Crumb: The Baking Book by Ruby Tandoh

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Notes about this book

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Notes about Recipes in this book

  • Date malt loaf

    • Breadcrumbs on February 27, 2015

      p. 38 - RT describes this as a squat heavy little loaf that's densely chewy, deeply malted, heavy with fruit with almost a toffee flavour. Yum! Prepared in a loaf tin and calls for 150g malt extract and 150g of dates.

    • TrishaCP on February 28, 2020

      I completely messed up the bake on this, but this still came out great. (I started with too high a temperature but pulled it out before it was done.) I had to go online to get the malt extract because even the “health” stores around me didn’t carry it, but I look forward to more of Ruby’s bakes that call for this ingredient.

    • Lepa on September 01, 2016

      RT really undersells this little gem. I had low expectations going in but WOW, it's delicious. I found that 60 minutes was just right and any longer would have dried the loaf out. I took extra care to cut the dates very fine and I soaked them in the warm malt/butter sauce for a few minutes before stirring in the flour.

    • anya_sf on September 10, 2018

      I don't always like date bread, but tried this based on the positive reviews. I loved it! It was done in 60 minutes and next time I'd check 5 minutes sooner. In a 9x5" pan, the loaf isn't very tall; it might look nicer in an 8x4" pan. Served with salted butter, as instructed - recommended.

  • Tahini lemon biscuits

    • Breadcrumbs on March 08, 2015

      I was concerned how crumbly the dough was. I looked online to see if there was a typo and a liquid ingredient had been left out. I found no such evidence so I proceeded with skepticism. I found it odd that an author who took the time to point out she’d “taken great care here to explain the whys and hows of baking, in the hope that this will give you the confidence to get started…” hadn’t added a note to this recipe to advise readers that the dough should be crumbly (if in fact it should). She does note however that the “biscuits will be very crumbly when first baked” so I’m assuming my mixture was fine as they look precisely like the biscuits pictured in the book, ragged edges and all. The cookies are good, similar to a shortbread. Not too sweet, a change of pace from peanut butter cookies but certainly reminiscent of them although the texture is lighter. The lemon zest is a wonderful addition. Photos here:

    • Frogcake on May 21, 2017

      These are outstanding cookies. I too found my dough to be crumbly, but it was quite workable and the cookies turned out great. I was able to make 18 cookies. Flavour was wonderful -nutty and lemony. The rind of two lemons generated a good one third of a cup. I also added a generous one quarter teaspoon of plain salt to the dough because I found was a bit flat-tasting. The salt worked to enhance the tahini lemon flavour adequately.

  • Stem ginger treacle tart

    • TrishaCP on February 18, 2020

      We loved the flavors of this tart - the ginger really comes through, and overall this was a win although my comments might sound like it wasn’t. I had problems with Ruby’s tart dough - it was very crumbly and I needed to use the entire egg, contrary to her instructions. (I used the provided metric measurements. Note that the estimated 2 cups of breadcrumbs for the filling didn’t match the book’s metric measurement of 125 grams. I used more breadcrumbs than 2 cups and my filling was fine.) Back to the dough - I was able to roll it out after additional kneading to fit into my eight inch springform pan. Per the recipe, I made the dough go up the side of the pan, although the recipe didn’t make enough filling to completely fill the pan.The pan I used was a suggested option, and based on the book photo, it appears that the recipe does not anticipate a completely filled tart. Fortunately, I didn’t have to worry about presentation when I made this, but if that is a concern, use a pie plate.

  • Orange & white chocolate loaf cake

    • TrishaCP on January 21, 2019

      The flavors in this are great. I skipped the white chocolate drizzle on top after realizing that I did not have enough white chocolate on hand.

    • Varundel on April 21, 2015

      A new favourite - orange scented sponge and lashings of white chocolate. Bliss.

    • Lepa on July 31, 2016

      So decadent and lovely!

