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October 12, 2012

Food Friday Book Review: Mark Hix on Baking

By Spear's

A few years ago baking was a word written in pink glitter pen, surrounded by butterflies and covered in fairy dust. Oh, how times have changed

A few years ago baking was a word written in pink glitter pen, surrounded by butterflies and covered in fairy dust. Oh, how times have changed.

With the Fabulous Baker Boys laddishly challenging eachother to flour wars, Paul Hollywood apparently becoming a baking sex god and the Hairy Bikers getting down and dirty with pies, baking has become boy-friendly. Next to the delicate cookery books for girls with their pink edged paper and pastel hues, you now find big, meaty books for boys. With metal on the front. And bold, industrial type. Grr, manly.
So, this week saw Mark Hix launch his new book — Mark Hix On Baking — in the Cock ‘n’ Bull Gallery of his Tramshed restaurant in Shoreditch. Canapés were, helpfully, recipes from the book and I spotted foodie big-hitters Richard Vines, Ewan Venters and Chris Corbin merrily tucking in while flicking through the pages of their friend’s new publication.

And what of this book? Hix has run with a rather loose interpretation of ‘baking’ — going with pretty much anything you cook in an oven.

This isn’t a book full of cupcakes and meringues but it does have plenty of bread, biscuit, pastry and cake recipes – with the odd something or other en papillote. From pizza bianco and lahmacun, a delicious flatbread topped with Middle Eastern minced lamb, via madeleines and choux buns all the way through to divine looking crab and seashore vegetable tarts, this book has a terrific range of ideas.

The recipes are clear and simple with nice little notes on the side from Hix and the photography is great — lots of metal trays, rustic wood and heavy stone set against the gorgeous food.

This is a book that makes you want to grab your wellies, go fishing, shoot something, forage for some great produce on a crisp autumn afternoon, make a fire and get in the kitchen. Job done.

Mark Hix on Baking by Mark Hix
Quadrille Publishing
RRP £20
Photography by Jason Lowe

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