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4.7 out of 5 stars27
4.7 out of 5 stars
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on 19 June 2012
I was really excited about getting this book, I was hoping for a good reference manual that would back me up in all my baking. "The Ultimate Baking Companion" and comments like "inspirational and technical reference for professionals" made me think I was getting good solid technique and instruction. In fact, this is nothing more than a collection of recipes.

The description claims a "a detailed basics section" which is a joke. It's a whole 6 pages out of 356 total. To compare, the basics section of Peter Reinhart's The Bread Baker's Apprentice: Making Classic Breads with the Cutting-edge Techniques of a Bread Masteris 101 pages out of 300 total. I was hoping for the same kind of book to cover pastries, pies etc, but there's no troubleshooting, no real explanations of techniques, and recipe instructions are very limited.

The recipes sound great, and I'm sure I'll make a lot of them, but I can find recipes anywhere - I want to learn technique and this book doesn't contain a single thing I didn't already know.
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on 16 October 2011
We went to the bakery, we queued for their ginger creme brulee tarts, we queued for their sausage rolls and, on our return, we bought the book :)

detailed, passionate writing. Beautiful pictures but be prepared for some very hard work. We took plenty of shortcuts and the results are still good but nowhere near as good.

one day we'll try to make the ginger creme brulee...
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on 3 March 2011
Brilliant book.
Fantastic for reference, inspiration and for just enjoying.
If you only buy one bakery book, make it this one.
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on 21 January 2012
I thought I'd never get to the final week of making the starter but my first loaves make it worth the wait. Proving the miller's loaves at the moment!!! As for the croissants they are sublime but dangerous for the waistline!
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on 20 June 2013
This book has been my wife's handy helper for when the grandchildren come to visit, and also she gets it out for the children to make the cakes and biscuits for them to eat and give to their mum.
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on 7 May 2013
Fantastic book, absolutely full of recipes I can't wait to try. I'll be making my own starter as well using their easy to follow guidelines. Lovely!
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on 3 October 2011
I bought this book based on the glowing reviews by amazon members and I am delighted to add my own review.
Being an amateur baker, I have tested two recipes, friands & banana cake.
I followed the recommended quantities and instructions and they both came out beautifully.
Very tasty, moist and the texture is very good. The members of my household loved them and have devoured them.
I have also tried their thin pizza dough recipe, very nice!

That being said, their shortbread biscuit recipe which did not turn out quite as well.
The instructions stated that the mixture be combined using fingertips but after referencing on the web,
it turns out it is better not to 'overwork' the mixture and that heat from hands will melt the butter.
Although the shortbread was edible, it was not quite as delicious as say shortbread from a packet, ie.one biscuit is not enough.
Some of the recipes in this book (breads, pastries, shortbread) is more suitable for an experienced baker rather than an amateur baker, so this book would appeal to most bread bakers.

You will find Recipes for breads, pastries, one recipe for thin pizza dough (very tasty) ,a few pies, sausage rolls, cakes, cookies, meringues & more.
The recipes aren't typical common ones, you will find a few unusual recipes in each category eg. Mr potato bread, flourless chocolate cake (the reason why I bought this book)

Contents excerpt:
Before you begin - ingredients, equipment
Bread - basics & techniques, starters, sourdough, derivative breads, yeasted, olive oil breads
Pastries - basics, croissants Danishes pies sausage rolls tarts
More sweets - cakes biscuits desserts

As I live in sydney I am fortunate enough to have sampled this bakery's offerings from their sister bakery, the central baking depot, and there is no surprise at the steady stream of customers coming and going throughout the day. The atmosphere is wonderful in their small bakery.

This is such a beautifully constructed book, lovely pictures and each recipe is on it's own page, so you won't need to flick back & forth.Nice big book that is worth every cent. Even just looking through it is a delight.
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on 18 October 2013
I pressed the wrong button on my original review sorry about that my fingers not as quick as my mind
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on 1 October 2011
Absolutely the best book on baking out there! I was inspired to get into sourdough baking by The Food Program on BBC R4. This led to me investigating a number of books and "recipes" for making you own starter. I had may own starter going by the time I ordered this book, so was able to get straight into baking.

The book is hugely informative in a way which allows you both to sit down to read lie a book, but it also allows you to stand in the kitchen a follow it as recipes.

I've been baking some fabulous breads following the book and feel certain that when I get on to the other areas of baking in the book they will be equally successful.

Highly Highly recomend!
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on 15 January 2011
Well so far this book has only been used to bake bread there are some very nice recipes in this section The recipes are well writen and they are very well explained they seem to be comeing out ok we will try some of the other recipes soon and will let you know more then watch this space
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