Customer Review

93 of 94 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars the british baking book of my dreams, 25 Aug 2010
This review is from: The Great British Book of Baking: 120 best-loved recipes from teatime treats to pies and pasties (Hardcover)
This is the one! The holy grail I have searched for all my baking life.

I have an absolute passion for British baking(and eating)and until now my longings have remained unsatisfied. I have wanted a book which has clear, well-written authentic recipes that work; recipes that haven't been dubbed-up with additional, non-traditional ingredients, recipes that are part of the great British baking heritage but equally are enjoyable today- without reflecting yesterday's tastes - using dripping or lard in cakes for example. Julie Duff's Cakes Traditional and Modern has a firm place on my shelf but a great many of her recipes fall into that category and are of mainly historical interest.

This is a lovely collection of the very best of British baking, sweet and savoury. It runs the gamut from pies, bread, biscuits, tarts and flans to cakes. All the homely foundation stones of our rich traditions are here: Scones, Crumpets, Shortbread, Madeira cake, Cornish saffron buns, Bacon and Egg Tart, Cornish Pasties and Beefsteak and Kidney Pie among many others.

Alongside these are some unusual regional specialities such as Stargazey Pie, Westmoreland Tart, Cornish Clotted Cream Cake. As the book accompanies the BBC series the Great British Bake-off there are winning recipes from the contestants too.

The book itself is impressively heavy which conributes to it's authoritative sense and has lovely photos of each bake.

This is such a winner I haven't had it out of my hands since it arrived. I look forward to many happy years of baking it's yummy, moreish treats.
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Tracked by 3 customers

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Showing 1-7 of 7 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 9 Sep 2010 17:51:05 BDT
Title page says:
I'm surprised you think that Julie Duff's recipes are mainly of historical interest. All Julie's recipes are historically acurate, but they work in today's kitchens and were all cooked in the preparation for the writing of the book. The ones photographed in the book were cooked by Julie for the book. I dont really understand what your problem is with her recipes. Her book has been a best-seller and has been mightily praised by all, including Nigel Slater who said it was one of his favourite cake books. Hers is the product of a lifetime's passion for cake baking and not just a here today gone tomorrow production created to go with a TV programme.

Posted on 17 Nov 2010 20:52:37 GMT
Some of the other reviewers mentioned that not all recipes from the actual show are in the book. Are Edd's Oatmeal Raisin Cookies included? They're not on the website and they looked so good!

In reply to an earlier post on 19 Nov 2010 04:22:54 GMT
No, sorry, the Oatmeal Raisin Cookies you want are not in the book. Most of the recipes are not from the contestants themselves; generally the recipes are slanted towards the traditional.

In reply to an earlier post on 19 Nov 2010 04:35:14 GMT
Correct, Julie Duff's recipes do work but how many readers would actually want to make, still less to eat the Biddenden Maids Cakes - ingredients, flour and water only, or Dripping Cake, the Flead cake (even supposing one could find such a thing as flead nowadays) or the cakes using lard.

As I made clear in my review where I gave the book 5 stars, I think it is a marvellous book which has made an invaluable contribution to the baking history of the British Isles. It's one of my favourites, too. I do bake from it frequently. I merely pointed out that the book under review contained more of the kind of British baking I prefer. Not modern but well-known and acknowledged recipes such as Victoria Sponge, Cherry and Almond cake (yes they are in Julie's book too).

May I suggest you read my review more carefully before flying off the handle at my comments?

In reply to an earlier post on 17 Feb 2011 12:14:37 GMT
Connor says:
I am not sure why people have such an aversion to lard, I use it all the time in my cooking, in bread, pastries, cakes and pies and it gives them a much lighter fluffier texture. Also gram for gram lard has less saturated fat than butter (43% to 55%) so isn't this evil mix, or foul tasting (you can't really taste any difference) or bad for you.

Our ancestors ate it all the time; at present, despite us eating healthier than ever (nearly everything contains less fat than ever before, or is cooked with 'healthier oils') 30% of all deaths in the UK are caused by heart disease. 100 years ago, despite all the animals fat we ate, just 7% of deaths were heart related. Food for thought.

Dripping on the other hand, I can understand.

Posted on 21 Nov 2011 21:27:48 GMT
K Murphy says:
Is the book suitable for bakers with an Aga rather than ovens?

In reply to an earlier post on 24 Dec 2011 11:53:48 GMT
Mr D.K Lind says:
Very good question. I'd like to know that too.
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Location: brisbane australia

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