Crumb: The Baking Book – Ruby Tandoh
Chatto & Windus – 2014
Photography: Nato Welton

In the introduction of Crumb, Ruby Tandoh sets out the balance of tactile intuition and science that makes baking so special. This is a wonderfully involved and endlessly reliable baking book.

Throughout the book the text is easy to read and compelling. The step-by-step instructions are simple to follow and make baking a joy – it’s a wonderful book to cook from. There is a surprisingly good balance between sweet treats and savoury dishes and so many of the recipes are easy to adapt to your own taste. I was quite literally gasping with delight at the variety.

I really love the sections that I’ve been calling the “mistake pages” where Ruby tells you what you might have done wrong and how to correct, you get more than a recipe in Crumb you also get notes on how to improve! The attention to detail all the way through the book is wonderful.

The photography by Nato Welton is beautiful – clean and appetising. It makes you want to get stuck right in. There is so much written information that it can feel a little text-heavy at times. There are lots of descriptions and notes about the recipes, Crumb is a completely fascinating read if you love baking but might be a little daunting to a beginner.

My favourite recipes were the Stem Ginger Treacle Tart, the Rye Oat Digestives, the Spiced Aubergine & Swiss Chard Pie and the Cherry Spelt Loaves.

…But then there’s also the Chorizo & Kale Flatbread, the Stilton & Poppy Seed Crackers and the White Chocolate Hazelnut Couronne. So many things to try. I should also point out that anyone who introduces a Cherry Pie recipe as “Twin Peaks on a plate” is going to be my friend.

There are a lot of baking books around at the moment – for reliability, innovation and sheer joy, Crumb cannot be beaten.

Looking for Christmas gift ideas?
This would be the perfect gift for any baker. It’s innovative enough to have something to offer even the most hardened fan of bread and cakes.


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