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Short and Sweet Hardcover – 29 Sep 2011
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‘Dan is by far the most imaginative and creative baker I know.’ Yotam Ottolenghi
‘Just when I think I’ll never need another cookery book along comes Dan Lepard’s Short & Sweet to tease, delight, beguile and tempt…This man has never, ever let me down’ Nigel Slater
‘One of my cookery heroes, Dan's baking expertise is second to none. His recipes ooze originality, precision and above all, irresistible deliciousness.’ Sarah Randell, Sainsbury's Magazine
‘Dan Lepard is to baking what Lewis Hamilton is to Formula One.’ Jay Rayner, Observer
‘Dan demystifies the baker’s art with such enthusiasm and unapologetic pragmatism that all kinds of seductive treats become instantly achievable.’ Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall
‘Mr Lepard, I love you.’ Nigel Slater
About the Author
Dan Lepard is a baker and photographer who has worked with the likes of Ottolenghi, Giorgio Locatelli and Fergus Henderson. He is the author of The Handmade Loaf and has a very popular baking column in the Saturday Guardian. He writes frequently for Sainsbury’s Magazine and is also currently designing a range of baking products for Sainsbury’s. Originally from Australia, he now lives in London.
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Top customer reviews
* bagels (so delicious and something I never thought one could make at home, yet they were actually very easy and rather fun to make!)
* scones (came out perfectly)
* soya & linseed loaf (this is now my go-to loaf. As someone who used to be obsessed with sourdough, I now prefer making this. It uses normal fast-acting yeast but has a to-die-for taste and also keeps really well. Very quick and easy to make)
* steak, swede & mustard pasties (again, easier than I expected them to be. I'd never bought dripping before until I made these!)
* spelt & ginger cookies (fabulous! Though funnily enough, the first time I made them they were amazing, the second time they were a bit too dense. I think I mis- read the recipe the second time round)
* sweet potato crescents (I think these were the first things I made from the book. Delicious, kept well too, I thought they might go soft but they didn't)
* big match beef pies (first time I had ever bought lard, used in the everyday shortcrust pastry. The pies were very tasty, really old-school in the best way).
I can't fault this book. Small things the author does that I likes include specifying temps for both fan and non-fan oven. Appreciate that's not rocket science but it's really helped as I do find some cookbooks only give you one temp and it can make a big difference as my fan oven runs quite hot. Dan also includes a lot of practical advice throughout the book (which is huge).
This really does feel like one of those books that you will use and come back to over and over again. Very highly recommended.
Each chapter begins with a list of the sections, then opens with a useful and thoughtful introduction and oh so valuable tips and techniques. Dan treats his readers to insights gleaned from his own experience and valuable theory is trickled in too to make cooking his recipes a great way to learn for any cook. I had loved his Guardian columns and missed him when he left. I have two of his bread books and these taught me huge amounts including how to nurture a sourdough starter. i was tempted to buy this book because I read that it included many of those Guardian recipes and that Dan had revised and further perfected them, the wonderful Cider Vinegar Muffins for example. i am now using it to refresh my bread skills, working my way through the section and it is a delightful prospect. Today I made the best loaf ever and that is why I thought I must offer a review.
I rate the format as being practical, the book stays open which I love - the only other recipe book I have with that clever feature is the Polpo cook book - and the text is beautifully laid out and readable. The chapter organisation is something I have commented on but it does make the book a delight to use as does the comprehensive index which details key ingredients as well as recipes, a most welcome feature of modern recipe books. In his recipe selection, Dan shows a great ability to blend novelty with classical expertise, I need an excuse to bake his Hazelnut Wafer Cake which he says was a childhood birthday treat and reminds him of Topic bars, you can find this recipe online if you are curious. Just reading the recipe helps your imagination run riot so you can taste the cake! It sums up a glorious book, delicious recipes that work and make you long to keep baking.
It turned out to be a wise decision. Short & Sweet is entertaining, full of personality, friendly, but most importantly in a cookbook, practical. Each section talks you through techniques, from basics like bread and pastry, to fancies like doughnuts and desserts, but also offers some neat little tips that I haven't seen anywhere else (which you should buy the book to find out). I've tried a handful of the recipes and they've all worked, the peanut butter biscuits being particularly memorable. I'm looking forward to trying the fancier recipes because I have no doubt that they will work; Dan Lepard's book is going to join my Marguerite Patten baking book as a reliable source. Unfortunately this means the beautifully designed book is going to get a bit messy and dog-eared, but I think that's a compliment to a cookbook - the last thing I think a good food writer wants is to produce a coffee-table tome and there is no danger of that here!