I met Sue Simkins in a Waterstones book store, an author’s signing of her two then newly published books: Tea with Mrs. Simkins and Cooking with Mrs. Simkins. Also sampling her utterly fabulous Simnel Cake (the recipe taken from Tea with Mrs Simkins) I lingered for a while and learned about Sue’s passion for good quality home cooking and how she was inspired to reflect this in her books with delicious recipes that are straightforward to use on a daily basis. In addition to Simnel cake, Tea with Mrs Simkins includes traditional favourites such as fairy cakes, marmalade cake and scones but also innotive ideas such as Green Tea Buns and Little Christmas-Spiced Apple Pies, whilst Cooking with Mrs Simkins is dedicated to Simple, Wholesome Home-Made Meals.


Fresh Bread and Bakes From Your Bread Machine is Sue’s latest book and one which interests me for several reasons: I am a huge fan of my bread machine but tend just to use for kneading and rising dough which I then usually shape into bread rolls and oven bake. Being a sizable piece of kitchen equipment I know a bread machine should work harder to earn its valuable cupboard space. Furthermore, even though I know my machine has a ‘bake’ facility I hadn’t envisaged cake (or even marzipan) making in the bread maker. What’s more, I now know that Sue’s cakes are awesome and this is a fact because I recipe tested them for the book and I simply can’t give a better recommendation than that!


There are hoards of recipes, making Fresh Bread and Bakes From Your Bread Machine very good value for money so I shall step back and allow the book to speaks for itself:

Discover how bread and cakes should taste with these easy-to-use recipes.

If you are thinking of buying a bread machine, or you already have one at home, this is the book for you.
In her usual easy-going and accessible style, Sue Simkins explains how a bread machine enables you to make gorgeous fresh bread in your own home: quickly, easily and on a regular basis.

Making your own bread means that you can have wholesome, additive free bread (organic if you like) whenever you want. You don’t have to go and fetch it from the shops, and it will cost half as much or less than ready made. And, of course, it is so delicious and the aroma of baking in the house is wonderful!

Apart from loaves of bread and a selection of tea-time cakes, Sue Simkins also guides you through using the machine for mixing dough to make your own buns, rolls and pizza bases to bake in the oven – and even covers making your own pasta.

There are also plenty of hints and tips to help you get the best from your machine and ensure that it doesn’t languish unloved and un-used in the back of a dark cupboard.

Courtesy of How To Books Ltd. Here are two sample recipes from Fresh Bread and Bakes From Your Bread Machine for you to try:




Bath Buns

makes 12

You may not be able to take tea and buns in the glorious setting of the Pump Room in bath, to the strains of classical music very often, but with the aid of your bread machine you can make a very good version of a Bath bun at home. There’s nothing to stop you turning your radio to some soothing music and dreaming while you eat your bun.








  • 140ml warm water
  • 1 egg
  • 1 egg yolk (keep the white for finishing the buns; beat it lightly first)
  • 50g butter, diced
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 2 tbsp. caster sugar
  • 300g strong bread flour
  • ½ tsp. quick yeast
  • 75g raisins & sultanas, mixed
  • 25g candies peel, finely chopped
  • 4 or 5 white sugar lumps, crushed in a pestle and mortar






You will need a large greased baking tray

1. Put the warm water, egg, egg yolk and butter into the bread pan. Add the salt and sugar, placing them at different ends of the pan. Put the flour on top and finally the yeast. Set the machine to the Dough programme with Raisin option – either put the fruit and candies peel into the raisin compartment, if your machine has one, or wait for, or set, the raisin beep and add them when it sounds.

2. Once the dough is ready, lightly flour your hands and turn it out onto a floured board. Divide the dough equally into 12 pieces, mould gently into rounds between your cupped palms, and put them onto the prepared baking tray; the dough will be quite rich and soft to the touch. Leave them in a warm place until they are practically half as big again.

3. Brush gently with the beaten egg white and sprinkle with the crushed sugar lumps. Bake in a preheated oven at your normal bread baking temperature of 180-220C (fan oven) or equivalent for approximately 8-10 minutes or until golden brown.







Sticky Gingerbread Cake





This is a lovely moist and sticky gingerbread that is popular with both adults and children.






  • 50g dark brown sugar
  • 4 tbsp. golden syrup
  • 2 tbsp. black treacle
  • 2 tsp. mixed spice
  • 3 tsp. ground ginger
  • 150ml cold water
  • 110g butter, diced
  • 225g plain flour
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 2 medium eggs, lightly beaten




1. Remove the blade and grease the bread pan.

2. Line the bottom of the bread pan with greaseproof paper: invert the pan on top of your paper and draw around it, avoiding the handle. Cut round the lines and snip a few cuts round the edges of the paper to enable it to lie flat against the sides of the pan. Settle the paper into the bottom of the pan and press over the blade spindle, smoothing the edges flat.

3. Put the sugar, golden syrup, black treacle, spices and water into a roomy pan. Heat over a moderate heat until everything has melted and the sugar has dissolved. Add the butter. Continue to heat until the butter has melted.

4. Add the baking powder to the weighed flour.

5. Leave the sugar mixture until almost cold and, using a sieve, gradually stir in half the flour and baking powder a little at a time with a wooden spoon. Add the eggs, one at a time with a little more flour, and mix in. Add the remaining flour gradually, stirring it in as you go.

6. Pour the mixture carefully into the prepared bread pan, being sure to keep pouring into the middle so that the mixture spreads out of its own accord and stays on top of the greaseproof paper. Select Bake only programme and enter 1 hour on the timer.

7. Test with a skewer. If the cake isn’t done, close the lid smartly and enter another 5 or 10 minutes on the timer. Make a note for next time.

8. When the cake is ready, switch off the machine and remove the bread pan but leave the cake in the bread pan to settle for 10 minutes or so. After that time it should have started to contract away from the sides of its own accord.

9. Protect one hand with a cloth and put your other hand carefully inside the bread pan and support the cake with your outspread fingers as you turn the bread pan upside down. The cake should come out easily. Peel away the greaseproof paper and finish cooling on a wire rack.


Once completely cold, store in an airtight tin.



Fresh Bread and Bakes From Your Bread Machine by Sue Simkins

Published by HowToBooks

GBP 9.99












  • Pinterest