On your marks, get set,

Baaaaaaaaaake!!!! So you’ve been watching Great British Bake Off haven’t you? Let me guess. You got caught in the baking frenzy too.  Or perhaps you already bake a lot, and watching the show on Channel 4, debating it on An Extra Slice and seeing those incredible creations coming to life in the tent has given you the confidence to make your own wedding cake (I have some useful guidelines for your DYI wedding cake by the way, HERE).

Hands up if you are caught up in the Bake Off frenzy

Anyhow, I get it. I bake for a living now. Yet I still get over enthusiastic and try new recipes when Bake Off comes along (I think chocolate mini rolls are on the cards for today). If you fancy joining in, here’s a list of top baking books – tried and tested – to help you reach star baker status. Obviously this list is ionly my personal opinion. But I have used all those books over and over again so I can vouch that the recipes are clear, and actually work (which is not always the case, I can also vouch about this from experience).

a small but perfectly formed collection of baking and cooking books

11 baking books worthy of a star baker

  • Kitchen Secrets – Raymond Blanc
  • Baklava to Tarte Tatin, a world tour in 110 dessert recipes – Bernard Laurance
  • Sweet – James Martin
  • Patisserie – Christophe Felder
  • Great British Bake Off, How to Bake – Recipes from the contestants

  • At Home – Heston Blumenthal
  • Pastry – Richard Bertinet
  • Hello cupcakes – Alan Richardson and Karen Tack
  • Pastry – Michel Roux
  • Couture Chocolate – William Curley
  • Fou de Patisserie  – Monthly  (yes I know it’s a magazine, but it’s too good not to be on the list)

Second hand baking and cake decorating books? Simply the best!

Those are all fairly old books now (I’m writing this in 2017). This means you should be able to get them second hand with a bit of luck for a bargain, or new at reduced prices. Second hand baking and cooking books are brilliant, You know why? Because you can see which recipes have been used over and over again by how the pages are cornered or a little sticky. And often you’ll find lots of annotations, even sometimes extra recipes, hand written and hidden between the pages. Cook books and baking books definitely have a soul and a story to tell. Good luck with all your baking efforts.

Over to you

Which one of your cook books would tell the biggest story about how you bake or cook?