For fans of The Great British Baking Show and others who are sometimes puzzled by easy references in British sources to obvious touchstones such as Battenberg cake, Swiss roll, Madeira cake, bara brith, Chelsea buns, pasties, and Bakewell tart, The British Baking Book is an inspiring, informative, and winning reference that's also a very usable cookbook.
Regula Ysewijn, author of several other baking books, including Pride and Pudding, provides a thorough tour of national and regional specialties in this handsome book. In addition to historically informative head notes for her recipes, she includes longer, broader histories of such categories as buns (caught on in the 18th-century and showing no signs of disappearing), fruitcakes for weddings and Christmas, oatcakes and griddle cakes, gingerbreads, and pies and tarts.
So here's your chance to go adventuring amidst centuries-old traditions and to bake up the likes of Grasmere gingerbread with its crumb topping, Devonshire splits to fill with clotted cream and jam, or the hearty Aberdeen buttery rowie which "looks a bit like an unfortunate croissant that you find in the bottom of your bag, crushed by a bag of apples or a stack of books."
Very charming and practical as well.
Hardcover. Color photographs throughout. Metric and US standard measure.