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.

Tuesday, 15 October 2013


27/4/11: Edited to include the right amount of flour.

This is a variation of Peshwari naan.
Straight from the hob
My daily breakfast
6 days of the week, this is my breakfast. The banana is mashed and spread (nay, slathered!) over the split naans. And every mouthful is a delight!

The soaking liquid provides the acid which works with the bicarb (the alkali) to produce CO2. If you haven't soaked your fruit, so you have no soaking liquid, then use baking powder instead of bicarb.

Since the liquid tends to 'settle' with most of the goodness at the bottom of the jug, I tend to pour off the top half of the liquid from the fruit, and use some of the liquid from what remains. In appearance, the liquid gets darker the nearer the bottom it is.

I use 150g self-raising flour and 150g wholemeal flour with 1 and 1/2 teaspoon bicarb of soda
(If I was to use all self-raising flour I wouldn't bother with the bicarb)

150g self-raising flour
150g wholemeal flour
1 and 1/2 teaspoon bicarb of soda
Curry powder (this is optional – I currently use 5 teaspoons of a fairly hot curry powder)
400g of dried fruit (soaked overnight) (I use 200g dried, unsulphured, apricots, chopped, plus 200g sultanas)
100-125ml of the soaking liquid

The secret of any quick bread is to have everything ready beforehand. So put a little oil in 2 large frying pans and put them on a low heat.

1. Place the dried ingredients in a mixing bowl and stir them together. Add the drained fruit and mix together with the flour.

2. Add the liquid and stir it quickly into a dough. Be ready to add more water or flour if needed.

3.  Knead the dough gently a few times, adding more flour as necessary. Divide the dough into two pieces and form them into cob shapes. Then, using liberal amounts of flour to stop the dough sticking, roll out into a circle the size of your frying pan. Place each one in the frying pan and turn the heat up to medium. Place a lid or a baking sheet over the frying pans. They should take about 4-5 minutes each side to bake.

4. Turning them over requires gentle handling since they are very delicate at this stage. The best way I've found to turn them is to place a sheet of baking parchment on an upturned baking sheet, hold the frying pan in one hand, and with the other, gently lift the side of the naan with a spatula and slide it onto the baking parchment.  Now invert the frying pan upside down over the naan, place one hand under the baking sheet (protected by an oven cloth) and hold the handle of the frying pan with the other. Now quickly turn it over so the naan is now back in the frying pan.

5. Repeat with the other naan bread. Cook them for a further 4-5 minutes then slide them out onto a cooling rack.

The yield is two large naans weighing about 1kg in total, which can be divided up and frozen when cool.

Costings (using just sultanas):
S/r flour              5.2
Wholemeal       14
Bicarb                5
Curry powder    5 (using just 1 teaspoon)
400g sultanas   52

Total                85p

Divided into 8, each piece of naan would cost about 10p and contain 50g of sultanas and 40g of flour.

Divided into 10, each piece of naan would cost about 8p and contain 40g of sultanas and 30g of flour.

Spread with half a banana it sustains me up until lunchtime.

The dried fruit, soaked overnight, yields between 600-700g. The soaking liquid is surprisingly sweet and can be drunk rather than discarded.
Another pic. I make - and enjoy - this bread frequently!
An old pic I found in my files - before the kitchen refurb!

Calorie counting:
Since I began practicing intermittent fasting (IF), in February 2012, which made me realise just how much I used to eat, I've reduced the size of the portions of naan from 100g to between 70-80. So I now get around 12-14 portions out of this recipe.

The number of calories in this bread total around 2240. 12 portions gives 186 cals per portion, and 14 portions gives 160 cals per portion. 

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