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Category ... Cookbooks

Baking Bible Book Production Phase 10

Feb 22, 2014 | From the kitchen of Rose in Epicurious

The Baking Bible Cover.jpg

There is only one moment in book publishing more exciting than seeing the "laid out pages" of the manuscript, complete with all the photos and the final design. That moment is when the actual book arrives. Woody are now in the midst of proofing these laid out pages against the copy edited version. Proofing is a horribly laborious process as one so often sees what ought to be there rather than what is (a great metaphor!). What takes away the pain, however, is enjoying the beauty of the pages.

The offiicial pub date is November 4 but it can be pre ordered now on Amazon: The Baking Bible

The major advantage of preordering is not only being among the first to receive the book but also the deep discount ($28.80 instead of the cover price of $40).

Bread is in the Air!

Feb 20, 2014 | From the kitchen of Rose in Epicurious


Up until this month, the first and only country to publish a translation of my book The Bread Bible, published in 2013, was Czechoslovakia. It was so exciting to see my familiar book cover in a language totally unfamiliar to me and thrilling to get a letter from a reader saying he made the pizza and it was the best he ever tasted.

This month two other countries have joined the list: China, a few weeks ago, and now today I just got the link and cover photo of the Spanish Bread Bible, published by RBA who published the Spanish translation of The Cake Bible a few years ago.

Cake Bible Debuts on the Oprah Winfrey Network!

Feb 24, 2011 | From the kitchen of Rose in Announcements

Thanks for fellow blogger Matthew Boyer who forwarded these links, we can now see The Dotted Swiss Wedding Cake from The Cake Bible being produced on OWN on Anna and Kristina's Grocery Bag and their reviews of the book. I couldn't be more thrilled!

The Cake Layers


Book Review

This brings to mind a funny story from about two decades ago shortly after The Cake Bible was published. I inscribed a book to Oprah and included a note offering to make her wedding cake. Before packaging it I opened up the book, trying to imagine the impression it would make when Oprah opened it, and to my shock all the entire photo insert was up side down! Needless to say I found her a copy that was perfect but apparently a large section of an entire print run was produced this way. A friend said I should save it as it would be worth a lot of money some day. Somehow, I wonder but there they are in the crawl space in Hope.

Oprah sent me a lovely note saying that if she got married she would certainly keep my offer in mind. Someday I'll have to tell the story of how I came close to making President Clinton's inauguration cake!

Marcy Goldman Strikes Gold

Dec 05, 2009 | From the kitchen of Rose in Cookbooks


Marcy Goldman is a cookbook author, major website presence, baker, poetess, and warm generous colleague. A visit to Montréal is not complete for me without a visit with her.

On this most recent visit we made an attempt to catch up over a breakfast of omelets and Montréal bagels (chewy but lighter than the NY version--see page 64 in Jewish Holiday Baking--the 10th Anniversary Edition). And we continued talking non-stop all the way to the airport.

Two life-changing things Marcy shared (yes I know they are small things but I will be using them to good purpose every day and therefore are important to me) are the necessity of a small notebook, preferably Moleskine, and the pleasure of disposable fountain pens. I had just about given up on my love for writing with fountain pens after many ink leaks especially on airplanes but Marcy said this disposable variety never leaks. As for the moleskin, made famous by Hemingway, there is a little stretchable band that keeps it closed and so much love and care is put into its production it has what few cookbooks can boast--a stitched binding!

Our conversation turned inevitably to blogs, websites, and cookbooks. Marcy was a pioneer of web recipes. Her website www.betterbaking.com launched in 1997 and has a significant following. We talked about Kindle-type devices and having an actual cookbook to hold versus reading it on line and agreed that there's a limit to 'virtuality.' a cookbook is more than a collection of recipes--it's the soul of the writer. I love Marcy's books for that very reason: she puts her heart and soul into them. Beyond enticing photos, there is contextual history, fascinating personal stories, and a plethora of invaluable tips.

Continue reading "Marcy Goldman Strikes Gold" »

A New Baking Author on the BLock!

Nov 12, 2009 | From the kitchen of Rose in Cookbooks


i love the title of this new cookbook and I love the author, Beth Lipton, even though we haven’t yet met except through this delightful book. At last, an author who has written her first cookbook, and even though it’s geared toward the beginning baker, is on the same page as I am concerning weights!

This bodes very well indeed for the increased trend toward weighing ingredients for baking rather than the far less efficient and potentially inaccurate measuring method. Not to worry, she also lists the traditional volume.

Continue reading "A New Baking Author on the BLock!" »

Marcel Desaulniers's New Chocolate Book!

Dec 02, 2007 | From the kitchen of Rose in Cookbooks

Just in time for the holidays, I've just received a signed copy of my dear friend Marcel's latest book I'm Dreaming of a Chocolate Christmas!

