THE METROPOLITAN BAKERY COOKBOOK: Artisan Breads, Pastries, and Desserts

James Barrett, Author, Wendy Smith Born, Joint Author, Catherine Hennessy, Photographer . Rodale $29.95 (258p) ISBN 978-1-57954-759-2

The Metropolitan Bakery in Philadelphia bakes European-style pastries, breads, spreads and salads that loyal customers have devoured over the past 10 years, helping the business expand into five retail locations and into mail order. Here chefs Barrett and Born share classics like Whole Grain Sandwich Bread, Fig Bars, Almond Croissants and luscious surprises like Blood Orange Eclairs. Directions are minimal, so home cooks would be wise to have a more comprehensive bread baking guide on hand. But even students who have mastered the foundation recipes for Whole Wheat Starter, Danish Dough and a variety of tart pastries, have still to ace creams and fillers like homemade dressing and marinated chicken for the deceptively simple-sounding Seared Chicken and Maytag Blue Cheese Sandwich. Home cooks should keep handy post-it notes for the cross-referencing required. Portions are restaurant sized (Raisin Bran Muffins makes 24). Faithful bakery goers may be thrilled to make their own Orange-Tarragon Savarin (soaked cakes), and Grilled Gruyere Cheese and Apple-Currant Chutney sandwich is an inspired combination, but the weekend gourmand will probably be more inspired to head to the store. (Nov.)

Reviewed on: 09/15/2003
Release date: 11/01/2003
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