Paul Hollywood's Bread: How to make great breads into even greater meals by Paul Hollywood

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Paul Hollywood's Bread: How to make great breads into even greater meals by Paul Hollywood

Category: Cookery
Rating: 5/5
Reviewer: Sue Magee
Reviewed by Sue Magee
Summary: Bread brought off the side plate and into the centre of the table with recipes for a wide variety of breads and ways to use them. Highly recommmended.
Buy? Yes Borrow? Yes
Pages: 224 Date: February 2013
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing
External links: Author's website
ISBN: 978-1408840696

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It was a happy accident which started me watching Paul Hollywood's television series about bread and baking - and it quickly became compulsive viewing. We were predisposed to the basic idea as it's many years since we last bought a loaf, but we've always used a bread-maker. The results have been good and far better than anything you could buy anywhere but an artisan bakery, but there are limitations as to what you can make. I was tempted to see what else we could achieve and whilst the television series didn't promise that it would be easy it did leave me with confidence that we could do better. Buying the book was the next step.

So, how did the book stack up against my expectations? Hollywood says that he had two aims in writing the book. He wanted to teach people to make a wide variety of breads and to show just how versatile it is. In terms of the teaching he starts with the basics - the equipment you'll need. He's realistic about what people are likely to have and what they can substitute if they don't want to spend more money. I would imagine that most people who do more than reheat ready meals will have enough kit to get started.

With bread it's the quality of the ingredients which determines how good your loaf if going to be and Hollywood is excellent not just on what you will need, but why. It's not particularly scientific but you will be clear about why you need to use certain types of flour and how this affects the amount of water in the recipe. It's always easier to remember what to do if you understand why you're doing it and even after years of bread making I was surprised by how my knowledge was extended.

The explanations on techniques are of the same standard. Instructions are clear and there's no mystique or jargon to contend with. The techniques section and the recipes are supported by photographs (occasionally they're over-supported, but that's me being picky) of what's happening. You've got to hand it to a man who can make bread whilst wearing a navy shirt without looking like Frosty the Snowman but it does have the benefit of providing a dark background against which you can see what you should be doing.

The bread recipes are very varied and divided into classic breads, soda breads, flatbreads, continental breads, sourdough and enriched breads. Each recipe for a bread is supplemented by a recipe for a dish to either accompany the bread or to use it in a further recipe. For example the Stilton and bacon rolls are then used to accompany a celery soup, but the leftovers (leftovers - I don't believe it...) from the satsuma and dark chocolate brioche are used to make a satsuma and chocolate brioche ice cream. A particular favourite is the cheddar and rosemary scone recipe which also makes the topping for a beef cobbler. There is the occasional sandwich filling but generally there's a high level of thought and originality in the book.

It's easy reading too, with the occasional anecdote or personal recollection. It was an enjoyable read as well as being a good recipe book.

You might also appreciate the revolutionary approach to bread making in My Bread: the Revolutionary No-work, No-knead Method by Jim Lahey or the more traditional approach in Bread: River Cottage Handbook No 3 by Daniel Stevens.

Buy Paul Hollywood's Bread: How to make great breads into even greater meals by Paul Hollywood at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Paul Hollywood's Bread: How to make great breads into even greater meals by Paul Hollywood at Amazon.co.uk.


Buy Paul Hollywood's Bread: How to make great breads into even greater meals by Paul Hollywood at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Paul Hollywood's Bread: How to make great breads into even greater meals by Paul Hollywood at Amazon.com.


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