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Category ... Rose's Books

The Baking Bible's First Review!

Jul 01, 2014 | From the kitchen of Rose in Epicurious

from the July issue of The Library Journal:

Readers expect perfection from ­Beranbaum (Rose's Heavenly Cakes; The Cake Bible), whose award-winning cookbooks are known for their foolproof recipes and rigorous testing and development. Her tenth cookbook--a timeless collection of all-new cakes, pastries, cookies, candies, and breads--blends American and European traditions and thoroughly explains the hows and whys of baking through commandment-like "golden rules" and meticulous instructions. Novice bakers can start out with easy choices (blueberry buckle) and work their way up to more complex recipes (prune preserves and caramel cream cake roll) that can have as many as five homemade components. Like Flo Braker's Baking for All Occasions, the book contains some unique desserts (pomegranate winter chiffon meringue pie) that won't be found elsewhere. The ingredient glossary, equipment list, resources, and appendixes are excellent. VERDICT Beranbaum successfully bridges the gap between popular home baking collections and professional texts, and her recipes will endure long after novelty baking trends have tired.

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

La_biblia_del_pan.jpg

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.

The Chinese Bread Bible Has Arrived!

Feb 12, 2014 | From the kitchen of Rose in Epicurious

Chinese_Bread_Bible.jpg

Order from Amazon

I don't speak Chinese, but I can tell you that this will be an excellent translation based on the many technical questions asked by the Chinese editors and proof readers.

Here is the introduction I wrote in English:

Introduction to The Bread Bible by Rose Levy Beranbaum

The first translation of The Cake Bible took place many years ago for the United Kingdom. The biggest challenge at the time was the difference in flours but I soon discovered the rationale behind the phrase "two countries separated by one language!" The words were the same but the way in which they were used was quite different, for example, cake pan became cake tin.

When I was offered the opportunity to have The Cake Bible and The Bread Bible published in China and translated into Chinese I was overjoyed. Chinese food was the first cuisine I experienced as a child outside of my own home in New York City, when I was a very picky eater, and I adored it. I decided that when I grew up I wanted to move to Chinatown so that I could eat Chinese food all the time. And I read every book I could find on Chinese culture. At one of my first jobs I persuaded a Chinese colleague to teach me the language. Sadly he left before he could teach me only three phrases: the inevitable "how are you?"; "where are you going?"(at my request); and what he must of thought might be useful in polite social conversations where weather is always a safe subject: "rain is falling." This was 50 years ago and I carried these cherished phrases with me all this time.

I knew that none of these limited phrases would help me to understand how faithful a Chinese translation of my books would be to the original. (To my amazed delight, the technical queries that came to me in English from the Chinese proof reader were more meticulously detailed than any I had ever encountered in my own country, so I knew my fears were groundless.) But my greatest concern was that instead of being two countries separated by one language it would be two countries separated by ovens! Several years ago I had been invited by an Egyptian-American food writer to accompany her to China to teach baking at a culinary school where she was teaching French cooking. Unfortunately, she had to withdraw the invitation when she discovered that there were no ovens for traditional Euro-American baking. It is so good to learn that this has changed. And it is so very gratifying to know that the world has grown smaller, that cultural barriers are dissolving, and that I will be able to open new doors by sharing my work and so many of the recipes and techniques I love with the people whose culture I so value.

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

Marzipan-Roses

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!

The Bread Bible in Czech!

Dec 10, 2006 | From the kitchen of Rose in Rose's Books

i just came home to a marvelous surprise from my beloved editor of "the bread bible," maria guarnaschelli. she send me the hot off the press czech edition. the cover photo and inside photos are the same but the language required 100 more pages and i hardly recognize a single word! my name appears as rose levyova beranbaumova with accent marks over both a's. the name of the book ib "bible domaciho peceni"--wonder if domaciho refers to domestic or home. anyway, it is the first time i've seen any of my books in another language because, as they say re the uk edition--two countries separated by one language! back to czech, there sure are an astonishing number and variety of accent marks.
i sure hope to get some feedback from bread bakers in czechoslovakia but please in english!!!

Great Review of "Rose's Christmas Cookies"

Nov 14, 2006 | From the kitchen of Rose in Press Mentions

Just got a wonderful holiday present in the mail--the advance copy of the Decemeber Woman's Day Magazine, soon to be on the stands. On page 136 is a terrific review, by associate food editor Ellen Greene, of my now SEVENTEEN year old book.

