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Customer Review

220 of 227 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Does what it says on the tin (well, back page actually), 11 Mar. 2013
This review is from: Paul Hollywood's Bread (Hardcover)
If you're looking for a book purely made up of different bread recipes then you may be better looking at Paul's previous book, How to Bake. In this book you get a bread recipe and a spin off dish for that bread. Personally I think this book expands nicely on the previous How to Bake book. I was given How to Bake for Christmas and have been baking bread religiously since, (be warned, once you home bake you'll never want supermarket bread again!), but after three months of sandwiches, rolls and toast overload, it's lovely to have this book show me new ideas and ways to incorporate the bread I make into meals for the family. A few examples from the book are the rye, ale and oat bread, which is followed by a plum and apple chutney recipe to go with your ploughman's. Stilton and bacon rolls and a celery soup. Malt loaf and then a marmalade and malt loaf pudding. There's some lovely pate recipes too.

As always with Paul, he's plain talking, very knowledgeable and explains everything beautifully, it really is like having him there with you when you're baking. There is an abundance of photo's in this book. Every recipe has a full page photo, and there's plenty of step by step photo's to help guide you through the making and baking. (which is incredibly helpful when you're new to bread making, don't necessarily know what things are supposed to look like, or how to do something, or actually, if you're just a visual learner.)

The book is divided up into:
Classic Breads (bloomer, rye ale and oat bread, stilton and bacon rolls, rye and spelt bread, trencher bread, malt loaf, and their accompanying recipes)
Soda Breads (soda bread, stout bread, crumpets, cheddar and rosemary scones, soft treacle parkin, and their accompanying recipes)
Flatbreads (pitta breads, curried naan with sultanas, maneesh, wraps, corn tortillas, and their accompanying recipes)
Continental Breads (mini baguettes, ciabatta, pizza base, pain de savoie, trio of biscotti, and their accompanying recipes)
Sourdough (sourdough starter, classic sourdough, basil and coriander sourdough, olive sourdough fougasse, white chocolate and raspberry bread, and their accompanying recipes)
and Enriched Breads (Danish pastry dough, savoury brioche couronne, Sicillian lemon and orange sweet bread, Satsuma and dark chocolate brioche, lardy cake, and their accompanying recipes)

Well worth purchasing in my opinion. I'm looking forward to watching the BBC television series to go with the book and seeing what Paul does next.
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Showing 1-9 of 9 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 3 Apr 2013 18:44:42 BDT
. says:
Thank you Betty, I was looking for a basic beginners book so really valued your feedback and ordered the 'How to Bake' instead... I may hopefully work up to this book. Thanks again

In reply to an earlier post on 13 Apr 2013 22:03:58 BDT
H. Paisley says:
Thank you for taking such trouble with your review. I wanted one for a present and wanted it to include sour dough starter, but couldn't work out from anywhere whether it did.

Posted on 16 May 2013 11:22:27 BDT
AlliB says:
[Customers don't think this post adds to the discussion. Show post anyway. Show all unhelpful posts.]

In reply to an earlier post on 16 May 2013 17:06:11 BDT
Betty says:
I'm sorry my review left you puzzled AlliB. As you've struggled to understand it, let me explain the reasoning behind my review for you.

I say the book does what it says on the back page, because rather then setting out to be a book full of bread recipes, which some people were expecting, and then disappointed not to get. The purpose of the book, as printed on the back page, was to "take bread off the side plate" and put it back "in the centre of the table". It's a book on how to build meals around the bread you make. It achieves that through giving you spin off recipes for each bread recipe. Rather than a slice of bread with whatever you happen to be eating, there's a complimentary dish to go with it. "So this is more than a baking book: it's about the whole meal" says Paul, and I think he's achieved that beautifully with this book. As my review says, if you want a book stacked full of recipes purely for baking you need his How To Bake book.

To answer your other question, yes, of course I have tried the recipes in the book. The only chapter I haven't delved into yet is the enriched doughs. And yes, all of the recipes I have tried have worked and produced fabulous results. I also recommended the book to my parents, who have used it to venture into bread making, and they too, were over the moon with the results they got following Pauls recipes.

Obviously it's my personal opinion that the book deserves 5 stars, but there's plenty out there that agree. Paul Hollywood knows his stuff. His recipes are, in my opinion, fab, his writing style is simplistic, straight forward and easy to understand, and there's plenty of photographs and tips to help you. I gave it 5 stars because I can't fault the book.

I'm sorry you've had no success with your attempts at bread making AlliB, perhaps you could write an email to the man himself and see if he can assist you? He has a twitter account and answers people questions on there regularly. Or book yourself on a course? Or give up on the bread making entirely? But to suggest, as you have done in your review, that anyone giving the book a 5 star rating can't possibly have tried the recipes out because they didn't work for you is, quite frankly, ridiculous! There are 282 reviews of this book on Amazon at present. 218 give 5 stars. 41 give 4 stars. Do you really think that many people have the time to buy the book, review the book but not bake anything from the book? If, as you suggest, the recipes simply don't work, don't you think more people would have come out to give bad reviews? Rather than the rave reviews the book actually has? Ever think perhaps, just perhaps, as your review title says, it is in fact just you?

Posted on 22 Apr 2014 16:07:10 BDT
Anna Cobb says:
Thanks for the review and advice - bought How to Bake instead and is completely want I needed!

Posted on 19 Aug 2015 20:38:53 BDT
llyamah says:
Hi - thank you for your review - it is very helpful. I have a couple of questions for you:

1) Is it an issue if I don't have (and, frankly, have no desire to get) a bread maker? I also don't have a proper mixer - in essence, I will just be using my hands and oven.

2) How easy is it to make the sourdough starter?


In reply to an earlier post on 19 Aug 2015 21:27:07 BDT
. says:
Hello, I am sorry to say I have not made any of Paul's recipes by hand but always in my kenwood. When I used to make my bread by hand, I always used fresh yeast. So this is a really unhelpful answer I am afraid. Just as a point of interest, my handmade bread with fresh yeast and that made with dried yeast and the mixer are as good as each other.

In reply to an earlier post on 19 Aug 2015 21:28:04 BDT
. says:
Sorry, not made soda bread.... Are you watching bake off tonight? They have just made soda bread.

In reply to an earlier post on 19 Aug 2015 21:45:22 BDT
Betty says:
I'll keep it short and sweet...
No, you don't need a mixer at all. Paul writes the recipes as if you were going to be kneading by hand. And it's a great stress reliever! I've always baked my bread in the oven, and again, the book is written expecting you will too, there's no instructions for bread makers in there at all.
The sourdough starter is incredibly quick and easy to do, but it will take a few weeks before it's ready to use.
Hope that helps :-)
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