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Flour with a Flourish! “Bread” – a review of Paul Hollywood’s new BBC2 TV series

March 19, 2013

Paul Hollywood template

Ol’Blue Eyes is back on the Beeb.  Of whom do I speak? Frank Sinatra? – NO I speak of Paul Hollywood (“aka the Silver Fox”) from the Great British Bake Off, who was back on the box last night, but this time with his own solo series!

Paul Hollywood the Breadmeister

Last night BBC2 aired the first part of Paul Hollywood’s new TV series “Bread”  – you’ll most likely have seen the accompanying book in bookshops for some little while now.  As I had already purchased Paul’s first book “How to Bake” sometime ago, I had resisted the temptation to buy the new one – but had allowed myself a quick flick through the pages in my local bookstore a couple of weekends back.    As beautifully as presented as this book is, it was not enough to make me change my mind and give my purse strings an airing 🙂

Bread by Paul Hollywood

However, Paul’s presentation and enthusiasm for his subject is totally beguiling and having watched part 1 of the series last evening I am now reconsidering!

Weird though it was to see Mr H without Mary Berry, I quite quickly forgot the “Bake Off” and enjoyed the “Breadmeister” at work!  Paul demonstrated how to make a basic “Bloomer” loaf, a Malted Loaf (and then a Malted Bread & Butter pudding), a Roasted Vegetable Picnic Loaf, a Rye Ale & Oat Bread and a “Trencher”.  Currently (March 2013), all the recipes are available on the BBC website.

All the recipes were demonstrated with clear instructions, and the background of some of the more unusual breads (eg: the Trencher) was explained.   The milling of the flour used to make the Rye, Ale & Oat Bread was subject of a short film and gave a fascinating insight into the heritage of bread-making processes in this country. Find out more about the mill Redbourne Mill here.

Rye Ale & Oat Bread

The only thing I didn’t like was that Paul delivered his commentary not directly to the camera, but rather to an invisible 3rd party in the room with him.  Apart from that, I loved this 30 minute programme and will definitely watch it again.

Did I learn anything? Well, yes I did!  Not least that you don’t need to pop a proving dough into an airing cupboard in order to get a satisfactory rise… though I do wonder what temperature that studio was – certainly our room temperature isn’t enough to do the job satisfactorily.

Today, I’ve read a number of newspaper’s reviews of the first episode online.  They’re very entertaining – not least those from The IndependentThe Guardian and Metro.  I watched the same programme, but clearly I am too much of a baker at heart – the double entendre was lost on me at the time – although it made me laugh to read this in retrospect.

Watch it… even if you don’t feel compelled to bake your own bread, you’ll get “something” from this programme 😉

Denise x

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