It was my wind-down, treat-to-myself book after the exhaustive process of producing "The Cake Bible."

Because of its seasonal name, it is rarely available in book stores but Jessica's Biscuit (800/878-4264) catalogue #D612 and Sweet Celebrations (800/328-6722) are both wise enough to know that these cookies know no season and always have copies in stock! (Though with this lovely mention their supply may run out quickly.)

Of course they are also available on amazon.com (there's a link from this blog under my books)

Crossing the Atlantic by Cookbook

Jul 07, 2006 | From the kitchen of Rose in Ingredients

Cookbooks, particularly baking books, that cross the Atlantic have the well-earned reputation of being troublemakers. Differences in flour have long been suspected of being the culprit. When MacMillan of London bought the rights to publish my book The Cake Bible in the U.K., I was determined to get to the bottom of this culinary Tower of Babel. A British friend began sending me kilograms of the two basic flours available to British consumers: self-raising and plain, and I started baking. Much to my alarm, the cakes produced with the British flour were unrecognizable from their original models. It was hard to believe that innocent seeming flour could be responsible for such a dramatic difference. The logical way to conquer the problem seemed clear: to retest and redevelop the recipes to work as well as the originals, but with British ingredients. The only place to do this was in the UK with native equipment and native ingredients.

Continue reading "Crossing the Atlantic by Cookbook" »

How can I keep a pie crust from shrinking when I prebake it?

Mar 29, 2006 | From the kitchen of Rose in General

A pie crust that shrinks a great deal is also one that is tough. This is a result of too much water, too high a protein flour, and or overhandling of the pastry. My cream cheese pie crust in The Pie and Pastry Bible is one that shrinks very little.

But it will help any recipe to allow the dough to relax after rolling and lining the pan for at least 1 hour, covered and refrigerated. Lining the crust with parchment and dried beans or peas until it has set also helps to keep itís shape. A coffee filter, the sort used for coffee urns, is just the right size and shape to line the pastry.

My New Favorite Traditional Challah

Mar 27, 2006 | From the kitchen of Rose in Bread

When packing for a business trip I love to start a large bread for my husband to eat while I'm away. Challah is one of his favorites and since it's one of mine as well, I usually manage to eat a few slices myself before slicing, wrapping and freezing the rest.  This is the one I made before leaving for Barcelona in February. It's similar to the one in "The Bread Bible" with one wonderful difference: I've discovered that adding some old stiff starter instead of the vinegar does wonders for elasticity making it much easier to braid. It also increases the moistness and shelf life and adds depth of flavor. And because it so exceptionally moist for a challah, the ends of the braids hold together well.

If you want to make this recipe and don't have any starter, add 1/2 tablespoon cider vinegar when adding the oil and use the lower amount of salt.

Continue reading "My New Favorite Traditional Challah" »

Corrections: The Bread Bible

Feb 28, 2006 | From the kitchen of Rose in Book Errata/CORRECTIONS

The following is the complete list of errors and corrections from The Bread Bible by Rose Levy Beranbaum. Use the comments below to report anything else you find.

In the CRANBERRY-BANANA-WALNUT QUICK BREAD, page 101, the correct baking temperature is 350 degrees F.

In the crisper flat bialy variation on page 165, Matthew suggests using 1 teaspoon of poppy seeds per bialy or a total of 2 tablespoons/18 grams.

In the PRETZEL BREAD on page 172, step #2..Empty the dough onto a counter and shape it into a ball. Let it sit covered for 1 hour (it will relax and spread out slightly). Divide it into 4 pieces, divide each piece into 3 (total 12 pieces--about 1.3 ounces/33 grams each) and roll each into a ball. Shape each ball into a tapered 4-inch little football,, 1-inch wide in the middle.

In the DUTCH BABY on page 182, Hand Method, after "slowly beat in" add the words milk before "the eggs."

In the ROSEMARY FOCACCIA SHEET on page 205, it may take longer than 20 minutes to form a ball. For the airiest texture and largest holes, allow the dough to double for the final rise and deeply dimple the dough with wet or oiled fingertips just before baking.

