cover image Italian Baking Secrets

Italian Baking Secrets

Giuseppe Orsini, Joseph E. Orsini, . . St. Martin's, $25.95 (272pp) ISBN 978-0-312-35820-4

One might expect a baking book that doesn't include its first recipe until page 57 to have excessive information. But that's not the case in Fr. Giuseppe Orsini's seventh title (including Cooking Rice with an Italian Accent ), which includes useful, well-written prose on the history of bread in Italy as well as baking basics, ingredients (including thorough entries on cheese and herbs) and tools. The 150-plus recipes are titled in their traditional Italian (with English translation listed below) and are divided into such concise chapters as Regional and Rustic Breads, Sweet and Holiday Breads, Tarts, and Cakes. Biscotti enthusiasts can indulge in enticing versions such as cinnamon and almond raisin, rum macadamia nut and triple ginger pecan. Staples such as pizza, focaccia and ciabatta are presented alongside seasonal holiday treats including Christmas-time Panettone and Pastiera di Grano (Easter Cooked Wheat Pie). Bakers will be glad Orsini shared this collection of Italian gems that span the boot from top to bottom. (Apr.)