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My new go to baking resource
on 26 April 2010
As I write this review, I have the croissant dough for Pain Au Chocolat from this book in the refrigerator resting. I have a ton of books, and started methodically teaching myself to bake with Carol Field's "The Italian Baker" and Nancy Silverton's "The Breads from La Brea Bakery". I considered them my baking bibles. Bourke Street Bakery has replaced them for a number a reasons.
(1) The breadth of the recipes is fantastic, from savoury to sweet and the recipes are good;
(2) The images demonstrating step by step are useful in helping you understand how the dough is supposed to look at various stages;
(3) The measurements, metric and imperial, are precise and leave no room for guessing, and they work;
(4) The instruction is detailed, clear, and concise; The introduction walks you through a basic understanding of how water, flour, and yeast work, and explains the process very clearly;
(5) The food photography (by one of my favorite photographers, Alan Benson) is sublime;
(6) It has all the Australian baked goods that I crave!
If you are considering this book, you should know that it is not really the kind of book that you will open and go into the kitchen and turn out something in an hour. There are some of those recipes in here, but it is a book based on a bakery, and any good bakery takes its time to make its goods, and so will you! For example, I am on day three of the croissant dough. Developing your own starter takes even longer. This is because much of the flavor in these baked good relies on a slow rise.
So, this is a book for someone who is not scared to delve into the world of baking, someone who would like to improve upon/add to their baking skills, or someone who has a great command of baking skills (bread doughs, laminated doughs, yeasted doughs, etc.)
Murdoch really has produced some amazing titles in the past year, and this is one of them.