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Advanced Bread and Pastry Hardcover – Apr 4 2008

4.8 out of 5 stars 4 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 1056 pages
  • Publisher: Delmar Publishers Inc; 1 edition (April 4 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 141801169X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1418011697
  • Product Dimensions: 4.4 x 22.2 x 27.9 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 3.2 Kg
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars 4 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #142,667 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description


"This is the most thorough, well researched, and detailed baking text I have seen. Advanced Bread and Pastry is more comprehensive than any of the competing texts I have reviewed." - Paul V. Krebs, C.C.E., Professor of Culinary Arts and Baking, Schenectady County Community College, Schenectady, New York

"I think that the strength of the authors' technical knowledge really is evident here." - Christopher S Harris, Pastry Chef/Instructor, South Seattle Community College, Seattle, Washington

About the Author

Michel Suas is an internationally known baking and pastry chef and founder of the San Francisco Baking Institute. In 2002 he was recognized by the Bread Bakers Guild of America and awarded the prestigious Golden Baguette award for his talent and dedication to the art of professional pastry and artisan bread baking.

Inside This Book

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Customer Reviews

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
This book is is very useful for serious amateur and professionals, photographs are just amazing and the instructions are very precise. Though the formulas is designed for Americans and to those folks who's using English system of measuring converting them to Metric is a little awkward because you'll be getting imprecise measurement like "2.85 grams" where most of the weighing scales only have 1 gram precision.

But if you can't afford to go to baking institutes and you're very good on self studying with a little practice, you'll love this book.
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Format: Hardcover
As "Breadmaker Ken" notes in his own review here, the book is a hefty one. Coming in at 7 pounds (3.2 Kg) and over 1000 pages, it is a definitive tome on the art of baking. Its depth and scope are impressive even if likely quite daunting to someone who is looking for something a bit more casual. However, for the serious home baker or professional, it is one of the "must haves" for reference and instructional guidance.

Also: Bread porn. Lots and lots of gorgeous photos liberally included.

With hundreds and hundreds of formulas and countless explanations on the process, you can't help but learn a huge amount of invaluable information going through this. I've done a number of the recipes, both at the bakery and at school, and liked all the results.

Pro Tip: If you expect to be able to take the first few days and skim through this casually before bed, be warned: it's a damn heavy book! It literally required a table. Pro Tip #2: Keep a large clear plastic bag handy when using. Open the book to the recipe you're working on, slip book into bag and avoid accidental chocolate splashes, sticky fingers, etc. on your rather spendy book.

For those who have Bread: A Baker's Book of Techniques and Recipes by Jeffrey Hamelman, this likewise gets into not just the recipes but the whys and wherefores of baking, to help you understand what's going on in your products and be able to manipulate the outcome as needed for your own kitchen.

