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.

Wednesday, 25 January 2017

Breadmaking Workshop in Wellington 23rd April 2016

Breadmaking Made Easy Workshop, 10.00am - 4.30pm 
23rd April 2016 Community Centre, Corams Lane, Wellington TA21 8LL
Dear Student,

This letter sets out what I intend will happen on the day and includes a list of ingredients and utensils which you will need to bring. If you are new to breadmaking, let me reassure you that it is much easier than you have been led to believe.

The session will begin in a relaxed fashion – the first thing you need to do is to find somewhere to park all the stuff that I ask you to bring, get yourself a drink and somewhere to sit down. Then there is a little paperwork we need to complete – I’ll guide you through that, if you can bring a pen that would be handy.

Before we start breadmaking I’d like to spend some time finding out what you expect to get out of the day’s session so that I can hopefully meet all your requirements. My aim is to turn you into a competent home baker (if you’re not already!) able to bake any bread you fancy.

The breads you will be making: Choice of 2 types of soda bread; fancy dinner rolls; cheese bread wraps (lunch); fruit dough to make hot cross buns and Chelsea buns; focaccia; and pizza.

The kettle is always on for a mug of tea or coffee (cost 20p). For lunch we’ll have a couple of the cheesey wraps.

I want to reassure all those students new to breadmaking that my first aim for this workshop is for everyone to enjoy their learning – I always delight in these sessions, and it’s my job to see that everyone else does. Breadmaking is an easy, everyday craft – as you’ll come to realise!

If you have a particular variety of bread you'd like to make instead of one of the breads on offer, I'd be very happy for you to do that. Get in touch if this idea appeals to you and we will see how we could fit it in to the programme. Or if you have any questions, doubts, suggestions at all, please don’t hesitate to ring or email me.

I have a blog - part breadmaking, part vegan cookery - in which I detail all my breadmaking activities. Here’s the post I’ve started about the workshop:

Finally, I’d like to draw your attention to the word ‘Companion’. The ‘com’ part means together – as in community – and the ‘pan’ part of the word means bread. So the word ‘Companion’ can be taken to mean, ‘Someone who makes bread with his or her friends’. Which is exactly what we shall be doing!

I look forward to meeting you and welcoming you on the course.

Regards, Paul 

Flour. Don't forget to specify strong flour, as this is sold especially for breadmaking. Own-brand flours are fine.
Yeast. The most convenient for our purposes is fresh baker’s yeast – if you can’t get hold of any, I’ll have enough for everyone.
Olive oil. This is much cheaper these days, and it does improve the bread. Once again, buy the cheapest you can - £2.19 (I think!) for 750ml at Lidl!

Shopping list:
2 bags strong flour – one white and one wholemeal, or 2 white
Baking powder
250ml olive oil
100g sugar
50g fresh yeast if you can get some – or I'll have some for 10p
Sesame/poppy seeds*
200g sultanas or any dried fruit 
Mixed spice/cinnamon/nutmeg
150g grated Cheddar
Tomato sauce of your choice for the pizza
Dried oregano if you have it*
Rosemary – fresh or dried*
Black pepper*
Some tomatoes/mushrooms/onions/peppers for the wraps and pizza


You will also need to bring:
An apron
A couple of tea towels, both to cover your dough whilst it's proving and to wrap any warm bread in to take home.
Baking parchment or paper (this is unlike greaseproof paper as it contains silicon)
Something to carry away the finished products (a large basket or cardboard box lined with tea towels would be ideal)
Sharp knife

Mug for hot drink

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