Monday 24 August 2020

The 1967 Be-Ro Home Recipes Cookery Book

Sitting on our small bookshelf in the kitchen is the most used and referred to cookery book of our home, 'Be-Ro Home Recipes: For Self Raising and Plain Flour'. It was bought by Jane who sent off for the book whilst still at primary school in the late sixties. Her 1967 edition cost a princely shilling and sixpence in old money. It is the first book she goes to when wanting to look up cake and biscuit recipes. It is the book that Jane first refers me to when I am looking for a recipe to do with flour and pastry. First produced in 1925, the book had already gone through multiple print runs and editions, and was entering its 31st million by 1967. 

The 1967 Be-Ro Home Recipes Cook Book

That should have placed it in the list of top one hundred best selling books, on a par with Gone with the Wind, Nineteen Eighty Four and The Great Gatsby!

Much to my delight and surprise, Be-Ro products and, more importantly, the Be-Ro book , still exist and you can order a copy of the 41st edition here from at a mere £2.99. Naturally, I had to get Jane a copy!

Our 1967 book is now suffering from the wear and tear of such loving attention for more than half a century and I resolved to ensure that we had a digital copy we could use. Using my photographic and computer skills, I prepared a readable PDF version. 

This little DL shaped book with 84 pages packed with information and recipies is a historic gem that deserves to be shared. The layout and images may appear dated but ingredients and instructions are clear and as relevant and tasty today as then. As a former scientist, my only gripe is that I have to get used to imperial measures. Fortunately, my kitchen scales can switch from grams and kilograms to pounds and ounces! The new 41st edition is both metric and imperial and also has useful conversion charts for temperatures and weights.

With the permission of Premier Foods, the parent company of Be-Ro, I have made the 1967 book available to all by uploading it to the Internet Archive - free to read and access for non-commercial use. you can find it here: 

My favorite recipe is Cheese Scones on page 7 in the 1967 edition and page 9 in the most recent 41st edition. My only change - I use butter instead of margerine.

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