Like most families, we have built up a rather extensive collection of cookery books over the years. Some are barely opened (despite the best of intentions) whilst others are well used and splattered with ingredients. The ones I use most are annotated with recipe modifications, notes about when we tried the dishes and how we rated them. In this post, I thought I would share with you five books that have stood the test of time and are still used again and again.
1) Richard Bertinet – Dough
I’ve mentioned Richard Bertinet so much on this blog that he’s probably got a restraining order on me. My sister went on a bread-making course with him about 7 years ago and that one weekend changed bread forever for our family. I regularly refer to Richard’s original bread book Dough for ideas and inspiration and recommend it to anyone who wants to start baking at home.
2) Recipes (self-published)
A few years ago I collected up all the scraps of paper I have with recipes on them, scanned them and put them together as a Blurb book. Now everything I need from the recipe for walnut cake written down by a family friend to the quantities for white sauce I scribbled a post stick note are in one place. Now this might not seem like a terribly helpful recommendation, but actually it is, because all of us can make our own recipe books and pull together the collections of ideas we have amassed over the years
3) Delia Smith – Complete Illustrated Cookery Course
It would be sacrilege to put together this list without including Saint Delia. I honestly don’t know where I’d be without her pavlova recipe (p. 514-15) which I make several times every summer for parties. It’s a doddle to put together and always impresses. I’m also a big fan of her Lemon Surprise Pudding (p. 526) and Stuffed Pork Tenderloin (p.135)
4) Isidora Popovic – Popina Book Of Baking
Since I discovered Isidora’s recipe for shortcrust pastry (p. 105) I have stopped resting and blind baked pastry entirely. All you do is throw the ingredients in the food processor and use the pastry away – my kind of baking! Also recommended are the Chocolate Chip Cookies (p. 14) though I recommend you descrease baking time to 15 minutes and Aubergine, Red Pepper & Tomato tart (p. 112)
5) Good Food. 500 Triple Tested Recipes.
I picked this up in the cookery book section in Tesco years ago reduced from £25 to £6.99. My favourite recipes include Easy Chicken & Spinach Pie (P. 43) & Pumpkin Pasta (P. 144) which we make several times every autumn substituting the pumpkin for butternut squash. I haven’t yet found a single duff recipe in the whole book.
Written for Tesco