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The Baker's Dozen Cookbook: Become a Better Baker with 135 Foolproof Recipes and Tried-and-True Techniques Hardcover – Bargain Price, November 6, 2001


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Hardcover, Bargain Price, November 6, 2001
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 368 pages
  • Publisher: William Morrow Cookbooks; 1 edition (November 6, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0060186283
  • ASIN: B0001HYMB0
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 6.6 x 1.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,584,475 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Founded by cookbook author Marion Cunningham and professional baker Amy Pressman, the Baker's Dozen, a Bay Area group, helps its members bake better, sharing knowledge and solving members' baking problems. Edited by Rick Rodgers, The Baker's Dozen Cookbook, the group's first work, includes 135 enticing recipes, from Sour Cream Pound Cake and Almond and Chocolate Sandwich Cookies to breads and other nonsweet baked goods. The book's great appeal, however, lies in its lucid instructive material. New and veteran bakers alike will find this collection a true learning tool, which provides basic tutorials and more-advanced explorations into the art of baking.

The recipes come with a pedigree. Readers can thus enjoy baking-book expert Flo Braker's Triple Chocolate Cake and Peanut Butter and Strawberry Jam Cake, "Italian baker" Carol Field's Italian Whole Wheat Bread, and Chez Panisse pastry chef Lindsey Shere's Warm Pear Tart and Simple Nectarine Gallete. Other outstanding recipes include Julia Cookenboo's Pistachio-Golden Raisin Biscotti, Fran Gage's Spicy Cornmeal Crackers, and Rochelle Huppin-Fleck's Blood Orange Chiffon Pie with Chocolate Crumb Crust. In addition to insightful notes that accompany every recipe, the book offers definitive ingredient and equipment glossaries (chocolate is particularly well treated here), a detailed cake-basics section (batter-mixing for all cake types as well as other techniques are explored in depth), and color photos that depict the mouthwatering sweets in all their glory. The group has done its work well--this is one of the best baking books to appear in recent years. --Arthur Boehm --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Publishers Weekly

Best known for The Fanny Farmer Cookbook, Marion Cunningham is as American as, oh, say, the Peanut Butter and Strawberry Jam Layer Cake in her group's latest compilation, which she introduces. Cunningham belongs to a group of bakers, calling itself the Baker's Dozen, devoted to sharing tips, talking shop and taking mouth-watering field trips to places such as the Guittard chocolate factory. Cunningham and 12 other members of the group impart just the sort of insider information to make readers feel part of an exclusive club. All the classics are covered here: cakes, custards, pies (with an excellent, comprehensive introduction to pie crusts), distinctive regional baked-fruit recipes and a chapter on cookies, with a recipe contending for "The Best Chocolate Chip Cookies." The book offers clear guidance to ensure consistently impressive results in the home kitchen, particularly in the "Cakes for Family and Friends" chapter. Building on the classics, there are several trend-worthy variations: try the Five-Spice Angel Food Cake for a novelty dessert, the Blood Orange Chiffon Pie with Chocolate Crust for a dramatic update of the venerable chiffon pie or the Sherried Zucchini-Currant Tea Loaves for a more sophisticated use of surplus summer zucchini. Chapters on bread baking (including quick breads) clearly explain potential pitfalls and how to sidestep them and turn what could be an intimidating process into a stress-free experience for first-time bread bakers. The professional baking tips, detailed recipes and extensive glossaries will have readers well on their way to mastering techniques for perfect pastry. (Nov.)Forecast: The book's top names will draw attention from home bakers, many of whom have already formed informal bakers' groups of their own. Simple word of mouth will help this book's sales.

Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

More About the Author

Rick Rodgers is one of the most versatile professionals in the food business. Through his work as a cooking teacher, food writer, cookbook author, freelance cookbook editor, and radio and television guest chef, his infectious love of good food reaches countless cooks every day.

Rick has been guest chef on the national television shows Today, CBS Morning Show, Good Morning America, Cooking Live with Sara Moulton, Food Network Challenge, and many others, including media appearances in every major local market.

Rick's combination of down-to-earth humor and solid information brought him the prestigious Bon Appetit Food and Entertaining Award for Outstanding Cooking Teacher. In addition to his publishing work, Rick teaches sold-out cooking classes from coast-to-coast, as well as the occasional international stint (including Korea and France) and he is a speaker at many festivals and seminars.

Rick lives in the New York City area. His website is www.rickrodgers.com.

