Bar the title (and of course his arms), at first glance, you might think ‘Healthy Baking’ was Diana Henry’s latest book. It’s a well-founded assumption as on the cover is a quote from Henry herself has describing Jordan as a “..truly intelligent and inspiring cook”. Then similarly to some of her older works, the spine of Bourke’s book seems to extend to about an eight of the front and back cover. What’s also interesting to see on the cover is the noticeable lack of white in comparison to a typical ‘clean eating’ book. White backgrounds in books encapsulating ‘healthy’ has become the norm so this is refreshing to see. The colours of book suggest bold recipes that concentrate on simplicity without sacrificing character.
Rather than listing his chapters out in the typical way of baking book (e.g. Breads, Cakes, Pies, etc ) Jordan caters towards taste. So instead of someone with a savoury tooth, for example, having to browse through pages and pages before tumbling on a tart laced with caramelised onions, sweet potato and rye (pg 124) they can immediately be directed to a section on ‘Savoury Baking’. One other thing to note, however, is that not all the chapters in the book are about baking. An odd thing to do if that’s what you’ve centred the title of your book around. Fear not, Jordan addresses this by making the case that the grains he uses can be used as flours when ground down.
What’s most admirable about Jordan’s style of cooking is that he doesn’t feel the need to alienate certain types of ingredients because that’s the in thing or because it has an unfounded stigma. Neither does he lecture you on what you can and must not use. Instead he guides you and expresses a desire for you to turn his recipes into your own and use what makes your life easy. In this book, Jordan reclaims the definition of healthy by expressing the importance of cooking from scratch and having things in moderation.
There is a necessary patience that is needed when it comes to learning something new, especially when making the sourdoughs. If patience isn’t a virtue you’ve been born with there is a healthy (pun intended) balance of recipes that will accommodate you. That or you dedicate your weekends to using this book and in return you gain a considerable amount of knowledge.