In the BUTTER-DIPPED DINNER ROLLS on page 249, the yield is correct as 12 rolls and the dough for each should weigh about 50 grams; page 254, if not using dry milk you can replace the water with 3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons of milk.

In the Velvety Buckwheat Bread on page 308, replace the water with 3/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon/6.7 ounces/192 grams of the water and 3/4 cup/6.5 ounces/182 grams sour cream.

In the RYE BREAD recipe on page 326, on the flour mixture chart, the 2 1/4 cups bread flour weigh 12.3 ounces / 351 grams, and step #2: eliminate the words 'rye flour.' (Rye flour is used only in the sponge on page 325.)

In BRINNA'S PUGLIESE on page 347, the water should be 6 tablespoons (not teaspoons). In the GOLDEN SEMOLINA TORPEDO on page 366, step #2: ...whisk together ALL BUT 1/4 cup of the durum flour.

In PUGLIESE on page 363, step #5...until it has increased by about 1 1/2 times, 1 to 1 1/2 hours.

In the PROSCIUTTO RING on page 371, the bread will weigh 1 1/2 pounds/690 grams and in the chart, the meat mixture should be 1 1/2 cups/6 ounces/170 grams.

in THE BEER BREAD on page 376, under the mixer method, it should read: if it is too sticky add in a little flour...

in THE TEN GRAIN TORPEDO on page 396, step #4...knead for 7 minutes. The dough will be dry.

in THE ALMOND FIG BREAD on page 412 There have been some questions about the weight of 75 grams for the coarsley chopped slivered or whole almonds. It is correct. The volume, however is a little under 1 cup. It will not hurt, however to use 1 cup.

in all the SOURDOUGH RECIPES: What I should have written was: If making bread the next day, or if starting to increase the starter the next day instead of if baking....the rational here is that if you, for example, have a weekly schedule of feeding the starter every Monday, but you don't want to start increasing the starter for bread baking until Tuesday so you can bake on Wednesday, you need to let it sit for 2 hours after feeding it and then refrigerate it until Tuesday when you start the increasing process. (All this is far easier to do than to put in to words!)

in the SOURDOUGH RYE on page 453, you will be increasing the starter by 4 times, from 25 grams to 100 grams.

In the SOURDOUGH RYE on page 454, Hand Method, use the same amount of starter as is on the chart above (1 1/2 cups).

In the SOURDOUGH PUMPERNICKEL on page 462 (Mixer Method and Hand Method) use the same amount of starter as is on the chart on page 461 (1 cup plus 2 tablespoons).
on page 463, step 7, oven temperature should be 400°F, and on page 464 step 8 lower it to 375°F. If using sesame seeds, add them after the glaze.

In the SOURDOUGH WHEAT BREAD SEEDS on page 468, after the first paragraph add: "Cover tightly and allow it to sit at room temperature 8 to 12 hours. It will have puffed slightly. Proceed to step 2.
At step 2 add the words "That night..."
At step 4 on the following page add the words "The next morning"

in the PANETTONE on page 513, use only 1/4 teaspoon of fiori di Sicilia (the 1/2 teaspoon listed in the earlier printings is just a bit too intense)

In the CHALLAH on page 517, when making the sponge add the yeast listed in the ingredients.
In all breads, when making a starter that you plan to have sit for more than 4 hours, refrigerate it after the first hour at room temperature.

CANADIAN FLOUR: Canadian unbleached all-purpose and Canadian bread flour perform well in my yeast bread recipes. For quick breads using butter, however, it is necessary to use bleached all purpose flour or the center of the bread will fall and have a gloppy texture on cooling. For more information or specific questions regarding Canadian flour/brands and baking, you can contact editors@betterbaking.com

In the Ingredient Section for Weights on page 572, the listing for dry milk refers to King Arthur's special dry milk at 10 grams per 1 tablespoon. Instant dry milk is only 4 grams per tablespoon. If using instant dry milk instead of King Arthur's use double the volume.

Continue reading "Corrections: The Bread Bible" »

Rose's Christmas Cookies

Feb 28, 2006 | From the kitchen of Rose in Rose's Books

Many people have asked where they can get this book, touted by Tina Ujlaki in Food and Wine Magazine (December 2003) as "...one of my all-time favorite holiday cookbooks."

Fortunately, Jessica's Biscuit carries it all year 'round.

