My life in food: Paul Hollywood


Hollywood has dough in his veins. His grandfather was head baker at the Adelphi Hotel in Liverpool and his father ran a bakery business. After a stint at the family firm, he worked at a serious of hotels, including The Dorchester and Cliveden. After appearing on a number of cookery shows he became a star  of The Great British Bake Off. His own show, Paul Hollywood’s Bread, is currently on BBC 2 and he will be be appearing at The Cake & Bake Show at Manchester Central 5-7 April.

What are your most and least used pieces of kitchen kit?

Most used is My KitchenAid. I love all the accessories, in particular the dough hook. It’s very similar to the big industrial-size mixer I have in the bakery and I use it whenever I bake at home. Least used would be the microwave – I can’t see the point.

If you only had £10 to spend on food, where would you spend it and on what?

I’d probably head straight to Paul A Young, the chocolatier. Paul is a magician with flavours, using balsamic, ginger, martini everything. Otherwise, I’d head to the Loire, the medieval city of Loches, where there is a little bakery just outside the city walls. It bakes tiny, warm breads filled with cheese and smoked lardons.

What do you eat for comfort?

Definitely my Sachertorte (chocolate again!) with a large dollop of crème fraîche on the side. It’s gooey, indulgent and I’d probably eat a full one if my wife let me.

If you could only eat bread or  potatoes for the rest of your life, which would you choose?

Obviously bread. I do love roast potatoes, dauphinoise, even plain boiled the way my nan used to make them. But bread is the basis of a good meal. I lived in Cyprus for many years and travelled through the Middle East. So I learnt that you can stuff a pitta with salads, meats and herbs and have the freshest, tastiest meal ever. I love the way the Italians use their stale bread up as well, as bruschetta or covered in crushed garlic and olive oil, torn into pieces and tossed in a salad with capers, anchovies, onion and crisp lettuce.

What’s your desert island recipe?

It’s got to be my pork pie recipe, made with pork loin, back bacon and lots of fresh parsley. Real pork pies are meaty and filling and should always be home-made.

What’s your favourite restaurant?

Pollen Street Social. Jason Atherton knows his stuff. I’d eat there every night if I could.

What’s your favourite cookbook?

A History of Food in 100 Recipes by William Sitwell. It’s everything I’m passionate about: history, baking and food. A great read.

Who taught you to cook?

I picked up a lot when I was Head Baker at the Chester Grosvenor and Cliveden; Paul Reed and Simon Radley, the head chefs, were

Life and Style
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