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.

Saturday, 22 September 2012


200g (1 mug) strong white flour
1 dessertspoon sugar
125g (1/3 mug) lukewarm water
1 teaspoon yeast - fresh, dried active or instant, dissolved in the water
Tablespoon olive oil

50g dark chocolate - roughly chopped 
100g tart cherries

Brush with a glaze made with 1 teaspoon sugar and 2 teaspoons boiling water.

1. Place the flour and salt into a mixing bowl. Measure the water and stir in the fresh yeast. Pour in the yeast liquid and add the olive oil.

2. Have a little extra 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. When it gets too stiff for the palette knife, use one hand to turn the bowl round, whilst the other hand begins 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 the dough remains soft. Don’t be afraid to add more water. 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 flattening the dough out, folding it over and flattening it again. Knead until the dough becomes smooth – and then stop before you get fed up!

4. Cover the dough and leave to prove for an hour or so, then, without disturbing the dough too much, tip it out onto the worktop and form into a flat circle. 

5. Then, using flour to stop the dough sticking, roll the dough out into a rectangle, roughly 30cm by 20cm. chocolate and cherries over the dough, leaving a border at the top and bottom.

6. Roll up the dough towards you, as if making a Swiss roll, bring it to rest on the seam and squeeze the dough gently around the filling. Then tuck the ends over to stop the filling leaking out. 

7. Place on a prepared baking sheet and leave to prove until they’ve risen appreciably. Bake at 200C, 400F or gas mark 6 for between 20-25 minutes. 


  1. This sounds delicious! I guess you could vary the fillings too.

  2. Indeed, you could (sorry, just seen this comment).

    I'd want to keep the chocolate, though! :)