- Hardcover: 336 pages
- Publisher: Ten Speed Press; First Edition edition (April 28, 2015)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1607748363
- ISBN-13: 978-1607748366
- Product Dimensions: 7.2 x 1.3 x 9.7 inches
- Shipping Weight: 2.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 59 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #109,078 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Crumb: A Baking Book Hardcover – April 28, 2015
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About the Author
RUBY TANDOH is a weekly food columnist for the Guardian and has written for British Elle. At the age of twenty, she was the youngest ever contestant on The Great British Bake Off, where she impressed judges and viewers alike with her creative approach to ingredients and her focus on flavor over decoration. Tandoh lives—and bakes—in north London.
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The short blurb in bold face on this product page is absolutely correct, and sums up the book so well: "...a focus on charming, flavorful, and practical dishes...the pleasure of casual baking."
This is truly a baking book worth working through--recipe by recipe. Even the Sweet Dough chapter of buns, doughnuts, coffee cakes and more--things I'm not usually interested in--is luring me, especially the Coconut Lime Loaf..... There is not a single one that I want to pass by. (Well, to be honest, I will pass on the fried doughnuts, the Danish rolls and the coffee cake.) And I'm afraid to make any of the crackers (but I will)....because I would want to keep them to myself and eat them all before company arrives. And this is all before the "Decadent Dessert" chapter with cheesecakes, meringues, custards and sponge puddings.
Something I want to mention right off the bat, because it is a real plus for some: This author is conscious of small and/or minimally equipped kitchens.
Plenty of instruction. An astonishing amount of tips and helpful hints! This author likes to teach, and her writing is personable and earnest. She also has a humorous approach to the inevitable baking persnicketies, like uneven cake layers, whipping cream "calamities" and inevitable calories. You get more than the recipe, and there is plenty of troubleshooting and lots of tips.
There is a superb assortment of recipes: Cakes divided into cupcakes, loaf, "everyday" and sponge. There are simple, but unique, offerings. Then there are few complex recipes to give you a challenge, like the Coffee Black Currant Opera Cake, a take on a French patisserie classic. There are everyday breads that can be shaped different ways, flatbreads, brioche and more. Beautiful cookies and crackers--sweet and savory are represented. There are pie doughs, and sweet and savory pies. (Her Chicken, Pale Ale and Chicory Pie is a real keeper.)
Unusual combinations that work: The Morning Muffins are really good: Grapefruit Zest in the batter and a section of grapefruit on top of each one. Rye flour in the Apple Upside-Down Cake. Caraway and poppy seeds in a carrot cake. A seeded (one medium) loaf bread with one cup of seeds! There is even a soda bread with whole wheat flour, brown sugar and buttermilk. I make stolen for everyone (even the rotten neighbors) at Christmas, and this Cherry Stollen with Pistachio Marzipan is one I can't wait to try. Orange Lemon Coconut Cookies and the Tahini Lemon Cookies will be on my Holiday cookie platter.
Recipes come with imperial and metric measurements. Definitely take a trip through the "Look Inside" feature of this book. The publishers, Ten Speed Press, really do a fine job of giving the potential buyer an true indication of what the book is like. In the "Look Inside", you will be able to check out the recipe page layout, type style and size, the author's writing style (and some of her great tips), and the quality of photos.
Substitutions are provided when appropriate: The Gooseberry Elderflower Cake looked heavenly, but I knew I'd never find gooseberries....Then I turned the page and found viable substitutions.
Lovely photography, not a "finished dish" photo for every recipe, but almost--more than half.
I have so many cookbooks in my collection--and a whole two shelves of baking books--that I very seldom buy new cookbooks, but I will be indulging myself with this one!
It would make a wonderful gift: For a new baker, an old baker, yourself. It really does cross all baking boundaries! I highly recommend it! You cannot go wrong with this one.
*I received a temporary download of this book from the publisher, and have been working with it for several months now.
I have enjoyed every aspect of this book, from the ingredient and technique details, to Ruby’s personalized baking tips, to the recipes themselves. In Crumb you’ll find a variety of recipes familiar enough to feel manageable but with a taste that elevates it beyond common fare. A few ingredients required research - for the Chicken and Pale Ale pie, chicory is sold in the US as “Belgian endive,” and for most of the recipes superfine sugar can be tough to find and fairly pricey here, so a dedicated coffee or spice grinder could prove useful for making your own. Also please notice that all the bread recipes call for instant yeast, while most of us are used to working with Dry Active Yeast; she gives advice on adjusting accordingly but it will depend on your yeast, water, kitchen, etc., so if you plan to bake a lot it’s worth investing in a block of instant yeast to store in the freezer. I made the chocolate and hazelnut couronne with milk chocolate instead of white, which was extremely good - like a Nutella bread. The Sticky Toffee Pudding is an explosion of sweet and comforting flavors without being tough on the jaw or your teeth, while her chicken pie was such a hit it’s been put in frequent dinner rotation. I’ve got three more recipes lined up to try in the coming week and can’t wait!
I have made Ruby's Custard, Donots, Basic Rolls and Breakfast muffins!
My Australian PhD Committee member said they reminded her of what she had growing up. I will definitely be making more of her recipes!
You might have to go to speciality stores for some of her ingredients but you can always substitute with what you have in your pantry!