Yippee! Every August I get really excited as it means it’s Great British Bake Off time! I was really excited when I pre-ordered my copy of the latest GBBO book from Amazon. This book is called “The Great British Bake Off Everyday” with the subheading 100 Foolproof Recipes.
At the time of writing the latest series starts tonight at 8pm on BBC2. If anyone phones me between 8 and 9pm then don’t bother, I won’t be answering! If you are on Twitter though and fancy tweeting along through the programme I usually do, unless I’m behind if I’m clearing up after dinner! To follow me, I’m @smartcookiesam!
The information inside the front cover says “With recipes that you can turn to with confidence. Baking every day can be a simple pleasure” and that “Both beginner and expert bakers will find inspiration in this new collection of recipes from the Bake Off team,”
As I am not a beginner to baking, yet I still have a lot to learn I am keen to have a go at some of the different techniques and skills demonstrated in the book. In fact the other Bake Off books from the previous three series have helped me to practise lots of skills I was convinced I would never be any good at. The GBBO books are also great to help people get out of their baking comfort zones.
Front cover of the new GBBO Book with the judges: Mary Berry and Paul Hollywood.
I love the book design and it’s colour scheme. It has a great retro feel to it and it seems easy to read in most places to me. Yet, on some pages there is a lovely script style font which is incredibly difficult to decipher in places especially when the words are in white on top of a photograph. Perhaps I need better reading glasses! As with the books from previous series, there are only photos to accompany about two thirds of the recipes. This does frustrate me in recipe books as I always like to see a picture of what my bake is MEANT to look like even if it doesn’t always turn out that way.
The book is split into six chapters for the recipes, which are: Cakes, Biscuits and Small Cakes, Breads, Sweet Breads, Pastry and Puddings. Then each chapter is split into two further sections. The first part of each chapter contains bakes that could be made on a “normal” day. There isn’t anything boring or mundane about the sound of the recipes though. There are lots of exciting twists on old favourites as well as new and innovative flavours. The second part of each chapter is called Weekend Baking and this is the part of each chapter which is dedicated to those bakes featured by the contestants on the show, as well as showstopper bakes from Mary and Paul and the Technical Challenges they dish out each week. These are much more complicated and time consuming so therefore aren’t something you would want to bake if you have been at work all day!
Finally, there is a short section at the back of the book dedicated to the contestants from this year’s series. I hope I’m not miscounting but I counted 13. Is that a Baker’s Dozen or unlucky for some? It is great to see a photo of each of the bakers and a small paragraph about each of them.
I have already baked two things from the book. Normally I rush straight for the Cakes or the Biscuits section but this time I have gone savoury. Although I still need to work harder on my breadmaking and yeast baking skills, I was impressed with the clear recipe instructions in the book.
Caramelised Onion Pissaladiere from the Bread Chapter of the book, p130.
Crunchy Bacon Soda Bread from the Bread Chapter of the book on page 126.
Can I recommend this book to others? Yes I can. If you want traditional British Bakes then you are best off buying the very first book to accompany series 1, the much loved Great British Book Of Baking. I love this latest book, though as it gives me lots of different ideas on a theme and more skills to practise!
Let me know what you think if you have bought the book and what you have baked.
Love Sam xx