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Bake!: Essential Techniques for Perfect Baking Hardcover – September 16, 2010

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Bake!: Essential Techniques for Perfect Baking + Nick Malgieri's Bread: Over 60 Breads, Rolls and Cakes plus Delicious Recipes Using Them + Nick Malgieri's Pastry: Foolproof Recipes for the Home Cook
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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

"Baking is a science" is a phrase that begins many baking books, but Malgieri (Modern Baker; Perfect Cakes) warns not to "buy into the fallacy" and claims that "Baking needn't be any more difficult than making a phone call." This approachable attitude makes this an ideal selection for beginning and intermediate bakers. In 20 chapters, basic recipes and techniques are introduced for each category including flaky pastry dough, butter cakes, and quick breads. Once home bakers master the main recipe, they can move on to variations. Recipes include numbered steps, extensive headnotes, serving and storage notes, and often step-by-step photographs. Sidebars with essential tips are placed throughout the book. Classics including New York cheesecake, tarte tatin, and an old-fashioned cornbread are offset with less familiar selections like the British Bakewell tart; ekmek, a Turkish flatbread, and a Russian punch cake. Though sweet Danish and French pastries take up their rightful number of pages, savory dishes including spinach and bacon tart; ground beef empanadas; and pizza alla campofranco are included. Comprehensive and fun.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From the Publisher

Lemon Ginger Bars
These are about as gingery as you can get, so consider yourself forewarned if you're not a ginger lover. Actually these bar cookies make a lot of converts to the pleasures of ginger, because they have a strong ginger flavor but, since they're made with dried ground ginger and crystallized ginger, they have little of the burning spiciness that fresh ginger can impart. Lemon zest in the bars and lemon juice in the glaze add a note of contrast.
Makes 24 bars
21/2 cups all-purpose flour (spoon into a dry-measure cup and level off)
3/4 cup sugar
2 tablespoons ground ginger
2 teaspoons baking powder
8 ounces (2 sticks) unsalted butter
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1/4 cup finely chopped crystallized ginger
2 tablespoons honey
2 teaspoons finely grated lemon zest
2 cups confectioners' sugar, sifted after measuring
3 tablespoons lemon juice, strained before measuring
One 9 x 13 x 2-inch pan lined with buttered foil
1 Set a rack in the middle level of the oven and preheat to 375˚F.
2 Mix the flour, sugar, ground ginger, and baking powder in a medium bowl.
3 Melt the butter over medium heat and immediately add to the dry ingredients; use a large rubber spatula to stir to a smooth, shiny dough. Add the egg, crystallized ginger, honey, and lemon zest and beat vigorously to make a smooth dough.
4 Scrape the dough into the prepared pan and use the palm of your hand to press it evenly over the bottom of the pan.
5 Bake the bars until well risen, firm, and lightly golden, 20 to 25 minutes.
6 While the bars are baking, use a small rubber spatula to beat the confectioners' sugar and lemon juice together. If it's too thick to spread, thin by adding 1/2 teaspoon water at a time until it's right.
7 As soon as the bars are baked, place a cutting board on the pan and use oven mitts to invert the hot bars to the board. Remove the pan and foil and replace with another board. Turn right side up and remove the top board. Immediately brush the lemon glaze on the bars so that it sets as the bars cool.
8 Use a ruler to mark, then cut 2-inch squares.
Serving: Arrange the bars on a platter; the icing is dry, so they can be stacked.
Storage: Keep the bars in a tin or plastic container with a tight-fitting lid between sheets of wax paper.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Kyle Books (September 16, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1906868239
  • ISBN-13: 978-1906868239
  • Product Dimensions: 9.2 x 0.8 x 10.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.8 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (53 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #99,829 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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More About the Author

NICK MALGIERI, former Executive Pastry Chef at Windows on the World and 1996 inductee into Who's Who of Food and Beverage in America, is currently director of the baking program at the Institute of Culinary Education. The author of nine other cookbooks, including the James Beard winner How to Bake and the IACP/Julia Child Cookbook award-winner Chocolate, Nick's recipes have been published widely, including in The New York Times, The Chicago Tribune, The Washington Post, Food & Wine, Gourmet, and Bon Appetit. He is a contributing editor of Dessert Professional and writes a monthly column for Tribune Media Services. Nick has appeared on national morning shows and local television throughout the United States, as well Food Network and Martha Stewart. Visit him online at

