Book review: The Great Australian Baking Book

Edited by Helen Greenwood, Tim Harper and Ruth Hobday

Echo Publishing, July 2017, 300p., ISBN: 9781760405717 RRP $39.95

There’s nothing like baking to show a little love.

Baking for someone is an indulgent made-to-order way of saying that you care.

There’s no ‘standard fit’ for baking. Everyone has their own favourite dish, determined by taste, culture, flavour palate and food intolerances.

The Great Australian Baking Book covers many bases. An eclectic mix of 165 vintage and new Aussie baked dishes, it includes favourites from our childhood, featured in The Great Australian Cookbook, with 90 new sweet and savoury recipes, including raw, gluten and sugar-free treats for the modern diner.

Native ingredients and cosmopolitan influences also gain a place in this must-have kitchen companion, showcasing our unique heritage. From lamingtons, pavlova, sausage rolls and scones to quince tart, kindlech and baklawa, this collection not only gives us the tried and true, but it also presents us with new classics.

Recipes from some of our finest bakers: Adriano Zumbo, Charmaine Solomon, Kylie Kwong, Maggie Beer, Margaret Fulton, Matt Moran, Neil Perry, Peter Gilmore, Peter Russell-Clarke and Stephanie Alexander join modern creations from luminaries such as Tara and Jeff Leong (The Nutrition Guru and The Chef), Amanda Brocket (The Raw Food Kitchen), Irena Macri (Eat Drink Paleo), and Cat Cannizzaro (WildRaw).

Baker’s notes at the beginning of the collection add the context of baking principles, pantry ingredients, methods, tips and tables, while a comprehensive index includes separate dairy-free, gluten-free, vegan and vegetarian sections.

Printed in durable hardcover, each recipe is accompanied by a full-page original photograph. Reg Mombassa’s artwork on the cover and endpapers depicts an Australian backyard, a figure in the window surveying the apron and tea towel hanging to dry on the Hills Hoist. In his nostalgic illustrations, the oven is full, with an Aussie pie baking. It’s a home filled with love where we cook from The Great Australian Baking Book.

Note: OzHarvest will receive royalties from sales of this book to support its work nourishing those in need.

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