For this the first review of Bingo, I have gone level 1 literal for the Dough.
So I was in the UK in a bookstore and they had both the signed version and the 50% off version of Paul Hollywood’s new book Bake: My best ever recipes for the classics; guess which one I went for?
Anyways, some of the recipes are repeats but there’s enough new interesting things to bake that I might be able to bake my way through this one for the most part; it looks like the sourdough section is both not as much a focus and a little bit more do-able looking. Could be the instructions, could be me, who knows. I might actually try that trend, 3 years after the fact.
When he says “classics” he means it; the sections are “Cakes”, “Biscuits and Cookies”, Breads and Flatbreads”, “Pizzas and Doughnuts”, Pastry and Pies”, and “Desserts”. Sometimes the classifications aren’t what you’d expect but still sort of make sense; for example, “Chocolate Orange Banana Bread” is the first recipe in the book, making it ‘cake’. I think I might remember this one from elsewhere but it still sounds good, so might do that. Victoria sandwich, cheesecake, and chocolate cake are also included. However, blueberry muffins and brownies are also in this chapter, and those make a little less sense. Yes, they are sort of the same quick-mix base with non-yeast leavening but they are also both different enough in terms of batter and overall result that I don’t see them in the same category; I don’t think that’s simply down to UK vs US either.
I also don’t quite get why pizza and doughnuts are the same category; yes, both parts of that chapter are basically a bunch of different filling/toppings for the same two base doughs (pizza and doughnut) but why does that necessitate a whole chapter as opposed to a master recipe (or two really), and then a page or two of alternative what you can do with it. The toppings and fillings are relatively classic (quattro formaggi, mushroom and pancetta, etc; lemon curd, chocolate cream, etc) so I don’t see why there all those individual recipes, as opposed to listing the recipes together; it just seems like a bit of wasted space. The pictures are pretty sure, but there really could be more interesting options, or else more efficiency.
Pastry and pie is almost the opposite; they should be their own chapters. Empanadas and apple pie and raised pie (totally classic British thing) are really different things, so why are they even in the same chapter? I can see that the general recipes and techniques can be similar, but even those can be different enough, and the end results certainly are, that the combination seems a little weird to me.
None of this means I don’t like the book; I definitely plan on working my way through it. There are certainly a few recipes I will probably skip on account of being too fiddly (baked Alaska) or too based in things I don’t really like (focaccia; not my favorite bread, it’s just too oily and dries out waay to fast), but that’s true of practically every cookbook, and I doubt I’m alone in this. Especially next month makes the return on the monthly church potluck (returning from a nearly 3 year hiatus), I’m thinking I’ve got a good excuse to actually some of the bigger amounts; for example, I like cheesecake fine, but not enough to go through a whole one myself in a few days.