Paul Hollywood loves bread.
That may be obvious to fans of Netflix’s “The Great British Baking Show” judge, who is known for his harsh criticism of baked goods, spiky silver hair and his patent “Hollywood handshake” of endorsement for lucky candidates. But even when the cameras aren’t rolling, Hollywood really, really likes to talk about bread.
Fresh off filming the new season of ‘Baking’, or ‘Bakeoff’ as it’s known in the UK, the judge and accomplished pastry chef was ready to talk all about baking – especially bread – during his a video call from his home in Kent, south-east England. .
RECIPE: Paul Hollywood’s Lime Meringue Pie is a twist on the classic lemon meringue
Hollywood talks about sourdough, her favorite bread, how “it took me a long time” to come up with the perfect recipe for her new cookbook, “Bake: My Best Ever Recipes for the Classics.” He says he traveled across the United States to learn about famous bakeries like Tartine in San Francisco and Sullivan’s in New York, where he was skeptical of their famous no-knead bread, but was then “amazed at how ‘was good”. He talks about his favorite and idyllic life of eating daily baguettes for breakfast in Paris.
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Bread features prominently in “Bake” (now on sale, Bloomsbury, 302 pp), Hollywood’s first cookbook in five years, as it’s a compendium of her favorite and most essential recipes. . But there are also pies, cakes, desserts and other treats in the book, in which he tries to perfect classic recipes, a project he started to play with during downtime while filming. of “Baking” in a bubble necessitated by the pandemic.
“We were inside this really nice hotel for seven weeks together. (Co-judge) Prue (Leith) who was writing his book, (co-host) Matt (Lucas) was doing scripts for something and I think the same with (co-host) Noel Fielding,” Hollywood said. “I had all this time after the tent, going back to my room, I was like, ‘I’m going to do this. I’m going to do another book, right? It’s been five years, it’s about time. I been too lazy.'”
So how does Hollywood tinker with recipes as timeless as blueberry muffins, sandwich bread or beef empanadas?
“Salt levels are reduced, sugar levels are reduced,” he says. “I ended up rewriting a lot of the original recipes and just tweaking them and making them better.”
Hollywood is confident that home bakers will be able to tackle its recipes, even if they seem too difficult or complicated on the surface. The recipes are “simple because every step is simple. It’s just that when you put it all together, you look at it and you’re like, ‘Oh, that’s a lot.'”
Across 12 seasons of ‘Baking’ so far (only 10 have been made available in the US), Hollywood has judged dozens of creations from bakers of pastry-loving wizzes from across the UK This season. year has already wrapped filming, and he says the new contestants are “a great baker’s standard.” Although Judge, who has become a bigger face on the show over time, was more excited to talk about filming the comedy skit that traditionally came to open a new season of the show.
“We just did the opening (sketch) last week, which is hilarious. I can’t tell you too much about it, but (we’re) very funny.”
Hollywood may be a famous face on the show (he says he was “shocked” by how often he was recognized in the US), but he doesn’t think he has to be on it for still.
“I’d like to see ‘Bakeoff’ continue when I’m good and gone. I’d like it to continue forever,” he says. “A new iteration in the future when I’m too old and crumbly, and someone is going to take my place. I think it deserves to stay.”
He’s really passionate about getting people to cook, whether it’s through the show or his book.
“I want the book to be covered in flour, dough and butter and all the pages glued together. I want it to be a worn and worn book,” he says. “I want people to write notes in the keynotes on the side and just say, ‘I’m going to change that. I think I’d like them to master the recipes first, then tweak it and make it a family favorite.”
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