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Favorite Pastry/Baking Books?


mixmaster b
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1 hour ago, JoNorvelleWalker said:

I don't have a large library on the subject but I might suggest French Patisserie: Master Recipes and Techniques from the Ferrandi School of Culinary Arts.

 

Wow, I've checked out some reviews for the book and it seems exactly what I'm looking for! I especially like the concept of having 3 levels for each recipe, with a "classic" base, a more advanced version, and a modern professional version - best of both worlds when people earlier in this thread were talking about recipes in books leaning more classic vs. updated/personal. Have you ever read any of the common other textbooks I've mentioned, and if so how would you compare this to them?

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The best book on the how and why is the one by Paula Figoni, so you already covered that.

 

Some personal comments on some titles:

 

Bo Friberg - "The Professional Pastry Chef"
This is great for getting the correct foundations on classic pastry. Underscore "classic", nothing modern here, but you need foundations before building the roof.

 

Ecole Ferrandi Paris - "French Patisserie"
As Jo wrote, this is really good if you want an overview on both classic and modern.

 

Regan Daley - "In the Sweet Kitchen"
This is overlooked, but it's the only one that talks about how to work with flavors, all the others are technique based.

 

Michel Suas - "Advanced Bread and Pastry"
This has some great explanations about bread and viennoiserie, it's for professionals though. The other sections are skippable.

 

Wayne Gisslen - "Professional Baking"
I liked it quite much, but if you have the ones by Friberg and Suas then you won't find much more knowledge.

 

The Culinary Institute of America - "Baking and Pastry: Mastering the Art and Craft"
It's good but not as much as the ones above, if you have the ones above then it's redundant.

 

Nick Malgieri - "How to Bake"
I gave it a look but did not impress me enough to spend money on it.

 

Sarah Labensky - "On Baking"
Same as Malgieri.

 

French Culinary Institute - "The Fundamental Techniques of Classic Pastry Arts"
This was a big disappointment, I really regret having spent money on it.

 

Jacquy Pfeiffer - "The Art of French Pastry: A Cookbook"
I had the chance to give it a read and it did not seem any better than the one by the French Culinary Institute.

 

There many other books in this vein, like the ones by Cordon Bleu, Richard Bertinet, Philippe Urraca, Eric Keyser... Neither one of them impressed me after a quick look, so I left them there since I already have many more than I really need. Once you have 3-4 titles of this kind you are really covered.
Beware I'm talking about the explanations, not the recipes. I never tried any recipe from these books.


If you are looking for recipes for the home use, then these 2 are classics:

Rose Levy Beranbaum - "The Baking Bible"

Rose Levy Beranbaum - "The Cake Bible"


If you like Austrian and Hungarian pastries then this is a must:

Rick Rodgers - "Kaffeehaus: Exquisite Desserts from the Classic Cafés of Vienna, Budapest, and Prague"

 

 

 

Teo

 

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Teo

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49 minutes ago, teonzo said:

The best book on the how and why is the one by Paula Figoni, so you already covered that.

 

Some personal comments on some titles:

 

Bo Friberg - "The Professional Pastry Chef"
This is great for getting the correct foundations on classic pastry. Underscore "classic", nothing modern here, but you need foundations before building the roof.

 

Ecole Ferrandi Paris - "French Patisserie"
As Jo wrote, this is really good if you want an overview on both classic and modern.

 

Regan Daley - "In the Sweet Kitchen"
This is overlooked, but it's the only one that talks about how to work with flavors, all the others are technique based.

 

Michel Suas - "Advanced Bread and Pastry"
This has some great explanations about bread and viennoiserie, it's for professionals though. The other sections are skippable.

 

Wayne Gisslen - "Professional Baking"
I liked it quite much, but if you have the ones by Friberg and Suas then you won't find much more knowledge.

 

The Culinary Institute of America - "Baking and Pastry: Mastering the Art and Craft"
It's good but not as much as the ones above, if you have the ones above then it's redundant.

 

Nick Malgieri - "How to Bake"
I gave it a look but did not impress me enough to spend money on it.

 

Sarah Labensky - "On Baking"
Same as Malgieri.

 

French Culinary Institute - "The Fundamental Techniques of Classic Pastry Arts"
This was a big disappointment, I really regret having spent money on it.

 

Jacquy Pfeiffer - "The Art of French Pastry: A Cookbook"
I had the chance to give it a read and it did not seem any better than the one by the French Culinary Institute.

 

There many other books in this vein, like the ones by Cordon Bleu, Richard Bertinet, Philippe Urraca, Eric Keyser... Neither one of them impressed me after a quick look, so I left them there since I already have many more than I really need. Once you have 3-4 titles of this kind you are really covered.
Beware I'm talking about the explanations, not the recipes. I never tried any recipe from these books.


If you are looking for recipes for the home use, then these 2 are classics:

Rose Levy Beranbaum - "The Baking Bible"

Rose Levy Beranbaum - "The Cake Bible"


If you like Austrian and Hungarian pastries then this is a must:

Rick Rodgers - "Kaffeehaus: Exquisite Desserts from the Classic Cafés of Vienna, Budapest, and Prague"

 

 

 

Teo

 

Thank you for the detailed comments on each title! I guess I'll finish Professional Baking, then look towards The Professional Pastry Chef and/or French Patisserie. I also actually have RLB's Baking Basics, but of course I'll need to put Baking Bible on my radar for more involved recipes. And the Kaffeehaus suggestion looks wonderful - I'll admit most of my (very limited) knowledge of pastries so far is mainly just French patisserie, but I want to ensure I'm not ignoring the rest of Europe and that looks like exactly what I want. Your suggestions are much appreciated!

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