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This is an illustrated text on the theory and practice of professional baking, with more than 400 recipes for quality bakery and dessert products.
Wiley's two latest baking titles, both written by professional chefs, deserve spots on the reference shelves of bakers everywhere. Professional Baking is a textbook designed to "provide students with a theoretical and practical foundation in baking" and is valuable for both professional and amateur bakers alike. It covers measurements and bake shop math, sanitation, equipment, ingredients, history, large-quantity baking, and mixing and assembling techniques. Since bakers primarily use formulas (lists and quantities of ingredients) rather than recipes, all of the material in this book is presented in the form of procedures and formulas. Procedures are outlined first; formulas that follow refer to the discussion of the procedure rather than step-by-step instructions. A glossary and index are included.
The Pastry Chef's Companion includes 4800 pastry and baking definitions, including their origins and history, along with pronunciation guides for most of the terms. Ten appendixes are included; of particular interest are "Important Temperatures Every Baker Should Know," "Weight and Volume Equivalents for Common Ingredients," and "What Went Wrong and Why." This is recommended for all larger libraries; Professional Baking is recommended for academic libraries and collections that serve culinary students.
This new third edition of Professional Baking has been planned to appeal especially to two groups of readers: those who are looking for something new in a baking text, and those who liked the second edition of Professional Baking because it met their needs so well. In other words, nearly every student of the baking and pastry arts will find this new text to be the ideal manual.
Approximately 350 new color photographs and more than 230 new recipes, in addition to a redesigned page style to make it even clearer and easier to use, make this a genuinely new, state-of-the-art work. At the same time, the revised edition retains virtually all the material from the popular second edition. This means that it is the same trusted text that students, teachers, and readers interested in baking have relied on for more than 15 years.
The most exciting advance made in this revision is the participation of Le Cordon Bleu. This distinguished international organization has been devoted to the highest standards of training for chefs, cooks, and pastry chefs for more than 100 years. With schools and culinary centers on five continents, Le Cordon Bleu is a dynamic force in modern culinary education. More than three-fourths of the new recipes were developed and tested by master pastry chefs at Le Cordon Bleu, and the majority of the new photographs were taken in their classrooms. This new material will add immeasurable value to students' learning experiences.
Dialog with instructors in schools large and small has been crucial in planning the changes in this edition. As a result, Professional Baking is now even more useful and adaptable to nearly every need. Among the most prominent additions and changes are the following:
The Goals of This Text
The goal of this book is to provide students with a solid theoretical and practical foundation in baking practices, including selection of ingredients, proper mixing and baking techniques, careful makeup and assembly, and skilled and imaginative decoration and presentation. With its attention to both theory and practice, it is designed as a primary text for use in colleges and vocational-technical schools, for baking courses within broader food service curricula, and for on-the-job training programs. It is also valuable as a manual for cooks and bakers, both professional and amateur.
The methods and procedures in this book are primarily those of small bakeshops and food service organizations. The emphasis is on producing high-quality handcrafted items. Development of manual skills is stressed. Such skills are a valuable asset even to students who eventually move on to more industrialized, automated production like that found in large commercial bakeries.
The focus of the text is two fold: understanding and performing. The practical material is supported by a systematic presentation of basic theory and ingredient information, so that students learn not only what techniques work but also why they work. Procedures for basic bread and pastry doughs, cake mixes, creams, and icings form the core of the material, as in previous editions. A major portion of the text is devoted to step-by-step procedures and production techniques. These techniques are reinforced with straightforward recipes that allow students to develop their skills while working with large or small quantities.
This new edition strengthens the focus on fine handmade pastries, cakes, breads, and desserts, so that the book is evenly balanced between basic and advanced techniques. Those students who have developed a good understanding and mastery of basic techniques are usually eager to progress to fine pastries and other advanced work. The new recipes have been selected to give students practice with a broad range of advanced techniques for fine pastries, cakes, and decorative pieces. Emphasis here is on developing manual skills for careful detailed work rather than on producing large quantities.
The Organization of the Text
Two factors strongly influence the arrangement and organization of this book. The first is the dual emphasis already mentioned--the emphasis on both understanding and performing. It is not enough merely to present students with a collection of recipes, nor is it enough to give them only a summary of baking theory and principles. They must be presented together, and the connections between them must be clear. Thus, when students practice preparing specific items, their study of theory helps them to understand what they are doing, why they are doing it, and how to get the best results. At the same time, each recipe they prepare helps to reinforce their understanding of the basic principles so that knowledge builds upon knowledge.
The second factor is that most of a baker's activities fall naturally into two categories: (1) mixing, baking, and/ or cooking doughs, batters, fillings, creams, and icings, and (2) assembling these elements (for example, baked cake layers, fillings, and icings) into finished pieces. The first category of tasks requires careful selection of ingredients, accurate measurements, and close attention to mixing and baking procedures. Naturally, most of the detailed guidelines and procedures in this book are devoted to these kinds of tasks. The second category, assembly of prepared components, is not so much a matter of scientific accuracy as it is of manual skills and artistic abilities.
This division of tasks is so well known to the practicing baker that it is usually taken for granted. Consequently, it is often neglected in written materials. As far as possible, the arrangement of subjects in this text reflects the working practices of bakeshops and kitchens. In a typical facility, operations such as mixing pie doughs, cooking fillings, preparing icings, and mixing and baking cake layers are done separately and in advance. Then, depending on demand, finished products can be assembled quickly. In this book, procedures for mixing and baking cakes, for example, are discussed separately from the procedures for assembling, icing, and decorating them. These are very different techniques, and it is helpful for students to approach them in a realistic context. Similarly, basic creams and icings are fundamental elements required for making a wide range of pastries, cakes, and other desserts; hence, they are treated early in the text.