    • anya_sf on May 07, 2021

      I thought a 9"x5" pan would yield a very short loaf, but the cake rose a fair amount, although I still might use an 8.5"x4.5" pan next time. This was delicious even without the white chocolate drizzle. If you want to dress it up, try serving it with Ina Garten's orange custard sauce.

    • ChelseaP on June 13, 2021

      Really delicious, the orange and white chocolate is a great flavour combination.

  • Morning muffins

    • TrishaCP on January 21, 2019

      These are delicious. I doubled the recipe (using the zest from just one grapefruit) and got about 17 muffins cautiously filling the tin to avoid spreading.

    • Lepa on July 31, 2016

      I loved these zingy muffins. They were tender and the grapefruit flavor was lovely. The recipe makes a bit too much batter for six muffins. The recipe warns against overfilling the tins and I didn't pay attention, not wanting to waste any batter. The muffins spread all over the tin and I had a difficult time getting them out. Heed Ruby's advice and either underfill the tins or make more muffins!

    • anya_sf on December 28, 2018

      Mixed the batter the night before. The batter just fit into 6 muffin cups; stuck slightly on the edges, but loosened with a knife. Using brown sugar in the batter added nice caramel notes. The muffins were moist, hearty, and slightly chewy from the oats. While I enjoyed the grapefruit quite a bit, I think the cinnamon-raisin variation Ruby mentions in the head note would be excellent.

  • Lemon semolina cake

    • TrishaCP on January 20, 2017

      This is Ruby's take on a lemon drizzle cake, and I loved it! She mentions she likes her drizzle cakes quite tart, and this one is nice and bright but not too sour. I really like the semolina here- she is correct in that it makes the texture interesting in a good way. My cake did collapse in the middle a bit when I banged it getting it out of the oven, so be careful.

  • Rye apple upside down cake

    • TrishaCP on January 15, 2017

      I really enjoy Ruby's fruit-based cakes, and this was no exception. I thought this was one of the tastiest apple cakes that I have made. I chose to use brown sugar for more flavor, and since it didn't say to pack it I did not, and I think that was a good call as it was plenty sweet already. I have a wonky oven and needed to bake the cake much longer to get it cooked all of the way in the center-maybe 15 minutes longer than specified. I did a good job making the caramel topping, but I forgot to seal my springform pan (my only 8 inch pan that was deep enough), and as a result, most of the caramel ran out of it onto the baking sheet. What remained still gave it an addictive toffee flavor that was great! For the topping, I only needed one American-sized apple.

    • anya_sf on November 18, 2018

      I used a 9" cake pan and the cake was still pretty tall and needed the full 45 minutes to bake. The rye flour, grated apple, and nuts (I used walnuts) make the cake quite hearty and rather dense. I used brown sugar in the batter. Unlike many upside-down cakes, this one was not overly sweet. I liked it better as a breakfast or tea cake than dessert (although for dessert, you could top it with sweetened whipped cream or ice cream). As TrishaCP mentions, only 1 apple is needed for the topping.

  • Caraway carrot cake with poppy seeds

    • TrishaCP on January 29, 2017

      This was delicious but quite unusual. I wasn't sure at the time that she quite convinced me that caraway is better than cinnamon in a carrot cake. However, the flavor really grew on me. I had a few technical issues. I loved the poppy seeds in the cake, but while really beautiful, they were less appealing in the frosting and I would omit the next time. I also thought the frosting needed more sugar (unusual for me)- maybe because my palate was unaccustomed to thinking of the caraway in that way and it read too savory? And although my cream cheese had softened for a considerable amount of time, it was very challenging to spread it on the delicate lower level of the cake- it definitely didn't "dollop" and she was concerned about liquid while I had none, so maybe there were product differences between the US/UK or my kitchen was just too cold? Finally, I had to add 15 minutes to the cooking time for my cake to bake through (I usually have to add 10 minutes to cakes because of my oven).

  • Soda bread

    • TrishaCP on April 23, 2017

      This was a perfectly fine soda bread, but I have other versions that I prefer.

