Paul Hollywood – How to Bake
Bloomsbury Publishing Plc 2012
Like lots of people The Great British Bake Off captured my imagination and enthusiasm, and I have been rekindling my bread making and decided to purchase Paul Hollywoods book How to Bake
The book covers, breadmaking, cake making, biscuits and pastry. The Great British Bakeoff, had a week baking crackers, but I couldn´t find anything in the book about that subject, which was a bit disappointing, but after all its a Paul Hollywood book, not a Great British Bakeoff Book.
Now I must admit, I am very used to cake making, please see my website celebrationcakesmallorca.com so I skipped over this a little, as to me it seemed basic, but if you are a novice then you may find it useful, there is important information about ingredients and handling, for example, not opening the oven door or your cake may drop, keeping ingredients at room temperature etc. He also advises on equipment and ovens.
The bread making section was a revelation. I made the wholemeal tin loaf and it was lovely. I have been convinced for years that I had to add sugar to bread to ferment the yeast, and panicked slightly when I realized there was none in, re-read the recipe convinced it was a printing error! No you don´t need it.
Paul recommends instant yeast for all his bread recipes, but I live in Mallorca, Spain and fresh yeast is much cheaper and readily available in the Local Mercadona. 34 cents for 25 grams, which will do four 1kg loaves. Now he says you can just crumble the yeast into the flour if you have a dough hook, which I have on my Kenwood Major, so no problem for me. However he doesn´t go into detail of starting the yeast if you are making by hand, but its a minor grumble in what is a very good book.
I made two other recipes from the book, Maneesh (a Middle Eastern Flatbread) and Focaccia, both were delicious, an I am looking forward to doing the Green Olive Sticks and crumpets at the weekend.
I like the detailed photographic instructions in the book, giving step by step instructions on different techniques, I particularly liked the details on making puff pastry croissants.
The book though isn´t just for the novice, the more experienced baker will find lots of recipes for soughdough, with detailed instructions on the starter.
If you enjoy baking, I can recommend this book, it has something for everyone, is very clear and easy to follow, and can clear up any myths you may have about baking being difficult or comp
I made the garlic bread, which was lovely and soft and tasty, but I prefer my method of cooking the garlic. Paul removes the skin first and roasts with oil and sugar, I prefer to roast it in the skin and then squeeze out the garlic.
I also made the basic white tin loaf, and it was lovely and soft and tasty. Here is a photo.