Top positive review
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Another 'tour de force'!
on 4 May 2012
Richard Bertinet is one of those rare people who is not only a master of their craft but also gifted with the ability and enthusiasm to pass on their knowledge to 'lesser mortals' such as myself. Having devoured all three of his previous books and had the pleasure of attending his 5 day Bread course in Bath I was looking forward to this book with great anticipation - and it does not disappoint.
Instead of getting bogged down in nomenclature (shortcrust, flaky etc) he simply discusses "Salted, Sweet, Puff and Choux". The first chapter is devoted to making these basic four types with all you need to know about filling forms, tartlets etc, blind baking, storage and so on. Subsequent chapters deal with the many uses to which these four basic types can be put. The instructions are very clear and always have a view to resolving the problems that put so many people off pastry making. I particularly liked the 'bonus' recipes for pork pies (jelly with port!) and the touchy subject of Cornish pasties!
The book is a beautiful artefact illustrated throughout with superb pictures. The cover is particularly striking.
His writing style is a pleasure to read and it would be difficult to see how the subject of pastry making could be put across in a more clear, reassuring and comforting way. His introduction expresses the hope that this book will encourage everyone to make pastry a part of their domestic routine and I believe he has succeeded admirably.
I would doubt that there is a better introduction to the subject out there!
p.s. this is his first book not to include a DVD; the accompanying videos are available on his website: [...]