Call 1-800-878-4264. The catalogue number is D612, price: $19.60

A Lovely Love Note

Feb 23, 2006 | From the kitchen of Rose in Rose's Books

KATHY COMMENT

Feedback: This seems like a reasonable time to drop a love-note to Rose. Years ago I used to pick up the Cake Bible in bookstores to read and re-read the story of your brother's wedding cake and the snowstorm of 1983. Eventually my husband gave me the book as a gift. The story about your discussion of "sifting" with your (eventual) husband was a gem. It is the stories, I guess, that make me love the book and so, you. The recipes, resource information and photos are the frosting on the cake, as it were. Thanks for all of it. Kathy Mc (devoted fan!)

ROSE REPLY

I'm going to put this up near my computer monitor for inspiration as I work on my new cake book. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.

Frosting for 90 Degree Weather

Feb 09, 2006 | From the kitchen of Rose in Wedding

MARY QUESTION

Dear Rose,

I hope you can help me with my dilema. My daughter is getting married in
August. The wedding reception will be outdoors in Illinois. She has picked
cupcakes instead of a traditional wedding cake. The problem is the
frosting....it is usually around 90 degrees and humid. Our baker usually
uses some crisco (yikes!) in the frosting.

I can not do crisco...no matter what the outside temp is...pls help with any
suggestion on how to decorate the cupcakes, what ingredients to use and
presentation.

I am planning on ordering your book, "The Cake Bible."

Thank you soooooo very much.

ROSE REPLY

the best frosting for 90 degree temperatures is the mousseline buttercream but i think the silk meringue might hold up well too. the easiest and safest would be to use a curd such as lemon curd.

Pizza Praise

Feb 07, 2006 | From the kitchen of Rose in Bread

HANK QUESTION

Feedback: Last night we had some friends over towatch the Super Bowl game. I decided to try the pizza recipe on page 189 of The Bread Bible. Although it contradicted everything I thought I knew about making pizza dough, it turned out to be the best pizza I have ever made. My guests all agreed. I strongly recommend it to all.


ROSE REPLY

Thank you so much Hank for sharing your experience and encouraging other people who might be doubting Thomases to experience this amazing pizza!

Silicone Baking Pans

Feb 07, 2006 | From the kitchen of Rose in Equipment

JEAN QUESTION

Dear Rose,

I have an older copy of your "The Cake Bible" that was written before
the advent and proliferation of the silicon baking pans. In general,
what changes to the baking process should I consider if I use these pans?

Thanks,

ROSE REPLY

There are actually very few changes necessary. It is important to realize, however, that no substance on earth that I know of is 100% non-stick. Because silicone happens to be the most nonstick substance, if it is prepared properly (with oil and flour) it will release the cake perfectly with no crust stuck to the pan.

It is best to allow the cake to cool in the pan on a rack until warm or room temperature before unmolding it.

Deep fluted tube pans, as they are now, do not conduct the heat well to the center of the cake and may require as long as 20 minutes extra baking. But this is a relatively new technology and is continuing to evolve. For small cakes and the standard 9 x 2 inch cake I feel silicone has no equal. The cakes rise more evenly, with no need to wrap the sides of the pans with cake strips, and the texture is lighter and more even though the actual height of the cake is slightly lower.

Read about my association with Lékué Silicone pans and bakeware from Spain.

Layer Cakes Rising Higher Than the Pan

Feb 07, 2006 | From the kitchen of Rose in General

GUY QUESTION

Hi rose! I love your book.

The issue I'm having is that in your Book The Cake Bible, you say to use 9 inch x 1 1/2 inch round pans for making the All Occasion Downey Yellow Butter Cake. I followed your instructions to the letter. The layers rose above the tops of the cake pans. Did I do something wrong? Should I just be using the 9x2 inch pans instead?

Thank you!

ROSE REPLY

It's okay if layer cakes rise a little above the sides of the pan as the structure can still support it. The real indication is if the finished height after unmolding is the same as I specified. The batter may be a little too much for the 1 1/2" high pan but it is not enough for the 2 inch high pans.

Sourdough Starter

Feb 07, 2006 | From the kitchen of Rose in Sourdough

PHIL QUESTION

Rose (I feel as though I know you since reading your book since Christmas),

In making our own starter we followed the directions day by day, my wife and I are both engineers so lists and organized plans are VERY helpful. The starter didn't appear to follow the double a day that you mentioned. This may have happened while we weren't looking and then deflated. At the 5 day point, we decided to keep with the daily routine. At the 10th day, the starter does look a bit more energetic.

