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Baking with Julia: Savor the Joys of Baking with America's Best Bakers Hardcover – November 4, 1996

4.7 out of 5 stars 197 customer reviews

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Frequently Bought Together

  • Baking with Julia: Savor the Joys of Baking with America's Best Bakers
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  • The Way to Cook
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  • Julia's Kitchen Wisdom: Essential Techniques and Recipes from a Lifetime of Cooking
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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Television cooking shows are occasionally moderately entertaining to watch, but as sources for usable recipes and good cooking ideas, they are hit or miss at best. Cookbooks based on cooking shows are even less likely to be useful in the kitchen. One shining exception is Julia Child's "Master Chef" series. One of the best cooking shows ever produced, it also yielded some wonderful cookbooks, including Cooking With Master Chefs. The latest is Baking With Julia, which features the creations of 26 top bakers. All are artists with flour, eggs, butter, and the other ingredients of their craft. Writer Dorie Greenspan is a master at her craft as well. The paste for eclairs, she writes, is transformed from "ordinary-looking batter" into "a puffed pastry that appears to be threatening flight." It's all definitely good enough to eat.

From Publishers Weekly

Julia Child's newest TV series is a 39-part "full course in the art of baking." Here Greenspan (Waffles from Morning to Midnight) delivers the textbook for the course. The syllabus is comprehensive, covering breads, morning pastries, cakes, cookies, pies and savory pastries. The French classics?baguette, croissant, genoise, savarin, madeleines?are all present, but so are focaccia, pita, cobbler, rugelach and biscotti. This variety owes much to 27 "baker-professors" called on to instruct in their specialties. Steve Sullivan creates artisanal baguettes and couronnes; Beatrice Ojakangas prepares Danish Pastry and Swedish Limpa; Alice Medrich presents a Chocolate Ruffle Cake; Jeffrey Alfond and Naomi Duguid bake Persian Nan and other flatbreads; Lauren Groveman makes bagels and bialys; and Martha Stewart crafts a wedding cake decorated with marzipan fruit. Greenspan presents the nearly 200 recipes in classic Julia style; each recipe is clear, complete and comes with preparation and storage information. But the student-baker will need equipment and patience to match their efforts: many recipes rely on a heavy duty mixer, and some techniques will take repeated effort to master. For the ambitious, the adventurous and the simply appreciative, Baking with Julia is a course worth taking and a cookbook worth owning. BOMC/Good Cook selection; author (Ms. Child) tour.
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 512 pages
  • Publisher: William Morrow Cookbooks; 1 edition (November 4, 1996)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0688146570
  • ISBN-13: 978-0688146573
  • Product Dimensions: 8.4 x 1.2 x 10.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.8 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (197 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #22,911 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
Having used this book on a weekly basis for the past year, I recommend this book to bakers at all levels. The book is a multi-contributed book, with Julia Child at the helm and aptly unified by Dorie Greenspan's clear and engaging writing style.
I spent the greater part of this year working on breadmaking techniques from the artisanal bread section - while techniques take time to master, I received a remarkable education from this book. The basic white bread and focaccia recipes are simple and wonderful to make on your own.
If you're serious about baking, this book provides the basis for your advancement into any number of specialized areas: breads, pastries, cookies, cakes, even chocolate. Not only are the recipes very well selected, but the photographs are gorgeously photographed by Gentl & Hyers (who also photographed Rose Levy Beranbaum's The Pie & Pastry Bible), including some very nice candid shots (mise en scene/mise en place) in the kitchen. I haven't come across many other cookbooks of this calibre since.

The recipes range from the simplest Irish Soda Bread, to the most elaborate Glorious Wedding Cake. Not all recipes are as complex as the wedding cake recipe - this particular recipe contributed by Martha Stewart is one that seems oddly out of place in a cookbook. However - it is truly a great study on how tiered cakes are layered and put together, and decorated. (The wedding cake is essentially a dense almond pound cake, which can probably be scaled down to a much more manageable session)
The "soul" of this cookbook comes from the section at the beginning titled "Batters and Doughs - The Basics." If you never baked anything from the book, at least go through all 8 recipes once or twice.
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Format: Hardcover
Baking basic batters and doughs is the subject that is given the combination of expert skill and knowledge acquired in the culinary arts over years of experience. If you are an individual who thrives on instant gratification and does not want to take the time to learn the basic foundation techniques of quality baking then this book may not be for you. The book covers breads, cakes, and sweet and savory pastries. The instructions have carefully been written with great detail so even the novice baker can increase his or her skill level. Recipes range from the simple galette,which by the way is excellent, to a labor intensive but glorious wedding cake.A variety of techniques ranging from beginner level to accomplished baker allows anyone interested in baking to improve their skills. I have been working on my culinary skills for 30 years and own over 100 different cookbooks. This book ranks within the top 5 of my collection. It has allowed me to fine tune many classic techniques. My Brioche, biscotti,, biscuits, danish pastry and pecan sticky buns have been elevated to rival any quality baker. Culinary professionals like Flo Braker, Nancy Silverton, Marcel Desaulniers, and Marion Cunningham are just a few of the many talented and giving individuals who contribute to make this the qulaity book that it is.Dorie Greenspan's writing skills set this book apart from others in that it is the standard from which all quality instructional cookbooks should be compared. If you want to learn how the experts bake and not have to leave your own kitchen to do it, this is the book.
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By A Customer on November 7, 1997
Format: Hardcover
I was just reading through the reviews of Baking with Julia, which I own and use, and I saw the person whose review appears above mine, who hates this book. But -- see, it didn't ring true to me, because I've made the cheesecake and I knew the recipe in this book isn't the one s/he quotes. So I double-checked it and I was right: there's no sweetened condensed milk in the cheesecake recipe in Baking with Julia. So I don't know what kind of axe this person has to grind. Because I really like this book. Innovation? Oh my god, there's this recipe for gingerbread that has espresso and black pepper in it. And there's a sage cake -- forget it, this isn't stuff I've found in any other baking book. My only complaint is that it's kind of hard -- like everything Julia does. You really challenge yourself every time you make anything in this book. But that's good. For me, anyway. I just wanted to add my two cents, as a member of Generation X (who can spell, I might add.
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By greekenigma on February 18, 2005
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I am a guy with absolutely no talent at baking but always thought the art of pastry making was interesting. So, i bought all the essential tools and waited for the book(after having seen most of the shows on PBS)...when the book arrived, I started with a fairly difficult pastry ...the Dainish Braid....turned out so well and tasted so delicious that I shocked myself...keep in mind, I cant cook!!! Here is my point. With the right tools, a good guide, and a brain, anyone can do just about anything. So get the book,(its a great guide) watch the shows, and just go for it! Here are some tools that helped...Kitchenaid stand mixer, a food processor, a marble pastry board and a wooden one too, a bench scrape(you really need this for any dough), s/steel measuring cups for dry ingredients, glass for liquid, parchment paper, and a baking stone. Then just decide that nothing is going to intimidate you and start baking. There are tricks to every trade and this book shares a lot of those as a great companion book to the series.
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