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Customer Reviews

4.1 out of 5 stars
4.1 out of 5 stars
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on 29 July 2011
The book is beautiful, the images seductive and colours amazing. I am a customer of the Soho Bakery and I love it there. I am also a pretty experienced cook. I am sad to say that the recipes I tried [a few!] seem odd - quantites for ingredients don't seem right, batters or filling or topping never seems right and always requires a tweek or reverting to another book for reference but sticking to the flavouring and presentation in The Nordic Bakery cookbook. Maybe the recipes should have gone a few rounds in the test kitchen before sending off for publication?

If you are experienced at cooking this kind of fare and dont mind messing around a bit to get things right then by all means enjoy this book. If you are expecting to be able to cook some Scandi Bakery goods in a straight forward way and have it all work out first go, then unfortunately this is not the right book for you.
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on 10 June 2011
Bought on a whim - i.e. I am not a customer of the Bakery or anything - so all the recipes are new to me. Have made about 3 of the cake recipes so far.

I'm not entirely happy with the method of presenting the recipes. For example, for a couple of the ones I have made, the basic recipe is on one page and the variations are over the page or even further on, which means flicking from page to page while baking; not ideal. In one instance, I had grave doubts about the recipe working because the method was so odd and in another I was supposed to make a half quantity of a basic recipe to then make its variation, but the basic recipe called for 1 egg, leaving me wondering how I was going to halve one egg (I used the whole egg in the end).

Another bugbear was the instructions for adding yeast. For example: "45g fresh yeast (or easy blend yeast according to manufacturer's instructions)" - the easy blend yeast I have doesn't have any instructions on the box, the manufacturer clearly expects recipes to state the amount to be used. This is not the Nordic Bakery's fault, but maybe someone should have checked?

So, not a book for a beginner, as you occasionally need to call upon previous baking experience in order to "wing it".

However, I am still giving this book 4 stars because, so far at least, the results have all been delicious! The recipes might be unfamiliar, the methods odd, and the instructions occasionally a bit lacking, but the food tastes lovely. Which, as they say, is the proof of the pudding.

Don't buy this as your first baking book, but if you are fairly experienced, it is a good addition to a baking library.
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on 15 April 2011
This book is excellent to anyone who is interested in traditional Nordic or Scandinavian cakes and other sweet treats.

As the author is Finnish, most of the recipes are Finnish. Being a Finn myself I obviously like it very much, but if you are primarily interested in perhaps Swedish delicacies (like the Princess cake) or Norwegian goodies (like Kransekake) this might not be the book for you. That said, even if the recipes are in my opinion primarily Finnish origin, there is really not so much variation between the traditional nordic bakery produce, such as rye bread, cinnamon buns, gingerbread cookies or buns, so for those interested in general Nordic produce, the book is excellent!

Ginger, cardamom and cinnamon typify Nordic baking, and are used lots in the recipes. I would especially recommend everyone try the Classic Cinnamon buns, Little Butter Buns, Pulla Bread, and Karelian Pies. I like the fact that the book also has recipes for savoury pies, like a Wild Mushroom Pie, or Salmon coulibiac. There are also recipes for all kinds of scandinavian bread, several recipes of different variations of rye bread, barley flatbreads and sweet, dark Archipelago bread (very yummy!).

I like the rustic feel of the book - the pictures are muted and peaceful, almost as taken in a private kitchen. Good material for inspiration!

Based on this book, I think I should visit their bakery in Soho sometime soon :) And by the way, shame that the author didn't mention this, but it can be tricky to find rye flour in UK - in London you can definately get it from Finnish, Swedish or Norwegian churches in SE16 and you might find it in health shops too.
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on 7 November 2011
This book is really a beautifully illustrated and atmospheric cook book even the paper is lovely ... however, it assumes a lot of knowledge and is short on working detail - one gets the impression it is written for and by really experienced bakers. It could do with a glossary at the back and an elaboration on some of the ingredients and where to get them or what to substitute them with. e.g. even the dried yeast referred to - is a different product from the one I normally use which did not work as well. Also the volume and qauntities are for making large batches of bread at once. Will continue to experiment and enjoy the different flavours though and it really opens the possiblities to baking very different things. Lots of options for using rye flour!!
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on 4 July 2011
What a beautiful book. Highly reflective of the style and true to the bakery. I've had a few problems with the cinnamon S biscuits, and made them twice now. In the end I added another 160g of SR Flour because I simply could not get the mix to resemble a dough .. it was more of a batter and hard to from into biscuits! I was worried I'd made a mistake so i made them again with similar results. The results seem somewhat dependent on the temperature of your butter. They were however divine tasting !

