The Art & Soul of Baking
 
 


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The Art & Soul of Baking [Hardcover]

Sur La Table , Cindy Mushet
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (64 customer reviews)

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Starred Review. Veteran pastry chef Mushet puts her decades of experience to work in this dense, informative baking guide from Seattle-based gourmet cookware retailer Sur La Table (thankfully light on advertorials), opening with a comprehensive overview of crucial equipment and a 30 page guide to pantry stocking (butter, flour and sugar get three pages each, chocolate gets five). Covering all aspects of the baking spectrum, Mushet gives yeast-based breads, quick breads, cookies and bars, layered pastries and other specialties their turn, doing admirable work with standards like pizza dough and dinner rolls, as well as trendier riffs like pesto rolls and rustic olive and thyme bread that give cooks room to stretch in each category. Mushet's invaluable lessons in ensuring oven accuracy, incorporating butter into dough for layered pastries (with step-by-step photos) and the causes of falling soufflés will get novices up to speed, and experts ready to tackle Mushet's compelling cheesecake batter-in-a-food-processor technique will find her inventive hors d'oeuvre Stilton Cheesecake with Port-Braised Pears a big hit at the next cocktail party. Those already comfortable with baking will get the most out of the book's 250 recipes, but there are plenty of dishes well within the reach of those new to Crème Brulee and lemon bar construction, making this a great volume to learn and grow with.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From School Library Journal

Starred Review. Malgieri is director of the baking program at New York's Institute of Culinary Education and author of numerous other cookbooks, including How To Bake, in many ways the predecessor of this ambitious new title. He begins with an introduction to ingredients, equipment, and techniques and follows with eight recipe chapters. Chapter introductions provide helpful general tips on the various techniques involved, and recipe headnotes offer more specific information. Despite the subtitle, streamlined techniques do not seem to be a major focus, as many recipes rely on classic, time-tested methods. The recipes, many shown in color photographs, include both traditional favorites like Date Walnut Bread and more contemporary creations such as Smoked Salmon Mille-Feuilles, with ethnic specialties from a wide range of cuisines. For most baking collections.Mushet, a talented pastry chef, cooking teacher, and author of the excellent Desserts: Mediterranean Flavors, California Style, presents the latest book from the Sur La Table team, following Things Cooks Love. Like Malgieri's book, it covers both sweet and savory baking, but it includes far more information. Two lengthy introductory chapters cover techniques, equipment, and ingredients, and dozens of sidebars on "Tips for Success" and "What the Pros Know" offer further helpful insider advice. Recipes range from basics such as Quick Puff Pastry and Classic Sugar Cookies to unusual and appealing treats like Malted Milk Chocolate Tart; most of them include make-ahead information, and many also have variations. There are striking color photographs throughout, as well as step-by-step technique photos. Mushet's style is engaging and never intimidating. Essential.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

Despite the title’s appeal to emotional and aesthetic urges, this baking guide determinedly concentrates on the scientific knowledge that underpins everything that an accomplished baker produces. That focus radiates throughout the text of this totally accessible and eminently useful introduction to breads, pastries, pies, cookies, cakes, custards, and soufflés. Mushet is determined to explain in detail the whys and wherefores of baking, recommending that even tyros learn to measure flour and similar ingredients by weight rather than volume. She provides comprehensive glossaries of baking equipment and components that intelligently address just about any question a novice might raise. In addition to listing ingredients, quantities, and techniques, each recipe inventories equipment necessary to execute the recipe successfully, making it unnecessary to search the full recipe to find out what pans and appliances to use. Mushet also provides informative sidebars that share professional bakers’ secrets. Very valuable for cookery reference collections. --Mark Knoblauch

Review

Chock full of baking tips and very, very precise instructions. --Apartment Therapy The Kitchn

Helpful insider advice...unusual and appealing treats...striking color photographs throughout, as well as step-by-step technique photos. Mushet's style is engaging and never intimidating. Essential. --Library Journal

A must have, whether you're a beginner looking to learn the basics or an accomplished baker in search of contemporary takes on the classics. --Fine Cooking

A must have. --Fine Cooking Magazine's blog

If you buy just one new baking book this season, make it this one. --J.M. Hirsch, The Associated Press

Review

Many elements combine to make a great cookbook, all of which are in The Art & Soul of Baking. Those elements are so artfully combined that the book possesses the singular quality that lifts a cookbook above the rest, and that is the ability to inspire.

Even if you suffer from FOF (fear of flour), the tips and techniques that leaven this book will soon get you thinking like a pastry chef. Consistently wonderful recipes... just the book to provide inspiration throughout the months ahead.

The Art & Soul of baking proves Cindy Mushet is a great teacher.

Consistently wonderful recipes... just the book to provide inspiration throughout the months ahead.

Review

A great volume to learn and grow with.

Review

If you buy just one new baking book this season, make it this one. Gorgeously illustrated and exhaustively comprehensive...recipes are exceedingly detailed. Reading this is a pleasant and enticing baking education.

Totally accessible and eminently useful...very valuable for cookery reference collections.

Book Description

Possesses the singular quality that lifts a cookbook above the rest, and that is the ability to inspire.

About the Author

Sur La Table is the trusted authority when it comes to all things cooking related. Sur La Table entices aficionados and curious beginners alike with its amazing selection of cookware, bakeware, tools, cookbooks, and cooking school programs designed to make any cook's life easier. They have coauthored nine cookbooks including The Art and Soul of Baking (2008), which received the 2009 IACP Cookbook Award for Baking, was chosen by Gourmet magazine as a book club selection, and was nominated for 2009 baking book of the year by the James Beard Foundation. Baking Kids Love (2009) was also nominated for a 2010 IACP Cookbook Award for Kids/Family Cookbooks. The original store and headquarters are in Seattle, Washington.

Cindy Mushet is the author of The Art and Soul of Baking, which won the IACP Cookbook Award for Baking, received a nomination from The James Beard Foundation, and was chosen by Gourmet magazine as a book club selection. She has been a professional pastry chef and baking instructor for over twenty years. Her recipes have appeared in numerous publications, including Bon Appétit, Fine Cooking, Country Home, the National Culinary Review, the New York Times, and The 150 Best American Recipes (2006). Her first book, Desserts: Mediterranean Flavors, California Style, was published in 2000. Inspired by her daughter Bella, Cindy has taught baking to many children, both in school classrooms and in summer baking camps. A fun and engaging teacher, Cindy has also taught thousands of adults nationwide. She makes her home in the Los Angeles area.
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