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Jo Wheatley - Home Baking Hardcover – 2013
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Jo Wheatley winner of The Great British Bake Off 2011, shares a new collection of the hearty food she brought her three hungry boys up on, the foolproof recipes handed down by her Nan, and the treats she delights her extended family and friends with. All of the 100 recipes featured have been taste tested and enjoyed by generations of Jo's family, and are now ready to be enjoyed by yours. Easy recipes for little ones, tasty pies and tarts, hearty supper bakes and sumptuous cakes fill the pages of Home Baking, and all will make you want to roll up your sleeves and turn on the oven. Jo's recipes are refreshingly simple and honest, and all made regularly for her family. From classic focaccia, to delicious chocolate and honeycomb bars, perfect American pancakes and a spectacular croquembouche, Home Baking will fill your kitchen with fantastic homemade food all year round.
Top customer reviews
Wheatley's style of baking is very much family-centric and it shows throughout the book (i.e. lots of fun, baking photos with family) - something I really like about both this and her previous book. One of the first things I noticed about 'Home Baking' is that the layout is very consistent with Wheatley's previous book (even down to the cover photo which is almost exactly the same pose albeit with a new outfit and new cake. Consistency is something I find very admiring in books from the same author; it's good to be able to identify a number of books with an author just by their appearance. I cannot tell you how many times I've bought books from a single author only find they're deeper or taller (meaning they don't sit flush on my bookcase). Hurrah then, for Wheatley and her band of baking helpers for creating a book that looks good on the outside as well as the inside.
Something else that I noticed almost immediately was that there was a ribbon page/book marker - something I picked up on in my review of Wheatley's previous book. I hate it when cookery books don't have a page marker as I'm someone who will look at a recipe in the morning whilst planning the evening meal, after which I book mark it for later. No ribbon = bits of paper sticking out of books to mark pages - not good! I'm please, then, to see that Wheatley has incorporated one into this book.
Still on the subject of external appearances, 'Home Baking' is slightly thicker than 'A Passion for Baking' - in part, due to extra recipes but also because the front and back covers are thicker and more robust. I like having a sturdy book rather than a flimsy one - it gives a 'high quality' feel to the whole thing. Good choice, team Wheatley!
Now, onto the recipes within!
Wheatley has managed, yet again, to fill a book with delicious recipes which I cannot wait to try out. I have to say I was ecstatic to see a recipe for cinnamon rolls with cream cheese icing (I have been looking for a good recipe for months!) I think that the cinnamon roll will be the first I try out when my exams are over. 'Home Baking' is broken down into several chapters from biscuits, bars, and cookies to breads, and tarts. Chapters have also been devoted to baking for special occasions and for baking with children - further emphasising the 'family baking' influence on the book. All temperatures are given in Celsius, Fahrenheit, and gas mark to accommodate most cookers although weights and measures are still only in metric (something which doesn't bother me too much but I know it will irk some my older friends who were taught in imperial). One thing that I particularly like is that, even though it has only been a year or so since her previous book, Wheatley has developed a whole new set of recipes (rather than simply recycling and altering previous recipes - maybe with the exception of the apricot frangipane which seems to be a subtle twist on the plum frangipane in 'A Passion for Baking'.)
On the whole, Wheatley has - yet again - knocked the proverbial ball out of the park with yet another fab book and I cannot wait to put it to good use.
Review taken from my blog at [...]
I would particularly recommend Home Baking to anyone who may feel a bit unsure about baking in general. Jo's approach is so reassuring and comforting as she assures us that anyone can bake! Saying that there is plenty here for the experienced baker as well.
The book is broken down into ten chapters starting with Biscuits, Bars, and Cookies; Bread and Scones; Cakes; Baking with Children; Crumbles, Tarts, and Pithiviers; Quiches, Pasties, Pies and Savoury Puddings; Quick and Simple Special Occasions; Supper Bakes; and Teatime Treats!
