Ah we love a bit of the old Silver Fox. There’s not much telly that makes me stabby when disturbed, but the Great British Bake Off is one of them and I’ve been known to get very shushy if people start talking over the lovely Mr Hollywood. I remember him making me laugh like a drain with the adorable Jeni Barnett back in the days of Great Food Live and I still love him now. Le sigh…
Anyhoo, enough about the man himself and on to the book. Often ‘celebrity’ books can be a bit disappointing (I would point you in the direction of Gregg’s Favourite Puddings, but I’m far too polite) but Paul Hollywood knows his stuff. There’s a satisfying mixture of easy, basic recipes and challenging new ideas to please even the most enthusiastic home bakers. I tried his shortcrust pastry when making a treacle tart (and this was a wrench, as my own shortcrust recipe is tried and tested), but I have to say Paul’s – using a whole egg – was really good. The recipes are sprinkled with professional tips and tricks and good ingredient notes too.
There’s a whole chapter on sourdough, something that I’ve tried before but not really mastered, and I’m dying to have a go at making my own Danish pastries. The photos are fab (you know how picky I am about photography) – check out the lavender honey and toasted almond sourdough – and the methods are clear, concise and not too waffly. I suffer from this when writing recipes – it’s so easy to go off on a tangent about some ingredient or other – very distracting when you’re actually cooking it.
A great addition to my already groaning cookery book collection. If you need further persuading, here’s Paul walking you through his grape and stilton flatbread recipe:
How to Bake by Paul Hollywood is published by Bloomsbury, RRP £20 and is out now. If you’d like my spare copy, leave a comment. The one that makes me laugh most gets the book. I’ve got it here so I’ll send it anywhere, no UK only competitions today! Entries must be received before midnight, Friday 3rd August. No cash alternative. My decision is final, so there.
*****THIS COMPETITION IS NOW CLOSED. CONGRATULATIONS TO RACHEL, WHO WON ME OVER WITH HER EPIC POEM *****