The Hairy Bikers' Bakation. by Dave Myers and Si King (Anglais) Relié – 1 mars 2012
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As you would expect with a television tie-in, this is a very visual book with lots of luxurious, bright images. Without a lot of fuss or flannel one is dropped straight in with the bikers' "European Bakeathon" with a visit to Norway and some very tasty looking breads and pies to get your teeth into. Then it is a trip to the Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg, Germany, Slovakia, Hungary, Romania, Austria, Italy, France and Spain.
Each recipe is accompanied by a full-page illustration showing the finished dish in all of its glory. The recipes themselves are fairly easy to follow and are accompanied by a brief introduction to the dish in question and a bit of chat. Then it is straight to the ingredients and then detailed instructions of how to make the dish.
The instructions themselves are fairly clear to follow and you are not being confused by technical cookery terms or other diversionary things that some books seem to do. However this reviewer found that the font used was too small, too light and (in some parts) too lightly coloured to make it comfortable to view from a distance. A little more thought in the layout process would have made a world of difference, particularly for those with "middle-aged" eyes!
One omission noted, however, is the lack of a recommendation for equivalent ingredients of times where it might be difficult to get an exact product, such as a cheese type, in your home market. Of course, it is good that they strive for accuracy and use the local produce, but for such a book it would not be hard to come up with a suggested "near alternative".
Fortunately, the "celebrity" overload that often accompanies such television tie-ins books is missing which is a BIG positive difference that means that the book can be a lot more timeless and more mainstream. There are a wide range of different recipes to try so one will not be easily tired of it and it can also serve as a good introduction to continental bread and cakes rather than being "just a tie-in".
Some thought has been given at the end of the book as well, with a list of all the recipes being presented broken down into their own category (biscuits, breads and so on). After that there is a very comprehensive and well thought-out index that lets you drill down through key ingredients as well as the usual search terms.
A few niggles with this book, but overall it is a very capable addition to the kitchen library, especially for those who may have a bit of a sweet-tooth!
UPDATE: I'm not entirely sure that the recipes have been as thoroughly tested as in the excellent pie book. The Spanish Rustic Bread dough was very, very wet - it needed about five good handfuls of flour to make the dough workable. The end result, however, was delicious.
UPDATE again: I've just made the Norwegian Rye Bread: as with all rye breads it's pretty sticky and a fair amount of white flour was used to make the dough mostly workable during kneading. Yet again, the end result is absolutely delicious.