74 of 79 people found the following review helpful
Sensationally good baking book with a rubbish cover,
This review is from: Short and Sweet (Hardcover)Dan Lepard's much anticipated baking book is (almost) every bit as good as fans of his Guardian column want it to be. I can think of no baking book that I am likely to use more frequently. The book is an intelligent extension of his column and, unlike most of his previous books, is aimed squarely at the home baker.
The book is divided into 8 sections: bread (including sourdough and a sensational lentil-stffed flatbread); cakes (try the apple walnut and custard cake as soon as you buy the book); small things (aka modish muffins, cupcakes and whoopee pies); biscuits and cookies (already worked my way through a batch of the spelt and ginger cookies); doughnuts, batters and babas; sugar sugar (sweets, frosting, ice cream etc); desserts (cherry and polenta pudding, anyone?); and supper (pizzas to pasties).
If I'm absolutely honest, I would have preferred more space devoted to real cakes and rather less to such of-the-moment items as whoopee pies and cupcakes - but given the quality of the ideas here, he might convert me. The recipes are faultless, clearly described and deliver the results you hope for. What's best about the book, however, is that Lepard doesn't presume that the reader is stupid. He treats us to some basic science, explains potential pitfalls and points out subtle, but important differences between ingredients - his advice on the relative merits of British and European butters in pastry making is both fascinating and invaluable. In fact, Lepard is probably best when he's explaining pastry-making. He's given me the confidence to finally going to give rough puff a go.
I have 2 caveats. Firstly, I would have love to have seen some more of Lepard's greatest hits from the Guardian included (neither of my favourite of his cake recipes make it into the book). But my real gripe is the cover - and the paper used throughout. The cover was clearly designed my someone who doesn't use a cookery book in the kitchen. It scuffs as soon as you look at it and seems to attract dirt, water and oil like a magnet. It will soon become a very unappealing-looking object. Similarly, the paper used inside is the wrong side of cheap.
Sort: Oldest first | Newest first
Showing 1-5 of 5 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 11 Nov 2011 11:24:21 GMT
emma who reads a lot says:
This is an excellent review, I love it that you have recommended it so highly while also pointing out some of its drawbacks, very balanced, thank you
Posted on 15 Dec 2011 12:21:52 GMT
Last edited by the author on 15 Dec 2011 12:23:06 GMT
I have looked at this book in the shop and while I take your point on the cover (which is very attractive and tactile but yes, probably will attract dirt like a magent) I could not agree on the paper inside. I thought it carried through the theme of the cover and was again very attractive with a slightly vintage, faded look. Certainly wouldn't call it cheap! Cheap to me means thin and likely to tear. The paper used is good quality, the photography has a faded look. But that's a style issue, not cheapness!
Posted on 17 Dec 2011 21:04:36 GMT
K. Gill says:
I kind of disagree about the cover and paper comment. I agree that bad paper in a book can really turn me off a book. But this isn't the shiny thick paper I hate in a book, and it's not the textured paper of a paperback novel either. It's a tight knit smooth paper that your fingers glide across easily. I quite like it. As for the cover, the cover doesn't bother me either. I had it on the floor next to my bed for a long time, shuffling it around and it still looks new. That middle band might attract dirt but who cares. Just means a well-used well-loved book! Bake on!
In reply to an earlier post on 2 Feb 2012 23:12:36 GMT
Vanessa Kimbell says:
I love the quality of this book. It's got a slightly vintage look .. but it;s classy and timeless and superb quality! I love mine!!!
Posted on 25 Sep 2012 15:04:53 BDT
Miss M says:
I agree, the cover and pages are vintage and I just love picking up this book and flicking through even if I'm not planning to bake. I just wish there were a few more pictures. Also I recommend anyone to try Richard Bertinet - Pastry. He is a genius.
‹ Previous 1 Next ›