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Customer Review

17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Home bakers beware: this is for commercial bakery students, 2 Jan. 2011
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This review is from: Advanced Bread and Pastry (Hardcover)
I have difficulty in awarding an appropriate number of stars to this book. You must realise that this book is not aimed at the home baker; it is specifically for trainee (and I suppose newly qualified) commercial bakery students. Thus it is very comprehensive, but short on subtle tips and author's favourite variations which home bakers need. One reviewer on the US Amazon site complained that he had used a shortening agent. This comment is slightly misleading - he is completely neutral on the issue, merely pointing out to potential commercial bakers that it will be used in certain circumstances.
There are parts on vermin infestations (if you have rats in your home kitchen then you really should be concentrating on something other than baking cakes), scientific analyses of flour etc. - not really of use to amateurs. Quantities tend to be huge.
It will give you basic recipes for hundreds of varieties of baked goods as a reference book. If you are into bread there are now plenty of better books that don't make sourdough so daunting and are written specifically for the domestic baker.
Thus I have assumed that it deserves a 5 for commercial bakery students and I feel that it would warrant a 3 for domestic users. Thus I awarded an overall 4.
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Showing 1-8 of 8 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 22 May 2011 18:14:18 BDT
With these 'professional' books I always wonder whether they are for home cooks or for people in the catering industry. It seems as if this book will be quite useless to someone who bakes bread twice a week for a couple of people. Thanks for the warning!

Posted on 12 Jul 2011 13:29:34 BDT
Jan says:
I agree with you that this is not aimed for home baker, but great for professional ones. I am not a professional one -- amateur at baking (at home), but I tried two great recipes using the formula under the "test" column. I need to buy a digital scale because everything here is by weight and it is hard to measure something like "5/8 oz etc" -- I had a hard time measuring the ingredients, but it's worth doing. This book has too much information, a comprehensive ones, a great investment for people who are in the baking career.

Posted on 9 Aug 2011 10:31:58 BDT
I am a professional baker and for me this is the best book that I have. Of course if you are a home baker you don't need so much information, but if you want to go further in the subject this is a great book.

Posted on 2 Oct 2011 20:37:05 BDT
Riccardo says:
There are a couple of bits in this review that really helped me to make up my mind... is not for me.
very useful review,

Posted on 6 Jun 2012 22:01:03 BDT
Petrus says:
If this is not the best book for the home bread maker, can anyone suggest one that might be?

Posted on 25 Aug 2012 17:11:04 BDT
Do you consider it possible to scale down the recipes from this book for domestic use, or would it then necessitate the use of a weighing scale which is amazingly accurate at measuring tiny quantities?

In reply to an earlier post on 2 Feb 2014 13:14:14 GMT
james berry says:
Hello, Petrus, My recommendations would be, Bread by Jeffery Hammelman, Dough by Richard Bertinet ,Artisan Baker by Maggie Glazier,anything by Peter Reinhart, Ciril Hitz or Dan Lapard. There are others but these would be more than enough.
Hope you find it helpful
James Berry P>S I love your Claret.

In reply to an earlier post on 5 Mar 2014 07:48:25 GMT
james berry says:
Hello try using the bakers percentage column and use 500 grams of flour as your 100% starting point.An ordinary set of digital scales are plenty good enough for all but the fast action yeast wher I would use a spoon measurement 1/4 spoon = I gram.
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Location: Edgware, Middlesex United Kingdom

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