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Baking 9-1-1: Rescue from Recipe Disasters; Answers to Your Most Frequently Asked Baking Questions; 40 Recipes for Every Baker Paperback – November 4, 2003


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Baking 9-1-1: Rescue from Recipe Disasters; Answers to Your Most Frequently Asked Baking Questions; 40 Recipes for Every Baker + The Cake Bible
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Touchstone (November 4, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0743246829
  • ISBN-13: 978-0743246828
  • Product Dimensions: 7.4 x 0.6 x 9.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #732,624 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

In this thorough, detailed volume for the novice home baker, Phillips notes that "perfection is highly overrated"-and that in baking, it's also hard to come by. A professional baker herself, Phillips has compiled answers to crucial questions about the alchemy of this particular culinary art in a book organized by subject (baking basics, techniques, breads, cakes, cookies, pies, tarts, etc.). She spells out the "kitchen chemistry" behind how ingredients interact and what techniques produce different outcomes. She explains, for example, how sugar acts as a preservative in creamy icings that can be left at room temperature, or how gently folding egg whites (instead of frantically stirring them) into a batter produces a light and fluffy cake. All of the 40 clearly written recipes are the author's own time-tested concoctions, and she includes personal tips in a sidebar called "Sarah Says" (e.g., "Dough rises best when the top has been rounded and smoothed"). Although she readily answers virtually every imaginable question (either in the book or on her garishly designed but helpful website, baking911.com) in the quest for oven excellence, Phillips reassures would-be bakers that worrying about the outcome of a chocolate cheesecake is a waste of time: "Be yourself and do what you can do-and always pat yourself on the back for trying to make something homemade." A handy resource for the neophyte, and a creative answer to baking emergencies, this basic guide emphasizes the science, rather than the art, of baking.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.

Review

John Mack Carter former President, Hearst Magazines Enterprises, and Editor-in-Chief, Good Housekeeping ...the art of baking calls forth a never-ending variety of questions....Now comes sweet-talking Sarah Phillips, professional baker, with all the answers.

Reese Schonfeld Founding CEO, Food Network The go-to guide for baking emergencies....Keep this one close by your oven.

Toba Garrett author of Creative Cookies and The Well-Decorated Cake, and Chef/Instructor, The Institute of Culinary Education The perfect companion to a baker's library. Sarah guides you step-by-step in solving your baking needs. Her great ideas will help you achieve great results.

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Customer Reviews

I recommend this book to anyone who loves to bake.
Robert Lee
This book is chock-full of baking solutions, ideas, hints, tips and many very delicious and tasty recipes.
Mimi Baxter
The same fragmented information content of the website is reflected in the book but worse.
The David's Mother,

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

24 of 25 people found the following review helpful By Leslie Estes on July 27, 2005
Format: Paperback
If you love to bake - BUY THIS BOOK! I read it for hours the first day I received it & thoroughly enjoyed the hundreds of tips & chemistry `lessons'. Alton Brown once said - "while cooking is art, baking is not -- it is mostly chemistry" - & as such, this book helps you understand why your brownies fell in the middle or why your whole wheat bread isn't rising... It takes you step-by-step into the how's & why's of baking unlike any other book I've seen.

Also, don't hesitate to use the author's great "Ask Sarah" website if you have a problem that isn't covered in her book ([...] Sarah is very quick to respond. I am a professional baker (we manufacture Java Bites Espresso Cookies sold here on Amazon) & she helped me out of a jam during the early recipe developement of this cookie line.

One note of caution: If you are looking for another recipe book - this is not it. While the recipes in her book are excellent, you won't find them in abundance. This is more of a how-to-bake-practically-anything book, with a sampling of recipes to support all the tips. You can find a plethora of recipes on her site though.