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

35 of 36 people found the following review helpful By Shep Huntleigh on September 16, 2010
Format: Hardcover
I have been waiting for this book to be published; it could not have come fast enough for me. Why? Because Malgieri's books are fun to read, his recipes always reliable. He must test his recipes really thoroughly because, as I've learned from his other books, they ALWAYS work for me. This time around, it's almost like he's holding my hand, showing me exactly what to do...and then, when I'm done, adding, "Once you do that, you can also make this slight alteration and make this dessert, too. And this one. And this one." I love it. It's like having a professional baking teacher at my side in my kitchen. All for under $20! Those of you unfamiliar with Malgieri's earlier books already know how wonderfully instructive he can be, how comfortably he walks you through each step. Those of you who don't know his books, what are you waiting for? He is the genuine article. Anyway, I've had the book for only two days now and have already tried the chocolate hazelnut tart (it's so easy just to stir the chopped nuts into the filling), his really simple focaccia, and a lemon pound cake. Each turned out just great. Of course. (One short closing note: Could an earlier, first-time reviewer--who posted a review well in advance of the book's publication date--have some sort of professional jealousy issue? Maybe a little axe to grind? Just a hunch.)
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23 of 24 people found the following review helpful By M. Hill TOP 500 REVIEWER on October 2, 2010
Format: Hardcover
The book is beautifully photographed with not only pictures of the finished dishes, but plenty of photos of the steps required to prepare the recipes. The recipes range from sweet to savory. I prepared three recipes, Banana Coconut Crumb Cake, Devil's Food Bombe and Truffle Brownies, which were easily the fudgyiest brownies I've ever eaten. All three recipes turned out perfectly and there are many others I look forward to trying. Out of curiosity I did look at the Chocolate Hazelnut Tart recipe but it appears that the problem noted in another review was fixed before publication because there are detailed instructions on how to prepare the hazelnuts for the tart.

The book lays open flat on the countertop which is helpful when trying to prepare a recipe. Black ink and white pages are used for the text, which makes reading the recipes much easier than weird combinations often found in cookbooks, like pale pink pages with white printing. I do wish the font size for the recipes was a little larger, but that is a publisher decision, not the author. The book was put together thoughtfully with the needs of the user in mind and the reality that good cookbooks are kitchen tools rather than coffee table books.

Whether looking for an indulgent dessert, a great scone recipe, the best cookie recipe, cheesecake, artesian bread or pizza dough this cookbook has it all. The step-by-step instructions that run throughout this book make it a terrific volume for a new baker, and the complexity of the recipes also make it an invaluable addition to any experienced baker's library.
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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful By wogan TOP 500 REVIEWER on September 17, 2010
Format: Hardcover
Nick Malgieri has put together a good solid baking book. He has taught for 30 years, so, my only complaint is that some of the directions do require a more experienced cook to follow them; it does seem strange that a person who teaches would not make his directions more clear, especially when there is such an effort to show directions and methods with instructional photographs, which are very good and useful. They might even help a more experienced cook with their technique.

There is information about ingredients, such as flours and grains and about equipment. There are reassuring tips throughout and pictures on many techniques, such as how to make pastry dough.
For each recipe there is a bit of history about it or where it comes from. It's a varied collection, including: Sweet pastry and tarts, flaky pastry and tarts, cookie dough and tarts, quick puff pastry, pan breads, whole grain breads, flatbreads, brioche, Danish pastry, butter and oil cakes, pound and coffee cakes, sponge and meringue layers, baking powder biscuits and scones, quick breads and muffins, bar cookies and brownies, piped and drop cookies, rolled and sandwich cookies.

A beginning cook or even a more experienced one would find this an appealing cookbook. There are relatively simple recipes but also the less common ones, such as one for a Russian Punch Cake and a Raspberry Meringue Wedge. The molasses gingerbread is luscious and will make your kitchen smell marvelous. Cookbook collectors of all kinds would enjoy having this book.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Marta on October 31, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Helen is right about the error in the Chocolate Hazelnut Tart recipe, but Nick Malgieri has apparently been made aware of it. From [....]/blog today:

"'s an easy fix. At the end of step 4 in the recipe, the missing text should read, "Stir in the hazelnuts." "

For me, knowing that he posts errata to his website makes Bake! a less risky purchase now than it was when Helen wrote her review.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Laura's Reviews on November 16, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is the essential book for all of your baking needs. There is something you want to make on every page!

I'm glad there are photos of some of the crucial steps because some of the ingredient measurements are off. For example, the brioche recipe indicates less flour than you actually need. Seeing the photo of a ball of dough (vs. the sticky soup in the bowl using ACTUAL ingredient measurements) made me realize that some of the proportions were a little off. That same recipe doesn't say how long to bake the loaf of brioche, so I kept monitoring it until I thought it might be done.

As a side note, the photo of the scones should have been more closely scrutinized because there is a hair on the nut scone.

If it weren't for these few errors/omissions, I would give this book 5 stars for technique and interesting recipes.
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