Baking with Julia: Sift, Knead, Flute, Flour, And Savor... (Anglais) Relié – 4 novembre 1996
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Baking with Julia
Nothing promises pleasure more readily than the words "freshly baked." And nothing says magnum opus as definitively as Baking with Julia, which offers the dedicated home cook, whether a novice or seasoned veteran, a unique distillation of the baker's art.
Baking with Julia is not only a book full of glorious recipes but also one that continues Julia's teaching tradition. Here, basic techniques come alive and are made easily comprehensible in recipes that demonstrate the myriad ways of raising dough, glazing cakes, and decorating crusts. This is the resource you'll turn to again and again for all your baking needs. With Baking with Julia in your cookbook library, you can become a master baker.
And there's no better time to be baking than now. Quality baking today is more varied, more exciting, and simply more authentic than ever before. Baking with Julia celebrates this tremendous range with enticing recipes that marry sophisticated European techniques to American tastes and ingredients. With creative flair, napoleons are layered with tropical fruits, pumpkin and cranberries are kneaded into bread doughs, and a tart is topped with sweet stewed onions. Along the way, step-by-step photographs demonstrate the basic building blocks of the pastry and bread baker's repertoire, and from this firm foundation fancy takes flight.
Baking with Julia presents an extraordinary assemblage of talent, knowledge, and artistry from the new generation of bakers whose vision is so much a part of this book. The list of contributors reads like a Who's Who of today's master bakers, including Flo Braker, Steve Sullivan, Marcel Desaulniers, Nick Malgieri, Alice Medrich, Nancy Silverton, Martha Stewart, and a host of bright new talents such as Jeffrey Alford and Naomi Duguid.
With nearly two hundred recipes, and half as many pages of tantalizing full-color photographs, this incomparable kitchen companion goes far beyond what most cookbooks offer. More than fifty pages of illustrated reference sections define basic terms and techniques, and explain the hows and whys of batters and doughs to take you effortlessly through the essential techniques. If you've never made flaky pie crust, your first no-fail experience is at hand. If you've never baked bread, that most satisfying and sensual pleasure awaits the turn of a page. With recipes for breads, pastries, cookies, and cakes—from chocolate to cheesecake, from miniature gems to multi-tiered masterpieces—this cookbook is a total immersion experience in the wonder of home baking.
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I spent the greater part of this year working on breadmaking techniques from the artisanal bread section - while techniques take time to master, I received a remarkable education from this book. The basic white bread and focaccia recipes are simple and wonderful to make on your own.
If you're serious about baking, this book provides the basis for your advancement into any number of specialized areas: breads, pastries, cookies, cakes, even chocolate. Not only are the recipes very well selected, but the photographs are gorgeously photographed by Gentl & Hyers (who also photographed Rose Levy Beranbaum's The Pie & Pastry Bible), including some very nice candid shots (mise en scene/mise en place) in the kitchen. I haven't come across many other cookbooks of this calibre since.
The recipes range from the simplest Irish Soda Bread, to the most elaborate Glorious Wedding Cake. Not all recipes are as complex as the wedding cake recipe - this particular recipe contributed by Martha Stewart is one that seems oddly out of place in a cookbook. However - it is truly a great study on how tiered cakes are layered and put together, and decorated. (The wedding cake is essentially a dense almond pound cake, which can probably be scaled down to a much more manageable session)
The "soul" of this cookbook comes from the section at the beginning titled "Batters and Doughs - The Basics." If you never baked anything from the book, at least go through all 8 recipes once or twice. As the introduction notes, these are the building blocks upon which hundreds of pastry and cake recipes are based. If you can accomplish the following, you can call yourself an accomplished baker: flaky pie dough, choux paste, meringue, genoise (3 versions), brioche, puff pastry, danish pastry, croissant dough. I've recently accomplished the brioche dough, and it's become a favorite quickly, as a simple loaf or as the basis for Pecan Sticky Buns.
This book has a companion web site featuring the original television series "Baking with Julia" on PBS, complete with video clips of the bakers at work. If there was ever an opportunity to purchase all 39 episodes (with 27 bakers!) on DVD, I'd be the first on line... Bon Appetit
One of the primary lessons I learned from my comparing recipes in this book to other books is that these recipes are fully up to professional bakers' standards. No dumbing down here. My best evidence is when I tried making cinnamon buns using two other recipies and the results were simply inferior to what one could buy from Entenmens at the supermarket I then made the same product using the Child recipe and I produced definitely superior results.
Please be aware that these recipes were not developed by Julia Child and Julia Child did not write the book. This does not detract from the quality of the book, just the quality of the credit. The writer, Dorrie Greenspan, has done several other books on baking, all with a very high quality. Julia's collaborators, all major talents in baking, include such stars as Nick Malgieri, do nothing but increase the value of the volume.
This book is at it's best as an introduction to all the different types of baking for a person who has time to deal with the finer points of baking things like artisnal breads and sticky buns. Yes, a stand mixer is recommended.