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on February 9, 2012
Do you know what the term "Ladyfingers" really describes? I thought so! Until I lived in New Orleans, I had no idea what a King Cake was either! If you bake at all, you need a handy dandy resource like this one to guide you through all of the different baking terms and descriptions that exist that perhaps you have never heard of or recognize. From A to Z this is an amazingly thorough book! Get this one and keep it near when you are baking!
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon February 9, 2012
What's That Mean? The Home Baker's Glossary of Terms, Ingredients and Measurements (In the Pantry Baking Standards) features an extensive, though by no means all-inclusive list of common baking terms. Beginning cooks and bakers will find this reference guide worth a look, but do be aware that there are some problems and the book is not always accurate or authoritative.

First, the Table of Contents, which is very close to the left edge, will take you to the part of the alphabet you want, but perhaps only after several tries. I gave up and ended up paging through by hand.

There are some misspellings that may perhaps confuse the new baker. One that comes immediately to mind is Kipferi with an i instead of the correct spelling, Kipferl with an L. Also missing are alternative spellings where appropriate. One that stuck out to me was Gugelhupf as an alternative spelling for Kugelhupf. This particular cake is made all over the Alsace region of France, all of Germany, Austria and parts of Switzerland, with the spelling changing from place to place. They are both "correct".

Standard abbreviations are either incorrect or missing. While the author does include a variety of alternate abbreviations for tablespoon that once appeared in recipes, the standard abbreviation for many decades has been Tbsp rather than T. A similar situation exists for teaspoon - correct standard abbreviation tsp. not t. The "M" section drove me mad. There is virtually no explanation of the metric system, never mind conversions, and Joyce has entirely omitted the everywhere-but-in-the-US definition for "mince."

Some of the terminology that most often needs definition in today's world of international recipe exchange revolves around sugar. I was especially disappointed that Joyce did not include the terms Caster Sugar and Icing Sugar, probably the single most common cause of confusion around when it comes to using European or Australian baking recipes.

Joyce's description of the book led me to believe that I would find appropriate substitutions. Not so much. If you want to know how to substitute cocoa for chocolate in a recipe, you are going to have to look elsewhere. She defines the X as in 10X in relation to sugar as the number of holes per inch in the screen used to form the crystals. That is news to me. Every authoritative definition I have ever heard of the X's in relation to sugar state that X refers to the fineness of the grind. The more Xs, the finer the sugar has been ground.

There are no pictures. If this were a cookbook I wouldn't complain, but sometimes one teeny picture is worth hundreds of words. A few pictures wouldn't have gone amiss here.

All in all, not bad but could be much better.

PS - My mother taught English. The "mother's daughter" in me is aghast at the title. What's up with "What's that mean"?
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on February 10, 2012
I have just recently started getting into baking and have been enjoying buying all sorts of Kindle recipe books. But because I am so new to it, there's a lot I don't know. This book is basically a dictionary with more information that you could possibly need. The first thing I looked up was almond meal, because I had a recipe that called for it and have no idea what that is. Well, now I know that almond meal is the same thing as almond flour. So I find this book to be very helpful for little things like that. I recommend it to anyone who is a novice baker and wants to be able to quickly look something up.
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on May 8, 2012
I don't know of any other book available to define the baking terminology used by most home bakers and professionals. This is a great book for a referrence and learning guide. I had fun reading it just for kicks but it is also very useful to me.
Thanks for the good book and it will always serve as a reference book for me.
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on June 11, 2013
This book is well organized and clearly written. It will be a welcome reference in my kitchen library. When I started cooking I used Joy of Cooking for information and this is a similar "go to" book. I have enjoyed just skimming it and have learned a lot! Get it now if you are interested in baking.
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on July 5, 2013
When my great-grandchildren come to visit, they love to help GG bake. They use the information to relate to what we are doing and are becoming good little bakers. I recommend this for everyone have as a handy reference.
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on May 30, 2013
I buy a lot of cookbooks from Amazon, but this was my first cooking information book. I'm not sorry.
My husband loves to eat, but only if the food is good. My mother-in-law is the supreme good cook, and I've been blessed that she shares her recipes. Do you think I wanted to just feed him what his mom fed him?
If you did, you must not be a married woman.
Every wife secretly competes with her mother-in-law. Since I can't beat her at her own game I go out of my way to find new recipes I think he'll love.
Thank you, Amazon.
Do you know how many times I stopped reading this book because I found something new that sounded good? I stopped and went to the internet immediately to see if I could find a new recipe that fit the new category.
It took me three days to read this book because I kept stopping!!
Bill will continue to get hot browns for Thanksgiving because his mom doesn't make them, but there will be a few experiments between now and then. He's never complained about being a guinea pig.
This book is a good lab manual.
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on February 13, 2012
How any times have you read a recipe and said I wonder what that is? Joyce has written a wonderful reference book to have in the kitchen to answer your question. Both beginner and experienced baker's need this book in their kitchen.
Scroll to the top and purchase this book now.
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on February 9, 2012
This is a great and handy reference to have on my iPad when I am cooking in the kitchen. While I love to cook, baking is not my strongest area. This book is helpful in understanding terms, baking procedures, and many other areas. It's a great reference to have available for anyone who is new to baking or who wants to increase their knowledge of the craft.
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on July 17, 2013
For the novice food prep-er, who may not know all the terms. This proved to be enlightening. Some French terms I didn't really know. With all the food programs on the networks these days, it did come in handy.
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