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Swedish Breads and Pastries Hardcover – December 9, 2010


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Swedish Breads and Pastries + Scandinavian Classic Baking + The Great Scandinavian Baking Book
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Skyhorse Publishing (December 9, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1616080515
  • ISBN-13: 978-1616080518
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 11.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #493,303 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Master baker Jan Hedh is known throughout Sweden as a beloved baker and confectioner and is internationally recognized within the food industry. Hedh works as a partner in the artisan bakery Peter's Yard. 

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Customer Reviews

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I gave this cookbook as a gift and he loved it.
Amazon Customer
I expected to find several recipes in this book, but there isn't one!
Bonnie Gustafsson
This is a problem if you are not already familiar with baking.
Jackal

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

19 of 21 people found the following review helpful By marsaluna on January 1, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Recently I've become interested in European baking, so I was waiting eagerly for the release of this book and ordered it as soon as it became available. I'm sorry to say it's not really about Swedish baking. There are a few Swedish bread recipes but most of the recipes are for French bread, Italian bread, focaccia, fougasse, croissants, Danish pastry, etc., i.e., pretty much what you would find in any baking book. Except that here the recipes are rendered in rather awkward translations from Swedish. Sometimes they're downright confusing. For instance regarding the gluten test: "If the dough comes apart too easily, it needs to be worked more. However if it bursts too easily, it has been worked too much." (?) And a bread glaze: "Mix 10 grams of potato flour and 50 grams of water. Boil 300 grams of water, whisk the flour and let it cook." Do you mix the 50 grams of water + flour into the 300 grams of water? Maybe, but I'm not really sure.

I don't want to be too hard on this book; there are some good things about it. The photographs are very nice and the breads and pastries look appetizing. An experienced baker might be able to use the book despite the translation difficulties and be inspired by the beautiful photos. And there are a few very interesting recipes for Swedish breads such as wort bread, old-time syrup loaf, and coarse Skane bread--just the kinds of things I was hoping for. I don't even particularly object to quirky translations; they can be charming and funny, providing the underlying information is understandable. However, this book would have benefited immensely from better translation and editing.

This book is published by Skyhorse Press, which seems to specialize in Swedish books. I own another book from Skyhorse Press called Swedish Cakes and Cookies, which I love. Swedish Cakes and Cookies has great photographs and is packed with recipes that are translated well, so maybe they can fix this book up a little in a later edition.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Aceto TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on October 12, 2011
Format: Hardcover
Reading the several reviews that have been disappointed by this outstanding cookbook, I decided to offer another experience. They were looking for a traditional book of Swedish baking, one that presented recipes from the old country that Grandmother baked. There are additional criticisms about the presentation of this material, troubles with the weights and measures and a few confusing steps in the instructions. All these are valid criticisms. My perspective is different so I offer it without prejudice to their honest remarks.

This cookbook is not for beginners. If you want a basic approach with traditional recipes, I suggest you consider Ojakangas fine book. Even so, she has a Scandinavian approach rather than anything you might imagine as strictly Swedish.

Sweden is not an insular country. Wars aside, you cannot fully separate them from Denmark or Finland, for starters. But I must go at least one step further; you cannot separate Sweden from Europe. So Jan Hedh is for me a typical Swede - adventurous, international and brazenly pilfering from whichever lands suit his purpose.

Go to a Swedish bakery and you will find Danishes labeled Vienna; and there will be no shortage of French breads and pastries, or of Berliners either. But they all have a Swedish accent, which means aromatic spices and herbs. That is what I hoped to find here.

Somebody was telling me that she does not use butter in bread, only on it. Hey kid, no margarine in Malmo. Beautiful butter makes soft sweet breads. The first treasure in this book is Jan's discussion of rye flours and rye bread. His is not the wimpy cousin you get in cellophane at the store.

On the opposite end of the spectrum, Jan does not get carried away with caraway.
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13 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Jemma on December 17, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
A huge disappointment - I preordered this book so that I could re-live my childhood in Sweden by making authentic Swedish recipes! The title is extremely misleading. Not even half the recipes are Swedish - they're from all over Europe! The book is missing several every day Swedish recipes like kanel bullar, rymbo bullar, semlor etc.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Giordano Bruno on October 28, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
... but the substantial review of this book by "aceto" (vinegar) called on me, a Swede of sorts, to order it. He was just. It's an excellent cookbook for experienced and adventuresome bread makers. I've tried only one recipe specifically as presented in the book, but I've made similar versions of several of the Swedish breads and pastries, as well as versions of some of the non-Swedish breads included in the text. Yes, it's not all Swedish. Some of the recipes are ineluctably un-Swedish, utterly Mediterranean. Oh well. Also, as aceto reports, you'll need to use a kitchen scale rather than a measuring cup if you want to follow these recipes precisely. Once again, oh well. If you live in New York, or San Francisco, or a city of similar bread-making prowess, you'll probably want this book only for an occasional kitchen frolic since you can buy breads of the highest qualities close to home. And, sad to say, if you want this book because you live in some gawdforsaken place where good breads are not to be bought, you may find that the quality of flour and other ingredients available to you isn't sufficient to make great breads even with great recipes. Having given that warning, however, I'd say this is one of the best 'bread' books I've ever looked at.
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