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The Art of French Baking Hardcover – 1 Nov 2011

14 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Phaidon Press (1 Nov. 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0714862401
  • ISBN-13: 978-0714862408
  • Product Dimensions: 18 x 3.8 x 27 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 256,811 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

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Product Description

Review

'this book reminds you of the vast range of patisserie imprinted in French DNA.'
The Independent

'If you've ever stood with your nose pressed to the window of a French patisserie, you'll love this hefty collection of 350 recipes'
BBC Good Food

'In its chic white leatherette binding, this is the last word on classic French patisserie'
Daily Mail

'Everybody needs a primer...Adorable!'
The Wall Street Journal

'A solid primer for those looking to indulge in homemade classical pastries, this book will inspire would-be bakers to new heights.'
Publishers Weekly

'The steps are simple, the results are stunning!'
Reader's Digest

About the Author

Ginette Mathiot (1907–1998), Officier de la Legion d'Honneur, taught three generations how to cook in France and is the ultimate authority on French home cooking. She wrote more than 30 best-selling cookbooks, covering all subjects in French cuisine. Je sais cuisiner was her definitive, most comprehensive work, which brings together recipes for every classic French dish.

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Customer Reviews

4.1 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

30 of 33 people found the following review helpful By Thomas Holt on 22 Nov. 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Cake, pudding, tart, and biscuit making is a great skill which, fortunately, anyone can learn without too many failures on the way. The results are not only much healthier than commercial offerings (since you are in charge of what goes in them), but invariably taste better as well. You won't find anything in "The Art of French Baking" about bread or savoury baking but, if you can live with this, you will find hundreds of delights than anyone can make at home, irrespective of experience.

The presentation of recipes is terse, apparently making assumptions about the knowledge of the reader. In fact, the organisation of the book is designed to make recipes quick and easy to follow, with minimal repetition. This is brilliantly achieved by sections on equipment, ingredients, techniques, glossary, and a final page of general recipe notes. So, before trying a recipe, particularly if you are new to baking, I suggest reading all the non-recipe content of the book. I would also recommend reading the basic recipes section - since patisserie baking is based on combining quite simple skills to achieve a possibly complex objective. Generally, the recipes are quick to prepare, rarely involving more than an hour in preparation and cooking time (excluding chilling time). An addition to the original book (published 70 years ago), are recipes from some noted French chefs, showing you how the building-blocks approach can reach levels of great sophistication. But, try the simple stuff first!

I'm very impressed with the production of this book. It's binding is a soft-feel plastic that will wipe clean and not get damaged too easily. It has two place-marker ribbons, uses an attractive and easy to read typeface, and contains enough high quality matte pictures for you to know what your efforts should look like.

A great book, by a great author, on a great subject!
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26 of 29 people found the following review helpful By Iain Mcneil on 5 April 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
On appearance this is a great book, the methods, the content the and feel.
However after trying several recipes i have found all of the measurements to be inaccurate.
As with every cookbook all recipes have to be tried and tested? this surely is not the case. I am becoming more and more disappointed with what i feel, should potentially be an excellent book.
It does make me question how many people are compelled to write a review on the books great appearance and content, without actually using it? I feel compelled to write this review after the disappointment of buying the book on the strength of these reviews I have read.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By SJ Kelly on 13 April 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This purchase was made for my daughter whom I saw perving over it in Waterstones, although at full price (£24.95) she was unlikely to buy it so I made it a surprise Christmas gift. She is absolutely overjoyed with this bible of French Pastry cooking. We have already been treated to some of the best pastries we have eaten outside of France by my daughter who has meticulously followed the recipes, all then baked in the Aga to perfection. Recipes are simplicity itself and we are now being treated to random bakings all from this book on an almost weekly basis. I do not belive you could find a better instructional book.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Marusha on 5 Feb. 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
It was the book I highly anticipated. After the Silver Spoon (Italian cuisine), I was sure this will be as good if not better. When I have received it, I was very pleased, a lot of receipes, all the classics are there, introduction chapter, tips and basic recipes. Now after I tried to bake a couple of things, I am very sad to report there are mistakes in the recipies. E.g. page 236 Galettes from Nantes: the ingredients list calls for 2 egg yolks, but nowhere in the preparation you are asked to add them, only use them for brushing. Ok, for a more experience baker, it is a no brainer, you add them because the dough doesn't come together, but for a beginner, it might be a real turn off. It's a brilliant book, but needs to be re-checked and re-printed.
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16 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Deloris VanCartier on 14 Nov. 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
this book is really for the experienced baker as the recipes are very brief. you need to know what you're doing. the illustrations are are adorable and the photos are also very good.
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Simon Tavener VINE VOICE on 14 Mar. 2012
Format: Hardcover
One of the joys of my holidays in France has been the chance to sample the wonders of the many patisseries that are to be found in every village and town. Finding a book that encompasses all the regional varieties and specialities is not easy and whilst this is not the complete encyclopaedia of French baking, it is probably as close as you are going to get (and more than you will ever need.

It is a very cleanly presented book - clear instructions and ingredients that are readily available. There isn't a photograph for every recipe - but I can live with that. The glory of the book is the fact that you have hundreds of recipes - some very simple, some more complicated - but all very authentic and enough to keep a keen baker in the kitchen for many, many months.

I think any baker would be delighted to have this as part of their collection - it is one of those essential reference guides that you will return to on many occasions.
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By Gail Jones on 24 Feb. 2014
Format: Hardcover
The recipes look good and the pictures interesting.
I have baked two of the biscuit recipes so far, on both occasions the cooking times were completely off. Ten minutes in recipe, actual times, twenty-five etc. Cookies did not spread and stayed in the "walnut shaped" balls I was told to place them on the tray in.
Also how can a french cook book be based on cups and Fahrenheit? It's to inaccurate for baking.

Overall very disappointed in the recipes, may look nice, but that's not the point of a cook book.
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