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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

4.7 out of 5 stars 33 customer reviews

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One Dough, Ten Breads: Making Great Bread by Hand by Sarah Black
"One Dough, Ten Breads" by Sarah Black
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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Davis, daughter of the woman who founded the renowned Pacific Northwest bakery Grand Central, shares secrets for 85 breakfast pastries, scones, cookies, pies and other baked goods in this reliable resource. Would-be pastry chefs looking for culinary showmanship will likely be disappointed by Davis's rustic recipes, but those with an appreciation for solid, buttery fare will be swooning over the results from recipes like individual bread puddings, Belgian waffles, Lemon Cream Sandwich Cookies and a rich Raspberry Port Trifle. Unfortunately, those results are always thoroughly described in Davis's instructions-not a problem for the bulk of recipes (tarts, cakes, sticky buns) but problematic for more unusual entries like Dutch Babies or biscuit-like Jammers. Still, Davis makes up for these occasional lapses with useful pro tips like how to freeze pies, pie dough and cake batter to maximize efficiency come production time. She also provides proper techniques for a range of skills, from dough handling to building and decorating the perfect layered birthday cake. Readers passionate about their baked goods are sure to find a wealth of favorites.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Review

“At last, we have a long overdue glimpse into one of the Pacific Northwest’s best bakeries. This book is comprehensive, fun, and enticing!”
–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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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Ten Speed Press (October 6, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1580089534
  • ISBN-13: 978-1580089531
  • Product Dimensions: 8.2 x 0.7 x 10.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.8 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (33 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #149,129 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
Grand Central Bakery has so many delicious baked goods, I'm surprised they'd share their recipes--but they did. I've read the book from cover to cover and it's fabulous. Nearly all of the recipes are for items made at the bakery--scaled for the home baker. Piper shares all her tips and techniques for delicious, rustic pastries and baked goods. She gives you lots of information to make home baking easier and more efficient--tells you which items to freeze before baking so you can always have ready to bake items on hand--where to follow the recipe exactly as written and where you can be creative.

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.
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Format: Hardcover
I want to start by saying that I love this book, and I agree with another reviewer who said it is actually a good read, which is unusual for a cookbook. It is full of gorgeous pictures and it's well-written. Also, the workshops on pastry, cake decorating, etc. are great. I am a relatively skilled baker, and I learned a lot.

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.
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Format: Hardcover
My grandmother used to be queen of pies. Her dough was flaky and amazing.I have tried a lot of pie dough recipes in attempts to find one even better. None even came close. This book has pie dough that beats hers.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I'm a little surprised that this book has not received more acclaim than its reviews on Amazon. I noticed this heavily marketed for Christmas two years ago, but it was out of stock and I was unable to purchase it then. When I finally ordered a few months later, it was like a breath of fresh air. Where many baking books feature overly complicated and fanciful desserts (i.e. delicious, though time-consuming), this one reads like your grandmother's recipe collection.

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.
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Format: Hardcover
I have eaten at grand Central for years and this was a great gift to recieve. The soda bread, jammers and blue berry muffins are worth the entire book. I also made the the hand pies for fun last night, and they were a sucess.
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.
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