Marcel and I started writing cookbooks at about the same time. I'm on my ninth and Marcel's new book is his 10th and we find ourselves once again siblings at the same publishing house: Wiley. I pleased to say they have done him proud with a stunning, beautifully designed book. Every recipe has a photo and I know it was Marcel and photographer Ron Manville who were behind the many imaginative and often playful touches.

Of course Marcel has added his signature "The Chef's Touch" for each recipe, sharing important tips and information. And Marcel is the real and rare thing: A chef (graduate of the CIA) plus a born teacher and writer.

There are so many recipes here I'm dying to try I can't decide where to start but it will probably be with Mrs. Lenhardt's Chocolate Almond Toffee. I know I won't be disappointed--Marcel's recipes are ones I trust.


"Cakewalk" An Extraordinary Cake Book

Aug 11, 2006 | From the kitchen of Rose in Cookbooks

Adventures in Sugar with Margaret Braun
New York: Rizzoli International Publications, Inc, 2001

(Review I wrote for Gastronomica)

I’ve always thought it a pity that exquisitely crafted cakes, which are in fact works of art, should be consigned to a medium of flour, water, sugar, and butter, that self destructs like sandcastles at high tide. I’ve questioned whether they didn’t deserve to be made in a more durable medium instead that could last for years in a museum for many more to enjoy. In fact, in Canada, Japan, and no doubt elsewhere, there is a highly practical tradition of making elaborate but reusable wedding cakes with durable decorations on Styrofoam layers with just one small section removed to hold an edible piece of cake that the bride can feed the groom, while the actual cake to serve the guests is only a backstage sheet cake.
But I have to admit, that if ever there were a time and a place, or justification for the real thing, devoid of such deceit, it would have to be for a wedding celebration. Perhaps some atavistic pagan fantasy entices us to see this exquisite virginal symbol invaded and cut into to reveal it’s tender and flavorful interior. But whether real or illusionary most would agree: A dream occasion deserves a dream cake. Margaret Braun, in her book “Cakewalk,” presents a collection of breath-taking tiered celebration cakes unlike any I have ever seen. They are such exquisite works of art I’m sure people will wince in pain to see one cut. Just looking at them in print makes me want to sob with delight. Even the publisher (Rizzoli) has risen to the occasion, providing the setting this book deserves. Not only is this a gorgeous four color production with stitched plinth (binding), but the proverbial icing on the cake, and unprecedented for a cookbook, it has guilt edged pages. Even most bibles don’t get this treatment! And the photographs by Quentin Bacon do these edible dream works of art full justice.
Yes, this makes a fabulous coffee table book, but it is much more than that. Braun’s designs are uniquely original and she shares many of the detailed techniques to recreate their appearance. This book will provide inspiration to countless cake bakers and caterers ever in search of a “new look.” If you want to reproduce most of the actual cakes in this book, however, you will need a more detailed baking book that contains cake recipes both larger and smaller than the 10-inch ones offered here. Also, the actual instructions for shaping the layers are vague to non-existent. One interesting though labor intensive suggestion is to cut the layers 1/2-inch thick to increase the proportion of filling to cake. Of course this is a matter of personal preference. Cake lovers who appreciate their cake layer lofty and uninterrupted (and there are many) will not be pleased.
By the way, don’t be surprised if your caterer cringes in horror at being asked to reproduce any of these elaborate edifices. These cakes are labors of love and require the skill of a devoted and meticulous craftsperson. But even borrowing a few of the beautiful motifs or techniques such as painting a cake with food color, or finishing it with gold dust, pearl dust, or gold leaf, will do wonders to transform a more humble design. And of course for a price you can have Margaret Braun herself recreate them.
Sprinkled throughout “Cakewalk” are refreshingly unfamiliar and thought provoking quotations such as this one on symmetry: “The underlying belief was that locating the centre of symmetry meant locating the way, the truth, and the light. Aesthetic custom and theological doctrine went hand in hand. The aesthetics of proportion was the medieval aesthetic par excellence….The principle and criterion of symmetry, even in the most elementary forms, was rooted in the very instinct of the medieval soul” --Umberto Ecco Art and Beauty in the Middle Ages (1986) (p.176). There is not a lot of story telling in “Cakewalk” but what there is reveals great sensibility of style, philosophical conviction, history and poetry—a person well beyond the realm of her cakes, that one would love to know better. I suspect that she richly deserves to have been published in such a regal manner.

Ode to Deer Valley and A Baking Magician

Apr 18, 2006 | From the kitchen of Rose in Travel Adventures

I know that baking is often perceived as alchemy and magic, but chef Letty Flatt, who is in charge of all baking at the Deer Valley Ski Resort in Utah, really takes the cake. You have to be there to believe the wide variety and exquisiteness of the desserts she creates at altitudes as high as 8200 feet above sea level.

