Review From User :
This book gets infinity stars from me.
Here's my review for this book over at 101 Cookbooks Library, which has a bit more detail:
Written by a biochemist, this book is *essential* for anyone that is serious about baking, especially if they are a recipe developer or make a lot of modifications/substitutions. Every possible variation and combination of all essential baking components - flour, egg whites, yolks, baking soda, baking powder, acids, sweeteners, fats, Dutch processed vs. natural cocoa, to name a few - is scrutinized, broken down and explained.
Throwing in some applesauce to replace oil, mashed banana to replace eggs, or subbing whatever non-dairy milk or margarine you have on hand might be okay in a pinch when cooking for yourself or family, but if you intend to serve something that is as good as it can possibly be and you need to change out even one ingredient, this book will explain how the original ingredient worked in the first place, how it interacts with the other ingredients in a recipe, and how things such as temperature (both ambient and of the ingredients) and time will affect the outcome of a recipe.
Even when I'm not developing/testing/modifying recipes, I often turn to this book to make simple improvements on recipes that just seem a little too underwhelming.
Also, if you don't bake with eggs or dairy, this book is still a veritable wealth of information. As a vegan, I've found more answers in this book than all of my other books combined. The ratio and interplay of acid and alkaline, temperature, viscosity, protein level of flours, etc etc can be broken down and reassembled in countless ways, as long as you know what you're doing. It's pure and simple science (and makes Cook's Illustrated seem like child's play).
Media Size : 5 MB