The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Resource question

Morgon77's picture
Morgon77

Resource question

There are two pastry textbooks I've been trying to decide between. One is Wayne Gisslen's "Professional Baking", and the other is Bo Friberg's "The Professional Pastry Chef". I cannot find any reviews anywhere which discuss which is preferable.  From the reviews, it sounds as if the Gisslen tome is full of pretty pictures and recipes, but isn't so much about technique overall as actual assignments, whereas the Friberg book lacks the pictures, but is much more about how things are done.  Can anybody verify this, or recommend from experience with them both?

 

Thanks,

Woods's picture
Woods

Hi Morgon,

The books I have experience with are Labinsky's "On Baking", "Baking and Pastry from the CIA" and Billheux and Escoffier's "French Professional Series".  The first two are exhaustive reference books but I have only make a few of recipes.  The last has several volumes and for my money you will learn more from the first two volumes than anywhere.  They are, however, classical French patisserie and boulangerie.  Personally, I probably like the Labensky the best but the CIA one is very good.

It really depends on what you want one of these books for.  If you want technique take a look a Jaques Pepin although I don't know how much baking he covers.  I am a bit scepticle about learning techniques from expensive books.  If you look at magazines, the web and baking books at the library and try everything I bet you'll do fine.

Good luck and have fun!  Woods