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Baking and Pastry: Mastering the Art and Craft Hardcover – April 1, 2004

27 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Having attained a sort of unofficial status as the final arbiter in American cooking, the Culinary Institute of America (that other CIA) brings the proper authority to this encyclopedic work. Surely no single chef or restaurant team would be trusted to cover such a range of subjects, from yeast doughs, quick breads, pies and cookies to confections, decorations and wedding cakes. Unfortunately, this comprehensiveness is matched by a sense of style befitting an encyclopedia, or, perhaps more accurately, a textbook. Sections in the introduction on "dressing for safety" and "managing human resources" make it clear that the CIA (and Wiley) intend to sell more than a few copies to students and working chefs. The home cook who skips right to the recipes will sooner or later be frustrated by the professional quantities (the Old-Fashioned Pound Cake recipe produces six two-pound loaves) and measures (when was the last time you doled out your egg yolks by the ounce?). In the more complex recipes, frequent cross references on the ingredient list make it difficult to follow the process as a whole. With these caveats in mind, advanced home cooks will appreciate having this around as a master guidebook that defines the standard methods and fills in the gaps left by others. Libraries will find it useful behind the reference desk to handle tough questions, and bookstores might try marketing the book to local restaurateurs.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Review

Baking is certainly a "hot" profession right now: baking programs have waiting lists and pastry chefs at the best-known restaurants are gaining celebrity status. Based in Hyde Park, NY, the Culinary Institute of America (CIA) has developed this outstanding, comprehensive reference for students and professionals. Hundreds of pages are devoted to restaurant kitchen management chemical analysis of ingredients, safe handling and storage of products in a professional setting, and professional-scale equipment. There are tables for standard formulas, volume-to-weight conversion, calculating edible portions, and the like. The volume also contains 350 recipes, many of them classic breads and desserts, presented in a professional format that will be unfamiliar to most home cooks. Of similar excellence, Baking Illustrated, from the editors of Cook Illustrated magazine, is a much more user-friendly book for home bakers. Recommended for large collections or academic libraries that support programs in the culinary arts. —Mary Schlueter; Missouri River Regional Lib., Jefferson City, MO (Library Journal , May 1, 2004)

Having attained a sort of unofficial status as the final arbiter in American cooking, the Culinary Institute of America (that other CIA) brings the proper authority to this encyclopedic work. Surely no single chef or restaurant team would be trusted to cover such a range of subjects, from yeast doughs, quick breads, pies and cookies to confections, decorations and wedding cakes. Unfortunately, this comprehensiveness is matched by a sense of style befitting an encyclopedia, or, perhaps more accurately, a textbook. Sections in the introduction on “dressing for safety” and “managing human resources” make it clear that the CIA (and Wiley) intend to sell more than a few copies to students and working chefs. The home cook who skips right to the recipes will sooner or later be frustrated by the professional quantities (the Old-Fashioned Pound Cake recipe produces six two-pound loaves) and measures (when was the last time you doled out your egg yolks by the ounce?). In the more complex recipes, frequent cross references on the ingredient list make it difficult to follow the process as a whole. With these caveats in mind, advanced home cooks will appreciate having this around as a master guidebook that defines the standard methods and fills in the gaps left by others. Libraries will find it useful behind the reference desk to handle tough questions, and bookstores might try marketing the book to local restaurateurs. (Mar.) (Publishers Weekly, March 29, 2004)

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 880 pages
  • Publisher: Wiley (April 1, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0471443824
  • ISBN-13: 978-0471443827
  • Product Dimensions: 8.8 x 1.7 x 11.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.8 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (27 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #634,768 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

