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.

Monday, 21 September 2020


I tell my students never to bother buying plain flour - always go for self-raising flour. You can make so many different products with it. And I wouldn't go for the expensive stuff - the basic, or budget flour does the job just as well.

A simple soda bread*

Pancakes - just as good as the ones made with milk and eggs

Pikelets - This calls for a thicker batter which doesn't spread out over the pan. Add sugar and sultanas for fruit pikelets.

Tempura - A slightly thicker batter again: simply dip in some thin slices of your chosen 'filler', and shallow fry

Pasta - without need for a machine!

Sourdough. This needs time, but a flour and water batter, left for a few days will begin to ferment - and then you can turn it into bread!

Naan breads - done in the oven, under a grill, or in the frying pan

Pastry Here's a very simple rhubarb pie recipe - just self raising flour and water, with a little sugar and some olive oil, mixed together and rolled out. For a savoury pastry use a little salt instead of sugar.

Chappatis, of course. No need for a link, there are many recipes on line for this.

Dumplings Mix self-raising flour (plus any flavourings - dried herbs, etc) and water together into a dough, form into small balls and add to your stew! Talk about 'Easy-Peasy'!

Friday, 11 September 2020


[First posted 26th September 2013]

I ran a couple of breadmaking sessions (making pain au chocolat) at a SureStart centre here in Taunton this morning – one for dads and their kids, and one a general drop-in for families.

After a conversation with one of the mothers about gluten-free breads (her husband was trying to avoid wheat and dairy) I said I would post something on the subject on my blog.

So here’s where I’ll try and gather all the info that I have about gluten-free breads and baking.

Firstly, some of the GF breads and cakes on this blog:

Socca - gram flour pancakes, socca made into an 'omelette', traditional pancakes, chocolate cake, scones. (There's more - just put 'gluten free' into the search box)

And I have a recipe for a GF loaf of bread further down this post.