Where I've often recommended Hamelman's book as a great "Bread University" course, I would now recommend Mr Suas' excellent book as a wider-scoped "Bakery University" resource.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I love this book! It is not your typical baking recipe book. It is a textbook that goes through history, science and recipes from all over the world. It is mainly written to train professional bakers, however recipes for test batch are provided and special considerations when backing smaller amounts are provided in the chapters. This book provides all you need to know to learn baking and pastry, and gives you all the skills you can then use to develop your own formulas and decorations. After reading this book you will be limited only by your imagination.
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Format: Hardcover
The amount of knowledge and intelligence in this book is truly amazing (although weighing in at about 5 lbs, it's not surprising). It is not only a cookbook - although it does contain hundreds of recipes - but rather an ecyclopaedia of baking techniques - how to do things and why things are done the way they are done. It has an extremely interesting history of baking in Europe and then covers the scientific reasons for doing things a certain way - there is a lot of science behind baking; especially in bread making when dealing with a live organism and getting it to do what you want
I did a week long course at the San Francisco Baking Institute in whole grain breads and learned of the book there. I subsequently purchased 2 more copies for family members and they both raved about it.
As a bonus, it's printed in the USA - NOT CHINA!
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) HASH(0xa18dfdf8) out of 5 stars 95 reviews
124 of 124 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa21a592c) out of 5 stars EXCELLENT WORK May 12 2008
By C. Terzis - Published on
Format: Hardcover
This is without doubt the largest, most informative, most inclusive bread and pastry book in existence. Just imagine the 'Professional French pastry series' and the 'Special and decorative breads series' in one huge tome.The book does not have 880 pages as stated in the description, but 1043 including the indexes.
Mr Suas has created a comprehensive, easy to follow textbook for advanced baking and pastry. The book uses the French tradition in baking/pastry apprenticeship and includes both American and French products. Mind that this is not a coffee table book but a student's guide to advanced baking/pastry. So the author approaches the reader as a teacher would approach the student. There are explanations for every single detail and at the end of each chapter there are questions. A word of caution; this is a book strictly for professionals. One cannot just open it and start measuring cups and spoons to make a cake. Anyone lesser than an apprentice will probably get lost in the plethora of information. So if you are not a professional or a very knowlegable amateur, don't blow your money.
The book starts with a history of bread and pastry making and is divided into three main sections: Bread, Vienoisserie and Pastry. Each section is then subdivided into many others. The chapters are:
a) History
b) Food safety
a) Baking process and dough mixing
b) Fermentation
c) Advanced flour technology and dough conditioners
d) Alternative baking processes
e) Bread formulas
a) Cookies
b) Quick breads
c) Pastry dough
d) Pies and tarts
e) Cake mixing and baking
f) Syrups,creams,custards,egg foams,icings
g) Mousses
h) Classic and modern cake assembly
i) Petit-fours and confections
j) Frozen desserts
k) Plated desserts
l) Advanced decoration
m) Chocolate
There are photos throughout, including procedures and most of the products, the paper is glossy, and there are tables with information interspersed between the text. All formulas are given in Metric, Baker's percentage, US decimal, and Lbs and Oz. Also there are instructions to sites in the internet where one can expand on what is in the book and get additional information. These are throughout the book and in all the sections.
In the bread section, all the different breadmaking procedures are discussed, including the straight dough method, retarded dough method and sourdough method. This is the only book I know that in some products uses two different sourdoughs to produce a bread. Another innovation is the inclusion of a whole program for breadmaking on a professional scale, with days and times for each procedure spanning several days. There is also an extensive discussion on par-baked goods which are being favored lately by many bakers.
Bread products include: Baguettes, ciabatta, San Francisco sourbread, challah, rye breads, naan, tortilla, pita, pan de los muertos and many other European and American breads.
The Viennoiserie section is one of the most comprehensive and inclusive and can be only compared to the ones in the 'Traditional and decorative breads'. All the known products are here, including croissants, danish, kugelhopf, brioche, panettone. Different methods are given for the production of the same product eg retarded croissant, sourdough croissant etc.
The pastry section is larger than the bread one by 200 pages. The theory is divided between the chapters, as each family of products has its own technology and science, besides the basic science that goes for all pastry.
There are literally hundreds, if not thousands of products in this section. Most of the classics are here, as well as modern pastries. Too many to mention.
On the downside. Some recipes (not many) use shortening, a blasphemy against both health and taste. I also noticed a few typographical errors in some of the recipes and the temperatures, eg 375F is given as 96C in one recipe, while it should be 196C.
These faults though, are a drop in an ocean of excellence.
To conclude, at this low price this book is a give away. Just think that for the same money you can only get one tome of the 'French pastry series' with 200 pages and here you get more than a thousand pages.
Top quality, top price, the best money can buy.
71 of 73 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa21a5980) out of 5 stars Almost Perfect. But Is It Worth It For The "Home Baker"? July 20 2008
By M. Valerio - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book is written mostly for "the trade", but the home-chef (like me) can get a lot out of it. Apart from Bread and Pastry, it has extensive chapters on cakes, icings, cookies, chocolate(confection), ice-cream and quick breads (banana bread, scones, muffins) amongst other things. It is very comprehensive. The science can be understood by almost everyone, and the book is well illustrated (pictures of how to shape a baguette, etc). There are no "stories" from the author about how he first made this and that, and learnt this from there - and so forth. It reads like a school book. Very informative!

I was at first worried that this book had 1000's of recipes, but it says on the back that it has just under 300, which means there is a lot of theory in it (which I think is good). I has 2 Pannetone recipes and about 4 Croissant recipes. It has sachertorte, and black forest gateu, chocolate truffles and loads of other stuff. The carrot cake recipe is the best I've ever tried, and I've ended up using ALL the sections in the book (except for the ice-cream chapter), even though I only bought it for the Bread/Pastry initially.

For me there is one problem: I don't have a Mixer. That makes it hard to to follow the bread formulas (recipes) 100% accurately. There is enough science in the book, that you might find a "do-it-yourself" way if you experiment (at least I hope so).