Do we need to mature the starter by feeding it every 3 days at room temperature or should it be in the fridge? How much should we be feeding, 60g of flour and water without removing any while it is matured? Should we remove a cup before we start expanding it?

We would both appreciate even a quick response. The description that starts at the end of page 429 "for example ......" confuses us when we follow the instructions in the last paragraph of page 433.

Thank you in advance for the help,

ROSE REPLY

because sour dough is an alive entity it is not something the you can nail down hundred percent.

The last paragraph on page 429 of my book referred to an already established starter. The last paragraph on page 433 is referring to one that is not yet mature.if you have an active starter as I mentioned at the bottom of page 433 if you don't plan to use it for several days feed it to double it, let it sit one hour, and then refrigerate it.
as I wrote, for the first two weeks feed it at least three times a week.if you are not feeding it every day you need to refrigerate it between feedings. I wrote that during maturing you need to keep a minimum of 1 cup. In answer to your question how much to feed it, I wrote that you need to at least double it, so this depends on how much you keep. You can do it by a eye, or as I prefer, by weight.

By way of encouragement, everyone who has written to me about problems starting a sourdough starter has, with patience, arrived at a successful one. What follows is one person's very helpful suggestion which I have not tried myself but suspect will work brilliantly:

"... i had a asked for advice earlier about a sourdough culture that was
going flat and not responding to the feeding after 2 days. the trick i had
about using a 50/50 mix of organic rye and bread flour during the next
feeding to reintroduce more wild yeast into the sourdough did the trick of
waking it back up. it responded right away and i just went back to normal
bread flour feedings. i haven't had any troubles since in case anyone in
the future has this problem"

The Cake Bible and the New Cake Book

Jan 15, 2006 | From the kitchen of Rose in Rose's Books

SHARON QUESTION
Hello,

I am thinking about purchasing The Cake Bible. When is the new book coming out and what will be different? Should I wait for the new one or should I purchase both of them?

I'm a novice to pastry making. Will there be a new pastry book also or am I safe to purchase The Pastry Bible?

Thank you for a very informative site.

ROSE REPLY

i would highly recommend getting the cake bible and here's why: last year i did a revision but the only things i felt needed changing were the chocolate recommendations and the equipment and ingredient distributors. chocolate is now expressed in % of cocoa mass rather than manufacturer and some of the chocolates i recommended no longer exist! the recipes, however, have become classics as the book has survived for close to 18 years now and still going strong. i found there was nothing i wanted to change with the exception of the burnt almond milk chocolate ganache as the chocolate bar used to make it is no longer being manufactured so i replaced it with another delicious milk chocolate ganache (lesson learned not to have a product-dependent recipe!)

the cake bible is filled with explanations about how cake baking works which is ideal for beginning and advanced bakers who want to know more and have more control over what they are doing.

the new cake book will be entirely different with emphasis on the visual (some aspect of every cake will be pictured) and contain all the new ideas that have come about over the past two decades since the cake bible.

re the pie pastry bible, if i ever do another on the subject it will be many years from now! but do check out the new pie crust that's on the blog. it's a variation of the cream cheese pie crust but uses heavy cream instead of water and is more tender and more delicious.

I'm Awed and Humbled

Jan 14, 2006 | From the kitchen of Rose in Notes

HEIDI COMMENT

I'd like to thank you for publishing The Cake Bible.
As someone who always loved baking but never went to culinary school, I read many highly rated cookbooks but grew increasingly frustrated when recipes were excellent (or not) but failed to explain what was going on. Your book answered so many questions! You should have seen me devour it from beginning to end so many years ago.

Here is what I've done since then:http://www.mirabellecatering.com/

That is your lemon curd in those pictures, your genoise, your mousseline, your ladyfingers, your meringue swans, your pistachio marzipan (heavenly!), your raspberry sauce (ditto), your chocolate leaves, etc etc etc.

Though I certainly reference other books now as well (I'm sure you recognize some of Alice Medrich's creations, and Martha's) and sometimes use their recipes, the vast bulk of what I do is still from your book (second volume - the spines break in no time!) And I would not approach those other sources with the same confidence, had I not absorbed such a basic understanding from you.

