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Showing 1-10 of 92 reviews(Verified Purchases). See all 103 reviews
on September 23, 2013
We visited the Model Bakery on our trip to Napa 3 years ago. Since that time, we have longed for anything close to their phenomenal cinnamon rolls and sticky buns.

NYC bakeries not even close. Food Network recipes falling short one after the other.

Then we got word about their new cookbook. We preordered, and in our first weekend, made and devoured our first batch of cinnamon rolls. They were fantastic and as good as we remember having at the bakery.

This Connecticut family is very happy and cannot wait to move on to those sticky buns.
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on April 20, 2017
Kindle edition - This edition is easy to read and is well illustrated. This is the first cookbook I have purchased in the Kindle format. I was a little apprehensive about it after reading some of the other reviews. The recipes are easy to follow and the measured ingredients appear in ounces and kilograms. Not all variations of the recipes are illustrated, but all basic recipes are illustrated. The table of contents easily directs you to the different recipe sections. The recipes are fabulous and each recipe lists the equipment you need. The author stresses the need for quality ingredients and provides the product names and sources for purchasing them. This information is
both practical and thorough, especially regarding flour types. I love this cookbook! Be warned, while some of the recipes assemble relatively quickly, others require some time. None of the recipes are back-breaking or highly stressful to make. Just enjoy the process!
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on December 24, 2014
Kindle Edition: I prefer cookbooks, especially electronic ones with no extra overhead for photos, to have pictures for each recipe. It's just a help to know what I'm shooting for, especially with intricate or unfamiliar dishes. There are lots of extraneous photos in the Kindle edition, especially at the front of the book -- pretty, artsy, rustic but what about the finished products? This is really inexplicable when you consider this cookbook is from a bakery that must have product photos of everything they make. And when there is a product photo provided, it's on a different page than the recipe. I was especially annoyed to see NO PHOTO for the Gateau Basque, even after it was described as, "Not the most common dessert on these shores..." which is an understatement. How are we supposed to know if we've aced the recipe or put together some kind of Frankencake, with no picture to guide us???

Organization: sucks. I don't know if this is an artifact of the Kindleization process ;) or if the print book is as poorly organized, but, really. There is a page of what I'd have to call "notes" that pertains to each section of the book, little tips and hints and necessary knowledge. Unfortunately, it's at the end of the section rather than the beginning. So, after you've maybe screwed up or failed to take advantage of some good advice, THEN they tell you their secrets. Poo!

Also, they have a collection of basic recipes, like crusts or frostings. No surprise there, but they sometimes appear in a recipe using them, other times you are referred to another location in the book. Considering there is a fairly extensive introductory section on pans and ingredients and techniques, it seems like it would follow that there would be a section of "master recipes" as well. I've just been looking at a cookbook from Eliza Leslie, whom I think you could call the doyenne of American cookbook writing, and she decries cookbooks where "...the reader, before finishing the article, is desired to search out pages and numbers in remote parts of the volume..." Probably why Eliza's cookbooks are still read a couple hundred years later. Oh, if only...

The recipes: I haven't baked any of them yet, but they look reasonable, are fully explained and cover a group of classic baked goods retooled for the home kitchen. The Model Bakery uses a lot of their own methods for things, which is what makes their baked goods unique, but they also make culinary sense, so it's good to see these newer takes on processes and ingredients.

I'd love to get my hands on the print edition to see if these flaws are there as well, or if we red-headed stepchildren, er, Kindle readers, just got short shrift. All together, even with its flaws, this is a good book for the home baker who wants to broaden their horizons and produce baked goods they can be proud of. Even if it requires a little extra effort for the Kindle reader.
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on November 6, 2015
Worth it for the plum galette recipe alone. We have eaten at the Model Bakery a few times, so I was excited to find a cookbook for their recipes. I am used to writing all over my recipes, so I had to get used to baking from recipes on my laptop, but I liked that I could bookmark it as a favorite and add my comments electronically. It's a brave new world!
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on January 7, 2014
I haven't stopped baking since I got the book. Loved the story, similar to mine in that my Grandma also was a fabulous cook and also named Emma. Don't skip the first part and go right to the recipes. Lots of good information on getting the proper tools in your kitchen to make cooking easier and better. Highly recommend it to new cooks and experienced cooks as well.
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on January 12, 2014
Don't hesitate: Buy this book.

Many baking cookbooks are encyclopedias of a thousand or more of recipes; in contrast, The Model Bakery Cookbook features a limited selection of 75 recipes, with the key difference that these are the time-proven recipes actually used in this famous Napa Valley bakery. A majority of the recipes in the book are accompanied by beautiful photographs, well-written step-by-step preparation instructions, helpful tips for the home baker, and explanations as why certain ingredients (e.g. butter versus oil) are called for in particular recipes. These recipes are the obvious result of 30 years of trial and effort as evidenced by words to the effect of, "if you're thinking about reducing the amount of sugar in this recipe, be warned: we've tried" and "you can freeze this", "when you're at the grocery store, don't confuse Marzipan with Almond Paste", and so forth. To me, a neophyte baker, reading these hints is like standing in the Model Bakery's kitchen as the baker reveals their secrets of the trade. In fact, about a fourth of the book is instructional and advisory in nature -- and I love it!

At the request of my preteen daughter, the first thing I made from the cookbook were pecan encrusted Sticky Buns -- which are about the best danged things I've ever tasted. Prior to this cookbook, my level of kitchen skill was about sufficient to fry an egg and flip pancakes on Sunday mornings; now, thanks to the well-written and detailed explanations in this cookbook, I was kneading up a batch of schnecken dough like I'd been doing it all my life... this cookbook made it so easy!

My only criticism, echoing that of other reviewers here, is that the type size is way too small when it comes to fractions; I literally needed a magnifying glass to read whether the recipe called for 1/3, 1/2, or 2/3 of a cup of this or that -- a major oversight by the authors and publisher Chronicle Books. The font size issue notwithstanding, the recipes in here are treasures.

My daughter loved the Sticky Buns. At this moment, she's flipping the pages deciding what dad's going to make her for breakfast next Sunday. I secretly hope she chooses the English Muffins which look amazing!
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on January 21, 2015
I visited the bakery and bought the cookbook upon my return. I have made two cookie recipes so far and am very impressed. The oatmeal raison cookies tasted exactly like the one I bought in the bakery.
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on April 18, 2017
If you are a novice baker, this book isn't for you. Having said that, considering this was written by a professional baker, the recipes are easily followed by a seasoned baker and/or someone who wants to up their skill level.
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on May 3, 2015
So glad this bakery with a commitment to high quality has decided to share their secrets with the rest of us. The explanations of the ingredients and procedures is outstanding.
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on May 3, 2016
I usually struggle with yeast baked goods, but the recipes in this cookbook are very forgiving and the directions are very clear. After making the English muffins, I will never purchase store bought again. So delicious!
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