Although the arrangement of chapters represents a logical grouping of products and procedures, it is not intended to dictate the order in which each instructor should teach the units. Every curriculum has different requirements and constraints, so that the sequence of instruction varies from school to school and instructor to instructor. The arrangement of material in this text is designed to encourage flexibility. Of course, baking techniques are highly interdependent; frequent cross-references help students understand these connections.
An important element in the text is the participation of the instructor, whose ideas and professional experience are invaluable. There is no substitute for firsthand seeing and doing under the guidance and supervision of experienced teachers. Baking is an art as much as a skill, and there are many points on which bakers and pastry chefs differ in their preferences. The text frequently explains possible variations in theory and procedure, and students are encouraged to consult the instructor for the techniques he or she prefers. Throughout the book, the instructor's input is encouraged. Exposure to a variety of formulas and techniques can only enrich the students' education and enhance the flexibility of their skills.
The text is designed for readability and practicality. Discussions of baking theory are presented in easy-to-read, point-by-point explanations. Techniques and makeup methods are detailed in concise yet complete step-by-step procedures. The format emphasizes and highlights key points in bold type, italics, and numbered sequences, so that basic information can be located and reviewed at a glance.
Nearly 700 formulas and recipes are included for the most popular breads, cakes, pastries, and desserts. These recipes are not selected at random, merely for the sake of having recipes in the book. Rather, they are carefully chosen and developed to teach and reinforce the techniques the students are learning and to strengthen their understanding of basic principles. The goal is that the students will understand and use not only the formulas in this book but any formula they encounter.
The recipes in this book are instructional recipes-- that is, their purpose is not merely to give directions for producing baked goods but also to provide an opportunity to practice, with specific ingredients, the general principles being studied. Directions within recipes are often abbreviated. For example, instead of spelling out the straight dough method for breads in detail for each dough mixed in this way, this book refers the student to the preceding discussion of the procedure. By thinking and reviewing, the students derive a stronger learning experience from their lab work.
Many recipes are followed by variations. These are actually whole recipes given in abbreviated terms. This encourages students to see the similarities and differences among preparations. For example, there seems little point in giving a recipe for cream pie filling in the pie chapter, a recipe for custard filling for éclairs and napoleons in a pastry chapter, and separate recipes for each flavor of cream pudding in a pudding chapter, and never point out that these are all basically the same preparation. Skill as a baker depends on understanding and being able to exercise judgment, not just on following recipes. The ability to exercise judgment is essential in all branches of cookery, but especially in baking, where the smallest variation in procedures can produce significant changes in the baked product. The recipes in this text will help students develop judgment by requiring them to think about the relationships between general procedures and specific products.
Many of the new recipes in this edition illustrate more advanced techniques, which will enable readers to develop the skills required to produce sophisticated pastries and other decorative dessert items. The recipes contributed by Le Cordon Bleu are regularly used by their chefs to train students to work in fine kitchens around the world.
Students are encouraged to study chapter 1 before actually proceeding with any of the recipes. The second section of the chapter explains the principles of measurement, the various formats used for the recipes in this book, the techniques for converting yield, and the usage of U. S. and metric measurements and bakers' percentages.
The participation of internationally renowned Le Cordon Bleu in the development of my texts began with the fourth edition of Professional Cooking and has continued with this new edition of Professional Baking. I must begin by expressing my deep gratitude to André J. Cointreau, president of Le Cordon Bleu and a great leader in culinary education worldwide, for making possible the contribution of Le Cordon Bleu. Second, my thanks to two remarkable pastry chefs, Julie Walsh and Laurent Duchêne, whose brilliant work graces this text, and who spent countless hours developing and testing a series of new recipes for Professional Baking and demonstrating their skills for the camera. Alison Oakervee and Deepika Sukhwani performed invaluable services in many capacities, especially in coordinating the chefs' contributions. I thank them heartily. The following students at Le Cordon Bleu in London assisted chefs Walsh and Duchêne during photography: Saori Matsunuma, Yuka Eguchi, Kaori Tsuboi, Erica Kahn, Michele Perle, Townley Morrison, James Rizzo, Daniel Schumer, and Benjamin Coffin.
The hundreds of new color photographs are the most immediately apparent enhancement to this revised edition. Photographer Jim Smith has worked with me for 20 years with creativity, patience, and stamina, as his work has become an increasingly important part of the texts. As ever, I'm grateful for the contribution of both Jim and Anne Smith, as well as for the work of Ryan Basten in Jim's studio. For our photography work at Le Cordon Bleu Culinary Institute in London, I would like to acknowledge the contribution of Pierre Deux--French Country and Le Cordon Bleu for the use of their accessories and designs.
Suggestions and input from instructors is essential in the development of a useful textbook, and many instructors have made important contributions by reviewing all or part of the manuscripts and by answering survey questions. A list of reviewers follows these acknowledgments. My thanks to all of them as well as to many other instructors with whom I have been privileged to share ideas, either in person or via letter and e-mail.
None of this work would have been possible without the critical judgment and support of my wife, Mary Ellen Griffin; my deepest thanks to her. Finally, I wish to thank everyone at John Wiley & Sons who worked so hard on this project: Jennifer Mazurkie, Diana Cisek, Karin Kincheloe, and, especially, my indefatigable editor and friend, JoAnna Turtletaub.
Posted September 24, 2009
No text was provided for this review.