I'll have plenty of questions to send in the future, since discovering this blog, but for now just wanted to say thank-you with all my heart.

ROSE REPLY

this has to be among the most validating letters i've ever received. and encourages me all the more as i submerge deeper and deeper into my first new cake book since the cake bible so many years ago. your work is exquisite and i've put in a link so everyone can see it. if i can take any credit for making your imaginative artistry more delicious i'm very proud indeed. and icing on the cake is that you acknowledged the empowerment of information and how it makes it possible to absorb so much more when you have a base of understanding. it is a life-long process and an undying thrill.
thank you heidi!

Fresh Fruit Purees Added to Cake Batter

Jan 12, 2006 | From the kitchen of Rose in Cake Questions

RUBYMARTHA QUESTION

I would like to bake a cake with fresh purees. Such as peaches, strawberries, etc. I cannot seen to find a recipe with puree, I did find a couple using cake mixes but I want a scratch cake. I absolutely am an avid reader/owner of your books. I attended SCSCA in Pasadena in patisserie but have learned more from your books that I am sorry I made the expense for the school. If you can help me I would so appreciate it.

Thank you,

ROSE REPLY

thank you--i'm very moved by your compliment. i must share another moving experience i had in pasadena when i was on tour for "the bread bible" 2-1/2 years ago. a woman named rose came to my book signing bringing her grown daughter as well. she reminded me that she had brought her daughter as a little girl to my signing for ""the cake bible. now she was returning to buy "the bread bible" for herself and another "cake bible" for her daughter to have now that she was living on her own. it was a very beautiful way for me to mark the passage of time!

now for the fruit purees. i'm sorry to disappoint you but i found even when adding fruit juices to cake it seemed to disturb the ph balance of the batter and give it an off texture. cake mixes have emulsfiers and other things that give it what is known in the industry as "tolerance." this means that all manner of additions can be made and the cake will still work. as you've probably seen in "the cake bible," i do add purees to buttercreams with great results. perhaps another person on this blog has had a more positive experience adding it to cakes?

Glorious Bread and a Beautiful Blogger!

Jan 09, 2006 | From the kitchen of Rose in Rose's Books

JEN COMMENT

FH_Email: geekyrandomgirl@gmail.com
Feedback: I've been baking bread out of The Bread Bible for a couple of years now, and I wanted to let you know what an important book it has been to me. It was the first book on bread baking I bought, and it was such a great way to start out. My mom/grandmother are spoiled on store bought cinammon raisin bread because of you. Even starting out, the bread recipes from your book were easy to follow and turned out marvelous. I've learned alot from books by other bakers (Peter Reinhart and Dan Lepard are my other adopted mentors), but it seems like every time I learn something from them, I come back to your book, and it was there all along.
So I guess I'm trying to say thanks, because your book started my obsession with bread baking. I hope someday to open my own bread bakery. Do you have any advise for a pretty good amateur baker like me?
Also, I have a food/baking blog, I'd be thrilled to death if you looked at it: http://ratherbebakingbread.blogspot.com/
Thanks again Rose!

ROSE REPLY

i'm deeply touched! and i must say in excellent company. one of these days--sooner rather than later--i'm going to list my version of peter reinhart's struan bread--a bread so wonderful i wrote him immediately after baking it for the first time to tell him how proud i am to be in the same profession as he. i don't know dan lepard but i'm sure i'd like to!
my best advice to you is to continue reading and baking and trust no one completely except your own personal experience. you will eventually create your own vision of bread. i'm sure you will be a great baker as you already are a great person. i can tell. and besides, it's impossible to be a good baker otherwise--the bread knows--believe me!

Cake Strips

Jan 06, 2006 | From the kitchen of Rose in Equipment

KIMBERLY QUESTION

I have a question regarding cake strips. I have several sets that I've been using for many years, but they don't seem to be working anymore. I saturate them in icy water, squeeze them firmly and wrap them around the base of the pan, but the cake layers heave and crack and don't stay level. (The oven temp. isn't too hot) Any ideas why my cake strips aren't doing the trick anymore?

PS: I have all of your books and love them all.

