Paul Hollywood or ‘Paul Hollywood Artisan Baker’ to give him his full name according to the packaging is one of those trustworthy people in the celebrity food world. On Great British Bake Off he speaks with authority and knowledge about the rights and wrongs of a quality crumb and an even bake, so he should know how to create top notch baked goods for the supermarket shelf. For a while ‘Paul Hollywood Artisan Baker’ only sold his products in places like Harrods and farm shops and randomly The Marlowe Theatre, Canterbury. Nowadays he has tried to remain as exclusive as he can whilst broadening his reach by selling his wares in Waitrose. In choosing Waitrose he just about keeps his integrity in tact, but if ASDA starts stocking his stuff we’ll know we’re in trouble.
I think the best way to describe the packaging on the loaf would be – shit. It looks like the kind of nasty thing you’d find in poundland masquerading as a high quality product. There is a photo of ‘Paul Hollywood Artisan Baker’ on the right hand side looking slightly creepy in an oval frame and the name of the loaf repeated on the other side. I wonder if this packaging has been knocked up for the Waitrose expansion as I can’t imagine it gracing a shelf in Harrods.
Before I mention the eating I should point out that when I got round to tasting the loaf it was 2 days past its best before date. Undeterred I cut a slice off and lo and behold it was a bit stale, I can’t blame Paul Hollywood Artisan Baker for that, just my own stupid self. However it is also a good quality loaf, well seasoned with a generous, but not overwhelming smattering of fruit running through it. It is dense without being heavy with a good texture. In an attempt to conquer the stale element I tried a toasted slice and things got even better. The toasting brought out extra sweetness and with butter melting into it I was a happy man. Delicious.
Paul Hollywood Artisan Baker has done alright here, if he has a word with his graphic designer I think he could go far. The contestants of Great British Bake Off are in good hands.
Paul Hollywood Date and Apricot Loaf