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How Baking Works: Exploring the Fundamentals of Baking Science
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How Baking Works: Exploring the Fundamentals of Baking Science

4.22  ·  Rating details ·  293 ratings  ·  15 reviews
An up-to-date, comprehensive guide to understanding and applying food science to the bakeshop.

The essence of baking is chemistry, and anyone who wants to be a master pastry chef must understand the principles and science that make baking work. This book explains the whys and hows of every chemical reaction, essential ingredient, and technique, revealing the complex myster
Paperback, 516 pages
Published November 9th 2010 by Wiley (first published September 29th 2003)
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Were you to situate a university school of baking, it would make perfect sense to locate it in between the School of Fine Arts and the Chemistry Building. Baking is a tasty collision of art and science; neglect of either spoils the dough. Master bakers and master pastry chefs have a thorough understanding of the chemicals in ingredients and of the chemical reactions involved in baking. Paula Figoni is a food scientist who teaches in the International Baking and Pastry Institute in the College of ...more
Jun 30, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
while I don't recommend trying to read this from start to finish in a few days, it is remarkably clear for a textbook on baking. The information was divided into chapters that (not being a culinary student) I thought made a lot of sense, and there was a lot of review material at the end of each chapter. I found there were a lot of hints and tips for the home baker that I will carry forward in my baking. It's an excellent resource for any serious baker's bookshelf.
Sep 14, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Great book, have recommended this to many people who seem to have forgotten that baking is in fact an exact science.
February Four
When I bought this book, I knew it was a textbook, but I'd hoped for more information than what I found in this book. They do cover each factor/ingredient, but they give pretty little, considering this is supposed to be a textbook. It's a decent book for a hands-on/laboratory class, but I was hoping for more theory and a bit more expansion. Still keeping the book... I guess. (Haven't quite made up my mind.)
Oct 02, 2008 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Aspiting Little Debbie Employees
Shelves: science
This book is specifically a clunkily written and gluten-biased quasi-textbook for would-be bakery professionals. Which makes me sound like some sort of gluten-hater. I'm not. I just like rice, and think it's worthy of a little baking talk, much the same with corn. Rice gets 3 lines in this book. This book sings the glory of chemical additives to ease the mass production of bread. I guess it was kind of interesting, from a sociological standpoint.
Mar 01, 2011 rated it really liked it
This book gets into some really nitty gritty on how baking works (per the title!). Sometimes it's a bit TOO granular, but helpful nonetheless. It would be better if you could actually get the answers to the study questions (the teacher's guide is outrageously expensive) and many of the tests require batches of batter that aren't practical for a home person. Still, I think this book would be invaluable to anyone who hasn't been to pastry school and wants to understand the process.
Feb 20, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Very technical but fascinating at the same time.
Explained a lot of problems that I have when I bake (inconsistent oven temperature, too warm hands when trying to roll out pie crust) so I was glad I read it.
Not for the "average foodie" ... for a fan of trivia and "oh that's why that happens/happened" kind of reader.
Jen Johnson
This book has some great information but it's basically a textbook, with review questions and topics at the end of each chapter, I returned it and got another title that is more in line with what I am looking to learn about, hope to finish and review that soon.
Jul 09, 2008 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
The subject matter of this book is one of which I enjoy reading. I have tried to read this one repeatedly but it makes me feel like taking a nap every time! I do not require a book to be very entertaining but this one is boring!
Jan 13, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
geek out with this one!
Robert Dircks
Super geeky science book on baking - good reference when geeking out or needing to understand something
John Caron
Aug 22, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Outstanding book for understanding the science of baking.
Paula Quinene
May 08, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-desserts
Great baking comes down to science. I have used this book many times to improve a recipe. It's a must-have even for the home baker.
May 19, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Informative and enlightening. Dry though, since it's a textbook. I only wish I had gotten the teacher's edition!
Feb 19, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Very detailed and yet not confusing. Major Complaint would be that there are no answers to the review questions. Enjoyed it though
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