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The Simple Art of Perfect Baking Hardcover – March 1, 2003


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Hardcover, March 1, 2003
$34.67 $13.17


Editorial Reviews

Review

"Everything the beginning or experienced bakes needs is here."

About the Author

Flo Braker is a nationally recognized baking expert and former president of the International Association of Culinary Professionals. She is a frequent contributor to the San Francisco Chronicle's food section and lives in the Bay Area.

Dana Gallagher is a New York based photographer.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 488 pages
  • Publisher: Chronicle Books (March 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 081184109X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0811841092
  • Product Dimensions: 8.1 x 1.5 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.5 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #814,339 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

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Customer Reviews

Where else are you to find a great recipe for Shoofly pie!
B. Marold
This is a wonderful book for experienced and inexperienced cake bakers alike!
Amazon Customer
Flo is very detailed, explaining the techniques in simple terms.
Tiffany

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

71 of 73 people found the following review helpful By B. Marold HALL OF FAMETOP 100 REVIEWER on July 1, 2004
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Flo Braker's `The Simple Art of Perfect Baking' is being reissued after serving as a manual to millions of home bakers for almost 20 years as well as a model to emulate by important baking authors such as Gayle and Joe Ortiz of Gayle's Bakery and authors of `The Village Baker's Wife'.
It is important to note that while in English, `baking' suggests pastry, cakes, and breads, this book is truly only about what the French call patisserie. It is even more accurately described as primarily a book about cake baking, with approximately a quarter of the book dedicated to pastry. Everything said about the book must be understood to be referring to only torts and tarts.
On average, I think books on baking seem to reach a generally higher level of quality than comparable books on savory cooking. One reason is probably that you can't fake it in baking. A small misstep in measurement, equipment, or procedure can lead to something entirely different from what you intended.
Of course, Braker makes the humorous, but very sound suggestion to never throw away your mistakes. You never can tell when you may have happened onto the recipe for something very worthwhile to eat. Above all, don't tell your guests that their dessert is the result of a mistake.
The baking enthusiast's book buying is also simplified by the presence of a few very highly respected names such as Maida Heatter, Nick Malgieri, Lindsey Shere, and Flo Braker. To this distinguished list, I must add Sherry Yard, author of the great `The Secrets of Baking'. I do not have the pleasure of having read or reviewed books by Maida Heatter or Lindsey Shere, but I am quite familiar with cake and pastry books by Nick Malgieri, Gayle Ortiz, Sherry Yard, and several others.
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25 of 25 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 22, 1997
Format: Hardcover
As a professional baker, I have had several opportunities to use this highly informative book-and every time it was incredibly successful. The recipe for the chocolate angel food cake (low-fat!) is worth the price of the book. Flo explains baking in precise terms, but very understandable & user-friendly. She is an excellent teacher as well as a great writer. Highly recommended! Her other book on miniature pastries is a classic that is coming back into print
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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on January 14, 2001
Format: Paperback
Flo's book is excellent and when I'm looking for a cake that has a different twist but excellent quality this book is where I turn. Flo features a lot of recipies that use almond paste or ground almonds which is rare. However it gives cakes a different swing without being weird. She also provides weight of the ingrients which gives you accurate measurment for her recipes. I think she needs a website. Her books sweet minatures is also great. She is very creative and I would buy any of her products.
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on August 17, 1996
Format: Paperback
Flo Braker is not only a superb baker but also an out-
standing teacher and the author of a popular baking column
in the San Francisco Chronicle. Julia Child once listed this as one of
among the ten cookbooks she'd take to a desert island. The
recipes appear long at first glance, but that is because
Braker guides you so carefully. Worth the purchase price for
the explanation of pie crust techniques alone. My cookbook
collection numbers in the hundreds, but this is one of the
few in which every recipe unfailingly produces wonderful
results.
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful By R. A. Ward on January 8, 2001
Format: Hardcover
I bought this book when I had just begun my journey as a baker. I opened it up, started to read and didn't stop until the last page! Flo Braker is a stickler for proper technique and ingredients -- exactly what you ought to be exposed to before you start making a mess of everything.
Some of the recipes are challenging, even with her incredibly detailed instructions, but worth every single second when you eat your lessons!
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Cake Lady on January 8, 2009
Format: Hardcover
I have owned this book for about a year, and everything I have made has come out just as it should. I've made several of the cakes, including the one on the cover, and they were all wonderful. That cake on the cover is the most heavenly chocolate cake ever. Very light, very moist, dark and luscious, not too sweet. I actually made it as a birthday cake during Hurricane Gustav, and the power went off while it was in the oven. You never saw two men move so fast to finish getting the generator hooked up! I had about a pound of imported Belgian chocolate that I used for the frosting, and garnished with a few sliced almonds and a cherry, it was beautiful. I've also modified the recipe, taking out the baking soda and using baking powder and cream of tartar to accommodate some Pernigotti dutch processed cocoa and it was almost black, with a well-rounded rich chocolate flavor.
The basic butter cake is very light and tender, with a nice crumb. I also made the butter almond cake in a rose-shaped bundt pan with the glaze, which was a HUGE hit. I've used that recipe for two-bite cakes and it's worked just as well.
The decorator sliced almonds are unbelievably simple and so delicious and pretty!
I give it just under five stars because I wish it had more photos of all the recipes. Some of them sound so heavenly that you just want a photo to compare to. I will say that if you follow the directions and don't deviate, everything you make will come out great. The only time I don't follow her mixing times are when I'm using my hand mixer.
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