Paul Hollywood How To Bake

This book, like the others he has brought out, is clean and crisp. There are sufficient photos to keep your enthusiasm up, and they have been composed by a master of art – the pictures are an absolute delight. The recipes are mostly straightforward and enticing, but again and again I find myself studying the photos.

The ripped open coriander, olive and onion bread loaf or the roughly sliced Stilton and Pecan twist; or the teacakes with butter gently melting into the soft yet tasty crumb are practically bread porn.

And so to baking

Then I go to the kitchen and find the sliced loaf I grabbed from the supermarket on the way home. Not good enough, so I grab the mixer, flour and yeast and away I go into a world that smells of fermenting flour and browning crust, with roasting seeds; three hours later I am drooling over a loaf that I have opened before it is properly cool, with toasted pine nuts adding a subtle flavour which enhances sweet or savoury; home made strawberry jam or a good cheddar cheese.

Of course, there is always a downside; in my case it is generally indigestion brought on by having eaten too much, too soon. But I am big enough to know better – and besides, there are always Rennies.