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178 of 181 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 16 months ago by red0209

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Dont even bother
I went straight to the Clafoutis recipe as I had just bought some lovely black cherries. I followed the recipe to the letter and yet it would not cook! Two hours in the oven and the top cooked, the underneath was still stodgy! My dish was the same, the oven temperature was the same, everything was measured out, yet it no way turned out like in the photo!

I...
Published 2 months ago by Neo De Winter


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178 of 181 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 500 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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243 of 248 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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151 of 162 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)   
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
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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111 of 124 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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56 of 63 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)   
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
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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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars wonderful bread made easier!, 1 July 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
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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90 of 102 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars fantastic and about time!, 17 July 2012
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This review is from: How to Bake (Hardcover)
I have had this book for less than a week and already made several of the items in it. it is clear,easy to follow and does not require me to spend my time searching for little known ingredients.
A previous review said the book was 191 page of bread and the rest cake but it should be made clear that it is pages of bread products, including crumpets and pastries etc, not just loaves.
I am so pleased with it and look forward to the next one...?
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Dont even bother, 28 Jun 2014
By 
Neo De Winter (London United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
This review is from: How to Bake (Hardcover)
I went straight to the Clafoutis recipe as I had just bought some lovely black cherries. I followed the recipe to the letter and yet it would not cook! Two hours in the oven and the top cooked, the underneath was still stodgy! My dish was the same, the oven temperature was the same, everything was measured out, yet it no way turned out like in the photo!

I tried it a second time, this time in a metal dish as I know sometimes, like brownies or quiche, you have to use a metal tin or it just wont cook - yet still it would not cook! Totally ridiculous!

What a waste of cherries! Im not even going to bother with the other recipies I dont believe this can teach anyone how to bake, I'll stick to Delia from now on thank you, never had a recipe from her books ever go wrong!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Shortcrust Pastry So Flaky It Is Almost Puff, 18 Dec 2013
By 
Grandma (Vermont, USA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: How to Bake (Hardcover)
If you haven't heard of Paul Hollywood, it won't be long before you do. The 47-year old Hollywood started working as a baker in his father's bakery as a teenager. Baking and teaching others to bake has been his life ever since. I first came across him watching The Great British Bakeoff, but he has since expanded his horizons and is appearing as a judge on The American Baking Competition 2013 (CBS). I liked Paul Hollywood's Bread so much that I acquired a copy of How to Bake and am I ever glad that I did! Let me tell you about a few of my favorite recipes from the book.

Hollywood's passion is bread baking (he is said to bake the most expensive loaf of artisan bread in Britain, an almond and roquefort sourdough) and that comes shining through in How to Bake, with about 2/3 of the book devoted to bread in various guises, with chapters on Basic Breads, Flavored Breads, Sourdough, and Croissants, Danish & Brioche. Hollywood spent some time living & working in Cyprus and you'll see that experience reflected in a number of the breads featured in the book. I've made several of his recipes (his Ciabatta from Paul Hollywood's Bread is stunning and an unusual shaping technique makes it dead-easy) so I chose something a bit different for a test recipe.

▶︎ TEST RECIPE - PUMPKIN SEED STICKS WITH POPPY SEEDS

This is an easy recipe that utilizes bread flour, whole wheat bread flour and malted bread flour chock-full of pumpkin seeds. (If you can't find malted bread flour you could use a 7 or 12 grain flour.) The dough is divided into 10 portions, then each portion is rolled out into a stick about a foot long, brushed with water and then sprinkled with a generous amount of poppy seeds. The sticks are scrumptious with a rich, nutty flavor - excellent with cheese or the Carlton Pate that I recently made from Mary Berry's Christmas Collection.

This recipe could easily be baked as a single loaf, formed into dinner rolls instead of the sticks, or cut into 20 portions instead of 10 for a thinner, less filling nosh. I cut a couple of sticks on the bias, brushed them with a tiny dab of good olive oil and baked them at 250 to make small toasts or crackers to serve with cheese or that pate.

Where most baking books spend a lot of time on cakes and cookies, Hollywood combines Biscuits, Puddings & Cakes all into one chapter. Remember that in the UK biscuits are cookies and puddings can be any dessert. Look in this chapter for stunning recipe for traditional Shortbread that he says will keep 3-4 days (not in my house!), cheesecake, muffins, clafoutis and more. I was sorely torn between a flour-less Chocolate Almond Cake covered in Chocolate Ganache that uses ground almonds to provide a "cake" texture and a lemon cake. Lemon won.

▶︎ TEST RECIPE - MRS. POST'S LEMON DRIZZLE CAKE

A variation on Orange Marmalade Cake, this makes a small loaf that is flavored with lemon curd, then soaked with a mixture of lemon juice, lemon zest and granulated sugar while hot from the oven. One bowl, no mixer required. Lovely with a cup of tea, the cake is moist, very light textured and keeps for several days. It quite reminds me of my mother's favorite lemon cake - without the cake mix.

● One note - when making this or Orange Marmalade Cake (recipe not included in this book) do not "eyeball" the amount of marmalade or curd called for. Too much will throw off the chemistry of the cake and you'll end up with an ugly, though edible, dip in the middle of the loaf.

The final chapter in How to Bake is Tarts & Pies, which also includes Puff Paste. It is this chapter that thoroughly made the book for me. Our British cousins are much more prone to savory pies than we are here in the US and it is here that Hollywood's non-bread baking really shines. Having discovered Chicken & Mango Chutney Pasties inspired by the flavors of the British Raj in The Great British Bake Off: How to Bake: The Perfect Victoria Sponge and Other Baking Secrets, Hollywood's recipe for larger but similar Moroccan Pasties caught my eye straight off.

▶︎ TEST RECIPE - MOROCCAN PASTIES

Shortcrust pastry colored bright yellow with turmeric is cut into 7" circles, then filled with raw ground lamb and a mixture of potato or sweet potato, red onion and chopped fresh cilantro (coriander) flavored with cinnamon and spiced with a pinch of chile flakes. I used sweet potato since that was what I happened to have handy. Hollywood's Shortcrust Pastry recipe is a bit different than you see on this side of the pond. I make a mean pastry thanks to my Grandma - light and flaky. Hollywood's recipe is, however, not just a really good pie dough. It is exceptional, the flakiest I've ever come across this side of puff pastry.

Grandma's $0.02 - If you acquire How to Bake for the shortcrust pastry alone, it is worth every penny! My copy came from the UK and is in metrics. Other books by Paul Hollywood that I've purchased here at Amazon have not been "translated" so you'll need a digital scale. You'll find volume measurements on the side of your pyrex measuring pitcher. Teaspoons and tablespoons are the same.
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1 of 1 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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How to Bake
How to Bake by Paul Hollywood (Hardcover - 5 July 2012)
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