ROSE REPLY

thank you! I've used cake strips until they were falling apart and they never stopped working. Recently I learned from my friend and colleague, Dede Wilson, how to make my own cake strips simply by enclosing folded, wet paper towels in a long strip of heavy-duty aluminum foil, overlapped to be the same height as the cake pan.

are you using the same cake recipes that worked well before? are you using all-purpose instead of cake flour? Are you sure the oven isn't hotter? Is the leavening old? That's all I can think of.

Adding Rye Flour to Bread Dough

Jan 04, 2006 | From the kitchen of Rose in Bread Questions

SCOTT QUESTION AND COMMENTS

Your Bread Bible is my favorite Christmas present this year. I spent
almost four months in Germany on business this summer and can't handle
store-bought American bread anymore, so I've gone back to baking my own,
something I learned from my mother and grandmother--although they always
made white bread and I longed for the great European style wheat/rye
breads. The first thing I did was use your sponge method on my favorite
bread recipe and was amazed at the difference.

So thanks!


In Germany I came across a great bread called Gassenhauer, my favorite
of the many breads I ate over there. It's a wheat/rye sourdough with a
gorgeous crust. Apparently it's trademarked, though, and I haven't been
able to find a recipe anywhere. Ever hear of it? I'd sure like to make
something as close to that as I can manage in this country.

Now a question: I made your Tyrolean Torpedo to go with the New Year's
Eve bean soup I made, and it went over really well--although I can think
of a couple things I could have done better. My wife and our guest
thought I was crazy saying it could have been better, but you know the
drill. It's never quite good enough, especially on the first try. They
enjoyed it and I dissected it. And then enjoyed it. But--what I really
learned to love when I lived in Austria for a couple years in the
eighties and on my German stay last summer is that taste of a combined
wheat and rye bread. I know you say you shouldn't substitute, but what
would happen if I replaced some of the flour in the Tyrolean bread with
rye?

Anyway, thanks again for helping me push my bread to a higher level and
helping to guide me on my quest for really great bread. If only I had a
better oven. The quarry tiles help a lot, but still...

ROSE REPLY

coincidentally, i'm making the tyrolean bread tomorrow for a party friday night. it's one of my favorites and i add about 75 grams/2.6 oz. of week-old starter (i still use the same amount of instant yeast) and an extra 1/8 teaspoon of salt since the starter has no salt in it. this gives it more depth of flavor, and keeps it fresher longer not that any of it will remain by the end of the party! i sometimes replace some of the flour with durum flour. it would be fine to do the same with rye but you have to be careful not to use too much as even with the acidity of the sourdough the pentosans in the rye will cause it to be gummy. i would start by replacing no more than 20% of the flour with rye.

re the german bread--i totally agree--i adore the breads of germany. i never had the pleasure of encountering the "gassenhauer"--anyone out there hear of it or have a recipe? i'll ask hans welker of fci next time i speak to him as he's from germany and surely knows.

i'm so thrilled when other people get excited about the breads i love so much. thanks for sharing! do let us know how the rye works with the tyrolean!

The Best Ciabatta I've Ever Had!

Jan 01, 2006 | From the kitchen of Rose in Bread Questions

SHERRY QUESTION

Feedback: I heard you have the best ciabatta bread recipe to be had but I can't find it, can you help? Thanks either way.

ROSE REPLY

thanks for asking--it will be on the blog by wed. night. i'm waiting to get back to my home computer to retrieve the photo to go along with it!

P.S. Just realized you wrote ciabatta. and it's a focaccia that i've posted! i do have a terrific ciabatta i worked very hard on in my "bread bible" on page 355.

Cooking for a Crowd

Dec 29, 2005 | From the kitchen of Rose in Questions and Answers

GARY QUESTION

Feedback: I HAVE TO COOK FOR A WATCHNIGHT SERVICE AT OUR CHURCH. IT WILL BE FOR ABOUT 60 PEOPLE. DO YOU HAVE ANY BRUNCH RECIPIES FOR A CROWD?

ROSE REPLY

i would make about 4 of the sicilian vegetable pizza rolls on page 220 of "the bread bible."

The Best Chocolate Cream Filling in the World

Dec 27, 2005 | From the kitchen of Rose in Questions and Answers

LYNN QUESTION:

Feedback: I have a recipe for a delicious cake filling that combines whipping cream, vanilla, and chocolate frosting mix. Since dry packaged frosting mix is no longer available, how can I get a very rich chocolate cream filling. Thank you

ROSE REPLY

i know of none better than chocolate ganache. it is in many cookbooks including my own: the cake bible page 269 and it's really easy!

