Category Archives: Books

Deconstructing Jeffrey Hamelman’s ‘Bread’ – Part 1

Firstly let me say, this is not a how to bake bread post, this is a ‘how to read and use a book’ post. I hope no one is offended or feels patronised and if you are completely comfortable with baking books then please do skip on to something more interesting.

I find myself recommending this book simply because it has a really solid range of recipes and formulae and tons of good advice and information embedded in the text but it is a bit scary when you first open it!

EDIT April 2013 : There is a new and updated edition of this wonderful book now available and I recommend you get hold of that one rather than this older one. It has new recipes and has been considerably updated.

challah winston knot

Celia figured out the instructions for this one, bless her!

I remember when I first got it I was really excited and then my heart sank as I looked at the dense pages of text, flicked through, came across all those decorative bread projects, rummaged through the formulae, stared at the columns, wondered what on earth the words meant. Continue reading

Soup and Pancakes

Mainly out of curiosity and a dash of nostalgia I recently bought a copy of Scandilicious  (Saltyard Books May 2011), by Signe Johansen. I was just watching her promotional video on Amazon today and reflected on how different her upbringing was from mine!

Min Danske Mor arrived in England in the fifties from Sweden, where she had lived from the age of thirteen, armed with two Swedish cookbooks and only the vaguest notion of how to feed a family.  She struggled with the butchers, who cut the meat up differently, the imperial weights and measures, unfamiliar dishes with names like Yorkshire Pudding and relied on a handful of suppers which she could make. We never had puddings, but ate large quantities of salad as our second course, always with a mustardy  French vinaigrette.  Continue reading