At the Seafood Buffet, a little lower down but not much, there is a selection of about 20 different desserts and one can taste all of them as part of the buffet dinner—in fact there are those who do just that (I came close) My favorite—also Elliott’s--was the baklava batons. Another favorite, the Black Forest Crème Brûlée (see photo) is a magnificent plated dessert served only at the Mariposa restaurant at Silver Lake.

My top favorite, which I can never resist (I returned for it twice) is the ice cream sandwich served at the Café at Silver Lake. I’m usually torn between that and the Frozen Lemon Meringue Pie.

(By the way, they also serve the best crawfish bisque I’ve ever tasted anywhere including New Orleans and an astonishingly good Caesar salad—both of which required a revisit as well.) The ice cream sandwich consists of perfectly creamy vanilla ice cream sandwiched between two terrific chocolate chip cookies, cut into 4 wedges, and served with a little pot of hot fudge sauce for dipping (oh bliss).

Happily the recipe is in Letty’s cookbook “Chocolate Snowball.” No wonder she recently was cited in Salt Lake Magazine's Dining Awards as Best Pastry Chef in Utah 2006!

I used to think I had to go to Europe to eat well at a ski resort but not since we discovered Deer Valley. Now we just keep going back. Usually we stay on the mountain for dinner as the choices are so varied and excellent, but it’s well worth going into Park City—just about 15 minutes away-- to eat at Wahso—a wonderful Asian restaurant with equally appealing décor.

In addition to the great food and staggering beauty of the mountains, we really enjoy the genuine friendliness of the people. Last year, when I wanted to try out snow-shoeing, one of the shop keepers loaned me not only a pair of snowshoes, but also his own gaiters to keep the snow out of my shoes, as none of the stores had them for sale.

There was tons of snow and blue skies this year but I actually forewent a day of skiing for the pleasure of hiking with my friends Letty and Julie Wilson (the director of food and beverage at Deer Valley Resort) who led us up the Sun Peak Trail for an unforgettable experience. It was a rigorous one hour uphill climb on a narrow snowy trail surrounded by pines. I couldn’t chat much as I was too occupied with catching my breath, but it was well worth the effort because the summit gave us a panoramic view of the Canyons ski area that was absolutely breath-taking (in every sense!)

Deer Valley was the dream creation of Stein Erikson—the great ski hero whose elegant style--rear end improbably extending at near right angles from one’s hopefully parallel skis--everyone tried to emulate when I started skiing back in 1961. He still skis every morning and word had it he skied with Dr. Ruth the week we were there. It was probably was more than a rumor as I spotted dear Dr. Ruth at Kennedy airport waiting for her baggage while we were waiting for ours.

But by far the most serendipitous moment of the entire week was discovering at almost the very end of one of the rides up the mountain that the familiar looking person sitting next to me on the lift was the editor of Real Simple Magazine. Disguised as we were by our ski apparel it took that long to realize we recognized each other! I’ve seen her countless times on the Today Show and she’s been baking out of my books for years! Out of 1400 people on the lifts it seemed unimaginably improbably that we should be sitting on the same lift chair. Most delightful was that before I realized it was Elizabeth Mayhew I was charmed by her sweet friendly personality—just the same as she is when she appears on the Today Show.

Before we skied off down the mountain Elizabeth invited me to appear on her new PBS show and I invited her to the press party for the launch of the new Gold Medal artisan style flour (more about this in June!). Life is good!

IACP Cookbook Awards Held in Seattle

Apr 10, 2006 | From the kitchen of Rose in Cookbooks

Lisa Yockelson's book "ChocolateChocolate" won the best book in the baking category at the IACP cookbook award ceremony on the evening of April 1!

As presenter of this category, along with my friend and fellow-baker/author Jim Dodge, now of the Getty Foundation, we had the great pleasure of announcing the award to Lisa and an audience of close to 1400.

Photo by Adam Schneider

Afterwards we celebrated with a bottle of champagne with our publisher Natalie Chapman (John Wiley).

Lisa IACP 9.jpg
Photo by Adam Schneider

A full list of award winners can be viewed on the iacp website http://www.iacp.com

Do you have a favorite pie crust?

Apr 01, 2006 | From the kitchen of Rose in General

Yes, the Flaky Cream Cheese Pie Crust on page 29 of The Pie and Pastry Bible. I now make it with heavy cream replacing the water and it is more tender and flavorful.

