Cookery Books:
Hollywood Baking
29 January 2018

¶ New to me: Paul Hollywood. A colleague of Kathleen’s asked for his book, Bread, at Christmas, and was given two copies. So he kindly passed one of them on to me. I’ve been reading it for weeks, but without making anything. Finally, this weekend, I gave something a try — but it wasn’t a recipe for bread. Hollywood’s gimmick is to pair every bread recipe with one for a dish, generally savory, to compose a satisfying meal. Aside from a very interesting-looking grilled lamb, served on a trencher (bread designed to serve as a plate), there isn’t much other meat, although bacon pops up now and again. There’s a brioche crown in which mozzarella and prosciutto are rolled up together, and the recommended accompaniment is a salad of roast butternut squash. 

I was curious about the squash, so I made that. Just the squash, not the salad. The recipe called for lots of cumin and red-pepper flakes, which I put in, and hot chilis, which I didn’t. The cubes of squash took about ten minutes longer to roast than Hollywood said they would, which was good to know in case I ever make the salad, which also involves sautéed bok choi. I heaped a few bits of the roast squash on our dinner plates on Saturday night, along with buttered tortellini and perfectly grilled London broil. The squash was tasty, but disappointing, because I had let it cool, so that was another lesson: the squash is meant to be hot. I was going to pitch the remainder — I had intended an experiment, after all — but I ended up putting it in a baggie. I’ll purée it with some broth and heat it up. 

What I plan to tackle next is Hollywood’s recipe for Stilton and bacon rolls. That comes with a celery soup that I also hope to make.


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