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.

Thursday, 19 March 2015


[I'm still working on this post, putting in the links to all the breads is time-consuming. If there is no link attached to the bread you're interested in, simply put it in the search box, and you should be directed to the recipe.]

Index of vegan breads:
Apfel kuchen (German apple cake)

Bread bowls (from these to trenchers)
Calzone (soda bread calzone) baked in a chiminea
Chocolate and beetroot bread
Chocolate and cherry bread
Chocolate loaf
Chocolate twist
Christmas loaf
Cloche method
Crackers – poppy and sesame seeds
Creole soda bread
Danish pastries
Devonshire splits
Farthing buns
Fruit braid
Fruit loaf
Garlic batons
Hot cross buns
Hot cross buns
Hungarian chocolate bread
Iced buns
Jam tart
Lardy cake
Marzipan and apple tartlets
Mushroom en croute
Pane casereccio
Pane cioccolato (Italian chocolate bread)
Pane frattau
Peshwari naan
Petit pain au chocolat
Pies (Thai, ratatouille, apple)
Quick breads
Reindeer droppings
Schiacciatta con l’uva
Soda bread
Spelt loaf
Spicy fruit buns
Spicy fruit naan
Swedish tea ring
Yum yums

ALL bread should be vegan - that is, made with flour, salt (which can be omitted), yeast and water. That's it!

That's Real Bread as defined by the Real Bread Campaign (RBC).

"Real Bread is that made without the use of processing aids or any other artificial additives."

"Additional ingredients are great as long as they are natural...and themselves contain no artificial additives."

I teach breadmaking - in a variety of settings and to all manner of groups - that's my job. Necessarily, this involves me in making bread that is not vegan. It's always vegetarian, however. Of course, all the breads that I make for my own consumption are vegan. 

Unfortunately, my wife is a confirmed omnivore - when I announced I was going to be a vegetarian, her response was, "Don't be so bloody silly!" :) "And what about our Sunday roast chicken? And Christmas - what about our turkey?" (This was in November, 2001.) 

I'm a man of peace and compromise, so for five weeks I was vegetarian during the week and had roast chicken on the Sunday. I had the turkey at Christmas and I have been a vegetarian ever since - becoming a vegan around 2004.

So, not all of this blog is vegan or vegetarian - but the point of this post is to steer my fellow vegans away from any recipes that aren't vegan.

In this post I want to emphasise and feature - and link to - all the breads I make that are vegan - the great majority.

I want to look at the different 'natural' ingredients that recipes often call for, that aren't vegan, and, either discount them altogether, or suggest alternatives:

Eggs. Eggs are completely unnecessary in bread - and there is no necessity  for any egg replacement. None! Ever!

As an aside, eggs (or egg replacements) are also unnecessary in:

Butter. Where ever you see this in a recipe, replace with a similar amount of olive oil. (I use Lidl's - or Aldi's - Extra Virgin Olive Oil which is cheap, and comes high in the Which? Magazine tests.) But as a general rule, you can use as much or as little as you choose.  Olive oil adds flavour and helps keep the bread fresh for longer. Other vegetable oils don't seem to add much to bread - with the exception of the sunflower oil in which dried tomatoes have been soaked. When this oil is added to a pizza dough, it makes a wonderful crust - crisp, a little like short-crust pastry!

Cheese. This is used mainly as a pizza topping, in breadmaking - and, as you'll see, there are so many toppings that can be used in its place. Not as a cheese replacement, but as flavoursome toppings in their own right. Otherwise, in cheese rolls for instance, vegan cheese or other tasty alternatives can be used.

Meats of all sorts. Not even in mincemeat! :) (Although in the US some still quaintly believe that this Christmas-associated ingredient should contain meat! Ugh!) Not necessary in any shape or form.