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Baking Artisan Pastries and Breads: Sweet and Savory Baking for Breakfast, Brunch, and Beyond [Paperback]

Ciril Hitz
3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
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Book Description

Nov. 1 2009

Baking Artisan Breakfast Breads and Pastries offers illustrated recipes that cater to all breakfast needs: from muffins ready within the hour to more decadent treats, such as lemon brioche doughnuts and chocolate croissants. The formulas are generally progressive—the easier recipes are at the beginning and more complex ones are later. The step-by-step full-color process shots of techniques and inviting beauty shots of finished products coupled with clear directions will instill confidence in even the most novice baker. A short (20-30 minute) DVD accompanies the book, adding an invaluable level of instruction.


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Product Description

Review

STARRED REVIEW
Baking Artisan Pastries and  Breads: Sweet and Savory Baking for Breakfast, Brunch, and  Beyond
Hitz,  Ciril (Author)
ISBN:  159253564X
Publisher: Quarry Books
Published:  2009-11
Binding/Price/Pages: Paperback, $24.99 (176p)
Subject:  Cooking | Courses & Dishes | Bread
Including step-by-step process photos of  techniques, award-winning pastry chef and teacher Hitz ("Baking Artisan Bread") provides a solid foundation for bakers to produce  professional-looking baked goods. Following an introduction that  discusses ingredients, equipment, and techniques, recipes (from  breakfast muffins to lemon brioche doughnuts) are progressively  presented from the easiest to the more complex. Listed ingredients  are measured in metric, weight, and volume. Also included are  conversion charts; lists of online resources, tools, equipment, and  organizations; and a glossary. An excellent plus is the 20-minute  instructional DVD, which teaches advanced methods such as rubbing,  creaming, and blending. Highly recommended for beginning bakers.  - Library Journal, December 15, 2009

About the Author

Ciril Hitz is the Department Chair for the International Baking and Pastry Institute at Johnson & Wales University in Providence, Rhode Island. He graduated from the Rhode Island School of Design, after which he returned to his native Switzerland and completed a three-year apprenticeship as a Pastry Chef/Chocolatier. He was first introduced to bread baking while in Europe, which laid the foundation for the skills that led him to where he is today. Hitz has been recognized nationally and internationally with numerous awards and accomplishments. He was selected as a Top Ten Pastry Chef in America in both 2007 and 2008 by Pastry Art & Design magazine. In 2004 he competed in the National Bread and Pastry Team Championship, winning the overall team Gold Medal as well as all individual bread awards. He was a member of the Bread Bakers Guild Team USA that competed at the 2002 Coupe du Monde de la Boulangerie in Paris, France, where the team captured the silver medal. He has been a guest instructor and expert at many national and international culinary events and schools and serves on the Advisory Board of the Bread Bakers Guild of America. Ciril Hitz is frequently seen on The Food Network and has been featured on the NBC's The Today Show. His work has graced the pages of numerous magazines and the interiors of exhibition halls and museums, including COPIA in Napa, California. He is the producer of his own line of educational DVDs. For more information on his work, visit www.breadhitz.com.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Most helpful customer reviews
By Ope
Format:Paperback
The is an excellent book if you want to work on more advanced baking. These are not quick and easy recipes but are intended for someone who wants to bake at more professional, level. The results have been excellent so far. My only issue with the book is that the title is "Pastries and Breads" but it really is more about breads, there are not a lot of pastry recipes at least not what I was expecting.
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Amazon.com: 4.5 out of 5 stars  29 reviews
37 of 37 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A RICH AND VERSATILE EFFORT Nov. 17 2009
By C. Terzis - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
This is the first book by Mr Hitz that I have purchased and I am certainly not sorry that I did. It is something that, to my knowledge, has not been attempted before, that is, write a whole book only on breakfast pastries/breads. Usually breakfast is just one section of a book, not the whole.

The binding is not exactly softcover as the book description states but turtleback, which combines the hardback binding with a laminated cover.
It includes an informative DVD that describes the basic procedures and methods. I only wish its case was not glued to the back of the first page, as it tore some of the paper. Happily it does not show until you open the cover.

This book could have easily been called "The complete dummy's guide to baking artisan pastries and breads". It is definately geared towards making these goods easy and accesible to everyone and it describes every aspect and detail in a way one would teach a complete novice or a child. So if you are not confident about your skills this is the book for you.
The pages are gloss and there are many photos of the products and the procedures. Also there are photos of all the ingredients and equipment.

The book is divided into 2 sections:
1) BASICS
Ingredients
Equipment
Techniques

2)BAKING
Quick breads,muffins and scones
Enriched dough
Laminated dough
Fillings, glazes, toppings and spreads

The Basics section is quite extensive having 65 pages. All the ingredients and equipment are thoroughly discussed and the whys and hows of the techniques are revealed and explained. The author also discusses the unhealthy qualities of trans fats and even though he includes various fats in this section he recommends the use of pure butter instead of shortening/margarine for the recipes.

The ingredients in the recipes are listed in Metric, Imperial and Volume measurements to fascilitate all users.

In the scones etc section I like the Swiis carrot cake (after all the author is Swiss) that uses butter not oil and hazelnut meal. Having mentioned oil, the recipes made with it (eg zucchini bread) are nothing special, but if you substitude melted butter or at least replace some of the oil with it the taste of the products gets a boost. I also like the Tirolean chocolate and the mixed berry muffins. There is even a recipe for whole wheat cinnamon raisin bagels.

