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My favourite cookbooks this year

December 10, 2014

books

I love books, the only problem I have with them I don’t have enough time to use them as much as I want.

This was a good year, as I restricted my purchases to only essentials and I’ve cooked from the books I bought. That feels good.

I thought I will share with you my favourite books, I’ve bought this year.

Ottolenghi

Jerusalem, Yotam Ottolenghi

I was so late with Yotam’s books. I’ve seen bloggers praising Jerusalem for the whole previous year, but I wasn’t sure if I should buy it. There was something that was telling me I may not like it, that it’s not my cup of tea, but I was sooo wrong.

That’s our favourite book so far. If I want to convince Tomek into cooking during the weekend I tell him to pick a recipe from it.

The book is so pretty. There is something approachable about the design, the cover has nice, old-fashioned texture. Almost every person that opened it really enjoyed it from the very first minute. The flavours are hit as always with Yotam. If you are not sure if you should buy it, just check Yotam’s column.

Plenty More, Yotam Ottolenghi

After a few happy months with Jerusalem, I bought Plenty More. It fits nicely in my veggie book section. I really like the idea of breaking up the recipe based on the method of cooking. In winter I tend to skip into roasted or mashed section, rather than tossed.

Just to warn you, that book has very different feel. The cover is simple.

Breads

Brilliant Bread, James Morton

That is my favourite bread book. I was raving about it here. The book is perfect for beginners. James talk you through all bread tips and tricks, but he will challenge you as well, so more advanced bread bakers won’t be bored. The book covers a little bit of everything – simple breads for start, breads with chunks, sourdoughs for the challenge, enriched sweet doughs, etc. I’ve never used a cookbook so insivenly like this one. It’s like having a friend teaching you how to make bread, no fuss, no jargon, just water and flour. Don’t forget to try Pain de Provence.

Dough, Richard Bertinet

I have mixed thoughts on this book, only because the way recipes are broken down. You have a section on white breads. You have a basic recipe first and then you are presented with different variations of the recipe, shapes, flavours and such, but it always refer to basic recipe, so you end up flicking through the book back and forth. But on the other side it’s cool, as you can learn that one type of dough can make plenty different breads and buns.

This honey and lavender bread was huge hit on the blog and the leftover pesto bread is so pretty.

Maria Elia

The Modern Vegetarian: Food adventures for the contemporary palate, Maria Elia
Full of Flavour: Create . . . How to Think Like a Chef, Maria Elia

I’ve heard about Maria Elia from my favourite blogger Bea. I bought “Full of Flavour” and I fall in love with Maria’s flavour combinations. They are simple ingredients, just in a slightly different set up – like the lavender and orange syrup cake or bean, tomatoes and butternut squash chicken.

Scandinavian Cooking

That’s the latest and least used book from the list – Secrets of Scandinavian Cooking …: Scandilicious by Signe Johansen. I was drawn into Scandinavian cooking for a while. Some flavours are similar to Polish ones, like the love for herrings. I love idea of fika and I love adding cardamom while I cook. In this book there is more than enough sweet recipes I want to try. So far I went with savoury – pickled herrings, that I promised to put on the blog and then ate it and an oat bread.

What are your favourite cookbooks this year?

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2 Comments

  • Reply Marta (@DublinNewGirl) December 12, 2014 at 09:57

    Absolutely adore all the books you listed! I would add Ariana Bundy and her Pomegranates and Roses: My Persian Family Recipes. I love the way it’s part cookbook part culinary memoir where she pays tribute to the rich heritage and culinary that has shaped her approach to life and cooking.

    • Reply Magda December 13, 2014 at 14:19

      Marta, that sounds great, I will have a look. The cover and layout looks amazing.

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