Archive for January, 2014

Photoshoots, NTA’s and Titchmarsh . . .

Posted on: January 28th, 2014 by Harriet Low No Comments

Hi guys,

 I can’t believe January is nearly over, but at the same time Christmas seems such a long time ago. January has been non-stop for me preparing for all the big events I have on this year.

One of the first jobs this year, was a photoshoot for next year’s calendar, as well as creating more images for the website and for my tour programme. I even got to dress up in my leathers and pose with my bike which was brilliant fun. Keep an eye on my website and Facebook page for a sneaky peak at some of the pics from this day.

I have also been spending some time in my own kitchen, having fun trying out different recipes for the tour. As well as some classics I want to showcase some brand new recipes. These recipes will be available in the tour programme, so those attending can take them home and try them out themselves.

Amongst all this baking and behind the scenes stuff I got to enjoy a glamorous night out last week at the National Television Awards. Despite being nominated for an award, sadly the GBBO team walked away empty handed, however, I had a seriously fun night out with my Bake Off family. I also got the opportunity to meet some brilliant people, including my hero Ricky Gervais. Check out my Facebook page where I have an album of selfies I took on the night!

I also appeared on The Alan Titchmarsh Show this month. It was a really fun day and I got the opportunity to show him how to make my Sausage Plait from my Pies & Puds book.

February looks to be another busy month, with my second newsletter being sent out to all the lovely people who have signed up. The newsletter has news, interviews, lots of tips from me, as well an exclusive recipe that I have designed especially for the newsletter. The recipe this time is something nice to enjoy on Valentine’s Day! If you haven’t already signed up then please visit the home page to add your details, or click the box on my Facebook page.

Happy Baking Paul x

Sourdough Starter

Posted on: January 20th, 2014 by Karl Hudson No Comments

Stage 1. Mix 500g of the flour with the apple and water. Tip this into an airtight container and mark the level on the outside of the container (so you can see whether the mix has risen). Cover and leave to ferment for 3 days.

Stage 2. After 3 days the mix should start to smell quite sweet, a bit like cider. It will be a little darker in colour and will have started to grow; it may also have some bubbles. Check the level against the mark you made on the outside to see how much it has grown. Discard half the mix and add another 250g bread flour and 170ml water – this is called ‘feeding’. Mix thoroughly in the bowl. Tip back into the container and leave for a further 2 days.

Stage 3. There should now be plenty of activity in the dough, indicated by lots of small bubbles. If there is nothing happening, look at the side of the container – you’ll be able to see whether the dough has risen and fallen by the smearing on the side. If it has risen and fallen, then it is active. If your starter is active but has sunk down in the tub and a layer of liquid has formed on top, then it is actually over-active. Stir in some more flour to return it to a thick consistency and leave for a day. It should regain the thick, bubbly texture you want. If there is no sign of rising on the container, and no bubbles, leave the dough for a couple more days.

Once your starter is active, discard half of it, as before, and mix in another 250g bread flour and enough water to return it to the consistency of a very wet, sloppy dough. This time leave it for 24 hours. If the starter begins to bubble within this time, then it is ready to use. Ideally, when you come to use it, you want to starter to be thick and bubbly. If you shake it, it should wobble like a jelly, without dropping down. When you put a spoon through it, it should be like a thick batter. If your starter is not bubbling, feed it again, following stage two, and leave it for a further 2 days.

If you are using your starter often, you can leave it at room temperature, feeding it at least every 3 days and whenever you take some to make bread. Simply stir in some strong white bread flour and enough water to return it to the consistency of a very wet dough, bearing in mind that you will need 500g starter for each recipe. Then leave it, covered, until it achieves that thick, bubbly, jelly-like stage. If you are making sourdough less often – say, once a month – then keep the starter, covered, in the fridge. This will slow down the activity and preserve it almost indefinitely, but you must let it come back to room temperature before use. If it seems to be inactive, give it a feed of fresh flour – the bacteria within it are living so they need feeding.

Meat and Potato Pie

Posted on: January 12th, 2014 by Harriet Low No Comments

1. First make the filling. Put the onions and steak in a large pan. Add enough water to just cover them and bring to a simmer. Cover with a lid, reduce the heat and simmer very gently for 1½ hours.

2. Add the potatoes to the pan, along with some salt and pepper, and cook for a further 30-35 minutes or until the potatoes are soft and the meat is tender. The gravy should be nicely thickened by the potatoes. Check the seasoning.

3. Pour off 300-600ml of liquid from the pan – enough to leave the filling nicely moist but not swimming in liquid – and save this to serve as gravy with the pie. Transfer the filling to a 1.2 litre pie dish and leave to cool completely.

4. Heat your oven to 200°C/gas6.

5. To make the suet pastry, combine the flour and suet in a large bowl with some salt and pepper. Add most of the water and mix to a soft, slightly sticky dough with one hand, adding more water as needed. Leave to stand for 5 minutes.

6. On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough to around 7-8mm thickness. Cut a 2cm wide strip of pastry. Dampen the rim of the pie dish with water. Stick the pastry strip onto the rim and dampen this too. Lay the sheet of pastry on top. Press down the edges to seal and crimp or flute them, trimming off excess pastry.

7. Bake the pie for 30-40 minutes until the pastry is golden brown. Leave to stand for 10-15 minutes before serving.


Taken from Paul Hollywood’s Pies & Puds, published by Bloomsbury

Photograph © Peter Cassidy

Happy New Year

Posted on: January 8th, 2014 by Harriet Low No Comments

Hi guys,

Happy New Year!

I hope you all had a fabulous and indulgent Christmas. I had a wonderful time in the mountains, but am now back at home preparing for a packed 2014.

This year I am launching my Cookery School. Whether you are an amateur baker wanting to learn the basics, or a passionate baker wanting to develop your skills, you can join me for a day of baking fun and instruction. During a day of bread making I will show you what makes a good bake, whilst demonstrating key techniques. Each course will cover three different bakes that you will be able to take away and share with your family and friends. The first course is taking place at the end of January and I can’t wait. Further courses and dates will be announced soon, so keep an eye on my Facebook and Twitter pages. All courses will take place near Canterbury in Kent.

Next week Sport Relief Bake Off 2014 will be on the telly. We had the best fun making this show, struggling to judge because of all the laughing. The line-up this year is brilliant and includes two Olympians, a Bond girl, a pop star and a witch! For more info on who’s taking part check out As well as my buddy Sue Perkins, this year we have three guest presenters helping out, previous Sport Relief Bake Off contestants Ed Byrne and Jo Brand, and comedian Omid Djalili. As you can imagine Mary and I had a complete blast judging.

The most exciting thing about 2014 for me is my first ever live tour. I can’t wait to get cooking with you all and share some of my stories. If you haven’t got your tickets yet, then visit the Tour page to see where I will be appearing.

Happy Baking Paul x

Grain Art – Windmill

Posted on: January 6th, 2014 by Karl Hudson No Comments

A simple yet beautiful line drawing which younger kids can use as a colouring sheet. If you have more time or older kids you could glue on grains, lentils, pasta or recycled paper. Click here for the fun to begin.


Posted on: January 6th, 2014 by Karl Hudson No Comments

We’ve all heard that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, but do we know why? Help your students investigate just how important breakfast is by Clicking here. Plus use the vox-pox videos to explore breakfasts from around the world; and more video footage can help your class design individual healthy and tasty breakfasts to keep them going till lunchtime.