It's unusual for a book on baking to do full justice to the whole, glorious range of the baker's art--from the robust and primitive physicality of bread-making, through exquisite cakes and biscuits, to the most rarefied patisserie
. Baking With Passion
is that book. Inspirational in the highest degree, it will send seasoned bakers back to the kitchen and embolden the most timid cook to start kneading. Dan Lepard is probably the hottest baker (figuratively speaking) in London, while Richard Whittington is busily establishing a reputation as one of the best cookery writers in the business. The fountainhead of their book is the London bakery Baker and Spice
, where Lepard is consultant baker. The productions of this business, which delight a growing and enthusiastic retail clientele and are also supplied to many of the top restaurants in the capital, have been skilfully reinterpreted for the domestic kitchen and the unprofessional baker. Everything here can and should be reproduced in the home.
This is not to say that the recipes are unchallenging. Baking, as embodied here, is perhaps the most demanding branch of cooking in what it asks of the cook's patience, commitment and willingness to meet the highest standards of integrity in technique and choice of ingredients. Once these are met, however (and the skills are easily acquired), the rewards are stunning. Particular highlights among the breads include the San Francisco Sourdough, one of the greatest breads in the world; a Garlic Bread made with whole garlic cloves braised with balsamic vinegar and a perfect Focaccia. Among the varieties of cake, the exquisite Lemon, Apricot and Carrot recipes stand out. Pear Tarte Renversée (a form of Tatin),Pithiviers and a simple but sensationally good Croissant recipe are the highlights of the section dealing with patisserie. --Robin Davidson
It is the book for committed cook who wishes to extend their knowledge in baking, covering every aspect of baking, and with loads of scrumptious, fattening recipes. -- Sybill Kapoor, The Independent, 13th November 1999
Reveals all you need to know about an increasingly forgotten art -- Sunday Times, 21st November 1999
The ultimate baking book -- BBC Good Food Magazine, November 1999