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Paul Hollywood Interviewed

Ruth Allan finds a baker with the Quays to the city

Written by . Published on April 29th 2013.

Paul Hollywood Interviewed

PAUL Hollywood is one of the planet’s most famous bakers right now. Just a couple of years ago he was a big name in bread, as supplier to Harrods through his own artisan bread company - click here.

Sourdough is going to get even bigger this year and crumpets seem to be doing quite well too.

But his real breakthrough came as one of the judges on the BBC2 hit show, The Great British Bake Off. 

With viewing figures of around 7.5 million, the show smashed all records for the channel and has proved to be one of its most lucrative global formats. 

In fact, should you visit Italy, Norway or any number of other countries around the world, you’ll witness folk cooking and sweating in front of replica Paul Hollywoods on screen. 

But there’s only one real Hollywood and the show has proved to be a springboard for Wirral-bred baker. 

The baker’s own series, Paul Hollywood’s Bread, has just finished on BBC2, and he’s got a best selling book, How to Bake, and a huge US baking show in the pipeline too. We caught up with him ahead of his appearance at the Lowry Outlet Food Festival (4-6 May) to share a little of his magic. 

Paul Hollywood is becoming very Hollywood. 

Your career seems to have gone nuts over the last few years – and now there’s a CBS show The American Baking Competition. Has that started yet?

It goes out across the US on 29 May. To be honest, I get recognised all the time in the UK now and when I was in New York recently, I got recognised in Times Square even though the new show hasn’t started yet. The plus side is that I get to have a couple of people to help me out now, to work on things I want to explore and test and trial recipes for me. 

A lot of people (myself included) use a bread maker. Do you think that’s cheating or is it still better than buying bread? 

Whatever gets people baking bread themselves is great. Sales of bread makers and bread machines went up 207% in 2012. It’s no coincidence that the expansion in numbers has happened at the same time as baking programmes like the Great British Bake Off and my programme, Paul Hollywood’s Bread. Home baking has been on the rise since the Bake Off started three years ago – and bread makers are cheaper than a mixer, but you can still use them as mixers. I recommend using them to experiment with getting a good recipe which you can then stick with, before moving onto more adventurous baking by hand. 

Each time I try to make bread, I end up covered in dough. How long does it take to get the hang of making bread by hand? For example, if I practised every day for a week would that work? 

To go from total novice to creating something good takes about five goes. A good way to start is to use a tin. The benefit of using a tin is that the bread can’t go anywhere, and once you are happy with your tin loaf, you can move onto shaping different shapes and trying new techniques. 

Do you have one key tip for aspiring bread makers making dough for the first time? 

Two ways to improve your bread making are making the dough wetter than you’d think, and prove it (what we’d call rising) for a good length of time. The slower the prove, the more flavoursome and better the bread - so you are actually better to place the bread in a cooler, rather than warmer place, so the proving process happens more gradually.   

Are there any big bread trends you think we should be looking forward to in 2013? 

Sourdough is going to get even bigger this year and crumpets seem to be doing quite well too. I made crumpets in my BBC2 series. They’re lovely things to make so I hope that people are making them at home as well as buying them. 

Your brother has a bakery in the Wirral – do you make it back often? 

He does. It’s called Born and Bread. I come back up as often as I can. We’re both from a family of bakers. Dad was a baker who had a chain of bakeries up the east coast and that’s how I got into it.  

Paul Hollywood is appearing at the Lowry Outlet Food Festival 2013 on Bank Holiday Monday 6 May. Tickets via www.ticketline.co.uk. £7 per session.  The inaugural festival will take place on the Centre’s Plaza and the MediaCityUK Piazza from Sat 4- Mon 6 May 2013. Other celebrity chefs taking part in demos and book signings include Gino D’Acampo and James Martin. Book tickets for all celebrity chef masterclasses can be booked here

Paul HollywoodPaul Hollywood

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AnonymousApril 29th 2013.

Fourth para:

"...in front of replica Paul Hollywood's on screen."

* Paul Hollywoods. (Plural, no apostrophe.)


Grammar Dick

1 Response: Reply To This...
EditorialApril 29th 2013.

Thanks Grandpa Richard. Changed

Angela SeagerApril 29th 2013.

I like the sound of Paul Hollywoods....plural....the more of this guy, the merrier! Well spotted Grammar Dick

SuzanneApril 29th 2013.

Can't wait to see him on Monday at the Lowry Food Festival! I'll be in the front row drooling!!!!!!

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