The Pie and Pastry Bible

Rose Levy Beranbaum, Author, Maria D. Guarnaschelli, Foreword by, Rose Levy Beranbaum, Introduction by Scribner Book Company $50 (704p) ISBN 978-0-684-81348-6
Precision is the trademark style of Los Angeles Times-syndicated food columnist Berenbaum, a baking and chocolate industry consultant and author (The Cake Bible) who demystifies the art (and science) of pie and pastry making. Exacting instructions in this compendium of sweet and savory ""how-tos"" (achieve the flakiest pie crust, shape and bake croissants, apply decorative techniques, etc.) may open new doors for daunted home bakers and dessert dabblers, while offering serious amateurs an additional resource for creative inspiration. Recipe ingredients are given in both volume and weight (ounces and grams). Pies and tarts include sweet (e.g., Fig Tart with Mascarpone Cream) and savory (e.g., Deep Dish Chicken Pot Pies; Roasted Red Pepper and Poblano Quiche). The pastry section includes classic French puff pastry, Danish pastry, phyllo and strudel doughs among others. End chapters cover fundamentals like techniques (decorating, measuring ingredients), ingredients (often with stated brand preferences) and appropriate equipment (mixers, tart pans, etc.). Accompanying sections to recipes--""Pointers for Success"" and ""Understanding"" (notes on food chemistry)--clearly detail the scientific underpinnings of the baking process. Indeed a ""bible"" for novices and serious amateurs alike, this time-tested encyclopedic tome distills Berenbaum's 21 years dedicated to the pastry arts in a clearly written, thoroughly documented manual. First serial to Family Circle; BOMC/Good Cook main selection; BOMC alternate. (Nov.)
Reviewed on: 11/09/1998
Release date: 11/01/1998
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