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245 of 248 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Does what it sets out to do perfectly
I didn't quite know what to expect when I bought this book. It could've been another poor attempt to cash in on a popular TV cookery show, but it's actually an awful lot more than that and very impressive. The book is laid out very well, the food photography is excellent and the recipes are clear and concise. There is a good introductory chapter covering ingredients,...
Published 21 months ago by red0209

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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Tweaking required.
I love this book. It has inspired me to try all kinds of things I've always thought impossible. I know only eat my own bread, cakes and biscuits. I never buy. All thanks to this book. There are some inspired twists on traditional recipes and lots of photos for tricksy things like laminating dough. It also shows up some of the recipes of well known cooks like Delia and...
Published 21 months ago by Leon


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245 of 248 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Does what it sets out to do perfectly, 9 May 2013
By 
red0209 (Newcastle, UK) - See all my reviews
(TOP 100 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: How to Bake (Hardcover)
I didn't quite know what to expect when I bought this book. It could've been another poor attempt to cash in on a popular TV cookery show, but it's actually an awful lot more than that and very impressive. The book is laid out very well, the food photography is excellent and the recipes are clear and concise. There is a good introductory chapter covering ingredients, techniques and equipment in quite a lot of detail. All of which is very useful to novice bakers, such as myself. One you're into the recipes, each one has a full page colour photograph on the opposite page, with a brief summary at the top detailing number of servings, preparation time and baking time, with a brief summary of hints and tips. There is a detailed step-by-step set of instructions for all of the recipes, which I'm sure anyone can follow easily. I also think there is a wide variety of different things to try out, ranging from simple breads to elaborate cakes (and simple cakes and elaborate breads too). I've tried a number of the recipes, particularly the breads, expecting them to go horribly wrong since I have never made them before, but all have been successful. I really can't find many faults at all with this book, and would highly recommend it.

The contents page looks like this:

Introduction 6
Getting started with bread 8
Basic breads 32
Flavoured breads 78
Sourdough 126
Croissants, Danish & Brioche 160
Biscuits, Puddings and Cakes 192
Tarts & Pies 260

Directory 298
Index 299

The full list of recipes:

Basic white tin bread
White cob loaf
Wholemeal loaf
Soda bread
Wraps
Pitta breads
Chapatis
Barm cakes
Cottage loaf
Crusty dinner rolls
Malted loaf
Spelt bread
Milk loaf
Ale bread rolls
Baguettes
Ciabatta
Focaccia
Fougasse
Rye bread
Cholla loaf
Crumpets

Truffle ficelles
Pumpkin seed sticks with poppy seeds
Green olive sticks
Maneesh
Stilton and grape flatbreads
Flatbreads with Epoisse and bacon
Breakfast rolls
Gorgonzola, pear and walnut bakes
Garlic bread
Coriander, olive and onion bread
Seeded bread
Cherry tomato and mozzarella breads
Bacon and Cheddar loaves
Cheddar and apple bread
Stilton and pecan twist
Cranberry and Stilton bread
Pecan loaf
Fruit loaf
Apricot, date and sultana loaf
Teacakes
Hot cross buns
Apricot couronne
Christmas buns

Sourdough starter
Basic sourdough
Baguette au levain
Pain de campagne
Seeded sourdough
Spitfire sourdough
Sour olive bread
Cheddar and apple sourdough
Smoked bacon and garlic sourdough
Sourdough filled with Epoisse cheese
Rosemary and lemon sourdough
Muesli and banana sourdough
Chocolate and apricot sourdough
Lavender honey and toasted almond sourdough

Croissants
Almond croissants
Pain au chocolat
Danish pastry dough
Frangipane
Crème patissière
Pain aux raisins
Almond pastries
Raspberry Danish
Apple Danish with Sultanas
Lemon and lime pastries
Brioche
Apple brioche
Brioche with Brie

Buttery shortbread biscuits
Cryriot almond biscuits
Gruyère biscuits
Chocolate, peanut and raisin clusters
Scones
Wholemeal scones with cheese
Blueberry breakfast pancakes
Clafoutis Monique
Baklava
Blackberry and pear strudel
Pear, pecan and chocolate crumble
White chocolate puddings with plums
Passion fruit souffles
Carrot and almond cheesecake
Gingerbread with sticky pears
Mrs Post's lemon drizzle cake
Victoria sponge
Marble cake
Banana bread with walnuts
Chocolate almond cake
Spiced coffee and date cake
Triple layer chocolate cake with walnuts
Caribbean cake
Summer fruit genoise
Raspberry and passion fruit muffins
Cherry chocolate muffins
Chocolate brownies with dried cranberries
Būche de Noėl
Christmas cake
Royal icing
Marzipan
White Christmas cake
Simnel cake