In each bread formula in the book the author will specify what type of mix method to use: Short, Improved or Intensive (which basically is the 3 diffent speeds of the mixer kneading the dough).
- "Shortmix" is almost like kneading by hand, however quite few recipes call for a short mix.
- "Improvedmix" one can almost replicate by hand (but one might need to experiment with longer fermentation times and yeast amount to compensate and get a stronger dough).
- However I am more sceptical about for instance Pannetone and Brioche which call for an "Intesivemix", which is difficult by hand. Luckily there are quite few recipes that call for this mix method. Only bread with a lot of butter/sugar/eggs. But there is a "handmix" recipe for croissants.

When it comes to Ovens there is no discussion on how to compensate for lack of steam (the book is as I say, written for the apprentice/prof. in mind).

One last thing: I've had no problems with quantities in the recipes, because he always gives a so-called "test" amount (in OZ). But you can also divide the grams and kg. by 5 to get the right "home" batch if you use the metric system (I live in Norway, so i do).

Conclusion: I would recommend this book to the home-chef, but be prepared for a challenge :)
15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa21a5c5c) out of 5 stars The MOTHER of all professional bakery books for serious beginners and bakers Oct. 6 2009
By Victor L. Nazaire - Published on
Format: Hardcover
ASTOUNDED ! What a great book for SERIOUS learners of bakery
and experienced bakers who did not get the opportunity of
going to a bakery school.

Amazon must be proud of selling this book : this is the Flagship
book on bakery. Make no mistake : it is a classic.

It is definitely a TEXTBOOK on bakery as a craft and as a science!

1 041 pages , glossy paper with color photos and drawings and tables
charts with 22 chapters, 3 appendixes on Conversions, Baker's percentages,
Temperature conversions . To complete : a Glossary, a Subject index and a
Formula (recipes) index.

It would be TOO long to enumerate the 22 chapters but let us say the book
consists of 4 parts : Part one is the Introduction on the history of baking
and on Sanitation; Part two deals with Bread making as a science and craft;
Part three in 100 pages is devoted to Viennoiseries; Part four , the last one,
revolves around Pastry in more than 500 pages going into decoration and
chocolate work.

Mark my words, this book will establish the New Standard in Bakery Textbooks
for serious bakers.

I would have given 10 stars if it was possible. Get it if you are a serious
baker , if not give it to the baker in your life.
13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa16d00a8) out of 5 stars deep, well-researched and informative June 19 2008
By L. Wu - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Although dense and designed for the professional (experienced) baker, I learned a great deal from this book, which is as deep as Hamelman's book on Bread, and yet covers pastries and other sweet goods for the second half. A wonderfully informative and well-researched book for the price!
11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa21a5a40) out of 5 stars A refference point in baking Dec 9 2010
By mike from montreal - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This review will cover only the Bread portion of this book. Which really is the reason I bought it in first place.

Ths is a BIG book with comprehensive coverage of bread and pastry with many technical terms..The language is a little bit academical but that didn`t bother me. This is an ADVANCED Bread and Pastry after all...
It is clearly not for the beginner, but don`t let that discourage you.
The recipe presentations are clear to follow and most importantly to the point.
That`s the strength of this book, it goes straigh to the point. NO nonsense knowledge.
Every phrase has its place in conveying the meaning. Most of the explanations are intended to be focused more on proffessionals bakers but are easily adapted in home environment.
Also the recipes are given in bakers percentages and could be easily increased or decreased.
The recipes give excellent results which is a truly gratifying experience. I mean they really work and give good results and tasteful bread.

The book fails though to emphasize the importance of having the right equipment that really makes the differrence.

Not so many words about baking stones about steaming equipment and the effects the have on the end product (which is quite noticeable)..

Mixing chapter is good but i would recommend to complete by reading the mixing chapter of Bread Baking: An Artisan's Perspective of Daniel T. di Muzio.

I would have liked to have more details about differrent ovens and their advantages (Bread Baking: An Artisan's Perspective -- does a great job on this).
I would have liked to have better pictures for each of the bread instead of showing 5 breas in one page --- i guess is more economical.
I would have liked to see more pictures or explanations for some of the end products that are not so easy to follow.

I would deffinitely would want a dvd with some videos to some dough in the making.

Like the other reviewers before me I would agree that this is not for the beginners and the info it provides could be intimidating, but once you get over it and go to the recipes you will end having excellent results..

This book makes me feel more confident and more in control about bread making process and together with Bread Baking: An Artisan's Perspective of Daniel T. di Muzio this book will give you more than enough tools and information to ``feel`` the art of baking and not only blindly follow the recipe.