ChocolateChocolate Nominated for IACP Book Awards

Mar 06, 2006 | From the kitchen of Rose in Announcements

i'm delighted to announce that my dear friend and colleague lisa yockelson's glorious book ChocolateChocolate has been nominated in in the baking category. the award ceremony will be held on april 1 at the international association of culinary professionals conference in seattle washington. by a happy coincidence, i will be the presenter of the awards in the baking category.

below is a photograph taken the day before the nominations announcement, of me (left), our beloved editor pam chirls of wiley, and lisa

photo by adam schneider

Making a Cake in a Different Size Cake Pan

Mar 04, 2006 | From the kitchen of Rose in FAQs


I wanted to bake your white chocolate whisper cake but use a tube pan instead of the round cake pans. Is this possible and what do I need to know to make this work?


on page 455 of the cake bible is a chart listing the volume of most cake pans. of course if you have an odd-shaped pan you will need to measure the volume yourself by pouring water into it. if it's a two-piece pan first line it with a clean garbage bag.

compare the size and volume of the pans specified in the recipe to the one which you want to use and then either increase or decrease it proportionately.

a cake in a tube pan will take longer to bake than in a 9 x 2 or 9 x 1 1/2 inch pan but use the usual tests of springing back when touched lightly on top and a cake tester inserted in the middle between sides of pan and tube comes out clean.

Interview in Food Forum

Mar 02, 2006 | From the kitchen of Rose in Press Mentions

The following is an interview I did with Marguerite Thomas for IACP Food Forum, the publication of the International Association of Culinary Professionals. It was published in the early part of 2006. You can download the 500k PDF here.

Let's start with the beginning, The Cake Bible, the book that made your name when it came out in 1988. The Pastry Bible and The Bread Bible followed. Did you first come up with the concept of a book, or a series, and the "Bible" title, or did you write the first book and then you and your editors worked out that brilliant title?
I had it in back of my mind to do a "bible" sort of definitive book, and though the word "bible" did occur to me, I would never have had the temerity to call it that if, not for [the late food writer] Bert Greene, who was my best friend. He came up with the title entirely on his own. He insisted that I call it a bible because, he said, I was his muse and he knew that's what the book would be because of my approach to baking. I resisted at first, but when everyone at the publishing company starting calling it by this name -- and giving it more respect -- I started to reconsider.

It's hard to imagine not liking that title.
I asked the bicoastal restaurant consultant Clark Wolf, whose opinion I greatly valued, what he thought of it, and he said it would be like sticking my chin out and saying, "Here! Punch me!" This clever assessment helped me to realize that I believed 100 percent in what I was doing and that I was willing and ready to take it on the chin!

Was The Cake Bible your first book?
My first book was Romantic and Classic Cakes (Irena Chalmers Great American Cooking Schools Series, 1981). It was written on an IBM Selectric typewriter, and it was a great dress rehearsal for a larger book. I could never have written The Cake Bible, with all its depth and continuity, without a computer.

(More after the jump)

Continue reading "Interview in Food Forum" »

Making Larger Cakes

Mar 01, 2006 | From the kitchen of Rose in Cakes


I have a question about augmenting your White Chocolate Whisper Cake for use in my friend's wedding cake. Is there a rule of thumb I can go by when converting any of your cakes to larger or smaller sizes?
I hope to achieve the larger volume of the recipes you've designed in your wedding cake section of the Cake Bible. The tiers are slightly higher and more dramatic than the recipes from the butter cake chapter.

Thanks so much,
As always, your devoted fan,


In my new book I plan to work on creating recipes for larger cakes based on favorite smaller ones. It can sometimes taken many tests to get it right. One of the cakes I've planned on is the white chocolate whisper cake! I think that's one that won't require much adjustment. You simply need to decrease the baking powder in proportion to the amount of flour as indicated in the charts in the wedding cake section.

Do let me know how it works for you so it will give me a leg up on my recipe testing!

Gluten-Free Bread

Feb 28, 2006 | From the kitchen of Rose in Bread

i’m frequently asked about alternatives to wheat bread. i was discussing this problem with a colleague at the fancy food show in san francisco and she recommended the following book:

The Gluten-Free Gourmet Bakes Bread by Betty Hagman

Books That Have My Recipes

Feb 28, 2006 | From the kitchen of Rose in Cookbooks

i'll update this blog entry with the current list of books that have recipes that i've written

REVISION: I have updated "The Cake Bible" for the first time since its publication almost 17 years ago. The update includes new chocolate information, the new types of yeast, and new sources for ingredients and equipment. Look for copies that indicate the revision on the cover.

"Mom's Secret Recipe File," pub date Mother's Day 2004, contributed 3 recipes

Fine Cooking Magazine issue 65, June/July 2004 "How to Make a Lattice Pie (with a wonderful new flaky, tender, and delicious pie crust and step-by-step photos on the making of the lattice so that even someone who has never made one before will see how easy it is)

"What Do Women Really Want: vol.1 Chocolate," by Donna Barstow, pub date May 2004, contributed the foreword.

"Food & Wine An Entire Year of Recipes 2004," page 333, contributed Christmas Sugar Cookies from "Rose's Christmas Cookies."

Food & Wine "Best of the Best the best recipes from the 25 best cookbooks of the year," pages 56 through 67 (from "The Bread Bible.")

"On Cooking a Textbook of Culinary Fundamentals, Fourth Edition, Pearson Prentice Hall, page 1078, excerpt from "The Cake Bble.

