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, 20 May 2015


It's always an adventure, making bread with Matt at the care home I visit on Wednesdays. His 'go to' bread is always a 'snake bread' - with whatever ingredients we are using with the rest of the students

Today we were making Danish pastries, so we had some tinned apricots - and I always bring in marzipan, since that's such a favourite with Matt. 

Once he had made his sweetened dough, he rolled it flat and lined it with flattened marzipan, on which he placed apricots - then, for good measure, he sprinkled over some sultanas.

Matt's loaf is on the right - along with some Danish

Sunday, 17 May 2015

TWEETING MY LATEST PIZZA (to #veganrecipehour and #realbreadcampaign)

I made a vegan pizza for dinner yesterday, and I wanted to tweet the procedure I used in assembling it. Just one pic of the finished product doesn't convey the whole story.

However,Twitter absolutely refused to let me upload pics from either my iPhone 5 or my MacBook; I kept getting this msg:

Uploading photo failed! Please try again later.

So, I'm going to pretend I'm tweeting from here!

Building a  pizza: H/m T/sauce&hummus w. asparagus and roasted red pepper   

Thursday, 14 May 2015

REAL BREAD WEEK (9-15th May 2015)

The week of 9-15th May 2015 is Real Bread Week, organised by The Real Bread Campaign when everyone is encouraged to make their own Real Bread.

Here's how the week went for me:

Monday 11th May
I was short of bread for myself - so I made this seeded loaf with toasted sesame seeds.

And I was due at a coffee morning on Tuesday, so I made a batch of 
Chelsea buns (plus a GF, vegan chocolate cake for a coeliac friend who attends) for a coffee morning.

Tuesday 12th May

My usual session at Myday services this week had been moved to Thursday afternoon, so I was able to get to Taunton Association of the Homeless much earlier - 3pm instead of 3.45.

Early as I was, I found one of my students already in the training kitchen, making some frying pan soda bread!

On the menu was a lentil and potato stew or hash, which we then go on to make pasties with, so we quickly got cracking with that!

We were soon joined by 2 more students who set to to make the dough for the pasties. Once these were shaped and proving, the 1st student made another soda bread in the frying pan - at the same time, teaching one of the other students, whose first session this was.

Lentil and potato pasties and frying pan soda bread 

Tuesday, 12 May 2015

INTERMITTENT FASTING - a de-luxe 5:2 fast day with a difference

I only decided during Thursday morning this week, that if I wanted to get a fast in this week, I’d better get on with it. I rarely have breakfast these days, so that was a good start.

My initial thoughts were that I’d have a low calorie dinner – something like a 150 calorie (or less) veg curry - and not eat until lunchtime on the Friday. However, during the morning I made a batch of Chelsea buns (much prefer them to hot cross buns). I wanted to drop some off at the local garage where the guys had done me a huge favour (long story, won’t bore you with it here, but it involved a dead battery for the second time in a month), and wouldn’t accept payment.

In the afternoon on the way back, walking past the pub, a little voice in my head said, “Why not a swift half?”
Me: “But I’m supposed to be fasting!”
Little voice: “You can always build it into a FD – just count the calories.”

So that’s what I did. And a half of Buncombe golden bitter went down a treat. Checking later on I found it was 111 cals.

It was only then that I thought I’d turn my FD into a DL (De Luxe Fast Day), one with all the trimmings, and just see how much bang I could get for my buck.

I made the veg curry – spiced with Frank’s chilli sauce and a teaspoon of my home made curry powder:

134g chopped onion
white cabbage
green cabbage
1/2 teaspoon mixed herbs
8g Franks Chilli sauce
5g curry powder
400g tinned tomatoes - 76

I still can’t get over just how flavoursome a simple veg stew with a tin of tomatoes can be – however, I added 10g of soya sauce and a tsp of bouillon powder.

A small saucepan full to the brim (before cooking) amounted to 250 calories and made about 7 large serving spoons – 3 and a half of which just filled up a side plate. I needed some carbs, and, rather than using rice, I decided to have some curried potato wedges. 150g of microwaved potato, quartered and fried with a few squirts of One-Cal and a sprinkle of curry powder came in at 115 cals.

So the meal itself came to 240 cals (125+115).

I enjoy a drink before dinner, so I had a small glass (200g) of home made stout (74 cals) and I poured myself 50g of wine (45) to have with it. However, I’ve taught myself to be so abstemious with wine that I only drank just over half of it, pouring the rest back in the bottle and saving myself 20 cals.

This brought my tally for booze – including the Buncombe, earlier - to 210.

So, 240+210=450, leaving me with 150 cals to play with. I still hadn’t tasted my Chelsea buns, yet, and worked out that each one would be 277 cals. Half of one – 139 cals – would leave me 11 calories short of my allowed 600.

So, my FD included an afternoon beer, a pre-dinner glass of stout, a (miniscule) glass of wine, a veg curry with curried wedges, and half a Chelsea bun.

There’s never any need to feel deprived on this WOL!