  • Banana bread

    • Melanie on April 15, 2015

      I was a fan of the flavour - the cardamom was a lovely touch - but really didn't like the texture. I thought it baked slightly gummy (I substituted brown sugar / milk for the agave). This didn't create a nice finished top / crust which I would have liked - perhaps a slightly hotter temperature would assist in resolving? Might use the flavour ideas from this in a different recipe next time.

    • Varundel on March 30, 2015

      Beautiful flavours - I did use the cardamom as suggested but switched the agave for regular caster sugar (and a splash of milk as per recipe guidelines). The texture was a bit denser than I would like - would try adding less liquid next time around.

    • Lepa on August 29, 2016

      Wow. This is wonderful. I didn't get a dense texture- but I whipped the bananas with the butter and agave until it was fluffy and creamy. Maybe this made a difference? I hesitated over the icing but ended up adding it and am so happy that I did. The cake isn't too sweet and a tiny bit of icing on top was really delicious.

    • anya_sf on September 22, 2018

      I used brown sugar and milk instead of agave and did get a slightly dense layer at the bottom, even though the bread was definitely baked through. Maybe this recipe just works best with agave. I used 1/2 tsp ground cardamom because I was out of pods, and the flavor was quite mild (I'm sure fresh pods would be stronger). We enjoyed it. It's not a big loaf, so I used a 8x4" pan and it took 55 minutes to bake.

  • Fennel seed & chilli snaps

    • Melanie on April 03, 2015

      These were nice - easy to make and tasted good served with cheese - and I will make again. I used the full amount of chilli flakes and the flavour was still quite mild, so don't shy away from the chilli. I also neglected to sprinkle the optional sea salt over the top, which I think would have improved the flavour a touch. Next time I might try a little extra olive oil to see how that affects the flavour. These needed slightly longer in the oven although it is difficult to judge when done.

  • Ginger biscuits

    • pomona on July 28, 2019

      Delicious, just crunchy enough

  • Dark chocolate orange bourbons

    • pomona on July 28, 2019

      These are so good. I might replace the milk or water in the biscuit with orange juice next time to up the orange a little. Or another half an orange worth of zest in both biscuit and buttercream. I used Dutch process cocoa powder.

  • Fig, orange & star anise tea loaf

    • pomona on March 29, 2021

      Very delicious and very easy and very quick to prepare.

    • Lepa on February 20, 2017

      My husband and I liked this. The kids did not, which left more for us!

    • anya_sf on March 31, 2021

      I happened to have all the ingredients on hand, but just half the amount of figs, so I made a half recipe in an 8.5"x4.5" pan, a squat loaf which baked in 35 minutes. Not sure if there is an error in my edition, but the recipe doesn't call for any fat. I was tempted to add some oil, but didn't, since this turned out well for others. I thought it was okay, but rather dry - best toasted with butter. The flavor combination was nice.

  • Chorizo & kale flatbread

    • Jojobuch on August 16, 2015

      Simple flatbread, good use of kale; the chorizo adds nice flavour but I would probably add herbs next time to make it more interesting (e.g. chopped rosemary or thyme)

  • Camomile vanilla cupcakes

    • Lepa on January 17, 2018

      I have been intrigued by these cupcakes since I bought this book. They were interesting but we didn't love them. I wanted them to have a cleaner or spicier taste but they tasted a bit musty to me. The texture was also a bit gummy and I think this is because the butter is melted and not creamed with the sugar?

  • Blueberry swirls

    • Lepa on February 20, 2017

      These turned out well. They are beautiful and taste pretty good- not overly sweet.

    • anya_sf on February 09, 2020

      I didn't have pistachios, but added an extra 100 g blueberries, although I was concerned they'd add too much moisture. I shaped the rolls the night before, refrigerated them, then proofed and baked them in the morning. As feared, the blueberries exuded a fair amount of liquid, creating a blueberry syrup under the rolls, but they still baked up okay and I did appreciate the extra berries. The rolls were soft, tender, and not too sweet, with a lovely bright flavor from the berries and orange zest.

