on January 4, 2008
This book is the same used by our professional cooking students at a local college and my staff (we serve up to several thousand meals a day) so I bought a copy for myself, as I am not a baker by trade. I found it very enlightening and filled in many of the gaps that I lack in the baking field. Since I normally work in cups and spoons, using the weights was different for me (buy a scale if you plan to use this book). I would have liked to see a little more info on blown and manipulated sugar (but then I suppose that is what the next book is for) and a few more recipes for phyllo pastry usage, pies, and petit fours. The author is clearly a high level professional and his instructions are clear. He explains much of the science behind the way the food is produced, which aids greatly in production. I don't recommend this book for the casual home baker as many of the quantities are huge and have to be paired down as well as some recipes talk about using equipment that you would find in a commercial kitchen (i.e. steam injectors for ovens when cooking bagettes). However, having prepared several recipes from this book I am very satisfied.
on March 1, 2002
I am very impressed with this book and highly recommend it. The recipes are varied, from basic cookies to quick breads to impressive plated desserts. It is not for someone who wants to spend no more than 15 minutes, mix a few ingredients and get a dozen cookies (although some recipes are very quick and easy) , but it is perfect for me, an adventurous home baker who frequently needs to double or quadruple batches to obtain the quantities I need. Most recipes yield at least double the quantities of standard cookbooks, but there are frequently instructions on making smaller quantities or using alternate pan sizes. Do-ahead instructions are common, which is also a big plus to me.
There are several things explained, such as air-spraying chocolate, that I may never do, but was very interested in reading how they are done. Less "professional"options are often included, such as sifting cocoa rather than the air-spraying.
All in all, this is my new favorite cookbook, both for actual baking and for curling up and reading. It has given me lots of inspiration and I can hardly wait to get cooking!
on February 2, 2004
If you're looking for clarity and completeness, you've found your book. I've always felt that a "professional" approach can only help to raise our standards even if we don't make a living in the kitchen. Friberg delivers. The book is very well written, the recipes and technique advice well organized and conceived.
Despite the title, most of the 650 recipes Friberg uses to illustrate his technique sections are of household, rather than industrial, proportions. You dog lovers will appreciate the "Special Reward Dog Biscuit" recipe with which Friberg begins the book as a tribute to his Akitas, who will not touch the store bought variety. Friberg's recipe for Sachertorte, among dozens of other delectables, has long resided in my culinary kennel. You'll find all the basics, of course, but if you want to go further, you won't need another book.
Food writer Elliot Essman's other reviews and food articles are available at [...]
on April 9, 2003
What a great book! I am a pastry chef and I use this book daily! I have found so many great ideas and learned so much from this book. Even for beginning bakers this book is easy to understand. I have used about 15 recipes from this book and I have about every other recipe marked to use one day.
If you are looking for a book for making some serious dessert then this is a great book. I highly recomend it! It also has information on most of the desserts which I really like. It has where they come from, tips to help you with the dessert, and tells you about each ingrediant that you use and how it works.
on March 20, 2002
Chef Bo Friberg really out did himself with this latest edition, I highly recommend it. This new book is the updated version of a one-stop shop approach to baking and pastry. As a non-professional "home" cook, I really appreciate his step by step instruction. He caters to more than just professionals in his writing style and instructional approach. I found that with each recipe there was useful discussion, history and composition, and a good outline on how to begin each culinary project. It is VERY well written and fun to read, and loaded with good hints on baking in general not just specific to pastries. I have not yet found a recipe that I am disappointed with. The photographs are great and inspire me to recreate some pretty terrific and beautiful culinary feats. Of all the cookbooks I own this is by far the most tastefully and artistically done--and my new favorite!
on August 27, 2002
I'm very impressed so far with this book. The author knows his stuff, relays the information in an interesting and informative manner, along with making some difficult recipes easy to understand. If you're serious about baking, this is a steal. You'll learn hundreds of facts about flour, baking, preparation along with a ton of cool recipes. They range from easy to bake up, to needing a lot of prep beforehand.
The book uses grams instead of cups/teaspoons, so you'll need to buy a scale as well if you're planning on diving fully into this great work of art.
on July 15, 2003
I am a culinary student studying at the Art Institute in Los Angeles. This book I find a little difficult to follow, but very good and quite heavy to carry around. The Study Guide for Baking: Key Review Questions and Answers with Explanations is an excellent guide that helped me get through these baking courses. I am not a quick learner and not the best at baking. The Study Guide for Advance Baking was also a great help. These books guide you through the basics and explains it very well. I got an A in baking.
on June 9, 2003
Everything you ever need to know about baking is in this book. The pictures are very detailed and it shows many variations on several of the popular desserts. It even tells you about presentation and that's very important when you are working in a fine restaurant. I also purchased the Study Guide for the National Servsafe Exam: Key Reviews Questions and Answers with Explanations on amazon and this book helped me understand how important sanitation is in every part of the kitchen, including outside the kitchen.
on December 31, 2003
This book is the end all of pastry work and baking for almost any project a person wishes to edure. The book has been written in layman's terms so you can start at the very most simple level on a very difficult dish and accomplish it the first time you make it. I have never seen any culinary book put the instructions together with such precision for both the advanced and beginner alike.
on May 23, 2004
Excellent item. Well arranged, clear instructions. It is designed for the working professional, yet is easily adapted to the home baker. There is a heavy European accent, yet it is not just French or Austrian but includes all that one should know.