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The Art of French Pastry [Kindle Edition]

Jacquy Pfeiffer , Martha Rose Shulman
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (69 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $40.00
Kindle Price: $21.99
You Save: $18.01 (45%)
Sold by: Random House LLC

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Book Description

Winner of  the 2014 James Beard Award for Best Cookbook, Dessert & Baking

What does it take to perfect a flawless éclair? A delicate yet buttery croissant? To pipe dozens of macarons? The answer is: an intimate knowledge of the fundamentals of pastry. In The Art of French Pastry award-winning pastry chef Jacquy Pfeiffer, cofounder of the renowned French Pastry School in Chicago, gives you just that.

By teaching you how to make everything from pâte à choux to pastry cream, Pfeiffer builds on the basics until you have an understanding of the science behind the ingredients used, how they interact with one another, and what your hands have to do to transform them into pastry. This yields glorious results! Expect to master these techniques and then indulge in exquisite recipes, such as:
·      brioche
·      napoléons / Mille-Feuilles
·      cream puffs
·      Alsatian cinnamon rolls / chinois
·      lemon cream tart with meringue teardrops
·      elephant ears / palmiers
·      black forest cake
·      beignets
as well as some traditional Alsatian savory treats, including:
·    Pretzels
·    Kougelhof
·    Tarte Flambée
·    Warm Alsatian Meat Pie
Pastry is all about precision, so Pfeiffer presents us with an amazing wealth of information—lists of necessary equipment, charts on how ingredients react in different environments, and the precise weight of ingredients in grams, with a look at their equivalent in U.S. units—which will help you in all aspects of your cooking.

But in order to properly enjoy your “just desserts,” so to speak; you will also learn where these delicacies originated. Jacquy Pfeiffer comes from a long line of pastry chefs and has been making these recipes since he was a child working in his father’s bakery in Alsace. Sprinkled with funny, charming memories from a lifetime in pastry, this book will have you fully appreciating the hundreds of years of tradition that shaped these recipes into the classics that we know and love, and can now serve to our friends and families over and over again.

The Art of French Pastry, full of gorgeous photography and Pfeiffer’s accompanying illustrations, is a master class in pastry from a master teacher.

From the Hardcover edition.

Editorial Reviews Review

Featured Recipes from The Art of French Pastry

From Booklist

*Starred Review* Nowhere else do chemistry, physics, and aesthetics combine so elegantly and tastily as in the hands of a great pastry chef. Alsatian-born Pfeiffer now teaches a demanding Chicago culinary program, and his years of experience with classic French baking have come together in a volume that’s the next best thing to actually learning directly from the master’s hands. Rigorously detailed instructions transmit essential techniques for producing not only pastry itself but also concocting custard creams, jams, fillings, sauces, icings, and glazes. Both photographs and graphics show how ingredients come together for each individual creation. Some of the book’s most valuable information appears in sidebars. Here Pfeiffer reveals tricks of the trade and secrets that mere ingredient lists never fully explain, such as how a day’s humidity level can affect a particular pastry’s success or failure. Anyone studying to be a professional baker will profit from Pfeiffer’s guidance, and the amateur cook can vastly improve family desserts. --Mark Knoblauch

Product Details

  • File Size: 11148 KB
  • Print Length: 432 pages
  • Publisher: Knopf (December 3, 2013)
  • Sold by: Random House LLC
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #123,171 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
68 of 68 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Absolutely fantastic! December 5, 2013
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
This is an absolutely fantastic book on the fine art of French pastry! Chef Pfeiffer gives the reader all the tips and tricks necessary to turn out very fine pastries. As well, he weaves in little stories of his own life as a pastry chef that elevate this book above the basic pastry texts. The stories are the hidden gems in the book! Do not be dismayed that this book seems a little technical. The science presented is in fact very basic and easy to understand, but it is completely necessary in order to achieve consistency and to avoid mistakes. As an example, all recipes have ingredients scaled by weight. Finally, a pastry text that drives home the need for proper scaling! No more cups, teaspoons, etc. Far too many baking books still use flour measured in volume with no explanation of the exact technique, the result being unreproducible results or a failed recipe. Not so this text!

