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Bouchon Bakery Hardcover – October 23, 2012

4.7 out of 5 stars 408 customer reviews

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With a cavalcade of Michelin-starred restaurants and James Beard awards and the respect and admiration of an entire industry, it may seem there’s little left for culinary powerhouse Keller to conquer. But here, as he has done with the French Laundry and his other establishments, he proves the cookbook can be so much more as he culls together a collection ofrecipes from his famous chain of bakeries in a masterfully produced tome. The glossy, big format lends itself well to foodies of all types, who will relish the many pages of resourceful information and reliable recipes. With each recipe, Keller includes applicable techniques and must-know tidbits, so readers really won’t need to venture beyond these pages for much else. Tackling macaroons or tempering chocolate, for example, may terrify some baking newbies, but Keller’s focused prose lays out the steps clearly and confidently. One puzzling interruption is a series of clip art images sprinkled throughout. For such an otherwise fastidious attention to detail, these seem out of place and second-rate, though readers furiously baking Keller’s succulent treats may hardly notice. --Casey Bayer
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Artisan; 1st edition (October 23, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1579654355
  • ISBN-13: 978-1579654351
  • Product Dimensions: 11.3 x 1.4 x 11.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (408 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #9,815 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Ryan Mitchell on October 24, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
As with all of Thomas Keller's previous books, this one combines beautiful layout and photography, delicious recipes, invaluable instructions, and entertaining storytelling. I think this is probably the most accessible of Keller's books, but that does not mean it's dumbed down at all. It's perfect for an absolute beginner baker or an advanced baker. Most of the recipes are simple enough for a beginner to follow along and make successfully, but the instructions and notes are thorough enough for even the most skilled bakers to learn something new.

My favorite thing about Bouchon Bakery is that all recipes list ingredients by both weight (in grams) and volume. If you've been resisting buying a kitchen scale, just do it already. As Keller explains in the book, compared to measuring ingredients by volume using measuring cups and spoons, weighing your ingredients is 1) more accurate 2) faster [just tare your scale and measure in the same bowl] 3) cleaner [just the one bowl to clean; no cups or spoons to dirty], and 4) easier to scale recipes up or down [which is easier: halving 200 grams or halving 1 1/3 cups + 2 tablespoons + 1/2 teaspoon?]. So make your life a lot easier and your baking a lot better and just order a scale on Amazon when you get this book; you can get one for less than $20, which is less than it costs for a good set of measuring cups and spoons. You'll need a scale that measures in 0.1 gram increments.

As for the content, the book is divided into sections on cookies, scones and muffins, cakes, tarts, pate a choux, brioche and doughnuts, puff pastry and croissants, breads, and confections. It covers the whole range of sweet and savory baking, and so far every recipe has been excellent.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I have been cooking from Chef Keller's books for a few years now and the results have always been extraordinary. Even though I just received the book yesterday (one day early... thank you USPS), I have already tried a couple of recipes from the preview pages on Amazon over this past weekend. Once again, the results were fantastic. The Blueberry Muffins with the Almond Streusel have an incredible depth of flavor, mostly due to resting the batter in the refrigerator overnight. The Oatmeal Raisin Cookies have a flavor profile that is nearly identical to the scrumptious boxed mix sold at Williams Sonoma.

As with the other Keller books I own, the recipes are thorough, precise and often time-consuming. So, planning and moderate skills are essential when executing these culinary treats. However, you will be delighted with the end results.

***UPDATE 10/29/2012***

Over the weekend, I have completed a couple more recipes from Bouchon Bakery.

First up is the Banana Muffins with Walnut Streusel topping. Since this recipe calls for crème fraîche, I started a couple of days ahead and made my own. I also went shopping for bananas that would be perfectly ripe in time to make the batter Friday afternoon. As with the Blueberry Muffins, this batter rests in the refrigerator overnight. The result is a moist and delicate crumb unlike most banana breads which can be dense and dry. The walnut streusel was a perfect crunchy compliment to the moist muffins. Another A+ recipe.

Next on the list to try was the Double Chocolate Chunk and Chip Cookies. This recipe calls for chocolate and a lot of it. I used Valrhona cocoa, Scharffen Berger 62% semisweet chocolate chunks and Ghirardelli semisweet chocolate chips.
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7 Comments 365 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: Hardcover
I've been a casual home baker for years, and lately started becoming more curious about how professional bakers do their thing, and what the key techniques are that make their baking different from mine.

This book was a great choice for me. The authors spare no details at all, the recipes are extremely specific (and measured by weight) and the techniques are explained in lots of detail with colour photos to help. The recipes I've made have turned out perfect, and I've learned a huge amount from the book.

If you want to know what it takes to bake like a professional, there's no way you could do better than Bouchon Bakery. BUT, I feel it's worth warning anyone interested in the book that you will not find many simple, everyday type recipes here. The recipes spare nothing of your time, often demand a substantial amount of baking equipment which you probably don't already have, and make no effort to simplify ingredients.

If you want to bake decent bread in an evening using tools you already own, this book is not for you. If you want bakery perfect French style loaves and baked goods and are willing to work for them and invest in your kitchen, buy Bouchon Bakery right away!
2 Comments 173 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: Hardcover
Please keep in mind that this book is not at all appropriate for people with a basic kitchen set-up; it assumes that your kitchen already resembles Sur La Table.

An example: the most basic, standard bread recipe in the book absolutely requires a stand mixer. It also calls for a bread linen, a bowl scraper, a bench scraper, a transfer peel, an oven peel, a bread stone, ten feet of metal chain, and a Super-Soaker. Those last items sound like a joke, but I am dead serious.

Presumably one can make this bread recipe without all these accoutrements, but there are NO alternate instructions about how to proceed if one doesn't own them. For example, I don't have a bread linen or a bread stone and I have no clue what a transfer peel is (nor does the book define or explain it). I am left guessing on how to proceed. The detail and thoroughness of the instructions that ARE included only serve to highlight the absence of the instructions that are NOT included.

While some of the recipes use only easily-available ingredients, many others call for ingredients found only in specialty shops. Some examples: vanilla paste, unsulfured blackstrap molasses, glucose, silver leaf gelatin, passion fruit puree, comte cheese, and chestnut honey.

If I were to buy the tools needed for the BASIC bread recipe off of Amazon - NOT counting ingredients, NOT counting the materials for the steam oven, and NOT counting the stand mixer - it would cost me $85.21. (Linen cloth, baking stone, bench scraper, bowl scraper, one peel. Note also that the stand mixer is absolutely required for the bread recipes, and the cheapest one of those on Amazon is $58.)
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