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Baking Style: Art Craft Recipes Hardcover – September 20, 2011
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"As Mary Poppins once said: 'practically perfect in every way...an absolutely beautiful book, both inside and out.'" (Dollybakes, March 2012)
"A collection of cakes, cookies and breads that will gladden the heart of any baking enthusiast. It’s an encyclopedic book from an author whose recipes really work!" (New York Times Book Review, December 2011)
Top customer reviews
Seeing the book, you feel very pink, and I love that color, so I appreciated everything that was "pinked up" from the bright cover and the pale and medium pink-toned pages. The book itself is large, very heavy, clear, and well-photographed with the recipes written well in its listing of ingredients and in the steps to be followed. To note, not every recipe had, nor needed, an accompanying photograph.
The recipes themselves are very good, as always, from the hands of Lisa Yockelson. The flavors are different, but not too exotic nor odd, with many being updates on some of the standards.
But it is in the presentation style and manner in which it was written that I found confusing and somewhat disappointing. I didn't quite understand the way that the chapters were broken down, and why the unusual names given to the recipes themselves.
The groupings of the recipes was out of order, as opposed to placing all cookies in one section, then pastries in another, cakes in still another. Each section has an assortment of recipes that are mixed and matched. For someone who tends to, or prefers to, be organized, this was frustrating.
A sampling of her offerings:
Breakfast cakes, regular cakes, brownies, rolls (both sweet and savory), bars, popovers, tarts, and breads. Some had solid names to them like "sugar love knots", "gossomer potato rolls", "bubble bread", etc; these were easy to understand. But others were confusing, which I found I would have passed on, and which could have had real possibilities.
First, some of the unusual names of some recipes:
"cake with maximum heft-and the delicacy of cardamom"
"a what-you-can-do-wth-a-pound-of-good-chocolate cake, chocolate darkness"
"when chocolate chip cookies go butterscotch"
"melty lush: empowered-with-bittersweet-chocolate"
Second, some of the unusual sections:
Perhaps this is something that appeals to those who are able to think differently, or perhaps "outside the box", but for me, my opinion was that it was not particularly to my liking. And as I said previously, some of the recipes I tried were quite good, and that might be enough to be comfortable with this book. Peace.
A shortcoming that cannot be overcome, however, is the lack of weight measures. As a home baker, I have found that ever since I started weighing ingredients, the results have been much more successful and consistent. So I was very disappointed when, on browsing this interesting and creative book, I noted that none of the recipes included weights. This explains my rating of three stars, though it otherwise would deserve five. Is it really so difficult to write "1 cup (200g) sugar"? This lack of weight measures is compounded by the fact that the instructions on measuring are somewhat contradictory. On p. 14 we are instructed to use a dip and sweep method, but on p. 20 we are instructed to use a lightly spooned method, and on that very page the author herself talks up the convenience of using a scale. Go figure.
I almost returned this book because I didn't see myself making any of the recipes--I've proven to myself way too many times that I cannot measure by volume. What to do? I wrote the author for a table of equivalences and she graciously supplied me with the weight measures of some of the basic ingredients. While this helps, it will nonetheless be time consuming to convert the recipes, and then I still won't have the weights for many of the other ingredients. If ever a second edition of this book is published, please author, please publisher, turn this book into a five-star winner and give us weight measures. The art of baking depends on getting the science right.
Most recent customer reviews
I absolutely loved Lisa Yockelson’s, Baking by Flavor. I used that copy so much, I had to buy another book. Baking Style is a hot mess!Read more