I consider myself a pastry hobbyist. I am not an expert and I do not bake every day. However, when I do bake I want consistent results. To that end I have taken a fair number of pastry classes. This book is the next best thing to taking a class from a master. And the best thing about this master is that he knows his audience, because he's taught pastry novices for years. He already knows your potential mistakes and points them out before you make them! So do yourself a favor. If you enjoy French pastries and you want to improve your technique, then buy this book! It is the only book on French pastry that you will ever need.
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18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Cracked the code March 23, 2014
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I am a reasonably good cook, but have always been intimidated by pastry. Cookbooks are often a poor substitute or videos or personal instruction, but this one stands out in all respects. It is crystal clear and logically organized, beginning with the repetitive building blocks that lead to success in the later full recipes. The author seems to anticipate every question that one might have and distills the years of experience as a professional into guidance that an amateur can understand without "dumbing it down" or substituting shortcuts for true technique. I commend the amount of testing that must have gone into the book, for I have yet to find a flawed recipe. It is a challenging book, for it is a complex subject, but It has made me brave and at last, competent, in the pastry kitchen.
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38 of 46 people found the following review helpful
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Update on January 18, 2014
I added a star since the original review. I have now tried several of the recipes in the book, and I am pleased to report that the results were fantastic. The most significant discovery for me was the pie crusts. That alone was worth the price of admission. Two pie recipes - wild blueberry and lemon -- were very successful, although I cheated and left out the complex meringue topping on the lemon pie and used lime instead b/c that's what I had handy, the results nonetheless were amazing. Be aware that the chef's approach to technique can be daunting and overly precise, but I prefer that to too lax and imprecise. You can always adjust (as I did witht the lemon pie) thanks to his detailed explanations of the ingredients and reasons for the techniques used. As for the Kindle version, I discovered that when using the desktop computer Kindle app, navigation works nicely. So, the problem is with the software on the Kindle iPad app. Can't fault the book publishers for that.

I still stand by my original criticism about the lack of instructive photos, video links, and the overload on Alsatian-based recipes including pretzels. In the bigger scheme of what the book actually delivers -- beautiful results - those are just nitpicking details. Just ironic for a book called the Art of French Pastry. Funny how a title can effect expectations. Anyway, I look forward to learning more proper pastry technique. I would have given this four and a half stars if that were possible.

The Original Review: I pre-ordered the Kindle version believing that there would be a savings in pre-ordering. Hmm. wrong. Within a few days of the release, the price plunged six dollars. So much for pre-ordering.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Learning experience March 11, 2014
By arch
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
This is not an ordinary cookbook but rather a great kitchen guide. The reason the book is so good is because the author is aware of every mistake you are likely to make and explains how to rectify them. The bread recipes are really good and his tips on how to make biscuits the French way are invaluable. I highly recommend this book.
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17 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Nice book! December 28, 2013
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I work as a pastry chef and I have a huge library of cookbooks, from culinary texts to home baker-type books. I like this book, I like the descriptions, and the recipes. It's not a definitive collection of pastries from across France, but it does have an easy, accessible style and reliable recipes. I would not hesitate to make this book a gift for a passionate home baker or a professional pastry chef. I'm glad I have it.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars So love this book March 3, 2014
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Why love this book? Well, the author has a different way pf presenting the information and is matter of fact about his approach. I am strictly a home cook but love to make a lot of different things, hot chocolate croissants for my morning commute to work with coffee are life changing and as it turns out not so hard. The cinnamon rolls have an almond paste mixture added in that prevent them from being overly sweet. Shared with the neighbors with rave reviews back. The brioche was wonderful. Hmmmm...maybe I will have to bake something special tomorrow morning when I get up.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
book in excellent condition, easy to read and use
Published 3 days ago by Donna D. Leandro
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Very detailed. Thank you
Published 12 days ago by ARVI
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Best cookbook ever!
Published 12 days ago by Sarah Witkowski
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Very nice!
Published 14 days ago by Rocio Carrasco
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Jacquy Pfeiffer is amazing. Everyone who loves pastry should own this book.
Published 18 days ago by Natalie Keller
5.0 out of 5 stars Along with excellent photos, detailed (and I mean DETAILED) recipes...
Along with excellent photos, detailed (and I mean DETAILED) recipes and directions, we have touching, sometimes sad, sometimes funny stories of how the author (Jacquy Pfieffer)... Read more
Published 27 days ago by CarolECI
1.0 out of 5 stars not a fan
Well since I only read 1 star or 5 stars reviews I only give 1 or 5 Stars
This book isn't a 1 star book but It's just not impressive
I bought around 10 baking books and... Read more
Published 29 days ago by DisappointedCustomer
5.0 out of 5 stars Love this book
Love this book! Pictures, recipes, details of instruction comments and personal anecdotes make this a great read as well as consistently producing fabulous desserts
Published 1 month ago by Frogs
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful book
What a lovely book. Not only do the formulas seem excellent, but Jacquy Pfeiffer tells his personal story which is very interesting.
Published 1 month ago by Phyllis Musicar
4.0 out of 5 stars but it's nice to look at the pictures
I bought this for myself--have yet to make any of the recipes, but it's nice to look at the pictures. I'm a decent cook and expect to succeed with their recipes.
Published 1 month ago by J. Morse
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