In the Enriched dough section the Brioche uses the proper method of refrigerating for a few hours before baking, which enhances the taste. There are several variations of brioche like lemon brioche doughnuts and rum-raisin-almond brioche.
I also like the Apple kuchen using a brioche base. Other tasty recipes are the Russian braid and sweet glazed cinnamon buns, but really, in this section all the recipes are good.

The laminated section includes croissants and danish (of course) using both plain and chocolate dough. There is also a savory variation using whole wheat, ham and cheese.

Then come the various toppings (like crumb/streusel), glazes (like lemon/sugar) and fillings (almond,cinnamon etc).

Finally there is an appendix that includes troubleshooting, resources, recommended reading, glossary and index.

A low price combined with such quality makes this book a must for those interested in the subject.
33 of 34 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Great textbook, okay cookbook, bad proofreading Aug. 29 2010
By Nancy - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
I bake a LOT. Hitz has excellent discussions of technique that I found very helpful - and well worth the price of the book for someone refining their technique. Photographs as particularly helpful. I love the section of glazes and fillings - this, again, is worth the price of admission.

I think this book (like Hitz's book on bread) has three major limitations.

First, the proofreading is terrible and errata have not yet been released. For example, I just finished making the carrot cake - an expensive recipe that calls for both almond and hazelnut flour. First, it called for 3 Tbsp of baking soda when I am fairly positive he really wanted 3 tsp (you could taste the sodium in the final product - and yes, I sifted before mixing). Second, it says it will make 1 loaf, but actually makes two at the pan size he specs (I made 12 muffins and a full loaf pan). It has been my experience in all the recipes that Hitz's weight measures (which is how he bakes) are correct. The volume measures are erratic. That's too bad, because I weigh most things - like flour - but find it easier to use cups and tsps for things like water and tiny amounts like baking soda. I keep thinking it shouldn't matter for the water, but it does. You can't switch columns and I would follow his advice and weigh - that's what he's proofread.

Second, The visual layout of the book makes it hard to follow and easy to make a mistake. You can do it well, but need to really concentrate to follow along. I think this is because it's more of a textbook than a cookbook.

Third, and most importantly, the recipes are okay, but not extraordinary. I have made several recipes from each section of the book. The fillings, glazes and topics are excellent. The pastry recipes taste like baked goods from an okay, but not excellent bakery - and they have that 'bakery' not home-made taste. They don't burst with flavor and the texture is a bit too soft and chewy for my taste - they remind me of good supermarket stuff. Even some of the breads and scones are in the above average, not exceptional, category.

So learn from this book - and definitely use the glazes and fillings - but buy another book for the recipes.
12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Loving Artisan Pastries & Breads Dec 11 2009
By bakerboy - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Owing to its humble approach, it would be easy to dismiss this book as one written solely for the home baking enthusiast. Do not be fooled or misled. Professionals and beginners can glean valuable nuggets of information from Hitz's latest book and come away inspired after reading it. Its simple presentation belies the vast wealth of information based on his experience as an educator and champion baker.

The concepts, principles, and techniques are accessible to beginners without boring more experienced bakers. Without proselytizing, Hitz reels readers in with his unbridled love and enthusiasm for sharing his knowledge and experience with his audience. Well written and even self-deprecating at times, the book captivated me much like a novel with its twists and turns as it presented riffs on traditional baked goods and introduced innovative products and techniques. From the rustic home style products to the regal croissant, it is all covered here.

The formulas are presented in metric and imperial weights in addition to volumetric measurements making them useful to anyone anywhere. The photos, including the process shots, are helpful and beautifully composed. The accompanying DVD fills in the blanks and answers any questions one might have before, during, or after baking the products, and the resources and conversion tables at the end of the book are nice additions. I am thrilled to have this book on my shelf, but even more so to have it on my kitchen counter.

This is one of the most understandable books I own on baking. Dollar for dollar it is one of the most valuable.
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Deliciously Sweet - A must have! Dec 9 2009
By Love to Read - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
This is the second book I have purchased by Ciril Hitz. And again another hit. I have made 2 recipes with more to follow of course. I am please to say that both were excellent and tasty. The directions are clear, well laid out, and easy to follow. There are a great many options for anyone's tastes and skill level. I have just finished making Apple Kucken and it was awesome! The brioche was buttery and flavorful and delicious. Last week I made the pecan sticky buns and again they were delicious.
The thing I like most about Hitz's books are that he covers the basics, gives trouble shooting help, and clearly explains each recipe from start to finish with out turning it into a novel for every step. The photos are also really helpful with the baking process.
I highly recommend this book as a great addition to everyone's book shelf. Whether having a brunch, overnight guests, or just a special treat - this book has something for everyone.
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars full of mistakes Aug. 26 2010
By Stuart Lenoff - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I thought I would like this book when I first received it but after looking real close I noticed a lot of mistakes. For instance on page 82 he has 7 grams of baking powder at 2 teaspoons and on page 94 he has 7 grams of baking powder at 2 tablespoons. Which is it Mr.Hitz? He also has vegatable oil on page 82 at 54 grams or 1/4 of a cup, i/4 of a cup is 40 grams. What kind of corn meal do you use in the corn meal recipe
fine medium or coarse? He doesn't say. He says all purpose flour of 156 grams or 1 1/4 teaspoons, 1 1/4 of a teaspoon is about 1 gram. Come on now are you kidding. How many other mistakes are there in this book? I only looked at two and found many. Apparently these recipe's were never tested.
I strongly advise skipping this book unless you know something about baking and can figure out what was really in this authors head besides selling a book. This book is a joke.
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