  • Gooseberry elderflower cake

    • Lepa on October 08, 2017

      I made the version with strawberry jam because we didn't have gooseberries. This was good but not as good as other recipes in this book (which is my favorite baking book).

  • Hazelnut dark chocolate cookies

    • Lepa on February 20, 2017

      These were pretty good and a snap to mix together. I used a cookie scoop and the cookies were small and rounded. Next time I shall flatten the dough out a bit before baking.

  • Blackberry ricotta cheesecake

    • anya_sf on September 29, 2018

      I used a 9" pan, since I didn't have an 8" one, so the cheesecake was thinner, but the baking time was still the same. The ricotta filling was very liquid, so I thought for sure the batter would leak out of the pan and/or the blackberry swirl would all sink to the bottom, but neither happened (although with the blackberries, I suspect it's because the cake wasn't tall, so it was already touching the bottom). I chilled the cake overnight before serving. The cake was creamier and less heavy than a traditional cream cheese-based cheesecake, but with a slight graininess from the ricotta. My family liked it a lot.

  • Raspberry chocolate fondants

    • anya_sf on December 07, 2018

      I made 1/2 recipe, yielding 3 smallish puddings, which I baked in porcelain ramekins. I made the batter ahead of time and chilled it, which was a great convenience. Baking time was longer than stated; my puddings took around 16-17 minutes until they were just puffed and set on top. They turned out perfect, still soft and a bit runny in the center. Great with ice cream! The raspberry doesn't stand out; I might add some Chambord to the batter next time.

  • Sticky toffee pudding

    • anya_sf on December 27, 2018

      I've never met a sticky toffee pudding I didn't like, and this was no exception. This version is a bit less sweet and rich than some, which we appreciated. You could use fewer or no nuts to make it lighter. I made half the recipe in a 6" round pan and it served 3 generously. Note: I don't know why this book has weights for dry ingredients, but not wet ingredients. 3/4 cup + 1 1/2 Tbsp water = 200 g

  • Fish pie

    • anya_sf on February 26, 2019

      I made the mashed potato version and did grate some cheese over the top. I only used about half the smoked fish (which was boneless), but it seemed like enough relative to the fish (I used cod) and prawns. I added some peas to the filling. I should have made the potatoes drier, as they melded with the creamy filling and did not remain distinct (which wouldn't happen with the pastry-topped version). Still, the pie was quite good and satisfying on a cold night.

  • Glazed saffron buns

    • anya_sf on December 13, 2018

      I added raisins. The dough was easy to work with, but differs from traditional Swedish St. Lucia bun dough in that it's leaner (not too much butter, hardly any sugar, no egg). The buns turned out breadier/chewier than the traditional ones, but had good saffron flavor. Traditional buns aren't glazed, but these need the glaze since the dough isn't sweet. We enjoyed them, although I prefer traditional St. Lucia buns.

  • Raspberry mascarpone vatrushka

    • anya_sf on December 17, 2018

      I didn't have quite enough mascarpone, so added 25 g cream cheese to the filling. Used a stand mixer to knead the dough, which was easy to work with. The buns baked up light and tender, not too sweet. I left them in the oven a few extra minutes to fully set the filling. If you want sweeter pastries, I imagine you could sprinkle them with superfine sugar before baking or glaze them with syrup or jam once baked. They'd be good with other fruit in place of the raspberries.

  • Monkey bread

    • anya_sf on March 31, 2019

      Probably the least decadent monkey bread recipe I've tried, but still satisfying - just sweet enough, with plenty of cinnamon. I might add currants between the layers next time.

  • Cherry stollen with pistachio marzipan

    • anya_sf on December 09, 2018

      Instead of mixed candied citrus peel, which I dislike, I added lemon zest (in addition to the orange zest called for); there were already so many dried cherries that they kept falling out of the dough. I didn't realize marzipan was so easy to make. I used roasted pistachios and the flavor was delicious. The dough took forever to rise, but my kitchen is fairly cold. Made 2 smaller loaves, which took 35 minutes to bake. This stollen still has the classic stollen spice notes, and the cherries and pistachio really go well together.

