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, 5 January 2014


There are several dishes that can be made with just self-raising flour and water - and here are the ones I've posted so far.

Finally, I've got around to adding dumplings to this list - and, once again, they are simple to make, cheap - and surprisingly good!

Today, I had a rich vegetable sauce simmering on the stove, and I thought it's time I made the effort!

So I took a heaped dessertspoonful of self-raising flour, added a pinch of salt, 2 or 3 dessertspoons of water, and mixed it into a dough. This I kneaded for a couple of seconds, formed it into a ball and dropped it into the hot, bubbling sauce.

It had been in the sauce a minute or two before I took the pic, and it had already grown a little
Six or seven minutes later, I looked at it again.

Doubled in size
After about 10 more minutes I turned it over in the sauce - and left it for a further 20 minutes. Then I took it out and, with difficulty because it was very soft, sliced it in half...

It was light and fluffy - everything you'd want from a dumpling!
I should have made more - in the end, to bulk out the dumpling I tore pieces off a quarter of a soda bread I'd made earlier, and simmered them in the sauce.

Next time I do that, I'll make sure I add sufficient water, because the soda bread soaked up all the liquid - and my lovely sauce was nearly burnt!

I don't think these dumplings require measurements - but for those of you who disagree with me, here's the recipe:

1 mug or 200g self raising flour
1/4 tsp salt
1/3rd mug or 125ml water

1. You'll need a stew of some kind to cook these in! :)

2. Place the flour and salt into a large mixing bowl, add the water and begin mixing with a table knife or similar.

3. Mix together into a soft dough, stirring and cutting through the dough as it forms, adding more flour or water as needed. 

4. Keep the dough as soft as possible - even a little sticky, since they're going into a liquid, after all.

5. Divide the dough into 8 or 10 or 12 pieces - depending on how big you want them - and form into balls a bit smaller than the size of a golf ball - then place these gently into your stew.

6. Make sure there is enough liquid in your stew to carry the dumplings. Turn them over after about 6-7 minutes. They'll be ready about 20 minutes after going into the stew.

Ring the changes with these - make them with half and half white and wholemeal flour. If you don't have self-raising wholemeal flour, add a teaspoon of baking powder at the rate of 1 teaspoon to 100g of flour.

Add herbs and spices to the flour to pep them up a bit.

I posted this recipe on Mumsnet, and AmberLeaf responded:

"You should try Jamaican dumplings, plain flour and water, sometimes cornmeal [fine] 50/50 with the plain flour."


  1. Thank you Paul. Been waiting for this recipe.Will be trying this tomorrow (Sunday). I also have an idea about a stew and I will let you know how I get on.

  2. Thank you just settled an argument with MIL she said you had to use suet my mother always made with just water