Shortcrust pastry
Flamiche
Smoked salmon cheesecake with lemon vodka
Moroccan pasties
Sweet pastry (pāte sucrée)
Tarte aux abricots
Pecan and chocolate tart
Lemon meringue pie
Mince pies
Puff pastry
Pithivier
Portuguese egg custard tarts
Mozzarella and bacon bites
Courgette tart with roasted tomato coulis
Sausage rolls
Pork pies
Poacher's pie
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259 of 265 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A fantastic book with something for everyone!, 12 July 2012
This review is from: How to Bake (Hardcover)
I was very fortunate to have received this book as an unexpected present and managed to find enough time to try two of the recipes, each of which turned out to be fantastic. I have baked bread on and off for the best part of 20 years but always been pretty disappointed with the dense/airless bread I've produced. This is not to remain the case, as Paul's first section of the book explains in simple terms the chemistry behind successful bread making. I now know what I've been doing wrong all these years...too little water and too much flour! This part of the book is well worth a read however the recipes that follow will certainly not disappoint with breads, cakes and other culinary delights just waiting for you to explore.

The 'Truffle Fiselles' were the first to be tested in our household. I was alarmed at how lose, soft and wet the dough was but remained true to Paul's word that they would turn out alright. In fact,they were better than alright although I will need to work on producing more regular Fiselles in terms of length! The truffle oil (kindly bought as a gift from my daughter) gave the most delicious flavour.

The next morning I set to task on the 'Breakfast rolls'. These were without doubt the best thing since 'sliced bread'. In fact that's an oxymoron as this bread was far superior in every way to manufactured sliced bread and beat the traditional bacon sandwich hands down. The instructions were incredibly easy to follow and fail safe. I can't wait to dip into the book again this weekend to try something new... perhaps the grape and stilton flatbreads?

I believe this book serves novice and more experienced bakers alike and it certainly won't disappoint! An excellent book to inspire you into being more creative in the kitchen and put smiles on the faces of your loved ones!
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good for novices and more experienced bakers, 2 Jun. 2014
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This review is from: How to Bake (Hardcover)
I'm really enjoying this book. I was able to browse through it at a friend's house so I knew what to expect -- I bought it entirely because it has a whole section of sourdough breads, and I only bake sourdough bread, so I'm always looking for new ideas. Be aware that the book is very biased towards bread and yeasted doughs, fine by me!

I tried his basic sourdough as an alternative to my usual recipe. It didn't turn out quite as well as usual, but I think my starter was not in optimum condition, so I wouldn't blame him for that -- the method looks sound (note: if you are a beginner, you don't have to make the *vast* quantity of starter he recommends. I feed mine with 50 g each of flour and water, discarding or using half of it first).

Today I made the pain aux raisins -- superb! I'm finding this book inspiring and am encouraged to try more different types of bread. It's true many recipes are repetitive (first 3 steps are the same in most cases) -- but it saves you flipping back through the book for some "basic" recipe for instructions -- every recipe is complete in itself. This book will suit both novice and experienced bakers I think -- when you know what you're doing you can tweak the recipes to suit yourself. I prefer it to _The Handmade Loaf_ for bread recipes.
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167 of 178 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars love it!, 10 July 2012
By 
helen "muppet" (cornwall) - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
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This review is from: How to Bake (Hardcover)
I do have 100 great breads and I think this book is better. This one unlike the other has good photos for every recipe and only makes 1 loaf/quantity (not the occasional 3 loaf recipes in 100 breads)There are clear helpful instructions and having just made the brioche recipe from it I am ecstatic with the results! It looks amazing! I was worried that How to bake would be a duplicate of the other book with a few extra recipes but it isn't, it has loads of different ones and I am really wishing I had more time free to make them all! Here are just a few things you can make - baklava, chocolate & cranberry brownies, pitta breads, crumpets, wraps, pain au chocolat, apple danish, hot cross buns, teacakes, pecan loaf, pear, pecan and chocolate crumble, clafoutis, passion fruit souffle, lemon drizzle cake,cottage loaf, scones, blueberry pancakes, cherry & chocolate muffins, simnel cake, christmas cake, lemon meringue pie... Hungry yet?!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent book, but watch out for the salt content of recipes., 1 July 2014
By 
Bearman (Oxfordshire, UK) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
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This review is from: How to Bake (Hardcover)
In general, this is a really nice book. The recipes are clearly written and very easy to follow. Paul's recipe for Baklava has become a firm favourite with family and friends, and I often get requests for it. Similarly we followed the sour dough recipe and now always keep a jar of starter in the fridge which enables us to consistently turn out really good sour dough bread (even though its a very slow process compared to other breads).

The only reason that I am not giving it 5 stars is because all of his bread recipes use an excessive amount of salt. Generally he says to add 7g of salt for a single loaf. On a couple of recipes this tastes ok, but for the bog standard white or brown loaves this seems far too much and the resulting bread tastes far too salty. For these recipes we reduce the salt to 5g or even 4g which greatly improves the flavour.