Pie Crust for Those Who Don't Eat Butter

Feb 22, 2006 | From the kitchen of Rose in Pie


Feedback: Hi Rose,
I wrote to you in December about my bottom crusts disolving. Thank-you so much, your advice has totally fixed my problem!

Also, I would like to recommend the pastry recipe in "the Better Homes and Garden's New Cookbook" if one cannot use butter. It is very,very fast, and gives a great result with margerine.

Thanks again,


Feb 22, 2006 | From the kitchen of Rose in Questions and Answers


Do you have any experience with Parisian-style macarons? I've been a huge fan of these for years, always visiting Laduree and Stohrer when I'm in Paris. It's been my "life's dream" (in the realm of my baking anyway) to make the macarons as close to French patisserie quality as possible; I've been working on them lately and have had mediocre success. Main problems: many crack and split open while baking. I've tried the approach of letting them sit out for a few minutes before baking and baking immediately and nothing seems to guarantee consistency. I've contacted Laduree (they have a book now, in French!) to ask if I can visit their kitchen, but they didn't like that idea. Do you know of any secrets to these and getting them as tender and as close as possible to the real things?

Thanks! Zach


Macaroons are very difficult to make at home. but I can give you one tip othat was given to me by a Swiss chef: after piping them, let them sit uncovered overnight before baking them. This helps to keep them from cracking, resulting in smooth tops. as Dorie Greenspan says in her delightful book Paris Sweets, each Parisian has his or her favorite place for macaroons. for this New Yorker its Laduree, but then, I have yet to do a thorough tasting investigation.


Feb 11, 2006 | From the kitchen of Rose in Ingredients


Feedback: I was wondering about an additive, such as granular lecithin, which you would add to cookies and scones to improve shelf life? Is there such a thing? Thanks, Emily Veale ( I have the Cake and Bread Bibles WONDERFUL!!)


the king arthur catalogue sells granular lecithin that they claim is "shelf-stable" and the liquid lecithin is available in health food stores. it is a soy product that becomes rancid very quicly so i store any lecithin product in the refrigerater. you will have to experiment with amounts and it does indeed improve shelf-life but can also give an off flavor to the baked goods if used in excess.

The Australian Method of Cake Decorating

Jan 15, 2006 | From the kitchen of Rose in Cake Questions


Feedback: What is the Australian Piping method and where can i find good information on the internet about it


it is extremely intricate royal icing piping and often lace work on cakes that have been covered with rolled fondant. i don't know where on the internet you would find information about it but there are many wonderful books. sweet celebrations carries them.

Soggy Bottom Pie Crusts

Jan 08, 2006 | From the kitchen of Rose in Pie and Pastry Questions


Feedback: I was given "The Pie and Pastry Bible" for my 21st, and have enthusiastically begun pie-baking with your recipes. My mother has always used the Better Homes and Gardens New Cookbook circa 1950 pastry. I live in Adelaide, Australia, and many branded ingredients are not readily available (including, sadly, sour cherries and concord grapes).

I am having a problem with the bottom crust of my pies, in both single (family recipe of banana cream) and double crust pies (both apple, rosy apple cranberry, and peach - all from The Pie and Pastry Bible). Even when prebaked, and brushed with eggwhite, the crust becomes soggy, and is literally disolving by the time the pie is served. I have been using a baking stone, and a gas oven. Nonetheless, I find my pies have a "collar" of crust around the edges - and as the pastry is my favorite part, any help you can provide would be much appreciated!



how i loved my visit to adelaide. i would feel sorry for you not having sour cherries except that you have so many other fantastic ingredients we don't have here in america. but someday you must taste them!

re the soggy bottom pie crusts: have you tried baking directly on the floor of the oven for the first 20 minutes? i find that helps enormously. for the banana cream pie i would brush the baked pie shell with melted white or dark chocolate that creates an excellent seal for a cream filling.

for the fruit pies, if you are concentrating the juices as i recommend and baking on the floor of the oven for the first 20 minutes and still getting a dissolving pie crust i have to question the flour you are using. flour varies significantly from country to country. when i did a demo of strudel at the melbourne tasting australia event, the bakers there recommended a specific flour they knew would work well. it might be a good idea to ask one of the local bakers what flour they would recommend for pie crust. do let me know. i strongly believe that if a bottom pie crust is soggy and thereby not worthy eating it's better to do a top crust only!

Bread Questions

Dec 02, 2005 | From the kitchen of Rose in Bread Questions

A New Bread Coming Soon
those of you who are avid sour dough bread bakers, start getting your starters ready because in a few weeks i’m going to post one of the best bread recipes i’ve ever tasted from the wonderful restaurant primo in maine. i’ve tested it every which way but lose and have to admit that price, baker/co owner, is 100% right when he said you have to have a starter for this bread to come out right. it’s a carmelized onion focaccia and you’ll LOVE it!

