Having finished my last challenge before Christmas last year, I’ve taken a few months off, baking from the other books I have (and believe me I have quite a few, well more than a few) and experimenting with a few of my own ideas.
However, now has come the time to pick a new challenge. Having spent the last few months browsing through books and on the internet trying to find something that will both challenge my baking skills and something which the family will also enjoy eating, it came down in the end to two categories – either pastry or bread. Bread (I’m pleased to say) came out the winner.
It was then a very hard decision on which ‘bread’ book to bake the whole way through. Initially I was drawn to Richard Bertinet’s books from Bertinet Kitchen and Paul Hollywood’s books, but looking through these they were mainly breads I had heard of or seen already in my local bakery. I wanted something a little different, so I carried on looking. I spent a lot of time in my local Waterstone’s store, where I’m sure the staff must have thought that lady is always in here but never buys anything, but spends hours looking through baking books! After a month of so I found myself being drawn back to the same book again and again. I had finally made my decision!
So, you’re all thinking what is the book you are going to bake from. Well, it is…
This book looked so exciting, the front cover said it all to me – ‘Over 50 brilliant bakes from around the World’.
It wasn’t your usual loaves and buns, it was something a little different from all the other books. Each recipe states where it is from and Jane gives a small foreword at the beginning of each recipe to tell you a little about its history. Looking through the book I knew it was something that not only I’d enjoy baking, but also my family and friends would enjoy eating.
Jane opens the book with the statement ‘A bun’s a bun the world around’ – There are hamburger buns and hot dog buns; hot cross buns and iced buns; steamed buns and sticky buns; cinnamon buns and coconut buns. There are thousands of kinds of buns – sweet and savoury, for celebration and daily bread – from almost every corner of the world.
I was hooked already after just reading the opening paragraph!
Jane carefully describes the ingredients she uses and gives you fantastic instructions on working with the dough, together with all the shaping techniques needed.
The hardest decision was deciding on which recipe to bake first! The book had been passed around my family quite a few times with all of them picking a recipe or two for me to bake first. To begin with there was always one ingredient missing from the recipes they had picked. However, on my next visit into town I remembered one ingredient that I didn’t have enough of, I purchased the missing item. I could now bake the first recipe …
I hope you enjoy reading how I get on with this challenge, I’m really looking forward to it and hopefully by the end I will have mastered bread making or at least ‘bun making’!