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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See all 24 customer reviews
I highly recommend it to any cook.
Jenny Han
Even experienced bakers will learn much from the collective intelligence in this book.
jerry i h
I've made several of the recipes and they've all been excellent.
Rosemary

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

91 of 91 people found the following review helpful By Rosemary on November 12, 2001
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Over ten years ago, a group of bakers in California gathered to share information and recipes. The group includes an excellent selection of cooks including Flo Baker, Marion Cunningham, Alice Medrich, and Carolyn Beth Weil but is now part of a group that's 400+ members.
Besides including a fine selection of recipes, there are also sections which discuss ingredients in detail and specific techniques. For instance, the Fresh Ginger-Spice Cookies includes a reference that will tell you how professional chefs form the dough logs that don't contain air bubbles. Following the recipe for Lemon Meringue Pie there are two pages of information about meringue.
I've made several of the recipes and they've all been excellent.
Some cookbooks includes lots or pretty pictures and not a lot of content. This is not one of them. While there are some lovely pictures in this book (like the Chocolate Raspberry Cake), some of the pictures are to show you things that would be hard to explain in text (the different stages of beating egg whites). If the choice was between more pictures or more recipes/information, then I believe they made the right choice.
This would be an excellent book for anyone who's really serious about baking -- either a new baker just starting or an experienced baker who wants to expand their knowledge.
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33 of 33 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on January 18, 2002
Format: Hardcover
I am so pleased with this book. Even if you never baked a thing from the book, you would learn a lot about the hows and whys of baking just by reading it.
The first recipe I tried, around Christmas, was for Lemon Stars, a beautiful-looking cookie with a wonderful lemon flavor. The Chocolate-Hazelnut Meringue Cookies were outstanding--my son and I wolfed them down shamelessly. Lemon-Poppy Seed Shortbread Cookies were excellent, and we are enjoying the Raisin-Bran Muffins. I have also made the Buttermilk Currant Scones (flawless) and the White Sandwich Bread (texture was perfect).
In short, this is an outstanding collection packed with excellent advice.
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39 of 40 people found the following review helpful By jerry i h on April 22, 2003
Format: Hardcover
Many cookbooks about baking have words like "bible" or "complete" in them. Yet, none really deserve the term. They are never complete nor correct enough to warrant the title. This book, however, has earned the rights to these words. It originally started out as a club for professional bakers to solve their common baking problems that metastasized into this baking cookbook. It features many highly respected names such as Flo Braker, John Phillip Carroll, Marion Cunningham, Carol Field, Fran Gage, and Alice Medrich. The whole thing is edited by Rick Rodgers.
I have often heard people, including many respected food writers, lament that there ought to be a comprehensive book about baking that covers all of the important aspects and types of recipes and techniques. Well, here it is. It delves into such arcana as: the differences between genoise, sponge cake, chiffon cake, and angel food cake; the proper way to measure flour (in fact, different chapters use different methods, so read the recipes carefully and follow them to the letter; similar comments apply to which rolling pin or what kind of flour to use); and 4 different recipes for pie dough using either lard, cream cheese, shortening, or butter. The same applies to the chapter on tarts. It starts out with 5 recipes for crusts (pate brisee, pate sablee, pate sucree, tartlet dough, and quick puff pastry), and the subsequent recipes for tarts start with one of one of the crusts. The chapter on yeast breads is especially noteworthy.
Each chapter is written by a different person, and functions as a self contained primer on a particular subject. Each subject is treated systematically and thoroughly. In fact, each chapter could be published on its own as reference work on its subject.
Read more ›
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24 of 27 people found the following review helpful By Cilla123 on February 7, 2002
Format: Hardcover
Did you ever think you followed a recipe to the letter only to find that your souffle had fallen or the texture of your cookies were more Betty Rubble than Betty Crocker? Well, this book is all about preventing those little baking mishaps. As unromantic as it may sound, baking is as much science as it is art (maybe more). The writers of this book are keenly aware if this and are not at all protective of the type of information that is key to successful baking. For example, in the Sour Cream Poundcake recipe there's a footnote that explains to the reader how the baking soda in the recipe neutralizes the acid in the sour cream and produces carbon dioxide for leavening. Information like this helps prevent baking disasters (like the assumption that leavening agents are interchangable)by cluing the reader into the chemistry that is at play.
For me, baking is a journey and on that journey I accept the risk that the road will be sprinkled with failures (some at my own hand and others at the hand of inaccurate recipes). If there were more books like this, I could cut the risk factor by half and "let them eat cake" a little more often.
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on November 29, 2001
Format: Hardcover
I made the sweet potato pie for Thanksgiving and it really turned out well. The instructions for the pie crust are clear and the pictures of pie crust at different stages are really helpful. The crust was flaky and had a nice taste. The sweet potato filling was delicious ! This weekend I will dive into another recipe.
These people can Bake !
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