Manrique Question:
Dear Ms. Levy Beranbaum,

I recently bought a copy of The Bread Bible and I read it when I go to bed! I also try out some recipes, of course. Thank you for your such an interesting book.

I've been trying to make baguettes and I'm getting better at it. I do have a question regarding the scrap dough described on page 337. You describe the mixture as "very soft and sticky" but I find that 57.5 grams of flour plus 1.2 grams of salt do not get soft and sticky if I add two tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons of yeast water. Are the quantities that you indicate correct?

Thank you very much for your time.


Rose Reply:
i notice you are writing from another country so i bet your flour has a higher protein content and is therefore absorbing more water. OR you are measuring and not weighing and getting more flour than i specified. either way, add more unyeasted water until you get the proper consistency.

Christine Question:
Hi Rose,

I love this new site. Thank you for all your hard work.

Here's my question. When I want to double a yeast bread recipe, should I also double the amount of yeast? One cookbook I consulted says you should double all the ingredients except the yeast. Maybe you've discussed this in "Bread Bible," (which holds an esteemed place on my bookshelf, by the way) but I haven't been able to find the answer.

Thank you!

Rose Reply:
thank you! i always double the yeast when i double the recipe. i have also read that less yeast is required when recipes are increased but i’m quite sure, especially from experience, that this refers to larger increases. yeast and bread dough seem to behave differently in larger amounts.

Cheryl Question:
Hi Rose;
I have baked from your books for years, and love the Cake Bible, and the Pie Bible and am working my way through the Bread Bible. I've loved everything but tonight I finished baking the panetonne and am somewhat disappointed on two accounts. One, it is barely sweet--almost a non-sweet taste, I would say--and second, the flor de sicilia (which I measured very carefully) has left the bread bitter. I did not alter the recipe at all and it rose beautifully and has a great texture. Is is possible that more sugar or corn syrup should have appeared in the recipe?

Thank you for your help.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Barbara Question:
If I use the mini paper molds (individual serving size) instead of the 6”x4” size, what adjustments in time do I need to make at step 8 (final shape and rise) and step 10 baking)?

Thanks very much. Your recipes are always the best ever!

Rose Reply:
smaller panettone bake for 25 to 35 minutes. since the unbaked dough will rise to almost 3 times its height, and it’s nice to have it rise a little above the paper liners during baking, i would fill them about ¾ full.

Joyce Question:
Hi, I have a recipe from a 1941 cookbook that calls for 1 cake of yeast. Can I use the fresh yeast sold in supermarkets are they the same weight now as then? Also what would be the measurement for active dry yeast?

Thanks for all your help. Have a Happy Thanksgiving.

Rose Reply:

i can’t tell you the size of the cake of yeast but i can tell you about how much yeast to use in relation to the amount of flour in the recipe. also, i’m a great beliver in instant yeast. for 1 cup of bread flour use about ¼ teaspoon instant yeast. if using active dry add a tiny bit more. if using all purpose flour instead of bread flour use a scant ¼ teaspoon instant yeast. these proportions are for the basic hearth bread but if you’re making a bread with a lot of eggs and butter such as a brioche you will need to double the yeast

Lou Question:
Hi Rose,

First, let me start by telling you that I have all of the "Bibles" and they are fantastic. I have yet to have a recipe not come out perfect and I cannot thank you enough for that. Your cheescake and flourless chocolate cake are amazing and I have been asked countless times to make them for friends and co-workers. My new favorite is the Linzertorte. I have a bread question that I hope you can help me with.

My favorite bread is the Italian bread that is is found in all of the good bakeries (especially the ones in the Bronx). It is called a Bastone and it is torpedo shaped and covered with sesame seeds. I have searched high and low and cannot find a recipe for it. I have made your Ciabatta and Puglise and they were great, so I am hoping you might have a recipe.

Thanks so much for taking the time to read this.


Rose Reply:
thank you so much lou for your kind words. i’m sorry to disappoint you but this is not a bread that i have pursued. have you checked carol field’s book “the italian baker?” if she doesn’t have it i don’t know who would. do try the primo focaccia that i plan to post in a few weeks. i think it might make you forgive me for my lapse!

Sarah Question:
Hi! I made your chocolate chocolate chip bread twice and I think I'm doing something wrong. Everything goes really good until I add the second half of the cocoa paste in two additions. Once it is all incorporated the batter starts to look kind of grainy and possibly loses volume as well. The final product loses some butter which you can actually see almost condensing on the parchment paper used to line the loaf pan, and the flavor is almost a little watery. I followed the timing instructions exactly. Am I overbeating or something?

Rose Reply:
it sounds to me like the butter is too cold and can’t stay in suspension. it needs to be soft but squishable (65 to 75 degrees F). it shouldn’t be too soft or warm either. as for the flavor being watery—i wonder what kind of cocoa you are using and perhaps you should try another as this quick bread is intensely chocolatey. try the organic green and black which is fantastic.