Good luck - & happy baking!
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19 of 23 people found the following review helpful By party girl on December 14, 2004
Format: Paperback
I am an excellent cook and baker--Trial by error. However, upon reading and purchasing this book, it added to my knowledge and explained why certain things occurred. Normally, I would know certain procedures to follow just through trial and error, however, this book tells you why. It gives you the nuts and bolts. You know how parents would say "do, this or that, and really didn't say why, they just knew. Well, sarah says, do this and that and then tells you why.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By mark breslauer on January 26, 2004
Format: Paperback
I have over 125 cookbooks and some are never used. I use this one all the time, and it never fails. Sarah's instructions are clear and concise and really work. The tips and explanations of common baking problems and questions fill in so many blanks. It all makes sense now. The recipes are great, too. Delicious sponge cake and chocolate chip bars. Thanks, Sarah!
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Judy Saffan on November 15, 2003
Format: Paperback
Whatever your level of expertise, this book can help you. Whatever your question, you will find the answer in this book. Sarah makes the world of baking less intimidating to the novice while also addressing more sophisticated techniques for the more skilled baker. No baker should be without this book in the kitchen!
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Kelley on February 29, 2004
Format: Paperback
As a frequent baker, I am always searching for recipes that create wonderful cakes with great ease. Sarah's book is a blessing! I can honestly say that I haven't had a failed recipe. Sarah makes sense of all those rules of baking, and it's much more fun and relaxing for me. My copy of her book is splashed with butter and chocolate and who knows what else..a sure sign of a well-loved cookbook. Thank you Sarah for the great book!
Kelley Farrell
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful By singsgood on March 24, 2006
Format: Paperback
Okay, so I am getting older. But I do try to follow cake recipes TO THE LETTER because I believe that baking is truly chemistry. "Chocolate Frosted Fudge Layer Cake," the recipe, Step 2: "...combine flour and salt and set aside." Right. Did it. Followed the rest of the steps to the letter, or I think I did....the author said the batter would be thin...wow, was it ever! Popped the pans into the oven only to find the FLOUR AND SALT MIXTURE STILL SET ASIDE on my countertop...i.e., NOT in the cake! Obviously there was an error in the recipe in the book - one I should have spotted beforehand, maybe, but didn't.

I whisked the pans out of the oven, dumped the batter back into the mixing bowl, threw the flour mixture in and beat it as quickly as I could; threw it back in the pans and into the oven. Fortunately, despite my haphazard efforts, the cake rose beautifully and tasted great in the end.

This printing snag had been duly noted on Sarah Phillips' excellent website, addressed and rectified...unfortunately, I did not see it until after the fact.

I originally gave this book 3 out of 5 stars because of this...not the author's fault, but I felt I was reviewing the BOOK, not its author - and the book had a few problems. Like too many cookbooks, I have found, a few inaccuracies or omissions by the publishers can make a big difference...and it happens to the best of them. It's too bad we can't rate the accuracy of a cookbook's editing separately from the book as a whole...

...Now, in editing my original review, I wish I could add two more stars to the three that I gave it and make it five. The more I consider this book, I must say that without a doubt - publishing error(s) and all - it is still one I wouldn't want to be without in my kitchen...
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on October 15, 2003
Format: Paperback
This is a really fun book to read, use and learn from. I like to cook, and think I'm pretty good at it, but baking has never been my thing. Honestly, the title of this book made me buy it, as it seems that I always have problems when attempting to bake anything. Baking 9-1-1 is a really easy to use cookbook and it's fun to read. Sarah has a no-attitude approach to baking, as she assumes that you don't know much about baking and she covers all the basics ranging from utensils to ingredients to techniques. But the book is not so basic as not to have interesting recipes.

There are two chapters dealing with ingredients and techniques. Sarah's recommendation on ingredients is to buy the best possible, as you'll get better results. But, she's also practical in that she recommends products that are easily available in supermarkets rather than gourmet shops. And, the techniques section is really helpful. For example, I never knew what "folding" batter meant, and Sarah both explained what it is and how to do it easily. And, she recommended that you assemble all your ingredients before starting to bake, rather than measuring as you go along. All her suggestions are practical.

The rest of the book has chapters on cakes, cookies, pies, chocolate and breads, among others. In each chapter, Sarah first outlines some basics, then offers suggestions on ingredients and preparation. The recipes then follow. These chapters are fun to read as Sarah has, throughout the text, mixed in separate sections with answers to commonly asked questions related to the chapter. She also has small "Sarah Says" sections with quick tips. The recipes themselves are, thank goodness, easy to follow and, to me, were logical, and there's suggestions on storage which I found very helpful.
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