That said this book is a delight in combination of flavor and simplicity. I'd certainly recommend it for that alone and this original fresh approach is muted and paired down to let the food speak for itself. So it's still a 4* for me.
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on 18 August 2013
A nice enough book to look at but the recipes have clearly not been tested.
What can you expect when the writer is a branding and marketing professional, and not a cook!

Made the oatbake with blueberries and rasberries and it was revolting!
Also, the oatbake, and most of the cakes for that matter, are instructed to be baked in gas mark 4 which is way too low a temperature! I baked mine for the instructed 60 min and it was still raw inside, put it in at gas mark 6 for another 30 min and it was still wet inside, at which point I gave up as the consistency was clearly far too runny and something about the recipe was not right.

I am a Finn and know a thing or two about Finnish baking but this book comes across as a gimmick, another marketing ploy to make a quick buck, riding at the cafe's reputation. What a shame, not doing any favours for the Finnish baking skills, especially when there are many other Scandinavian cookery books on the market that are way better.
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on 27 August 2011
Some delicious recipes, but as the other reviewers have said, experience will be a great help as sometimes things go a little weird. A book for the tinkerer rather than the beginner baker. Some of the amounts are odd too, and call for one egg so it's not an easily halved mix - not a problem if you have a big family, but there's only two of us and the cinnamon buns and ginger cake recipes both have us struggling even after taking some to the neighbour's.
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on 27 January 2012
I share some of the views expressed here - I am an experienced Baker and tried to make some of the recipes in the book but none of them worked as written - in the end I had to improvise using my experience - I can't help feeling this is a waste of time! Some of the savoury dishes are an acquired taste - for example several recipes call for a rice filling in a pastry crust (result will be inevitably bland and stodgy) - disappointing book :-(
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on 23 May 2011
The Nordic Bakery is one of my favourite lunch spots, and I was delighted to be sent a review copy of the Nordic Bakery Cookbook which was published last month by Ryland Peters & Small.

It is a sign of an excellent cookbook when you a) go out to buy ingredients to enable you to cook from it within a few hours of receiving it, b) make two recipes within two days, c) read it in bed two nights running, d) write the review after having had the book for two days. I get sent many many books, and this is my favourite so far this year and one that I know I shall bake from again and again.

The Nordic Bakery opened in Soho 2007 and rapidly became popular for its delicious (mainly rye) breads and sandwiches, cakes and excellent coffee. It provides a heaven of peace and quiet in a busy city to sit, sip coffee and think.

The book by Miisa Mink (a partner in the bakery) contains 5 chapters of recipes, all beautifully photographed by Marianna Wahlsten who captures the ethos of the food and atmosphere of the bakery.

By and large the food is simple, seasonal and healthy. Bold flavours abound using Nordic ingredients such as rye, herrings, eggs, cheeses, berries and cinnamon. The introduction to the book succinctly describes the food as wholesome but comforting, which I feel is spot on. Many of the recipes are from Miisa's family and she gives the stories behind many of the dishes.

The book starts with a chapter on breads. Here rye abounds, with a traditional doughnut shaped rye loaf, rye baguettes and potato rye loaf. For those not so keen on rye, there are carrot and oat rolls, barley or parsnip & sesame flat breads. All sound lovely, and all will be made by me at some time. The rye crisp breads I made were delicious.

Moving on from bread the pastry chapter contains tarts filled with vegetables or the obligatory smoked fish. Specific Nordic specialities are the Finnish Karelian pies served with egg butter (my favourite) or the egg rice pockets.

The cake chapter contains all the favourites served in the shop, Tiger cake with its mix of vanilla and chocolate sponge, Tosca cake with its crunchy almond topping. Rye makes an appearance again in the spice cake with dates and rye the Scandinavian version of a rich fruit cake.

The signature bake of the Nordic Bakery is probably their cinnamon buns and I can imagine that people will be buying the book for this recipe alone; as well as the original recipe two variations are given with soft cinnamon buns and Boston cake.

Lastly are the biscuits and tarts, with the again, classic, lace oat biscuits (I always have these), berry or rhubarb tarts and more cinnamon biscuits.

If you buy one cookbook this year then go and get this one, simple, uncomplicated without compromising on flavour. All recipes are clearly written, and all ingredients are easy to get from a large supermarket.
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on 3 November 2011
this is a lovely book filled with cakes buns and bread which are different intersting and delicious. It is beautifully illustrated and the recipes are clearly described. I enjoy cooking from it and would recommend it for the baker who is interested in something different . the Oatbake with blueberies and raspberries is very good and can be made ,as I have done with a variety of frozen fruit widely available in supermarkets. A successful buy.
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