  • Coffee blackcurrant Opéra cake

    • anya_sf on December 10, 2018

      This cake wasn't actually too difficult to make, although I did use a mixer for the cake and buttercream. I didn't use the full amount of coffee (worried about bitterness), but it you love coffee flavor and want the cake to be super moistened, then use it all. There is a lot of ganache (next time I'd use less) and buttercream, so it's very decadent. The flavor is deep and rich, not too sweet; the jam balances out the bitter notes.

  • Daily bread

    • anya_sf on September 21, 2020

      I let the dough rise overnight in the fridge. A high-rising loaf, this bread had good flavor and a pleasant, chewy texture - really great toasted with eggs. I baked it 5 extra minutes, but the crust never got that dark.

  • Seeded tin loaf

    • anya_sf on December 03, 2018

      The dough was fairly stiff and baked into a sturdy loaf. This bread is not super attractive, but slices very neatly. There is no sugar of any kind so the bread did not brown much. I might add some brown sugar, honey, or malt next time.

  • Stout gingerbread

    • anya_sf on December 12, 2020

      Quick and easy to make, this is a relatively small cake that isn't too decadent. A day after baking, the fresh ginger was still quite sharp. The next day the flavor had mellowed noticeably. The cake was fairly moist with no other spices to compete with the ginger. Quite nice with whipped cream.

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Reviews about this book

  • Food52

    ...a stripped back baking book, one that is "simple yet exuberant." You'll find a wide range of recipes ranging from sweet to savory...all just right for everyday baking.

    Full review
  • ISBN 10 0701189312
  • ISBN 13 9780701189310
  • Linked ISBNs
  • Published Sep 25 2014
  • Format Hardcover
  • Page Count 336
  • Language English
  • Countries United Kingdom
  • Publisher Vintage
  • Imprint Chatto & Windus

Publishers Text

Crumb is about flavour, first and foremost - a simpler sort of baking. Ruby's recipes bring us satisfying new flavours, melt-in-the-mouth textures, the rediscovery of old favourites and the joy of choosing ingredients - from inky blackcurrants to thick cream. In a delicious blend of practicality and creativity, Ruby encourages novices and seasoned bakers alike to roll up their sleeves and bake - even if they don't have the proper equipment or know-how. From cakes and bread, to sweet doughs, puddings and pies, these are recipes that will make it to your table again and again. In writing to be savoured as much as the recipes, and with tips and techniques to guide you and plenty of ideas for variations, this is baking stripped back: enjoyed for its own sake.

Contents include: Cake - Cakes for eating and not for show, from the thrill of a sticky chocolate birthday cake and indulgent fruit and cream sponges to breakfast muffins and delicate madeleines; Biscuits - Quick and easy recipes for a wide range of biscuits: Florentines, cookies, Viennese Whirls and many more packed with crunch, flavour and melting centres; Bread - A chance to slow down, relax and indulge yourself in the art of bread making. Loaves, rolls, plaits and flavoured breads with clear explanations of the key techniques and processes; Sweet Dough - Buns, brioche, doughnuts, spiced treats...Resurrect your childhood memories of sticky buns and cinnamon swirls, with sweet dough that's a delight to make as well as to eat; Pies and Tarts - Versatile, seasonal and crowd-pleasing pies and tarts, with simple instructions for different pastry types: shortcrust, hot water crust, filo, rough puff and sweet shortcrust; Puddings & Desserts - Beautiful desserts from simple, seasonal ingredients, and indulgent steaming puddings of pastry and fruit full of warmth, spice and comfort, from warm ginger pudding to rich sponges and spotted dick, smothered in silky custard; Pastries - Step-by-step techniques to help you tackle the challenge of pastries with confidence. Croissants, Danish pastries, millefeuilles and Eccles cakes taste even better when they're home made; and Extras - Everything you need to accompany your baking: chocolate sauces, custard, jam, ice cream and curds.

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