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The Art of French Baking Hardcover – November 5, 2011

13 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"The steps are simple, the results are stunning!"- Reader's Digest

"Everybody needs a primer...Adorable!"- The Wall Street Journal

"Mathiot's best chapter is "Gâteaux," where she proffers varieties of nut cakes, spice cakes, chocolate cakes, and even the dreaded fruitcake, whose reputation she may singlehandedly redeem. A solid primer for those looking to indulge in homemade classical pastries, this book will inspire would-be bakers to new heights."- Publishers Weekly

About the Author

Ginette Mathiot (1907-1998), Officier de la Legion d'Honneur, taught three generations how to cook in France and is the ultimate authority on French home cooking. She wrote more than 30 best-selling cookbooks, covering all subjects in French cuisine, including I Know How to Cook (Phaidon).

Clotilde Dusoulier write the popular blog chocolateandzucchini.com, from her Paris apartment.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Phaidon Press (November 5, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0714862576
  • ISBN-13: 978-0714862576
  • Product Dimensions: 7.5 x 2 x 11 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #74,141 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

20 of 21 people found the following review helpful By wogan TOP 500 REVIEWER on December 14, 2011
Format: Hardcover
French cooking seems to over awe many...what this book does is create steps to make some of the typical French desserts. Physically, the book is well put together and solid, with an almost padded cover. There are two ribbons to keep your place. Some coloured drawings and a few photographs of the recipes make it an attractive book, easy to read and use.

It contains an introduction to baking, basic recipes, small cakes, gateaux, tarts and pastries, cookies, milk and egg desserts, some desserts by noted chefs, a glossary and an index.
The advice in the beginning is well done and would inspire confidence in most cooks. Necessary equipment and ingredients are explained. Techniques are detailed for the basic recipes and the different types of desserts. Even ovens and afternoon tea are discussed. Recipes include prep time.
These are the desserts one does find in France and in most of Europe - not too sweet and overwhelming, but delicate and distinctive.
We have enjoyed their version of cheese straws made with Gruyere cheese and the marbled gateau.

With some patience even a relatively inexperienced cook could produce most of these recipes. It is an interesting book to add to a cookbook collection.
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Michael Weyandt on May 3, 2012
Format: Hardcover
The book is chock full of recipes and beautiful photographs, and most everything I've tried thus far tastes great. However, more than half of the recipes I've attempted have significant problems with texture or volume. I'm not an expert baker by any means, but I've successfully produced many good items from other books. If there are technical flaws I'm making, the book doesn't give me enough pointers to avoid them, and I'm not experienced enough to know what they are without guidance. Then again, maybe the measurements are sometimes off, as another review has mentioned?

Also, many cakes look significantly different from the pictures in terms of volume. In particular, the Gateau au chocolat, which I attempted twice, seemed to be less than half as tall as the one pictured, though the texture seemed the same--and the recipe called for a 9" pan and I'd substituted an 8" one!

Overall, handsome book, but I wish the recipes turned out better.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By miky-c@hanmail.net on February 6, 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book has both merits. One is basic process and the other is aesthetic view. Many up to date book focuses on the beautiful photo or healthy point. But it has well balance, so easy to follow and glad to read just.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By austineuro on August 20, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Clearly written by a person who knows what is going on, but a picture often means more to me than words and I would have liked more pictures. A glaring omission in "Baking" is that there is not a single recipe for salty snacks that are baked.
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Format: Hardcover
Very fun having this book in my collection now. Have enjoyed reading about different techniques. Seller was quick to ship and book was in better condition than expected! Very happy with everything
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Anne on May 7, 2015
Format: Hardcover
I just picked this up at Costco and will be returning it. These cookbooks issued by Phaidon are a mixed bag and I am going to avoid them in the future, despite being a cookbook junkie. My biggest complaint that this is a baking book that only provides ingredients by volume rather than weight. Most reputable current baking books now provide both volume and weight to guide the home baker. Despite this on page 22 there is a drawing of a scale--go figure. The book is riddled with typos. Other than the measuring issue I find the instructions very lacking--especially since baking is so precise. There are so many more superior baking books out there (such as Dorie Greenspan's new Baking Chez Moi, Rose Levy Beranbaum's The Baking Bible, Flo Braker's The Simple Art of Perfect Baking, and Paula Peck's The Art of Fine Baking.) My most frequently used dessert cookbook since 1985 is Lindsey Shere's Chez Panisse Desserts hands down--everything works, is simple, and delicious. If you are really into French baking and desserts I recommend the following in English: Mastering the Art of French Pastry by Healy and Bugat, and James Peterson's Baking.
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By Miguel C on July 8, 2015
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Good recipies
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