The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Cookbooks

  • Pin It
PastryPaul's picture
PastryPaul

This is the time of year when I adjust, test, convert and create reicpes and formuale. I have no doubt that many cookbook authors lurk these pages, and this rant is, respectfully aimed at you or your publishers, or both.

We all know that scaling ingredients is the way to go, yet most books, and internet recipes etc. insist on providing volume measurements. Some might say this is old... The topic of weight of flour has been discussed ad nauseum here and many other places. Knowing what a cup of flour SHOULD weigh in no way helps in converting recipes.

When an author writes up his/her recipe he/she is trying to get a quantity across. Saying "1 cup" is meaningless. US cups are 237ml, UK Imperial cups are 285, and Australian cups are 250. To further complicate the issue, some authors say to scoop, some spoon and level, yet others advocate fluff, spoon and level. If I know that my AP's true weight is 123g per US cup, it does not help me when I have no idea what you, the author, intended the conversion to be.

http://www.artisanbreadinfive.com/2008/10/18/no-knead-whole-grain-baguette-buns-with-extra-sourdough-kick-this-time-weigh-out-the-ingredients points out what they assume a cup of flour and a cup of water are. I appreciate the effort, Jeff and Zoe.

I am very perplexed since I assume every single formula and recipe started out weight-based and was converted to volume in an effort to reach mainsteam home-based cooks. If I may make a suggestion, stop insulting your readers' intelligence and stop dumbing down recipes. At the very least, put a note in the book of what you mean by "a cup." There's nothing worse for an author's reputation than having recipes that don't work out. True, the recipe's failure is probably due to faulty measurement on the reader side, but they will blame you.

Here's another idea... one that your publishers might love... Build a companion web site where you can actually sell scales to your readers!

Zoe and Jeff use 140g per cup, many others use 150g per cup. Maybe you guys can just post here what you mean by "cup" of flour etc.

End of rant

plop808plop's picture

Best Baking Cookbook for a New Baker

November 4, 2011 - 9:46am -- plop808plop
Forums: 

I have been baking for close to a year now, but I've been gleaning all my recipes from the INTERWEB. What are some of ya'lls favorite or most useful baking cookbooks, specifically for a beginner?

Also, if you could list only one, or order your list from best to least best, that would be useful. I can only foresee myself buying one at this poor point in my life.

turosdolci's picture
turosdolci

It has been an exciting few weeks since the Foodista Best Of Food Blogs Cookbook has been published. I have met many new friends via email from around the world who have won this contest. My entry was Cartellate Cookies from Puglia a family recipe made during Thanksgiving and Christmas. The recipe can be found in the book and in my blog.


http://turosdolci.wordpress.com/2010/10/25/foodista-best-of-food-blogs-cookbook-is-in-bookstores/



MommaT's picture

SOLD: Whole Grain Breads by Peter Reinhart

September 3, 2010 - 1:33pm -- MommaT
Forums: 

 


**** SOLD:  No longer available. ****


 


Used copy Peter Reinhart's Whole Grain Breads for sale; paring down the kitchen bookshelf.


Price:  $18.00 + shipping (est. $3.99 for standard shipping).  You can pay by paypal for the fastest turnaround.


In excellent condition with the exception of two recipes, which have seen a bit of water on them so the pages have rippled a little.  The jacket is intact and looks like new.

MommaT's picture

Rose Levy Beranbaum "Bread Bible"

November 5, 2009 - 6:25am -- MommaT
Forums: 

Hi,


Just picked up "The Bread Bible"  (or should I say the OTHER "Bread Bible") by Rose Levy Beranbaum.


I haven't been through thoroughly, but recently took it out of the library with an eye toward evaluating it for purchase.  It seems to cover an exceedingly broad spectrum of "breads" and the one hearth loaf I made from the book was very satisfying - fairly wet dough and pleasing flavor.  

cookingwithdenay's picture
cookingwithdenay


On August 7, 2009 the release of a new movie starting Julia Child (Meryl Streep) and Julie Powell (Amy Adams) opens in theaters nationwide. The movie was written and directed by Nora Ephron and is an adaptation of two bestselling memoirs: Powell's Julie & Julia and My Life in France, by Julia Child with Alex Prud'homme. You can learn the plot by visiting the trailer and I won't bore you with that information. Over twenty seven years ago I had the honor of serving in the United States Navy and being stationed in Okinawa, Japan. It was a bitter sweet experience for a culinary obsessive compulsive cook like myself. Locating ingredients was a task and as a relatively new bride I was eager to prepare meals that were not only delicious but divine.


I have never really written about how I became so astute in the kitchen. I can say that I would not be the cook I am today were it not for a cookbook edited by Charlotte Turgeon titled The Creative Cooking Course. You must understand that during that time, military bases offered very little to choose from as far as ingredients go, so my now ex purchased three cookbooks so I could flex my culinary muscle; venture out into local markets and with the assistance of the Creative Cooking Course, a Betty Crocker Cookbook and one other that obviously was completely unimportant since I can no longer remember the title create culinary magic.


I bring this book up because it is through this book that I learned about food, food from all over the world. I cooked my way through this cookbook and I can tell you every recipe that worked and those that did not. Somewhere out there a budding novice is wondering how can I too become a great cook or baker? All I can share is that you must literally cook and bake your way into greatness. I think Nike said it best..."Just do it!" Julia Child once said, "never apologize." She was absolutely correct. Cook, cook, cook, bake, bake, bake and don't apologize. If someone does not like what you have prepared, fine...and as Jae would say, "keep it movin."


I had a copy of The French Chef years ago and found it quite boring, but recently I asked my daughter for a copy for Christmas. Now, over a half century old I can appreciate what Julia Child was trying to do and why. I too must encourage cooks and bakers to not settle, but rise up, grasp a good cookbook and cook, bake, "Just do it!"


 

Subscribe to RSS - Cookbooks