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The Grand Central Baking Book: Breakfast Pastries, Cookies, Pies, and Satisfying Savories from the Pacific Northwest's Celebrated Bakery Hardcover – October 6, 2009
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From Publishers Weekly
Davis, daughter of the woman who founded the renowned Pacific Northwest bakery Grand Central, shares secrets for 85 breakfast pastries, scones, cookies, pies and other baked goods in this reliable resource. Would-be pastry chefs looking for culinary showmanship will likely be disappointed by Davis's rustic recipes, but those with an appreciation for solid, buttery fare will be swooning over the results from recipes like individual bread puddings, Belgian waffles, Lemon Cream Sandwich Cookies and a rich Raspberry Port Trifle. Unfortunately, those results are always thoroughly described in Davis's instructions-not a problem for the bulk of recipes (tarts, cakes, sticky buns) but problematic for more unusual entries like Dutch Babies or biscuit-like Jammers. Still, Davis makes up for these occasional lapses with useful pro tips like how to freeze pies, pie dough and cake batter to maximize efficiency come production time. She also provides proper techniques for a range of skills, from dough handling to building and decorating the perfect layered birthday cake. Readers passionate about their baked goods are sure to find a wealth of favorites.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
“At last, we have a long overdue glimpse into one of the Pacific Northwest’s best bakeries. This book is comprehensive, fun, and enticing!”
–Cory Schreiber, founder of Wildwood and coauthor of Rustic Fruit Desserts
“The recipes in this book are just like Grand Central Bakery: brilliant but not flashy, tasty but not self-absorbed, and full of homey charm. You will be smitten!”
–Tom Douglas, chef-owner of Dahlia Lounge, Lola, and Serious Pie, and author of Tom Douglas’ Seattle Kitchen
“There is a familial quality to good baking, a no-nonsense wholesomeness with the scent of freshly baked muffins. Piper and Ellen have captured this, as well as the wonderful style and character of Grand Central Bakery favorites. This is a practical and functional book that is bound to become lovingly tattered on your shelf.”
–Greg Higgins, chef-owner of Higgins Restaurant and Bar and recipient of the James Beard Award Best Chef: Northwest
Top customer reviews
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The breakfast pastries alone are worth the expense of the book. The Jammers, flaky biscuits baked with a thumbprint of jam in the middle (preferably homemade- use The Blue Chair Jam Cookbook's Raspberry Jam recipe for an incredible treat) are one of my all-time favorite recipes now. Likewise, the Blueberry Muffins, to which I add just a hint of orange zest, are just as good. I would say that the best recipes in the book are found in the Quick Bread section: the Banana Nut, Pumpkin Bread, and Cranberry Orange Pecan. Each of the bread recipes can be frozen, and after 2 months they still tasted great! The cookie section features tried-but-true flavors, such as Chocolate Chip Oatmeal, Peanut Butter, and Raisin, but each recipe has been tweaked just a little to make it more special- two different types of chocolate chips in one, golden raisins in another. There is a wonderful page embedded in the cookie section that details how to freeze uncooked dough for cookies any time. The Shortbread Tea Cookie section was a pleasant surprise, as many books don't focus on Icebox-type cookies. The Hazelnut Poppyseed Cookies were a fun change with my coffee.
The only negative aspect of the book that I have noted is the times listed in several of the recipes, but any home baker should know that oven temperatures/times will vary and to check the recipes several minutes before they are said to be done in the book. I did have an issue with the batter overflowing in the Lemon Pound Cake recipe, also, but that could have been a personal error in pan choice. Having owned the book for almost two years now, I have made many of the recipes, including: all of the Quick Breads listed above (I make them monthly), Ginger Oat Cookies, Orange Nutmeg Cookies, Classic Buttery Shortbread, Apple Crisp, Rhubarb Crisp, Cream Cheese Apple Cake (phenomenal!), Ganache Chocolate Bundt Cake, Bourbon Pecan Pie, and more. The only recipe that fell short of my expectations was the regular Buttermilk Biscuit Recipe; I much prefer the Clinton St. Baking Book's biscuits. There is a savory section that I have been eyeing for years, but still have not gotten around to making.
I highly recommend this book to anyone who wants to create baked goods that focus more on taste than presentation. It should be noted that most of the recipes do call for a stand mixer, and the Jammer recipe in particular is not ideal to make by hand.
I look forward to baking more treats from the book, but will probably modify the sugar level.