Here is a list of the recipes I can't wait to try:
Oaty Fruit Squares
Blueberry Brioche Rolls
Cheesy Tear and Share
Parmesan and Pesto Fantail Loaf
Banana, Pecan, and Butterscotch Cake
Lime and Coconut Tray Bake
Lemon, White Chocolate, and Macadamia Bombs
Cheesy Mini Ketchup Scones
Chicken and Mango Empanadas
Fruit and Nut Brownies
Tempura Mustard Sausages
Valentine's Salted Caramel Chocolate Pots
Mince Bakewell Tart
After reading Jo's books, blog, and following her on other social media sites I can't help but love her down-to-earth personality and family style baking. Following her progress from her win on the GBBO it's hard not to feel like I know her personally as she lets us into her life and kitchen.
For those of you who don’t know (and welcome back from under that stone in that case!) Jo Wheatley won the second series of The Great British Bake Off, a hugely popular British home baker competition which is due to air it’s third series this year and won a Bafta very recently indeed! Now as I watched the series I will admit, I did not fully appreciate the lacking in cock-sure self-assurance Jo. The other big personalities might have over shadowed her a little in the early weeks but as the series progressed and then I discovered her on Facebook after the show finished, what I came to realise about Jo is just how wonderful a home baker and person she is. Her raspberry and apple meringue pie and her show piece, a stunning cabinet decorated with flowers and filled with the most perfectly finished, thoroughly inviting petit fours absolutely blew my mind in particular and these images have remained with me.
So when she released her cook book last week, I knew I had to get a copy. I follow her on Facebook and the personality I’ve come to know from doing so to know is warm, loving, friendly and incredibly giving. She always replies to fans questions really quickly and compliments, even if it is just a simple “like” and she even answers direct messages equally as quickly, despite her huge following of several thousand people and busy home baking classes business and family to boot! She has my admiration. The love for her family and friends comes through loud and proud in this beautiful cook book which she has furnished with a comprehensive selection of what appear to be a collection of bakes she’s done for over 20 years in some cases to some newer innovations, including recipes off GBBO (yay!). A few off her blog and magazine features even made it in to my delight – I’ve made the apple hazelnut streusel cake and chocolate mud cake and both are wonderful. It really seems the sort of manual you could teach yourself to become a proficient baker from if you’re not sure where to start. I think the secret to Jo’s ongoing success is just how “normal” she is – she inspires confidence in you and comes across like a friend, not like the big baking celebrity shes fast become! Today, I thought I’d share Jo’s peanut butter cookies with you and her genius little gem of a tip. So here we go.
Scoop out a simple cookie dough recipe with a rounded, spring loaded ice cream scoop to give uniformity of size and shape. This dough has Demerara sugar in and whole roasted peanuts too – fantastic combo of sweet, crystal crunch and salt right there. Bake for a mere five minutes before, and here’s the genius if somewhat out of left field tip I shall be using for all my cookies hence forth – take the tray out of the oven and bash it, hard, on to your worktop! Oooo, who else gasped a little at the thought of that one?! Well gasp all you like – its inspired and gives you the Ne Plus Ultra chewy cookie texture I’ve never, ever been able to recreate outside of a Subway cookie! This action deflates the puffed up cookie which is returned to the oven for a mere 5 more minutes to finish baking. I encouraged mine to flatten a little by pushing down with a clean oven mitt as they didn’t deflate as much as expected. They did, however, further sink into a slightly underbaked, perfectly textured chewy middle cookie with the barest of crispness around the edges on cooling. As you can see here
Oh I’m so delighted with these I so wish I had gone out for twice as long on my bike this morning so I could eat a whole one, guilt free! But alas, half of one for fatty boom boom me and the rest are packed up for tonight for my lovely girls I work with. Pour yourself a coffee (or grab an ice lolly for those of you enjoying this heat wave right now!), read Jo’s wonderful book and bake some of these cookies for yourself – you will kick yourself for not pre-ordering like I did.
Taken from my blog [...]