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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A true Classic and fantastic reference for the serious chef or home cook, 30 Nov 2011
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This review is from: The Fundamental Techniques of Classic Pastry Arts (Hardcover)
Weighing in at nearly 3kg, the Fundamental Techniques of Classic Pastry Arts is a large tome with 512 pages of goodness. It is a reference book, hence the weight, and it's based on years of teaching at the French Culinary Institute, hence the goodness.

The book covers anything and everything having to do with pastry from tools and ingredients on through breads, cakes, and confections. The chapters, called "sessions" by the authors, are centered on the basic pastry doughs: french tart dough, cream puff dough, puff pastry dough, and bread. Rounding out the sessions are those on other pastry items including creams and custards; cakes; and petits fours.

Each dough session starts off with an overview of the basic dough including a treatise on the ingredients that make up the dough and variations on the dough. Following that are techniques to make the dough and how to work with it. Within each session are sets of demonstrations that cover just about anything you'd ever want to make with that dough. The demonstrations are chock full of pictures that go into detail on each of the important steps. One of the best parts about the book are little "Dean's Tip" boxes in the margin. These little tips are spread through the book giving great little tips that you would get only if you were sitting in class at the Culinary Institute.
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