Betsy Question:
Dear Rose-- Love your Bread Bible.

Question: I have been trying to perfect the sacaduros and am running into a few snags.
The dough looks exactly like your drawings but the finished product does not look like the last drawing. I just don't feel like they poof up enough during baking. I have been baking bread for a long time so feel like I know what I am doing.

So my question is: do the rolls need to rise for a bit before you bake them, or only while you are getting the whole pan of them ready?

Also--what causes the outer part of the roll to be "too" hard?

Thanks a million.

Rose Reply:
at daniel they did not let them rise before baking but maybe since they were doing a larger quantity they started to rise by the time the last ones were done. it wouldn’t hurt to try letting them rise a little. is suspect that would solve the problem. i was there a couple of weeks ago and found myself giggling bc the saccadoros were so hard on the outside i had trouble breaking into them with my fingers! they are a special treat so they are not always available. now that you’ve made them you know why—they’re very labor intensive!

if you would prefer for them to be softer, you could add some oil to the dough. when i want to make softer hamburger buns from my basic heart bread recipe i just add ¼ cup oil for 1 pound/3 cups flour.

Mitch Question:
I have made your recipe for sacaduros rolls. They are delicious but I am having trouble in having them open up during baking. I think I am sealing it too much when I cross over the dough. Got any hints?

Rose Reply:
i’m thrilled to hear you’re trying this recipe as my editor and i deliberated long and hard as to whether to sacrifice so many book pages to it! please see my reply above re letting them rise a little after shaping and yes, seal a little less firmly as they won’t open if sealed too tightly.

Pie and Tarts

Nov 28, 2005 | From the kitchen of Rose in Pie and Pastry Questions

Bruce Question:
I had been wanting to make a tart for some time, so I checked out your The Pie and Pastry Bible of the library again. I had never made a curd before nor the particular crust. I made the lime curd with kiwi. It turned out very very good. I took a couple of pieces to a neighbor.

I was wondering about a pineapple tart with oranges. It tastes good in my mind. I was wanting to know how to make a pineapple curd. I would use a fresh pineapple. Should the pineapple juice be reduced first? If so, how much? How much sugar should I use?

ps. I own your Cake Bible and I don't use mixes.


Rose Reply:
this is a very interesting idea. i think pineapple and orange would make a good combination. you could do a pineapple tart with orange curd to see how you like the flavors. if you want to experiment with pineapple curd, i would use the delicious golden pineapple for the juice and the same amount of sugar as the orange curd. pineapple juice has a lot of acidity so you probably don't need to reduce it. do let us know how it works!

Barry Question:
Dear Rose;
I can not begin to tell you how much I enjoy baking your recipes. I'm also the proud owner of all three of your "Bibles"

I do need your help though. I am consistantly running into the same problem with my pie doughs. For some reason my pie doughs are very crumbly and I'm having a very difficult time rolling the dough out. I measure accurately and use the correct flour for each of your recipes. Am I not kneading the dough enough? I'm afraid to make the dough to tough. Do you have any suggestions? I made your Tiramasu Black Bottom Tart the other day and I was just barely able to roll the dough. The edges of the dough were extremely crumbly.

Thank you in advance
Barry S.-an avid fan

Rose Reply:
thank you barry!
assuming you are using bleached all-purpose flour or pastry flour, (unbleached will be tougher and need more liquid) you might be using more flour than the recipe calls for if you are not weighing it. try using Wondra flour which is similar to pastry flour and will give you a more tender crust and also require less liquid. also, try replacing the water with heavy cream and add a teaspoon or 2 more if necessary. here's how you can tell:
the dough should be crumbly at first but hold together smoothly when kneaded lightly. if in doubt, take a small amount of the dough and knead it to see if it holds together.

the best way to knead the dough is to use latex gloves because the dough won't stick to them and you won't need to add more flour. a helpful technique in kneading is what the french call fraiser. using the heel of your hand, smear the dough forward onto the counter one or two times. this will cause any lumps of butter to form long sheets, resulting in flakiness. then use a bench scraper to gather up the dough and with your hands, press it together to form a disc.

J Question:
Hi - I tried making a "mile high lemon meringue pie" recipe that I found in Fine Cooking magazine. It has brown & white sugar in it. I made it twice and both times the meringue was totally raw when you cut into it. It called for jut browning the meringue under the broiler....I even turned the oven down to 325F. and letting the pie sit in the oven until the meringue turned a liht brown all obver and it still was raw in the middle. I threw away the entire pie after the 2nd attempt...what did I do wrong?

Rose Reply:
a high, deep meringue can take a long time to cook through.

my preference for meringue on a pie is to use italian meringue. the hot syrup cooks the egg white and keeps it from watering out later. i bake the pie at 350°F, then i put it under the broiler for about 20 seconds watching carefully so it doesn't burn. (see page 178 of the pie and pastry bible).

