If You Want to Bake Like a Pastry Chef, Get this Book!

MITCH-BOOK-JACKET.jpgThe Pastry Chef's Apprentice: An Insider's Guide to Creating and Baking Sweet Confections and Pastries, Taught by the Masters Why? Because it is written by Mitch Stamm, one of my favorite instructors who teaches in the International Baking and Pastry Institute within the College of Culinary Arts at Johnson & Wales University, an institution that educates and prepares students for careers as culinarians. Because it is no compromise, for example, it calls for glucose, an ingredient not commonly found in the home baking kitchen, for the Engandine Nusstorte, which will prevent the filling from crystallizing. Because if you like to bake by weights (as do I) you can ignore the volumes which are often incorrect (such as 170 grams listed for 3/4 cup sugar which should be 150 grams, and 114 grams for 1/2 cup of flour which should be more like half the amount). This will be corrected in the next printing. Because the book consists of interviews and recipes from some of my favorite international pastry chefs , such as Thomas Haas, the renowned fourth generation German pastry chef who was pastry chef at Daniel in New York City before leaving for Vancouver, British Columbia to open his own chocolate and baking company. Also represented is Ewald Notter, whom I met in Switzerland where he had worked at Confisserie Sprüngli in Zürich before coming to head the pastry school for Albert Uster in Gaithersburg, Maryland. And there is the beautiful, lovely, and talented En-Ming Su who, among other achievements, was captain of the US team that won the gold medal at the esteemed Coupe du Monde de la Patisserie. Reading the biographies and interviews will serve as an inspiration to any would be pastry chef or baker. And let me tell you something about Mitch Stamm that will give you an idea just why I and all his students so adore him. When interviewed and asked the following question: If you had to characterize yourself as a type of bread, what would you be? His answer was: I would characterize myself as sticky bun: sweet, tender, and nutty. My colleagues would probably say that I am more like a naturally leavened bread: crusty, irregularly shaped, assertive, acetic, and quite sour. The truth probably lies somewhere in the middle. MITCH.jpg