23 March 2013

Review: Paul Hollywood's How to Bake

Hello lovelies! Busy week again -I missed the train on Wednesday, so got back over an hour late; on Thursday I attended an open evening on post-sixth form options and on Friday I was working all evening. On top of that, all my teachers have decided to give me lots of work all over Easter because -argh -exams are just a few weeks away.

I have mentioned in previous posts about my love of Paul Hollywood's How to Bake, so I thought it was about time I posted up a review. My Father and I have been making our way through many of the bread recipes in there, and there hasn't been a disappointment yet.
How to Bake is largely a book on breads, but towards the back there are chapters on pastries; puddings, bisuits and cakes; and pies. The breads are sorted into chapters of progressing difficulty, from basic and flavoured breads to sourdoughs, so the book is a staple for those learning, and is full of fresh ideas for bakers of any ability. I would like to get a new sourdough starter going for some breads, and I am also pretty keen to try my hand at croissant -How to Bake includes a recipe for frangipan-filled almond croissants, which are my absolute favourite, so my aim is to perfect those.

Hollywood includes invaluable tips on techniques, such as oiling a surface for kneading the bread dough rather than flouring, using a dough hook for stickier breads and how to form a neat loaf.

We've made milk loaves, white bloomers, tricky-to-knead fruit loaves; the softest 'barm cakes' (white rolls) and this rich rye cobbler:
There are some intriguing filled rolls and flat breads with toppings that look mouth watering. I'd love to make some crumpets, but I need to get hold of some crumpet rings, or at least some biscuit cutters first. Careful readers will notice a few recipes from Bake Off including Pithivier, studel and wholemeal scones.

If you want a book specifically on bread, and ways in which to use it, I'd recommend Hollywood's new book Paul Hollywood's Bread. But How to Bake is a gem that is really worth having, regardless of your baking ability.


  1. Excellent book this one. only made a couple of breads out of it, need to make a few more.

  2. I love this book too. The instructions are so easy to follow. However, if you are toying with the idea of making his hot cross buns this Easter lower the amount of salt a little (I made them last week and found them a touch on the salty side). Glad to hear the barm cakes were a success, they are high on my 'to bake' list.

    1. Thanks for the tip. I have a couple of other hot cross bun recipes that I tend to use, but I will remember that if I ever try it. I want to try the Chelsea and Christmas buns sometime too.


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