Apart from this one issue, I think it is an excellent book and I am happy to recommend it to others.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars wonderful bread made easier!, 1 July 2013
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This review is from: How to Bake (Hardcover)
my girlfriend bakes bread. its very nice bread, but since getting her this book it has turned into great bread. starting from the beginning, each and every loaf, cob or roll has been delicious. more importantly, the texture and consistency of the bread has been of the shop made quality. also, the lemon drizzle cake is now a weekly ocurrance, at least once a week!
it may be just the recipes are well done and that she follows closely what is in the book, but so far not one failure. if it does fail, there is a section which explains what ahppened and how to stop that from happening again. try the portuguese custatrd tarts, you wont go wrong!

i await the homeade croissants eagerly. check out how much butter goes into them! i couldnt believe the photos of two packs of butter side by side being rolled and folded into the pastry. all butter croisannts? well, at least 60% of it looks to be butter. i had better start grinding the coffee..........
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars AMAZING!!, 6 July 2014
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This review is from: How to Bake (Hardcover)
I love this book!! It is like my bible for baking. It covers everything from sourdough to desserts to pies to standard white bread loaves. So whatever your skill level, this book will have a recipe(s) what suits you.
Paul gives little useful tips and pointers throughout the book what is really helpful and gives you the reassurance what's sometimes needed whilst following a recipe. As I have baked a lot of the recipes out of this tremendous cook book; I'm not going to lie - they have come out perfect every time!!
Paul Hollywood also has a very helpful introduction about the main ingredients and the equipment that needs to be used during the recipes, so make sure you have a read of this section as it is crucial to your baking. His recipes are also very easy to follow and aren't complicated at all, plus there are pictures accompanying every single recipe, what is a bonus because I like to know what I am attempting to make and what the end result should replicate.

There are a few things that you will need prior to buying this book to ensure you get the best results with your bread, pastry, cakes etc., and they are: electric mixer (not essential but needed for 20% recipes), thermometer (that works for dough and water), scotch scraper (these are cheap and are easy for cutting dough and scraping work surfaces), baking parchment (NOT greaseproof paper), and baking sheets (all various sizes: small to large).
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114 of 128 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant book for someone with limited skills....., 6 July 2012
By 
This review is from: How to Bake (Hardcover)
I am not a great cook. Sometimes I burn the spaghetti or overcook the meat. This book was a good introduction to baking and had lots of useful pictures. I liked the step by step guides as I need pictures when I get confused. He teaches you techniques and little tricks to make baking a little less scary. I'm an expert "kneader" now.

I liked the Victoria sponge recipe - it took me about 30 mins to prepare and voila a delicious cake to impress the family with. Also, I tried making croissants - something that really terrified me. HOWEVER, they turned out ok. Perhaps not as beautiful as Paul Hollywood's croissants - I left them in a little too long (old habits die hard) . BUT they were a tasty buttery goodness. I have also done the brioche which is DELICIOUS and the almond croissants are actually not as hard as I thought they would be. However, do note that if you are on a diet this is not the book for you. Butter, butter and butter in most recipes and sugar in many too. However, life is too short and there is nothing better than stuffing your face with cakes and croissants.

Maybe in a few months I will be more confident to try out the Christmas cake but one thing at a time.

I would recommend this book. There are easy recipes for people starting out and more complicated ones for the kind of people who have never burnt toast in their life.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars what more could you need?, 4 Sept. 2013
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This review is from: How to Bake (Hardcover)
Insanely easy to follow recipes- made my first loaves this week, a cottage loaf and an eight strand plait and by following the instructons they came out exactly as described. There was no "what have I done wrong?" moment, everything just came out as expected.
Trying making puff pastry and custard tarts next- lets see what happens!
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57 of 64 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Top notch in so many ways, 15 Aug. 2012
By 
G. O'Neill (Qatar) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
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This review is from: How to Bake (Hardcover)
I hate reading cookery book reviews where the reviewer has not tried any recipes. So I have waited to try a few recipes before writing my own review. This book is excellent. The recipes are clear, concise and each recipe has a clear photograph. There are detailed explanations for the inexperienced baker on how to mix, knead and bake the dough. There are simple and advanced recipes and this I feel would suit someone who mostly likes to bake a simple loaf but occasionally likes to push the boat out and get fancy. This is a perfect book for absolute beginners as the pictures have been carefully chosen to perfectly illustrate the techniques. I have tried the wraps, pitta bread and am eating a ciabatta as I type. I followed the instructions and I ended up with fab bread. The wraps were a particular hit with my daughter who likes to invite pals round for fajitas. I had to experiment a bit with the amount of water added. I added a bit more water to the wraps and pitta and a bit less water to the ciabatta. The ciabatta is tricky to handle. I used oil on my worktop when cutting up the dough and life was much less sticky. Mr Hollywood has created a superb book.

A wee update. Found the muffins had too much butter and the Christmas buns were adored by my lucky colleagues.

Another wee update. The scones made with bread flour are superb. If you follow the instructions precisely you achieve light fluffy scones. I added some fruit and treacle and they were even better.
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How to Bake
How to Bake by Paul Hollywood (Hardcover - 5 July 2012)
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