Lura Question:
why does my pecan pie always turn out "runny"?

Rose Reply:
it is the eggs that thicken the pie so if they're not heated enough the filling will become runny. overheating them will cause them to curdle. for this reason, i cook the filling first on the stove top as you would a lemon curd. my recipe will appear on every container of Lyle's golden refiners syrup starting in january. it is in the pie and pastry bible as well.

Ben Franklin & Lisa

Oct 25, 2005 | From the kitchen of Rose in Happenings


I've always thought that september should be the beginning of the year instead of january. january is the quietist month after all the holiday hubbub, but in september new york wakes up from summer hibernation and is at its most event-full!

the top two baking related events for me this september were the beginning of an extensive celebration of ben franklin's 300th birthday in philly and the d.c. launch of my dear friend and colleague lisa yockelson's long awaited, exquisitely written, and magnificently published cookbook: "ChocolateChocolate." it seemed perfectly appropriate that lisa's event came on the heels of the ben franklin one as ben franklin is the muse of writers of all books. after all, where would be without his invention--the printing press!

the benjamin franklin event was held in the franklin institute science museum where many of the city's top bakers prepared desserts that will be featured on their menus during the year long celebration, with themes designed to honor him. only five of them, however, actually entered the official birthday cake contest. the winner was assistant pastry chef jennifer macdonald from the fountain restaurant at the four seasons hotel philadelphia who prepared a cake modeled after benjamin franklin's desk with realistically tinted wood-grained rolled fondant as the wood and feather pen, and green blown sugar apples so perfectly executed that two of the judges (dorie greenspan and i) thought they were real apples. the third judge, roland mesnier, former white house pastry chef, wasn't fooled for an instant as he himself is master of the rare art of blown sugar.

Continue reading "Ben Franklin & Lisa" »

Welcome to My Scratch Baking Blog!

Oct 24, 2005 | From the kitchen of Rose in Announcements

Update 2009: Click here if you want to comment on this entry.

there's a new presence in my vocabulary and it's called a blog. it's not even in the oxford dictionary or on my spell check yet but it has quickly become one of my favorite words! i'm rose levy beranbaum, author of 8 soon to be 9 cookbooks, host of the pbs show "baking magic with rose," and now host of this brand new blog "real baking with rose."

when people ask me what my proudest accomplishment is, without hesitation I tell them it is my connection to the world through my work. since writing the cake bible in 1988 I have received thousands of letters and more recently e-mails with responses and questions. I probably could have written another book in the time it took to answer them all but it was worth it. sharing my recipes, ideas, and stories, I have received so many more in return. is there a better feeling than having touched another person's life in a favorable way? I've met kids who have grown up with cake bible birthday cakes, people who have launched businesses with the recipes, and even a woman in holland who taught friends from egypt how to make my bread recipe so that when they moved to a small town in italy with no bakery they would not be deprived of artisan bread. I recently heard from a woman in samoa who is making my multi-grain bread for her german husband who missed the bread of his childhood. story after moving story--this is the power, immediacy, and joy of the internet to join people from all over the world, enriching our lives and connecting us to the universe.

but just as the sheer volume of correspondence was threatening to overwhelm me and it seemed unlikely that I was going to be able to continue answering each person personally, my kindred baking spirit tim bennett, product manager for gold medal flour, came up with the fantastic idea for this baking blog hosted by general mills. it grew out of our lively e-mails talking about our latest baking adventures and ideas, and new recipes and often proud digital photos. tim thought it would be great to share these baking gems with other interested people as a sort of interactive baking diary. I was enraptured by the idea.

I'm especially proud that my blog is sponsored by general mills because in addition to depending on their flour for so much of my baking, many years ago I was the winner of the general mills betty crocker home-maker of the year award in my high school in new york (music and art). I didn't realize at the time that the prediction of this award now hanging in my kitchen would come true. the certificate says that I possess many of the qualities that would make me a good home-maker, and in fact that was all I ever wanted to be. but I have been fortunate, through my work, to have been able to extend some of these qualities further to the outside world. now, with this blog, I feel I truly have come a full circle. another fortunate coincidence is that my new publisher for my upcoming cake book, john wiley and sons, also publishes the betty crocker cookbooks!

as the purpose of this blog is sharing and extending our baking knowledge and abilities, I invite you to share your baking experiences and to put forth questions. believe me I know what it's like when doing a recipe and something doesn't work and there's no one to go to for the answer. I assure you that if you are wondering about something you are not alone. and if I don't know the answer I'll bet that one of our soon-to-be many blog members will have some ideas on the subject.

of course I will post questions only that seem to be of general interest and will still try to respond to those that are more individual in nature when time allows.

so let me start the ball of dough rolling with a favorite cake recipe which defines the title of my blog: "real baking," and an explanation of why I think it is the only way to bake. (see the blog "why real baking")



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