Christmas is getting ever closer so here is the first in a series of brief posts with some gift suggestions, which I have not already covered.
I’d actually happily give or receive most of the books that I have been sent for review this year, with one notable exception… I love all 4 of these books and am not quite sure why they have sat on the review pile for quite so long.
Clockwise from top left:
Everything you need to know about choosing, prepping and cooking fish. In general we (myself included) do not eat enough fish. Personally I do not like prepping them, and am slightly phobic about getting a bone stuck in my throat. This book should provide fish inspiration for everyone. It covers all aspect of fish cookery, how to choose, store and cook with over 300 recipes. As you would expect from DK presentation is key and tip top in quality. The book is laid out and for me the selling point is the techniques section with advice on how to prepare and fillet all types of fish and sea food. For those that do not know their cod from their coley or hake from herring there is a fantastic fish gallery. Scattered throughout the book is loads of information on sustainability so you can enjoy your fish with a clear conscience. Perfect for anyone who likes fish and wants to learn to cook it to the more experienced cook this weight book covers everything. The DK Fish Cookbook, published by DK £20.
Fuss Free Star Rating *****
Ready, steady, bake bread. The increasingly popularity of cookery and baking programmes means that more and more people are baking. This book, by one of my favourite publishers, contains 60 recipes aims to help you on your way. Starting with the basics of a simple white loaf, to a pizza base to sourdough, gluten free and pastries the recipes are packed with information and numerous photos showing every step of the way. There is a lot of information on each page, and personally I think that the photos would look better with a little border around them. If you are not affected by the slight sensory overload it is an excellent first bread baking book. One to keep on my shelf for reference. How to Make Bread, Ryland Peters, £19.99
Fuss Free Star Rating ****
Gluten Free does not mean you cannot enjoy baking. Another lovely book from Ryland Peters packed with recipes that will appeal to everyone regardless of if they are gluten free or not. The book starts with sensible information on gluten free substitutions and tips for successful GF baking, then highlights the importance of good food hygiene and avoiding cross contamination. Covering biscuits, pastry, cakes and puddings all the basics and more are included. Photography is bright with pretty light styling. All recipes contain both weight and cup measurements. I am looking forward to trying the buckwheat cake, and who could not be enticed by that lovely cake on the cover? The Gluten Free Baker, Ryland Peters, £16.99
Fuss Free Star Rating *** and a half
Covers everything? I am slightly regretful that this one has sat in the review pile for quite so long. The book starts with a techniques and equipment section, then each chapter covers a different type of baking. Recipes are clearly laid out, with a brief introduction to each one. I like the inclusion of a list of equipment needed for each recipe. Most recipes have a full page colour photo simply showing the finished bake with plain styling and largely without props. Everything that most people would like to bake is in here, all the classics and some more unusual bakes such as lemon semolina cake & malty chocolate cake. I cannot wait to try a homemade version of the Tunnocks Tea Cake or the Greengage and Almond Tart. One to be cooked form again and again. Great present for a beginning baker and would work well as a “sole” baking book for those who do not collect cookbooks! Peyton and Byrne, British Baking, Random House, £20.
Fuss Free Star Rating ****
Thank you to the publishers who sent me the above books.