BAKING IN AMERICA: Traditional and Contemporary Favorites from the Past 200 Years

Greg Patent, Author . Houghton Mifflin $35 (568p) ISBN 978-0-618-04831-1

In this wonderful collection of baking recipes, Patent (A Is for Apple) takes classics from old American cookbooks and makes them work with modern-day ingredients, encompassing all aspects of baking from Savory Yeast Breads through Pound Cakes to Pies and Tarts. After explaining the ingredients and equipment, he moves on to the recipes, which include timeless treasures of America's baking tradition such as Parker House Rolls, Lindy's Cheesecake and Lady Baltimore Cake. Most recipes have a brief history or description along with full, simply stated instructions that make them suitable for all skill levels. Interspersed are extracts from historical books and pamphlets that add color and create windows into bygone ages. These panels also convey additional information, which, combined with step-by-step pointers at the start of each chapter, enable the cook to produce treats like the subtly flavored Spice Pound Cake or the moist but light Orange Sponge Cake. Some recipes are more modern—e.g., Cashew and Golden Raisin Biscotti with White Chocolate Glaze—but all have been popular at some point with the American public. By including recipes from so many areas of baking, Patent has produced a volume that will provide a full repertoire for any cook as well as providing superb insight to the traditions and influences that have made American baking so varied and rich. (Nov.)

Reviewed on: 10/07/2002
Release date: 11/01/2002
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