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.
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