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How Baking Works: Exploring the Fundamentals of Baking Science 3rd Edition

4.5 out of 5 stars 59 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0470392676
ISBN-10: 0470392673
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Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

An up-to-date, comprehensive guide to understanding and applying food science to the bakeshop

The essence of baking is chemistry, and anyone who wants to be a master pastry chef must understand the principles and science that make baking work. This book explains the whys and hows of every chemical reaction, essential ingredient, and technique, revealing the complex mysteries of bread loaves, pastries, and everything in between. Among other additions, How Baking Works, Third Edition includes an all-new chapter on baking for health and wellness, with detailed information on using whole grains, allergy-free baking, and reducing salt, sugar, and fat in a variety of baked goods. This detailed and informative guide features:

  • An introduction to the major ingredient groups, including sweeteners, fats, milk, and leavening agents, and how each affects finished baked goods

  • Practical exercises and experiments that vividly illustrate how different ingredients function

  • Photographs and illustrations that show the science of baking at work

  • End-of-chapter discussion and review questions that reinforce key concepts and test learning

For both practicing and future bakers and pastry chefs, How Baking Works, Third Edition offers an unrivaled hands-on learning experience.

About the Author

Paula Figoni is a food scientist and associate professor at the International Baking and Pastry Institute in the College of Culinary Arts at Johnson & Wales University in Providence, Rhode Island. She has more than ten years of experience in product development and food science at The Pillsbury Company and Ocean Spray Cranberries, Inc.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 528 pages
  • Publisher: Wiley; 3 edition (November 9, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0470392673
  • ISBN-13: 978-0470392676
  • Product Dimensions: 8.4 x 1 x 10.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.8 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (59 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #22,771 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By A. Porter on February 22, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book is as it is discribed. I thought it would give more explaination of why certain things happen when baking. For example if you use cold ingredients like eggs in baking, your cake may bake with a dome in the middle. I didn't find any explainations such as this, only differences between ingredients such as AP Flour and Cake Flour. But not what would happen if you used one as opposed to the other. I was looking for a book that would help me to understand why certain things happen, like why my cake sometimes rises light and airy as opposed to not rising and being heavy. I guess more the results of the chemisty of baking .
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I wrote a 17 page term paper during culinary school in one night with only this book! This book opened my eyes to the incredible chemistry behind baking. If you want to understand why things react the way they do in this medium, I strongly suggest this book!
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I am a home baker and have been looking for something to teach me how individual ingredients work to create the whole. Sometimes it was a bit overwhelming, I wondered how I was ever able to bake anything successfully, but it all came together and I feel like I learned a lot. I appreciated that it was all about the science of baking and not full of recipes.
I was a little disappointed that I wasn't really able to do many of the experiments, they called for too many different ingredients unavaillable to me or equipment I don't have at home. But overall I found it very helpful.
I wish someone would write something similar for the home baker, dealing with the equipment and ingredients we have access to in the home kitchen, but not dumbed down like the other books I've found.
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I'm a family and consumer science teacher and I use this book for my curriculum in baking. It's very sophisticated and tells you all about the chemistry of baking. A little too indepth for my high school kids.... but still a good resource and guide. I just make the worksheets a bit simpler. Be careful though if you use it for school or home use. They recommend weighing all the ingredients and we don't have enough time to do that at schoo. It's a bit challenging to convert to cups, tablespoons, etc.
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The third updated edition of HOW BAKING WORKS offers a fine, revised survey covering the chemistry of the basic techniques of baking. The entire process is covered with an attention to the science behind why baking works: from major ingredient groups to how sweeteners, fats and leavening agents affect appearance, flavor and texture, this is a 'must' for any serious culinary collection.
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I REALLY want to understand the science of baking. I'm horrible at science. This is very academic (which is clear in the description). I do get lost in all of the chemistry. There are little quizes at the end of each chapter, but there is no answer key. Apparently, you have to buy the teachers edition, which is expensive.

There are also actual experiments that are supposed to reinforce the lessons in each chapter. But I am not inclined to spend/waste $$$ on ingredients (some quite costly) just to get the point.

Mostly, I glaze over when reading this book. The "Art And Soul of Baking," by Cindy Mushet does a much better job of explaining processes/ingredients//tools/measures. It is my bible! I bought that before I purchased this book. Still go back to Art & Soul ALL THE TIME.

I have only been baking from "scratch" for about a year. For 30 years prior, I baked everything from a box. So, this is a new adventure to me.
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I am primarily a bread maker but since I make rich dough breads using ingredients like eggs, milk, various oils and fats, this book has been very helpful in improving my processes and understanding of baking ingredients. I generally do not follow established recipes but create my own formulas so a better understanding of ingredients and their effect on baked products as well as knowledge of advanced baking techiques has been very beneficial.
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Great book on learning the "Why" to baking and the differences between different methods/basic products. It is essentially a baking textbook. A very good book for understanding how and why changing different things in a recipe makes a big difference on the final product.
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