170 of 179 people found the following review helpful By B. Marold HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWER on April 30, 2004
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Like almost all other Culinary Institute of America books, this volume, `Baking and Pastry Mastering the Art and Craft' is primarily written as a textbook for culinary professionals. Even as a textbook, I would not recommend this book to non-professionals as a means of learning how to bake. For baking hobbyists who simply want to learn more in a systematic fashion about baking, I would strongly recommend that they get a copy of Sherry Yard's new book `The Secrets of Baking' and read it from cover to cover.
This does not mean this is a poor book. Only that it is pretty seriously oriented to teaching professional pastry chefs. And, there are ways in which professional chefs do things, which are not and should not be done by the home baker who prepares baked goods for their family and friends. The most obvious symptom of this fact is that most recipes are scaled to make many more pieces than a home baker is likely to want, unless they are baking for a church bake sale.
This also does not mean that the book has no value for the home baker. If you are a serious baker for your own consumption, this book is an excellent reference for just about any pastry preparation of which you can think. Not only will it have authoritative recipes for staple preparations such as batters, Panna cotta, sabayon, crème broulee, caramel, buttercream, chantilly cream, lemon curd, glazes, royal icing, pate brisee, pate a Choux and dozens of other standard recipes, it will have recipes for some preparations for which you may have a difficult time finding any place else. My favorite discovery is a recipe for strudel. I have made strudel with frozen philo dough, but I am not very happy with the result. But, I really like good strudel, so now all I have to do is find a counter large enough to prepare it.
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100 of 104 people found the following review helpful By Rochellegirl65 on February 22, 2005
Format: Hardcover
This texbook is absolutely what I wanted. Do not purchase this book if you are faint of heart. It is a professional text that will challenge you. The recipes are not typical as one would find in a typical cookbook. The recipes are made for volume and the instructions are not continuous. You may be referred to other pages for information on folding, bulk fermenting, soakers/poolishes, and preparations before you finish with your end product. The multigrain bread took two days with a great deal of coordination. Don't do it with your kids distracting you. For those who have experience or who are determined to learn professional baking techniques this is great. I enjoy this book and want to work on as many recipes as possible. If I didn't have 20 years of personal culinary experience, I would find this book intimidating. It was well worth another swipe on my credit card. Have fun folks.
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35 of 40 people found the following review helpful By R. Wright on August 24, 2007
Format: Hardcover
Fo better scientific understanding, see "Understanding Baking" by Joseph Amendola.

Current CIA baking instructors are in the process of replacing this book as it's not the best teaching instrument because the science is ignored and factually incorrect at places. All of this from a current student.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Jann Cure on January 5, 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Finally an answer as to WHY ice cream/bread/pastry/etc. succeed or fail - on a scientific level. I agree with others, that if you are looking for a cookbook, this is NOT the one for you. But as an engineer/scientist, it speaks right to my heart, in a language that I understand. I have been through stacks of cookbooks looking for the SCIENCE/CHEMISTRY/PHYSICS of cooking with explanations-sometimes on a molecular level-that I can relate to! The idea of enzyme reactions, sugar concentration balance, proportions along side "recipes" is something not found in you typical, run of the mill cook book, but it is just what I have been searching for!!!
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Robert Menendez on March 26, 2007
Format: Hardcover
This book is a must for a savory kitchen. My staff uses the recipes out of this book constantly. A nessasary part of a professional kitchen mise en place. I had to buy a second copy because the first one is worn out.
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15 of 19 people found the following review helpful By love to bake on September 4, 2004
Format: Hardcover
This book was assigned to me in my culinary baking classes. I found it to have wonderful recipes and helped me to really solidify what I needed to know to become a pastry chef. I found this book quite pleasing and fun to learn from.

For class exams, I found Melissa Heilman's "Study Guide for Baking: Key Review Questions and Answers with Explanations" and "Study Guide for Advanced Baking: Key Review Questions and Answers with Explanations" to have great review test questions. The questions were of the kind I saw on my baking exams. They helped make my life easier in studying for the exams.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Warner Bolton-Fisher on March 16, 2006
Format: Hardcover
As with "The Professional Chef", another work by the CIA, I can only find words of praise for this wonderful book.

The techniques and recipes it contains are great. There's just so much information for the inquisitive chef or cook to delve into...I would definitely recommend this book to anyone that has turned baking into a serious hobby or profession.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By EMK on June 8, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I would rate this book very high if it was made clear that it's strictly for professional bakers baking in bulk. It's not for the home baker because the recipes are for volume production and that's why I'm giving it a lower rating. If you want to bake 25 pizzas or 12 loaves of breads this is the book for you. However, there are some recipes for making just one bread or cake, but to do it, the recipe calls for you to make 12 pounds of the dough first, and then use one pound of that dough to continue. I suppose you could freeze the remaining 11 pounds for future use. Very awkward and I don't think it's recommended.

This book does give you lots of information, such as types of yeasts you can use, the fermentation process, types of gelatin for glazing, etc. everything but everything is covered in great detail down to the reason for determining the internal temperature of the dough before fermentation and baking that I found interesting. I will not be able to use the recipes because I don't bake in bulk and was about to return the book but decided to keep it nevertheless because of the wealth of information involving the whole science and art of baking.
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