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BakeWise: The Hows and Whys of Successful Baking with Over 200 Magnificent Recipes Hardcover – October 28, 2008
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From Publishers Weekly
It's not surprising that James Beard Award-winner Corriher (CookWise) once worked as a chemist. Her no-nonsense approach to cakes, muffins, breads and cookies shows her deep knowledge and understanding that baking is, above all things, a science. This hefty collection of more than 200 recipes offers amateur and expert bakers alike clear, numbered steps and a plethora of information on ingredients, equipment and method. Invaluable troubleshooting sections solve pesky problems on everything from pale and crumbly cookies to fallen soufflés. With a sense of expertise and ease, the author showcases recipes from the basic (cherry pie, fudgy brownies, baguettes) to the more specialized Bordeaux Macadamia Crust and Bourbon Pecan Oatmeal Cookies, focusing on the reasons for each step (e.g., "using shortening limits the cookie's spread"). Astute references to a variety of chefs, cookbook authors and restaurants add a knowing punch to this solid collection that's sure to please bakers of all skill levels.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
About the Author
Shirley O. Corriher has a B.A. in chemistry from Vanderbilt University, where she was also a biochemist at the medical school. She has problem-solved for everyone from Julia Child to Procter & Gamble and Pillsbury. She has taught and lectured throughout the world. She has long been a writer-- authoring a regular syndicated column in The Los Angeles Times Syndicate's Great Chefs series as well as technical articles in the Journal of Biological Chemistry. Her first book, Cookwise: The Hows and Whys of Successful Cooking is a bestseller and won a James Beard Award for excellence. Shirley has received many awards, including the Best Cooking Teacher of the Year in Bon Appetit's "Best of the Best" Annual Food and Entertaining Awards in 2001. She lives in Atlanta with her husband, Arch.
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Top Customer Reviews
Things to love:
*) the organization. Lesson, recap, demonstrative recipe(s), debriefing.
*) explanation. You won't find better. In so far as baking is an art and science, you need to know how it works to be good at it. How the ingredients interact, how they do what they do. Then you can call yourself a baker.
*) the recipes. Third in importance, and OK, I haven't even tried half of them. But I've bowled people over with a few I've tried. Not your average, "hey, this is good" bowling over, either. I'm talking eye-popping reactions.
Someone was complaining in a review that this isn't really a traditional cookbook, by which they mean a recipe book. No, it's not. This is a manual, a schoolbook. You sit down with this book, and read, and underline, and memorize, and reread, and reread. Because it's here to teach you. This book is offering you secrets, not paint by number. But if you're teetering about buying, think about what kind of baker you are: alchemist or follow-the-instructions? This book is for the former.
ONE word of caveat: when Shirley refers to her "severe sweet tooth" she is NOT KIDDING. That is, to me, the one big flaw in this book. The sugar amounts are not for mortal men. I cut the sugar in almost every recipe. But, thankfully, because of what I've learned in this book, I'm not afraid to do that.
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