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Paul Hollywood: live webchat, Thursday 14 February, 9.30am

(174 Posts)
RachelMumsnet (MNHQ) Wed 13-Feb-13 10:21:08

We're just coming down from the thrill of last night's webchat with Yotam Ottolenghi and are now gearing ourselves up for tomorrow morning when Paul Hollywood will join us at Mumsnet HQ for webchat at 9.30am.

Paul Hollywood is Britain's favourite master baker and best known for his appearance with Mary Berry on Great British Bake Off. His latest book is all about bread - how to make it and how to use it. Not only does Paul teach you exactly how to make a variety of breads, but for each one there is a spin-off recipe that shows you how to make a fantastic meal of it.

Join Paul for brunch tomorrow between 9.30 and 10.30 am. If you're unable to make that time, do post a question to this thread in advance.

MirrorballMoon Thu 14-Feb-13 09:40:09

Hi Paul, will you be at the London Cake & Bake Show this year? My friend Fruitcake and I loved you at last years! xx

PaulHollywood Thu 14-Feb-13 09:40:55


Good morning, Paul, thanks for coming to 'talk' to us.

I love baking, and have recently started using spelt flour for making bread.

However, the breads with spelt flour always come out quite stodgy and 'wet', and I'm not sure if and what I need to adjust when baking with it - less water, longer baking times etc? I've tried mixing the spelt flour with normal bread flour, but not with much success. Any advice would be appreciated!

When starting with spelt flour always bake in a tin. This will encourage the dough to be light and airy as it only has one way to rise. Spelt is a wheat but with a slightly lower gluten level. Because of this it needs more kneading.

Lizzylou Thu 14-Feb-13 09:41:54

Are Mel and Sue always funny even off camera?

Does everyone just scoff all of the bakes?

PaulHollywood Thu 14-Feb-13 09:42:02


Hi Paul swoons
Due to be severely asthmatic I can't knead dough at all. My budget won't stretch to a Kitchenaid so can you recommend something cheaper to knead for me?

As an aside I had my first ever day out in a wheelchair seeing you and Mary at The Good Food show last year, you were both fabulous grin

Unfortunately I can't come round to help. The next one is using a kenwood which you'll find is marginally cheaper. OR buy a bread machine which is considerably cheaper. I'd recommend Panasonic.

PaulHollywood Thu 14-Feb-13 09:43:17


Hi Paul,

I've found all your bread talk on the Bake Off rather inspiring, and my resolution for 2013 is to perfect my breadmaking - I'm baking several loaves a week to try to improve. My kneading is getting better but my rise is still hit and miss. I've been trying fresh yeast, which I feel makes a bit of difference, but the bread book I'm currently reading reckons there is no advantage to it over dried yeast. Which do you prefer to use and why?

Many thanks!

I use the fast action yeast. There is no difference at all between fast action and fresh. I used fresh yeast for 25 years and for the last 8 I've used fast action.

CollectorofCookbooks Thu 14-Feb-13 09:44:03

Hi Paul

Huge fan of yours and GBBO! Welcome to MN

If you just had to bake and eat one kind of bread for the rest of your life, which one would you go for?

(Also, is GBBO as much fun to make as it is to watch?!)

PaulHollywood Thu 14-Feb-13 09:44:16


Hi there! I have a four year old son with longstanding eating problems and a very poor diet (reflux as a baby, became a food phobia). Just wondering if it is possible to sneak vegetables into bread without it being very obvious eg great lumps of tomato? I have had a recipe for courgette cake in the past where you couldn't taste (or more importantly, see) the courgettes. Any ideas for similar with bread?! Thanks.

Making a focaccia is the best way to hide vegetables such as carrots, onions, courgettes, parsnips, etc.

MrsExcited Thu 14-Feb-13 09:44:23

You can pick up a bread maker on ebay for less than £20 if that appeals

NorthernNumpty Thu 14-Feb-13 09:45:21

Hi Paul,

I am a huge fan of you and Mary, I wish you had a bakery in my local village. I dispair at the demise of the high street baker.

Do you have a recipe for Nan bread? is it incredibly difficult to bake properly without a fire pit?!

PaulHollywood Thu 14-Feb-13 09:45:27


Are Mel and Sue always funny even off camera?

Does everyone just scoff all of the bakes?

Mel and Sue are my sisters and I can confirm they are hilarious. Mary is the matriarchal figure and the crew always polish off the bakes.

