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Customer Review

3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Frustrating book needs a lot of refinement!, 28 July 2013
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This review is from: Advanced Bread and Pastry (Hardcover)
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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Showing 1-2 of 2 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 20 Mar 2015 20:09:19 GMT
What do you find so difficult about the percentages for recipes being used?

It is perfected for scaling up and down recipes

In reply to an earlier post on 21 Mar 2015 01:06:28 GMT
Last edited by the author on 21 Mar 2015 01:16:26 GMT
B. J. Eilola says:
The percentages should be relative to the TOTAL BATCH WEIGHT. IE total batch = 1kg this would be 100%, then each ingredient portioned to THAT percentage. IE 500g flour = 50% of the total weight or .5 scale... that is how you work correctly with percentage values and is how scaling works. To look at a recipe which states that the total % is 393.96% is meaningless.
Have a look at Peter P. Greweling's book Chocolates and Confections or any of Francisco J. Migoya's excellent books to see how this is done correctly!
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