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Best baking books for a beginner


Flotch
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Hey guys,

I have an affinity for baking and pastry and want to seriously start perfecting desserts that are both baked and chilled and learn the basics for cake decorating as well.

Could someone please suggest a book that would teach me the basic techniques for the same?

Also, what in your opinion would be the top techniques an amateur baker/pastry arts student should perfect?

Thanks.

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Peter Reinhart's Bread Bakers Apprentice and Whole Grain Breads

Peter Hammelman's Breads

Bo Friberg Professional Pastry books

Good Luck

Dan

"Salt is born of the purest of parents: the sun and the sea." --Pythagoras.

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Hmm, since you have a pretty wide range of techniques you want to master, I would suggest Wayne Gisslen's Professional Baking. (The only book of Friberg's I've seen is the Advanced Professional Pastry Chef, which is nice but not the best place to start.) The decorating aspect is touched upon, but there are more books (and less expensive ones) that cover that topic (esp. working with fondant and sugarcraft) more in-depth.

I can't say there are "top" techniques you should master. Each subdivision of pastry is just so deep. Or would you care to elaborate a bit more?

Mark

The Gastronomer's Bookshelf - Collaborative book reviews about food and food culture. Submit a review today! :)

No Special Effects - my reader-friendly blog about food and life.

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I think Cook's Illustrated's "Baking Illustrated" is really solid. It's not about fancy plated restaurant desserts, but it covers everything baking with tons of solid recipes for "home type" baking and desserts.

Jeff Meeker, aka "jsmeeker"

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I've just started teaching myself some more of the pastry basics and bought the Gisslen book and thought it was great. The CIA books are great as well - they have a pastry/baking one, frozen desserts one and chocolates/confections one.

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I forgot to mention Alton Brown's I'm Just Here For More Food. It gives a novice a good overview of the different mixing techniques in a very entertaining manner.

Dan

Edited by DanM (log)

"Salt is born of the purest of parents: the sun and the sea." --Pythagoras.

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The Fanny Farmer Baking Book is good, especially for pie crust. She has clear, step by step instructions for a basic crust and then lots of variations. Same for bread and cakes, etc.

purplechick

"No verse can give pleasure for long, nor last, that is written by

water drinkers." --Cratinus, 5th Century BCE, Athens

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  • 3 weeks later...

Hi all,

I'd like to buy a serious pastry book for a friend of mine. My own background is mainly bread baking, so I hope some of you can offer me some advice.

I'm split between Bo Friberg's "The Professional Pastry Chef" and Michel Suas' "Advanced Bread and Pastry". I own Suas' book myself, and think it's awesome on artisan breads. I don't have enough of a pastry background to judge that part of the book however. Of the two, which would you recommend for someone who's mainly into pastry?

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Flotch, if the cookbook selection in Dubai is poor, you should know that Amazon does ship internationally and the rates aren't too bad - about $5 per order plus $4 or 5 per book for their standard international (takes a few weeks), so if you order 4 books it's around $20-25 in shipping, not bad. At least that is for Amazon US, UK or other Amazon locations might charge differently. On the other hand, I am still waiting for 2 orders from them and wish the standard international shipment was trackable. Hey, maybe they are in Dubai, they could be anywhere :rolleyes:

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