The Baking Bible

The Baking Bible

Book - 2014
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Offers baking tips and techniques, with recipes for cakes, tarts, pies, cookies, and breads.
Publisher: Boston : Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2014.
ISBN: 9781118338612
1118338618
Characteristics: xv, 560 pages :,color illustrations ;,27 cm
Additional Contributors: Fink, Ben - Photographer

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j
jessedevouge
Feb 20, 2018

This book may have beautiful pictures, but baking books should not be evaluated solely by their photography. This book in particular is quite inaccessible due to the need for specialized equipment and hard to find ingredients, excessive amount of instructions (why have 15 steps when less will do?) and over-elaborate recipes. Also, her insistence that bleached flour is far superior to unbleached flour is absurd. Unbleached flour actually has more flavour and aroma because it still has the natural carotenoid pigments that are in the endosperm of the wheat berry. Is the end product softer? Yes, but you can make something softer simply by using some unbleached pastry flour, or using a tenderizer such as vinegar. Plus, chemically bleached flours may very well be bad for our health. One recipe I have a major problem with is the pie crust one. A skilled baker should be able to make a perfectly flaky and tender crust simply by using unbleached all-purpose flour, ice water, salt, sugar, and butter. Nothing more. Instead, her pie crust recipe uses pastry flour, baking powder, cream cheese, heavy cream, and cider vinegar in addition to salt and butter. I'm fine with the vinegar, but the pastry flour produces a crust that is sandier and actually less flaky. The addition of baking powder, cream cheese and heavy cream is an attempt to create flakiness and tenderness, but flakiness should be achieved by cutting cold butter into flour/salt/sugar until the mixture resembles coarse meal. This will melt down in the dough during baking which will create steam which will create pockets which will result in flakiness. Tenderness should be achieved simply by not over-mixing the dough, but a bit of vinegar is all you need if you want additional tenderness. Beranbaum's crust is more like an overly rich Danish than a true pâte brisée. I'm also not keen on people stating that their recipes are "the best" and putting the word "perfect" in their recipe titles. In closing, this is a book I would recommend if you feel like looking at nice pictures of baked goods. If you want to learn how to make pies the right way, try the Four & Twenty Blackbirds pie book instead. If you want something like a baking "bible" try The Art & Soul of Baking by Cindy Mushet.

v
villaj
Sep 25, 2017

I liked this book, but i feel it is more oriented to people that had some baking experience (and some baking equipment too). That being said, it has some great tips about ingredients that even novice bakers might find useful.

c
casoldier
Apr 10, 2017

The Baking Bible leaves a lot to be desired. Thought this would give me some great tips on making and baking sourdough bread. NO SO. real disappointment. returned the next day. waste of my time.

EvaELPL Feb 02, 2017

I like baking, but have never considered myself great at it. A solid "good," sure, but that was about it. So when I received this book as a gift over the holidays, I was excited to try and up my game -- and a little intimidated. This collection of everything from cookies, pies, and cakes to savory breads and dishes, pastries, and even jams is definitely not for beginners. Many of the recipes are long and more than a little fiddly, with multiple steps and fairly complex techniques (they also required a good amount of specialized equipment, although I've successfully fudged on several of those with things I already owned). They are also totally and completely worth it, at least the ones I've tried so far. I started easy, with the Honey Cake for a Sweet New Year, which tasted so good I made it twice in one week, and since then have moved on to making my own lemon curd, meringues, and pastry dough from scratch. The flavors in this are impeccable, and if you can devote the time and attention to the recipes (I recommend reading them at least twice before you start), you'll be greatly rewarded.

Sarah_CT Sep 24, 2015

You will have trouble finding a more beautiful cookbook than the Baking Bible. Smorgasbook’s September selection had this group of cooks excited about baking. Stunning photos draw in the reader and Beranbaum introduces each recipe by listing baking time, equipment and ingredients needed so a novice baker doesn’t get in over their head. Unfortunately, we had trouble with the actual recipe execution with unclear instructions and strange bake times. We also found the recipes inaccessible for the novice baker because many of the recipes called for specialize equipment like mini muffin tins, pastry bags and specialty cake shaped pans. You will droll over the pictures and enjoy reading about baking but don’t dive into this one if you are a novice baker.

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d
dfpoz
Feb 22, 2015

Rose Levy Beranbaum is THE definitive baker/cookbook author. She has easily accessible recipes.

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