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Nancy Silverton's Pastries from the La Brea Bakery Hardcover – October 10, 2000


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Villard; 1 edition (October 10, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0375501932
  • ISBN-13: 978-0375501937
  • Product Dimensions: 9.4 x 7.7 x 1.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.3 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #198,162 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

The La Brea Bakery had humble beginnings, initially offering only rustic bread. But the locals clamored for more, so owner Nancy Silverton--to ever-widening acclaim--introduced everyone's favorite sweets, including cookies, tarts, crisps, and crumbles. The irresistible sights and smells of a good local sweets shop permeate her second cookbook, Pastries from the La Brea Bakery, a follow-up and companion to Breads from the La Brea Bakery. The recipes are designed with the novice baker in mind (baking tools and ingredients are indexed with brief explanations of importance), but the book courts all levels of baking experience. For the more advanced, Silverton shows how to visually accentuate her creations with richly colored fruits and sugars that create varying caramelized effects in delicious ways. Dough recipes include bobka, brioche, and croissants; in the more decadent sweets department are recipes for cookies, tarts, scones, and an entire chapter on doughnuts. Once you get stuck in La Brea you'll have a deliciously hard time getting out. --Teresa Simanton

From Publishers Weekly

Passionate bakers will find Silverton's latest collection of recipes as absorbing as this year's hottest potboiler: "What happens next?" is the question after each page is turned. Here, the answer is one enticing pastry after another: "quickcakes," quick breads, savories, cobblers and crisps, muffins, tarts, doughnuts, confections. Fans of Silverton's La Brea Bakery fare will want to know how she makes her fudge-swirled Almond Poundcake and incomparable Cinnammon Buns; and what's the secret of those famous Bran Muffins? (Pureed Raisins) Hers are "rustic" but elegant creationsAstraightforward, but evocative of browned butter and vanilla, toasted pecans and ricotta. Breakfast Pastries, for example, include Russian Coffeecake, laced with chocolate and sour cream, and lush, brioche Sticky Buns. Although this is a book for the serious cook, its brisk, encouraging tone and intelligently written instructions could help even a novice turn out memorable Chocolate Madeleines, Ginger Scones or Lemon Picnic TartsAwhile experienced cooks can dive into puff pastry or croissant dough, as well. Anyone would be thrilled to sample this combination of pastries, and Silverton's excellent teaching skills make this volume accessible to almost everyone. Photos by Steven Rothfeld. (Sept.)
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Customer Reviews

I'm an experienced baker, educated by Maida Heatter's books.
Meryl Ankori
Many good recipes in this book, the one I am looking forward to making is this one on the cover it just looks soo good and pretty at the same time.
prittimo
The book is worth every penny you spend and every minute of your time.
Seattle reader

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

55 of 55 people found the following review helpful By Jadepearl VINE VOICE on October 22, 2000
Format: Hardcover
This book loves certain ingredients, gingers and almonds in particular. If you do not like these two flavors overly much than you might want to hesitate buying the book right away. For those of you who do love those flavors than this book is for you. Graced with ginger cakes, ginger cookies and a variety of almond delights mixed with luscious fruit recipes you will be pleased. Not as technically exhaustive as _Breads of the LaBrea Bakery_ this is a nice collection of recipes with some baking tips thrown in. The Breads book was exhaustive in its detail and devotion to the making of bread whereas, this book is a nice collection that is much less daunting. All the recipes can be done the same day and are not as painstaking as a multi-day day artisan bread process using starters or special equipment.On the design -- the design is done in pretty font style with a little introduction by Ms. Silverton, list of ingredients and then instructions. BE SURE to read the instructions all the way through before starting. The instructions are done in long paragraph style and you can easily lose your place if you are not careful. The recipes are fun and quite delicious -- try the ginger lemon muffins or the almond chocolate tart. The sugar levels are not too high, but nothing has been stinted in butter, heavy whipping cream or any of those ingredients that makes baking fun. The ingredients are pretty attainable at any supermarket though I was surprised that she did not give a recipe for almond paste which is an ingredient that she uses in more than one recipe. She does, however, provide a vendor in almond paste. Recipes include the use of home made puff pastry, cobblers, rumbles, scones, tarts, cakes and sweets. These are great treats and her book may make you start investing in more specialized items like cake rings but they are not necessary to enjoy this book.Highly recommended.
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35 of 35 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on May 8, 2004
Format: Hardcover
This would have been a delightful cookbook, but the careful eye of an editor was needed. None of the recipes I have used have been free of errors. By way of example, the author indicates that the recipe for the yummy Banana-Cocoa Muffins yields 12 muffins. Actually, there is sufficient batter for 30 good-sized muffins - but only enough garnish for 12! If followed carefully, the recipe for cannele - which should produce tender little French cakes - produces rock-hard pellets. Most of the time, an accomplished cook can work with the many many mistakes - a novice will have a great deal of trouble using this book.
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25 of 25 people found the following review helpful By Neil Robertson on July 21, 2002
Format: Hardcover
I recently purchased Nancy Silverton's Pastries from the La Brea Bakery and while I'm very excited and intrigued by many of the recipes and flavor combinations, I have a few issues with some of the directions given. for example, I tried the recipe for "Viennese Cream Brioche" - a circle of rich brioche filled with creme fraiche. For one thing the directions say to divide the dough into 12 parts and roll into five-inch rounds, then place the rounds on a baking sheet to rise. Obviously 12 five-inch rounds will not fit on a standard home cookie sheet, so you will have to use at least two pans and bake in shifts. OK, I can deal with this oversight, but when baked the filling did not "set" as the recipe indicated. In fact it separated into a greasy mess and never set up. Very frustrating and waste of good brioche dough.
Some of these issues could be cleared up with a few extra photos or diagrams. Another example: in a recipe for a "Princess Ring" you are instructed to roll croissant dough around a filling and then form it into a ring, then "along the inside of the ring, about 2 inches from where the 2 ends meet, make a cut 2 inches deep, cutting 3/4 of the way through to the outside edge. Make 5 more cuts evenly spaced along the inside of the ring". I re-read this direction many times and still can't figure out what I'm supposed to do or what the finished pastry should look like. I'm an experienced baker who doesn't need a photo of a scone or muffin to know what one looks like, and I certainly wasn't expecting a glossy coffee table show piece, but a couple line drawings or photos of key steps would have really helped this book.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on March 9, 2004
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I have baked my way through this fabulous cookbook for the last couple of years and have yet to come across a better cookbook for baking. Actually, I have to respectfully disagree with the reviewer who recommends Rose Levy Beranbaum's Pie & Pastry Bible over Pastries from the La Brea Bakery. Though I love Beranbaum's Cake Bible, I have found the recipes in The Pie & Pastry Bible to be fussy and rarely turn out as promised.
I consider myself a fairly experienced baker, but have always been intimidated by pastry. Yet I have tried several pastries from this cookbook and all have turned out beautifully (including the Pumpkin Pie, which is indeed the best I have ever had and got rave reviews from my Thanksgiving guests). The directions are clear and easy to follow and the sections on muffins, quickbreads, and scones will keep the novice baker busy for a while until she or he gets up the courage to try the croissants and tarts. Pity not the poor bride who gets this for a wedding gift --maybe her husband will give it a try while she's at work.
One word of caution --get ready to spend some money on kitchen equipment if you get addicted to Nancy Silverton's fabulous recipes. Some of them require cake rings and molds most home bakers don't have on hand. However, lest you be discouraged by that warning, I also have to say that many of the recipes require basic pans and tools.
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