were in their activity room.)

Unless you’ve already arranged this, I’ll have small plastic bags for the students’ bread. The name labels can be re-used on the bags, so there’s no confusion.
Just to add that my main teaching aim is for everyone to have fun in my sessions – students, support workers, me!
I think that’s it.
Can’t remember if I’ve given you this link before – it’s about the session I did last year with my daughters Yr 5 intake:
And here’s some info on the educational benefits of breadmaking:
I’ll be there about 8.30 on Monday morn!
Cheers, Paul

I'll put the story up of how the sessions went, next week. With pics, if I can just remember to take some!

Sunday, 6 July 2014

BREADMAKING MADE EASY, Burnham on Sea, Somerset

Andy's 4-strand plait and smiley face!
Satisfying breadmaking session at Burnham on Sea Somerset Skills and Learning centre, this morning.

Only 4 students, one of whom was a regular bread baker, with the other three being novices, attended, and they all went home with 5 different varieties of bread.

Thursday, 3 July 2014


Eric made these Chelsea buns at Longrun House, Taunton, where I run a weekly session:

Garlic paste and roasted red pepper breads
We made the buns by rolling out the dough, spreading garlic paste over it, followed by chopped peppers. The dough was then rolled up and cut into buns.

The other two loaves, made by Vicky and Adrian, were layered with the same filling, then one was given the focaccia treatment, the other was done in the style of a fougasse.