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Italian Baking Secrets Hardcover – April 3, 2007

3.4 out of 5 stars 8 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

One might expect a baking book that doesn't include its first recipe until page 57 to have excessive information. But that's not the case in Fr. Giuseppe Orsini's seventh title (including Cooking Rice with an Italian Accent), which includes useful, well-written prose on the history of bread in Italy as well as baking basics, ingredients (including thorough entries on cheese and herbs) and tools. The 150-plus recipes are titled in their traditional Italian (with English translation listed below) and are divided into such concise chapters as Regional and Rustic Breads, Sweet and Holiday Breads, Tarts, and Cakes. Biscotti enthusiasts can indulge in enticing versions such as cinnamon and almond raisin, rum macadamia nut and triple ginger pecan. Staples such as pizza, focaccia and ciabatta are presented alongside seasonal holiday treats including Christmas-time Panettone and Pastiera di Grano (Easter Cooked Wheat Pie). Bakers will be glad Orsini shared this collection of Italian gems that span the boot from top to bottom. (Apr.)
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About the Author

Father Giuseppe Orsini is the author of five previous books on Italian cooking, the most recent being Cooking Rice with an Italian Accent! He claims to be retired, but he still manages to minister occasionally in an Italian parish in New Jersey, and to hold office in several Italian-American community organizations. 
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Thomas Dunne Books; First Edition edition (April 3, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312358202
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312358204
  • Product Dimensions: 7.7 x 1 x 9.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,731,750 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By C. Kollars on October 3, 2008
Format: Hardcover
This book appears to be very closely related to 'The Italian Baker' copyright 1985 by Carol Field. In fact this may essentially be a "new edition" of that quarter century old book(?) The overall length is reduced, apparently by omitting some of the most obscure material and replacing or substantially rewriting chunks of the rest. Yet the similarities are huge. At least pages 18-55 are reprinted word for word (in the process changing the anecdotal "I" from a she to a he). And the table of contents is almost the same. I wish I knew more about the relationship between the two books and between the two authors so I could better compare the highs and lows.
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Format: Hardcover
I first checked this book out from my local library. I used it so much (and, mea culpa, stained the pages) that I bought a new copy. I haven't made a thing that wasn't absolutely delicious -- from ciabatta to the semolina bread, to the bread with artichokes, capers, pickles, etc. in it, biscotti, salami bread. The good Father's instructions are easy to follow. His history of Italian baking is very interesting.

I enjoyed this book -- and his writing style -- so much that I've ordered his rice cookbook and Pasta Perfetta. I can't wait to receive them.
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Format: Hardcover
I have not tried a single recipe from this book, because other than the picture on the cover, there isn't a single picture in the book except of Father G. If a book is going to be called Baking Secrets, many Americans are not familiar with what Italian names for cookies and pastiries describe, so at least have some pictures of what those items are. The book is mostly breads. After reading the recipe for the pastry on the book cover, there aren't instructions to get your product to look as good as the one on the cover, and I wonder if Father G made the one on the book cover at all? The directions say spoon the filling into the shell. Doing that would NOT look like the pipped filling on the book cover. The recipies I read also didn't reveal any secrets. For example one says combine the ingredients and drop on a baking sheet. What is the secret in that? Petrali cookie, no description is given, so what kind of cookie is that, why would I want to try it or make it? Grandmother's cake, also no description, no picture, what kind of cake is that? I guess the secret is if you bake these recipes, you'll then figure out what they look like then. $16.00 for a book with no pictures is a joke save your money and by U. ferrigno's La Dolce Vita, at least that has pictures.La Dolce Vita: Sweet Things from the Italian Home Kitchen (Mitchell Beazley Food)
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I AM VERY DISSAPOINTED IN THIS COOK BOOK. THE MAIN REASON I PURCHASED THIS BOOK WAS FOR THE "PAN DI SPAGNA" RECIPE ON PAGE 228. THERE ARE 3 INGREDIENTS MENTIONED IN THE INSTRUCTIONS BUT THE AMOUNTS ARE NOT IN THE INGREDIENT LIST. ALSO, I WANTED TO MAKE THE "CASSATA CASALINGA" PAGE 219. THE INSTRUCTIONS STOP BEFORE TELLING YOU HOW TO COMPLETE THE CASSATA. IT WOULD BE GREAT IF THE AUTHOR WOULD CORRECT THESE ERRORS FOR THOSE WHO PURCHASED THIS BOOK.
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