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The Grand Central Baking Book: Breakfast Pastries, Cookies, Pies, and Satisfying Savories from the Pacific Northwest's Celebrated Bakery Hardcover – October 6, 2009
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From Publishers Weekly
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–Cory Schreiber, founder of Wildwood and coauthor of Rustic Fruit Desserts
“The recipes in this book are just like Grand Central Bakery: brilliant but not flashy, tasty but not self-absorbed, and full of homey charm. You will be smitten!”
–Tom Douglas, chef-owner of Dahlia Lounge, Lola, and Serious Pie, and author of Tom Douglas’ Seattle Kitchen
“There is a familial quality to good baking, a no-nonsense wholesomeness with the scent of freshly baked muffins. Piper and Ellen have captured this, as well as the wonderful style and character of Grand Central Bakery favorites. This is a practical and functional book that is bound to become lovingly tattered on your shelf.”
–Greg Higgins, chef-owner of Higgins Restaurant and Bar and recipient of the James Beard Award Best Chef: Northwest
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Top Customer Reviews
The book is written in Piper's voice--when you read it you'll instantly understand that she's passionate about educating and sharing her baking secrets as well as those of the other pastry chefs she's worked with. The book is a fun read--no fussy, overly complicated recipes here. I've made the Apple Tart Tatin and the Apple Bundt Cake and they both received rave reviews from my guests. I can't wait to try the Irish Soda Bread--which is my favorite treat from the bakery.
The book is printed on high quality paper, beautifully bound with artist quality photos of most recipes and several step-by-step photos to walk you through more complicated processes such as making "ruff puff" pastry--similar to puff pastry.
I highly recommend this baking book for the novice and experienced baker alike. I'm an experienced baker and wish I'd have had this information starting out.
My issue is with the fact that, while the book appears to be written for beginners, the actual recipes I have made needed some baker's intuition to get them to come out right. For instance, the blueberry muffins recipe states that the recipe makes "12 muffins in standard muffin tins" and that the muffins take 45 minutes to bake. Mine made 24 muffins in what I consider standard muffin tins (the kind you make cupcakes in), and were fully cooked in 20 minutes. Had I left them without checking for longer, well, you know . . .
I also made the lemon bars, which were SO good. However, the recipe stated that the custard takes 20 minutes to cook; mine took at least 35. It said the top should feel "slightly firm". I took them out when they felt that way to me, and they were still pretty runny.
Even as I write this, it sounds a little unfair and obvious to me. However, from what I have made, I get the feeling that some things were lost in translation between the en masse bakery recipes and the scaled down home cook recipes. I keep thinking that if I had received this book 10 years ago, when I was first learning how to bake, the recipes would have been total failures and I would have given it up.
The breakfast pastries alone are worth the expense of the book. The Jammers, flaky biscuits baked with a thumbprint of jam in the middle (preferably homemade- use The Blue Chair Jam Cookbook's Raspberry Jam recipe for an incredible treat) are one of my all-time favorite recipes now. Likewise, the Blueberry Muffins, to which I add just a hint of orange zest, are just as good. I would say that the best recipes in the book are found in the Quick Bread section: the Banana Nut, Pumpkin Bread, and Cranberry Orange Pecan. Each of the bread recipes can be frozen, and after 2 months they still tasted great! The cookie section features tried-but-true flavors, such as Chocolate Chip Oatmeal, Peanut Butter, and Raisin, but each recipe has been tweaked just a little to make it more special- two different types of chocolate chips in one, golden raisins in another. There is a wonderful page embedded in the cookie section that details how to freeze uncooked dough for cookies any time. The Shortbread Tea Cookie section was a pleasant surprise, as many books don't focus on Icebox-type cookies. The Hazelnut Poppyseed Cookies were a fun change with my coffee.Read more ›
The rescipes are very heavy on butter, I found I can leave off the round up, on the butter and they turn out fine, 1 stick, not 1.4 sticks of butter.
Also baking time in the books is a little long, the muffins took 25 -30 mins, not 50 mins. the hand pies took 40 mins, not 1 hour. I am an experienced cook, so I have no trouble adjusting time.
The directions work, are easy, practical, informative and fast for an experienced cook. Blue B muffins went toghter in a flash. If you don't know a few shortcuts, then this could be a frustrating book,, can you make buttermilk?
This is the sweet, pastry, cookie and savory part of the bakery. The bread rescipes are not included, except the fast breads, pumkin and cranberry.
Sure wish I had this book for the last 5 years since I live so far from Grand Central now.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I love the bakery in Portland, and cannot wait to make some of these goodies!Published 6 months ago by Michelle O
I purchased this book recently when we were in a Grand Central Bakery in Seattle, and I am NOT disappointed! Read morePublished 14 months ago by Stella
This is a great cookbook for the home baker. Every recipe I've tried so far has turned out very well. Read morePublished 16 months ago by EverydayReader
I bought one Grand Central Baking Book for me and one for my culinary instructor and their program. I will use one of the recipes from this book and present it as my dessert for my... Read morePublished 22 months ago by kathy murray
I love the tutorials.
Picture guidance start to finish.
I author is a local girl(Goldendale, WA) I do LOVE that!
I know one of the co-collaborators--the food stylist and writer Ellen Jackson--so I had to get it. But I discovered that it's great literature. Read morePublished on January 12, 2014 by Susan Bernstein
Every time I visit Portland Oregon I eat something at one of the Grand Central locations and dream about it for months afterward. Read morePublished on December 31, 2013 by Lucky Clucker