I’ve been bitten by a bug. My non-Australian readers are probably envisioning a parade of deadly, venomous Australian critters but it’s nothing like that. I’ve been bitten by the bakery bug.
Let me go back a little bit.
Recently, I turned on the television, tired of the normal insipid televisual offering, and eager to find something different. Until that point I had deliberately avoided the Lifestyle channels, you know, the next top models, the next fashion designers, the next singing sensations … ad nauseum. Don’t get me started on Tori, Kardashian and big gypsy weddings!
So, against my natural instincts, I turned onto a Lifestyle channel and found myself on a program called, The Great British Bakeoff. The very name conjured visions of elderly ladies floured to the elbows churning out cream sponges.
Boy was I wrong!
I love this show! I’m hooked on this show! I won’t go into all the details of the show, suffice to say that it is a reality show where contestants bake up a storm of signature and technical products and are judged by Paul Hollywood and Mary Berry – bakers extraordinaire!
I introduced Stuart to the show, and now we’re both hooked. So much so, that two nights ago I rushed home from work and produced a swiss roll, complete with peach and mango custard filling and rolled in coconut!
Yep, I have been bitten badly. So badly, that I hopped onto Booktopia and bought me a couple of cook books.
One of them was the official book from the television series, The Great British Bakeoff: How to Bake.
The other was Paul Hollywood’s How To Bake. I haven’t looked at the first one yet but let me tell you about Paul Hollywood's book. OMG! I love it!
I can honestly say that I have never sat down and read a cook book before. I don’t tend to even buy them, yet to not only buy it, but to read it! That’s unheard of.
I received my book in the mail yesterday. I read the Foreword, Introduction and Basics chapters this morning over coffee and immediately set to work writing a list of things I was going to need: new baking dish, baking stone, something called a baker’s peel and a proving bowl … Paul says I don’t have to buy all this stuff, but I will because this is my newest passion.
Oh the bread I’m going to bake! I can’t wait. And once I get into the other book I’ll be churning out cakes, biscuits … you name it. I will no doubt end up making a right pest out of myself by baking more than Stu and I can possibly consume.
So why am I telling you all this? Simply because I am excited. I’ve always enjoyed baking – I love baking cakes and bickies, but Stu asked me to stop because he couldn’t resist them and was eating too much.
But there’ll be no stopping me this time. Although I was originally inspired by the television show, these books are simply beautiful. I can’t speak highly enough of Paul Hollywood’s book. If you’re into baking you could do worse than getting your hands on a copy.
Even if you’re not into baking, if you flick through this beautiful book, you soon will be! Just try to resist – I dare you!