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on 2 January 2011
I have difficulty in awarding an appropriate number of stars to this book. You must realise that this book is not aimed at the home baker; it is specifically for trainee (and I suppose newly qualified) commercial bakery students. Thus it is very comprehensive, but short on subtle tips and author's favourite variations which home bakers need. One reviewer on the US Amazon site complained that he had used a shortening agent. This comment is slightly misleading - he is completely neutral on the issue, merely pointing out to potential commercial bakers that it will be used in certain circumstances.
There are parts on vermin infestations (if you have rats in your home kitchen then you really should be concentrating on something other than baking cakes), scientific analyses of flour etc. - not really of use to amateurs. Quantities tend to be huge.
It will give you basic recipes for hundreds of varieties of baked goods as a reference book. If you are into bread there are now plenty of better books that don't make sourdough so daunting and are written specifically for the domestic baker.
Thus I have assumed that it deserves a 5 for commercial bakery students and I feel that it would warrant a 3 for domestic users. Thus I awarded an overall 4.
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on 25 April 2014
When I first read this book I thought WOW this is one great book ,and it is with some qualifications.I found quite a lot of mistakes in the formulas.I am a retired pro chef with an interest / obsession with breads particularly sourdough.This is a book for pro,s and experienced home bakers.Lots of tips for both.I found some of the formulas not a reliable as those from other masters of their craft..
This is a must buy for the pro but there are other books better suited to the home baker,such as Bread from j Hammelman ,Reinhart and Ciril Hitz.
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on 5 February 2014
Allow me to start with a warning: This book is meant as a guide/textbook for professionals, not for people who occasionally want to bake bread or pastry so if that's your objective, do not waste your money. If you exclusively want to learn how to make bread, even on a professional level, there are imo also better alternatives (such as 'Bread' by Hamelman).

If you are an aspiring professional baker or VERY serious amateur then it is a good reference work with a lot of attention paid to techniques, lots of recipes and detailed descriptions as well as troubleshooting tips. I found it to be almost but not quite on par with Wayne Gisslen's 'Professional Baking'. In some respects it's better, such as for bread baking (a better process description, more attention to preferments and sourdough, shaping tips, more recipes and they go beyond the usual ones), in others it doesn't reach the level of the aforementioned tome, 'Professional baking' has a more hands-on approach..

The main point of contention I have with the work is the lack of metric measurements. They are there but only for professional quantities (22 kilo of dough, anyone?). For sure the baker's formulas are also given but nevertheless, this approach calls for laborious recalculation if you use the metric system.

Overall I like the work but if I had to pick one reference I'd recommend the Gisslen tome.
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on 28 July 2013
I've found many issues with this book; while it has a lot of great info, recipes and images, it has a lot of useless info and it is not as refined as it needs to be for a reference book of this size. The single most annoying feature is the 'bakers percentage' and its application to every formula (even non-bread based); while I know it seems to have been made a (poor) standard in the industry, the actual methodology behind it is convoluted and of little use if you are used to working with the metric system and makes even less sense when applied to a non-baked item like confectionery which this book attempts to do.

While there are 'token' metric measurements listed in the formulas, many of them have been incorrectly converted. I say token, because the author should have included a metric 'test' scaled listing alongside the non-metric one provided to make it useful to the rest of the world. Those of us that use metric exclusively have to manually recalculate all of the ingredients to scale the formula down for test sized batches which is VERY irritating to say the least. And given the percentages listed are not based on a 100% total batch size, it's not such a straight forward task.

There are also mistakes with Celsius conversions in some recipes.

The lack of informative captions for many of the 'step-by-step' images is another poor oversight.

The layout of this book is another frustrating feature as it requires one to constantly flip back and forth between sections to references from a formula to a method (with no page references)...

The section on Sourdough would put anyone off as it's overly complicated and convoluted.

The table listing for Pate Fruits is very good if you want to make a single item, but not so good if you want to make the same batch size for many different fruits! Looking through the table you soon realize that the finished batch sizes are significantly different from one another and given the measurements (strangely for this book) are based on 1Kg of fruit one would presume (and expect) that the remaining ingredients would be scaled accordingly to produce a consistent batch size for each of the fruits listed. Not so. Be prepared to spend some time doing your own calculations here!

I sincerely hope that future revisions of this book address these issues as it has the potential to be a very good reference. There is too much wrong with it in its current form for me to recommend it with any enthusiasm...
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on 18 October 2015
Awesome info
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on 15 March 2016
Amazing book
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on 21 April 2016
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on 10 August 2014
good bay
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on 10 December 2015
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