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James Peterson's "Baking"

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I checked this out of the library today, and I'm reeling. This is one all-inclusive baking book, heavy on both the how-to and the food porn pictures. I love baking, but don't indulge as often as I'd like because of girlish figure issues. I leafed through the 380 pages and decided that the Mama Cass body type was a fair exchange for the detailed instructions , great photography and my reintroduction to the desserts I made from "Mastering" as a newlywed. Pithiviers, babas, cream puff swans....

But the bread section is serious, the cookies look like something I wanna make in multiple batches, the recipe for candied citrus peel I'll make this week.

This book reinforces Peterson's rep with me as the greatest single-subject cookbook writer, whether it be sauces, soups or baking. I own many fine baking books from Maida to Martha, but Peterson's done it again.

It's on my Christmas list. has anyone else had a peek?

Margaret McArthur

"Take it easy, but take it."

Studs Terkel


A sensational tennis blog from freakyfrites


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I bought it recently (last week), and have made only the Basic White Bread, which was competent but not special (and was advertised as the plainest one...). Reading it has been fun, and I look forward to making the more advanced breads with mature starters and the like. I am not an advanced baker.

I do resent the omission of weights, and have not yet located in the book where he states how much his cups weigh, that sort of thing, which is quite unexpected in one of his books.

I shall report more as more happens!

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This is on my Christmas list as I'm not allowed to buy anything from October to january so the family has things to buy for me. However, a friend of mine is starting to work his way through this and has been quite impressed, and he's a pretty serious baker.



Practice. Do it over. Get it right.

Mostly, I want people to be as happy eating my food as I am cooking it.

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I do resent the omission of weights, and have not yet located in the book where he states how much his cups weigh, that sort of thing, which is quite unexpected in one of his books.

That is disappointing. Peterson is one of the best cookbook writers around, but I have enough baking books that I can skip it on principle if it doesn't include weight measures. Not only that, but feel inspired to send a note to the publisher to tell them they lost a sale because of it.

"I think it's a matter of principle that one should always try to avoid eating one's friends."--Doctor Dolittle

blog: The Institute for Impure Science

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