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228 of 231 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 18 months ago by red0209

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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Warning; Dry yeast only!
The book is all right with a diverse amount of recipes. My only gripe is that all the recipes use dry yeast, not fresh. I just feel that fresh yeast is, beyond compare, superior to dry yeast so I would never bake anything without it unless I was in a pinch (out of fresh yeast with an urge to bake). I do not understand why a baker like Paul Hollywood would only promote...
Published 7 months ago by Sofia Kempe


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18 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An excellent starter's guide but will also suit the more experienced., 11 Oct 2012
By 
Andy_atGC (London UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: How to Bake (Hardcover)
A large hardback book printed on paper intended to be read and used in that the construction is quite substantial and likely to withstand regular use in the kitchen.

As the book is partly a beginner's guide to baking, it includes advice about ingredients, equipment, methods and anything relevant to the art of baking. The first and largest part deals with breads of many different types and nationalities, not just traditional British, and the later section deals with everything else, including cakes, pies and tarts - sweet and savoury, biscuits and others less easy to classify other than mostly as desserts. Again, these are international. One recipe that may please many is that for Sausage Rolls which will probably be better than anything shop-bought.

As this book contains the elements of a beginner's guide, and I have been baking cakes, pies and tarts for in excess of 30 years and bread for almost as long, why do I need such a book? I don't specifically need the advice section, although there may be something in there that is fresh and new, but it is access to some of his personal recipes that I wanted plus a greater insight into his techniques. I have only once tasted a loaf from his bakery (bought by my then host for the evening) and it had a flavour and texture I had not experienced since childhood.

It is a sad fact that most of Britain's bread is now the pre-wrapped, made-by-the-million, tasteless and texture-less sandwich loaf. As a nation, we have largely forgotten how real bread smells, looks and tastes. The supermarkets don't help much as their 'store-baked' bread is not as store-baked as many think. The loaves are made and part-baked in a factory, chilled or frozen and delivered to the stores where they are thawed as needed and finished for 5-10 minutes, as instructed. There are very few places where real bread can be bought but you can make it yourself as it is neither as difficult or as time-consuming as some believe. This book may help resolve that as Hollywood has tried to do with his business, although in a small way.

There are some techniques, sourdough for example, which I have never been able to successfully employ. A requirement is good air quality and an abundance of air-borne yeasts and fermenting bacteria which exists in some locales, but not all. A heavily built-up area such as that where I reside is not conducive to sourdough methods and every previous attempt has failed.

A wide variety of recipes, intensive personal experience translated into practical advice, and a home-grown, British-born baker with a solid reputation as the author will make this a valuable addition to my cookery collection.

Highly recommended.
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55 of 65 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars NO TABLE OF CONTENTS OR INDEX, 11 Nov 2012
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This review is from: How to Bake (Kindle Edition)
I wish I'd bought the real book as this is virtually unusable as there's no index - not even an unclickable one - so there's nowhere I can see the whole contents of this book. Only way to browse is main sections, then sub-sections from there.

First Kindle cookbook I've bought and will never buy another one based on this. Would like my money back for this so I can buy the real book.

Very disappointed.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great recipes, mostly bread., 18 Jan 2013
By 
Maxine Smith (Warrington, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: How to Bake (Hardcover)
Recipes work very well and I've made some fantastic loaves. Book is mostly about bread though so if you bought it for general baking you might be disappointed. Up to page 160 it's bread, pages 160 to 190 it's enriched bread such as brioche, 191 to 298 it's biscuits, puddings and cakes. That's more than 60 percent bread. Definitely recommend though if you want to lovely bread.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Really excellent....., 28 May 2013
By 
Wynne Kelly "Kellydoll" (Coventry, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: How to Bake (Hardcover)
In a somewhat belated surge towards domesticity I recently decided to start making my own bread again. I confess I was inspired by Paul Hollywood's Bread series on TV and thought I would buy the book accompanying the series. But after a bit of research (including some very helpful Amazon reviews) I decided to buy his earlier book: How to Bake.

It really is excellent. All the recipes are clearly explained and beautifully illustrated. I am really enjoying working my way through the book and may even be bold enough to try sour dough bread one day.