PaulHollywood Thu 14-Feb-13 09:46:09


Hi Paul, will you be at the London Cake & Bake Show this year? My friend Fruitcake and I loved you at last years! xx

I'm not going to the March one but I'll be at others later in the year.

PaulHollywood Thu 14-Feb-13 09:46:50


Hi Paul, how do you manage to eat all those baked goods and keep your weight down? Do you exercise like mad? Love GBBO, its a top show!

I always struggle keeping my weight down but just got a bike a christmas and intend to use it a lot this year.

ILoveTIFFANY Thu 14-Feb-13 09:46:54

Thanks for replying!! Wow

Happy valentines day!!

Lizzylou Thu 14-Feb-13 09:47:05

Where does Mary put it all?!

NorthernNumpty Thu 14-Feb-13 09:47:16

Ooops I of course dont mean bread made of grandma's!

'Naan bread'

PaulHollywood Thu 14-Feb-13 09:47:58


Oh fantastic!

I suppose my question would be, If you had to choose one bread to show people how to make to get excited by it, which bread would it be?

For me, although it can be complicated, sour dough is the best.

newpencilcase Thu 14-Feb-13 09:48:04

I spent yesterday making a birthday cake for my son's birthday.

I realise these things are all in the icing but every time I make a 'big' cake I deliberate over whether to do it in two tins or make one big cake and slice it in half to sandwich.

Every year I forget which I did last year and which gives better taste and shape.

Please tell me once and for all and I shall obey.

PaulHollywood Thu 14-Feb-13 09:49:28


Hi Paul and welcome to MN.

I am a novice baker but have turned out a few good white loaves now so looking to do something else. I really fancy making olive bread... Do you have any tips when it comes to this please?

Thanks smile

Always use a good quality olive, preferably black in a loaf or if you're making sticks, I would use green olives because they hold together better. Great recipe in How to Bake

JBrd Thu 14-Feb-13 09:50:19

Thanks for the advice on spelt flour!

You mention baking tins - mine are ancient, and I'm suspencting that they contribute to the more recent baking failures, so I want to treat myself to new ones. Any particular ones you can recommend? What about silicone moulds for bread baking, any good?

PaulHollywood Thu 14-Feb-13 09:50:25


Hi, Paul!

If I mix all the ingredients for a cake in the morning, then leave it until the afternoon before putting it in the oven, will the resulting bake be affected?

(My husband gave me your book for x'mas - I love it! smile)

The maximum length of time I've ever left a cake is an hour and a half. Any more than that and the strength in the baking powder is reduced.

PaulHollywood Thu 14-Feb-13 09:52:00


Hi Paul

I have been trying to make macaroons. Some have worked out perfectly and tasted fantastic (if I do say so myself grin ). Others have spread too much or cracked (even sometimes on the same tray). What's your top tip for success with macaroons?


The secret when making macarons is to leave them to rest for a good two to three hours before baking them. This will give you the feet, i.e. the base, that you look for on a good macaron, and shine. providing you have the correct liquid in there.

PaulHollywood Thu 14-Feb-13 09:53:02


Hi Paul, forget about the bread, my friend Lisa and I think you're lush!!!

It's her birthday tomorrow (14th Feb), please please make her day and wish her happy birthday!! We love GBBO and can't wait for the next series xx

Thank you!

P.s. we love your buns x

Happy Birthday Lisa! I think you're lush too.

Coffeeandcookie Thu 14-Feb-13 09:54:26

Hi Paul,
When making cakes I use the electric egg bearer to get my whites fluffy and d it into the batter without losing any air. But my cakes always end up dense. Does this mean i need a kenwood mixer like they have in GBBO??

PaulHollywood Thu 14-Feb-13 09:54:45


Hi Paul,

I am a huge fan of you and Mary, I wish you had a bakery in my local village. I dispair at the demise of the high street baker.

Do you have a recipe for Nan bread? is it incredibly difficult to bake properly without a fire pit?!

It's difficult to bake one without a tandoor but you can get a good finish on a naan bread in your conventional home oven using baking powder instead of yeast. As an alternative, you could also make chapatis.

TheSkiingGardener Thu 14-Feb-13 09:55:05

Ooh thank you. Have never been brave enough to try sour dough but will do so now.

I do despair, though, at the complete lack of good bakeries in much of the UK. Do you think there is anything that can be done to revive good local bakeries and patisseries? I live in a city of a million people and we have NO proper bakeries at all.

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