Paul Hollywood How to Bake

Last updated date: December 28, 2022

DWYM Score

9.0

Paul Hollywood How to Bake

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We looked at the top Baking Cookbooks and dug through the reviews from some of the most popular review sites. Through this analysis, we've determined the best Baking Cookbook you should buy.

Update as December 28, 2022:
Checkout The Best Baking Cookbook for a detailed review of all the top baking cookbooks.

Overall Take

You’ll get tested-and-proven techniques in this cookbook, written by the star of Netflix’s Great British Baking Show. The recipes are easy to follow and include breads, pastries, cakes and biscuits. Step-by-step recipes and detailed ingredients lists make this cookbook great for even beginners.


In our analysis of 40 expert reviews, the Paul Hollywood How to Bake placed 3rd when we looked at the top 10 products in the category. For the full ranking, see below.

From The Manufacturer

From the star of Netflix’s Great British Baking Show, a delicious, easy to follow cookbook for every home chef who wants to avoid soggy pie bottoms or win star baker. Paul Hollywood was the son of a baker long before he became a household name as a judge on The Great British Baking Show. Raised to make perfect breads, scones, and sponges, he advanced from his father’s kitchen to become head baker at hotels around the world. As he worked, Hollywood became passionate about busting the myths that surround baking, sharing his finely honed skills, and showing that with the right guidance, anybody can achieve success time after time. Now, in How to Bake, Hollywood introduces readers to his tried and true techniques. He has filled this book with easy-to-follow, clearly explained, utterly delicious recipes for an abundance of breads, pastries, cakes and biscuits from ciabatta to focaccia and fresh croissants to a classic Victoria sponge. As they say on Great British Baking Show: “Ready, Set, BAKE!”

Expert Reviews

Expert Summarized Score

8.6
4 expert reviews

User Summarized Score

9.6
4,937 user reviews

What experts liked

Hollywood has a way of comprehensively describing a recipe’s process without overwhelming. The step by step photos of pastry-making and folding techniques are almost worth it alone. Excellent variety of recipes.
- Good Reads
Has detailed ingredients, and methods are discussed step-by-step so that there is little confusion and you get the best out of the book.
- PokPokSom
The instructions are clear and the photography is clean and simple, the way I like it. It's a really lovely book to just pick up and read through.
- Crumbs & Corkscrews
The recipes are clear, and the directions are easy to read and follow. For those of you who are like me, a total novice, then the book’s first section will be a huge help since Paul takes you through some important bread-making Terminology with helpful pictures.
- The Tea Treatery

What experts didn't like

No translation of British ingredients, i.e. strong flour, self-rising flour, certain brands of chocolate, etc. Also no explanation of croissant vs danish vs puff pastry, and all he says about filo is that it's very difficult to make yourself and to just buy it.
- Good Reads
Since it is directed more towards baking bread, I might not recommend it for those who have no interest in bread making.
- The Tea Treatery

An Overview On Baking Cookbooks

Baking is a science, particularly when you’re dealing with sensitive foods like breads. In recent years, researchers have even worked to better understand how dough rises and deforms. This helps with finding ingredients and cooking techniques that can make baking easier.

Whether you’re new to baking or trying to level up your skills, a baking cookbook can be a big help. There are options available to beginners, as well as more advanced cookbooks with recipes for those with significant experience with a rolling pin. Whatever your level, though, a cookbook with step-by-step instructions and full-color photos can be a big help.

First, you’ll need to invest in the right products. Baking sheets, mixers and, of course, a good oven will help cover all the basics. You’ll also need some parchment paper, waxed paper and oven mitts. A good apron can help protect your clothing from stray bits of flour and dough while you work.

One thing to keep in mind when you’re learning to bake is that every failure is an opportunity to learn. If your dough doesn’t rise or the consistency is slightly off, make a note of what you can do differently next time and do just that. If you’re baking from a cookbook, insert a sticky note or slip of paper detailing how the recipe turned out and what you think you should try differently next time.

Before any cooking session, it’s important to double check and make sure you have all the ingredients. An entire recipe can be derailed because of one missing ingredient. You’ll also need to check all the pots and pans you’ll need to make your baked goods. Over time, you’ll purchase enough items that your kitchen will be well stocked and prepared for all your baking attempts.

The Baking Cookbook Buying Guide

  • Baked goods don’t just include breads and cookies. You can make cookie bars, brownies, blondies, cakes, pies and pretzels. You might want to start with easier baked items like chocolate chip cookies and gradually work your way toward more complicated recipes that require letting the dough rise.
  • A cookbook doesn’t have to limit itself to recipes. Some even build in cooking tips and techniques to help you learn as you try out new creations.
  • The youngest members in your family can join in on the fun, too. There are cookbooks for kids. All you’ll need to do is find a way for your children to be able to comfortably work, perhaps on a shorter table. This can instill skills that will stick with them for a lifetime.
  • Outdoor temperatures can affect how some baked goods turn out. Warm, rainy weather can be particularly concerning when cooking with dry ingredients. The humidity in the surrounding air can soak into products like flour and cause clumping. Cakes might deflate when air pressure is too low. Strategically adding ingredients and adjusting cooking techniques can help compensate for these issues.
  • When measuring dry ingredients, use cups and spoons. Liquid ingredients should be measured using a clear liquid measuring cup specifically designed for that purpose.
  • It can be tempting to switch up the order of adding ingredients, but some recipes are specifically designed for items to be added in a certain order. Try to follow the order of ingredients faithfully.
  • As you get more comfortable baking, you can start to experiment. You might substitute or add ingredients to a recipe from your favorite cookbook or lessen the cooking time to make a baked good chewier or softer.
  • Ovens can vary in temperature. Pay attention to how your baked goods do compared to what the recipe seems to expect. Over time, you’ll start to learn your oven’s heat variances and adjust all your recipes accordingly.