On Your Marks, Get Set, Bake!

By Kaley C.

Over the years, there have been many baking shows that captured the hearts of people. Cake Boss, Cupcake Wars, and Next Great Baker to name a few. But none are quite like The Great British Baking Show. I’ll admit, I’m one of the many who cannot resist tuning in to watch contestants who are deeply skilled and openly supportive of each other. I used to bake avidly, and something about their friendly demeanor and presentation of bakes made me start all over again. Here’s a few of my favorite baking cook books that I’ve sought out after rediscovering this hobby:

French Pastry 101French Pastry 101 – Betty Hung
Okay, after a season or two I was totally inspired to jump in feet first into patisserie. But truth be told, I have very basic baking skills and French pastry is a difficult place to start if no one is showing you the way! This book breaks it down with images and tips that make an intimidating bake accessible and prioritizes the tools you’ll need. I first and foremost appreciated those images, however. It really makes a difference when you are unsure if the steps you’ve taken are working correctly since pastry requires some patience.

CrumbCrumbRuby Tandoh
GBBO finalist Ruby Tandoh was one of my favorite contestants in the history of the show. Just as I’ve enjoyed her presence on the program, her cookbook shows her very practical dishes and celebrating delicious food. She showcases a range of bakes from sweet to savory and of course, Ruby’s favorite: breads. I’m personally a huge fan of the ginger tart recipe that can be found in it!

Teeny's Tour of PieTeeny’s Tour of Pies – Teeny Lamothe
There’s a good chance I will purchase this book, I’ve check it out so many times! The recipe for earl gray pie and bourbon bacon pecan pie are two of my go-to recipes. Teeny embarked on a cross-country journey to learn as much about pie as possible. I found it to be so helpful when I just started baking pies. Her book is divided into seasons so you can pick recipes year-round to satisfy either your sweet tooth or embrace the savory side of life. I once even e-mailed Teeny about temperatures when baking in cast iron since, at the time, I hadn’t owned any pie tins.

First Prize PiesFirst Prize PiesAllison Kave
If it’s not obvious already, I really love pies. I didn’t even have cake at my wedding, opting for pies instead. Author Allison also shares her love and passion for pie backing in this recipe book including her ribbon-winning recipes. She has a detailed introductory section full of tips about what tools she finds valuable and the most important thing about a pie: crust. She then shares recipes of various crusts including traditional dough, cornmeal, and crumb crusts to really help you build your pie foundation. Then her recipes are organized by each month of the year.

I’ve also got my eye on the soon-to-be released baking book by another charismatic Great British Bake Off contestant, Liam. You can request (after signing in) his book “Cheeky Treats” as well, if you wish! Feel free to share your favorites with me as I’m always on the hunt for something new to bake!

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One response to “On Your Marks, Get Set, Bake!”

  1. Lindsey A. says:

    I need to watch more baking shows where people are actually skilled bakers. I’ve watched so much Nailed It on Netflix that I tune into the regular shows thinking, “Why doesn’t that cake look like garbage?”

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