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.

Sunday, 6 October 2013


I was too slow to take a pic of the finished pie - everyone came back for seconds!
There are several advantages to using a bread dough instead of pastry - I think it's easier, for a start. It also doesn't need any fat as pastry does - so you're saving your wallet as well as your waistline!

The crust is wonderfully soft and scrummy! I guess it's the moisture of the filling seeping through that gives it this effect.

200g strong white flour 
1 or 2 dsp sugar
125ml lukewarm water 
1 rounded teaspoon yeast
Splash of olive oil (optional)

3 Bramley apples, chopped and simmered in a little water and 3 dsps sugar.

A 9-10" (23-25cm) baking tin, lined with baking paper.

1. Place the flour and sugar into a mixing bowl, and mix to distribute the ingredients. Measure the water and stir in the yeast until it dissolves (dried yeast takes longer to dissolve than fresh). Add the yeast liquid to the dry ingredients, and add the olive oil if using.

2. Have a little 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, cutting through the dough. When it gets too stiff for the knife, use your hand 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 it stays soft. Don’t be afraid to add more water to keep it soft! 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 and stretching the dough out, folding it over, stretching it out and so on and so forth. Do this until it is smooth – or until you get fed up!

4. Leave to prove for about an hour on your worktop, covered with a dry tea towel. Or place in an oiled plastic bag until you are ready for step 5. Or go straight to step 5.

5. When you are ready to proceed, take the dough out of the mixing bowl and place it on your worktop. This time, don't 'knock the dough back'! D
ivide it in two - one large piece and one small piece and roll them both out into circles to fit your baking tin. 

6. Place the larger of the two circles in the prepared baking tin and press the edges of the dough over the rim of the tin. Fill the pie with the apple filling (it doesn't matter if the dough is a bit hot, I've found), and place the lid on top of the filling. Use a sharp knife to trip the edges.

8.Cover and leave to prove until the dough has become puffy. Bake at 220C, 425F or gas mark 7, for about 10-12 minutes. Look for some colour under the pie.


  1. can you substitute whole wheat flour?

  2. Hi!

    You certainly could use whole wheat - however, the resulting bread will be quite a bit heavier and not be as suitable as using white flour.

    I use whole meal for my daily bread, but for something like this, white flour is my preference.

    Regards, Paul