Can I recommend the Cherry Chocolate Muffins? Very easy to make and absolutely delicious!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The only baking book you will ever need!, 29 April 2013
This review is from: How to Bake (Hardcover)
I have been really pleased with this book. I am a confident baker, but less so with bread, but thanks to this book, I am producing beautiful light loaves.

I have made lots of the recipes and they have all been fantastic. The picture illustrations of the more difficult techniques are a huge help. My croissants and pain au chocolat turned out perfectly. I loved the maneesh, the pancakes, the Portuguese tarts, the cob loaf and the crumpets the most.

Would recommend to anybody who wants an informative baking recipe book that includes basic bread recipes right through to more adventurous baked goods!
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17 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful and great for beginners, 11 July 2012
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This review is from: How to Bake (Hardcover)
I am a fairly novice baker - not a complete beginner, but not very adventurous. I think this book is great for several reasons: it has extremely clear, easy-to-follow step by step photographs which is excellent for the trickier things that I would not usually attempt without such guidance, like croissants. I think there's a good balance between breads and other things like cakes, pastries etc, and there are some things that I will be trying that it would not otherwise have occurred to me to bake myself (e.g. the wonderful-looking grape and stilton flatbreads). It's a very beautiful book too, in my opinion, the photographs are just mouth-watering and I love the design. Aside from that, all I've tried so far is the basic white tin loaf, and it was excellent. If you want to get into baking, I think this is a great book. If you know loads already, it's probably not the one for you because you'll be familiar with most of it.
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Tweaking required., 6 May 2013
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This review is from: How to Bake (Hardcover)
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 Mary Berry - I shall never now go to those books if I want a bread recipe.

So why a three star? Because there were just too many recipes that needed tweaking. It inspired me to look them up on the internet and figure out the problems - so for example, crumpets are best made with a thick batter, not a thin one. Laminating dough is much easier if the butter isn't rock hard after being in the fridge for an hour each time. Sourdough starter is easier and cheaper to keep in the fridge with much smaller quantities than suggested - this is really important as I was wasting kilos of flour in order to feed the starter each week! Also, no mention is made of the stretch and fold technique of bread making which makes fantastic bread and means you don't need to go and buy a kitchenaid for all the kneading.

So overall, this was a great book but one that needs some tweaking.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars It's OK, 5 Jan 2013
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This review is from: How to Bake (Hardcover)
I bought this book on impulse after seeing a couple of the Bake Off TV programmes and although it's ok I realised when it came that I probably didn't need it. All that is in it can be found elsewhere (and free on the internet). I did follow the recipe for royal icing and it was just right (I realise now that I should have added glycerine in previous attempts). I also followed the method for shortcrust pastry which stated adding two eggs, but it was disastrous and all broke up when I tried to roll it out, even after I'd put in in the fridge to cool down as he advised. When my wife came home she just laughed and showed me how to do it properly - no eggs, just flour and Stork veg mix for pastry, pinch of salt, and cold water to mix. Pastry made like this rolls out really well straight away, and looks and tastes fine.

Another irritating thing about this book is that there are strange joins between the tops of letters, for example s and p are joined ,as are s and t, and other combinations. I found this very distracting and kept looking for them rather than focussing on the content. I'll probably scan-read the rest of he book and then donate it to a charity shop. Oh well.

Major lesson about buying this book: Think if you need things, and save money.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Really helpful baking book for less experienced bakers, 4 Sep 2012
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Really helpful book for less experienced/confident bakers. Really good selection of recipes with clear instructions and photos so no misunderstandings. Lots of recipes contain 'normal' ingredients and are straightforward. Some more adventurous recipes for when your confidence builds, and it will after the first success! The bread section I found particularly good and the Brioche is fabulous! Highly recommended book.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Recipes that work!, 10 Dec 2013
By 
Ms. L. Kelly "linzik64" (York, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: How to Bake (Hardcover)
I just made Paul's Christmas buns (the ones pictured I think) and you know what, they worked! His recipes are easy to follow, however, just be careful of the baking times, these buns took 10 minutes longer than he states (depends on your oven guess). A few more pictures showing each stage of a recipe would also help but apart from that it;'s a lovely book, well written and designed to be used.
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