Stitched Bindings for Cookbooks

Dec 21, 2005 | From the kitchen of Rose in Rose's Books

SALLY QUESTION

Feedback: I have owned the Cake Bible for years, but the pages keep falling out. I would like to buy a used copy on the Internet, but fear getting the same edition. Can you tell me what to look for to make sure I get a later publication (and, thus, a better bound editon)?

ROSE REPLY

sadly the publisher doesn't stitch the bindings in their books so if they get a great deal of use they come unglued. once i discovered this i vowed never to sign another book contract without a guarantee that my book would be stitched. so the bread bible is stitched and my next cake book will be stitched but the only way to get a stitched binding cake bible is to bring it to a book binder. there is, however, a newly revised edition in which i have updated all the ingredients such as chocolate, and equipment. there is a small, quarter size, label on the upper right side of the front cover that says "revised ingredients and equipment sections.

Bread Rising Slowly

Dec 20, 2005 | From the kitchen of Rose in Bread Questions

Question:
Rose, I am a 74 year old Man that loves to cook and especially make bread. However, lately I am having trouble with my dough not rising as it should, the first time. Have any idea's?
I have several of your books and am looking forward to your new "Cake Book" coming out. Thanks

Rose Reply:
thank you—i’m really enjoying coming up with new cake recipes and delicious variations on old favorites.
if your bread is slow to rise on the first rise it may be that the yeast is old or that it is not warm enough. a slow rise is not a bad thing flavor-wise but the best way to speed it up is to give it more warmth—ideally moist warmth.

i use a cheap plastic box as a cover and put a small container of about 1 cup of boiling water in it—not too close to the dough or bread pan. i change it every 30 minutes. this gives you a temperature of about 80-85 degrees which is just right. higher temperatures will give it an off flavor.

Increasing Yeast

Dec 20, 2005 | From the kitchen of Rose in Bread Questions

Mike Question:
I have been using "The Bread Bible" for two years now & couldn't bake without it. I often make the butter-dipped dinner rolls found on pg. 249. If I want to double the recipe, do I need to double the amount of yeast or should I use less? I doubled the amount once & it seems as though the dough rose much faster that is did in the single batch recipe.

I also have an "old" recipe for Swedish limpa rye bread. Is there a way I can convert the amounts of ingredients to grams? I make a great loaf from the old recipe but I would like to standardize the amounts.

Rose Reply:
please check out the entry about increasing yeast under the bread catagory. essentially i wrote that for smaller amounts i didn't find there was a difference so i double the yeast but for larger batches of dough the yeast seems to multiply more rapidly and less is usually required. but if you found from experience that doubling this recipe made the dough rise faster i would cut back a little simply because a slower rise makes for a more delicious flavor!

i'm delighted that you want to convert a favorite recipe to grams. i find it so much more enjoyable working with grams than measuring or even ounces. since you have my book, all the weights are in the back. i would approach it by making the recipe as usual but weighing the ingredients as you measure them. then it will come as close to what your usual results have been.

Consistency for Chocolate Spike Buttercream

Dec 20, 2005 | From the kitchen of Rose in Cake Questions

Dana Question:
I prepared your Chocolate Spike Cake from the Cake Bible. I could not get the icing to stand in spikes like yours did. It was either too cold and unspreadable or to warm and wouldn't stand in spikes. I am sure that my problems were entirely related to temperature of the icing, esp given the nature of cocca butter. What temperature should the icing be to form those lovely spikes?

Rose Reply:
i find that when i leave ganache or buttercream in the kitchen, which is about 80 to 85 degrees, it's just right for spreading on the cake and forming spikes.

of course for piping it needs to be cooler. play with those spikes. if they're too droopy put the cake in a cooler spot and check every few minutes until it's just right! once you get the right consistency it will stay that way for long enough to decorate the whole cake with perfect spikes!

Making Caramel

Dec 17, 2005 | From the kitchen of Rose in Pie and Pastry Questions

Mark Question:
Your Pie and Pastry Bible is my absolute favorite cookbook - quite thorough! I had a problem with the Boulders Tart that I was hoping you could help with. I couldn't get a caramel to form by simply adding the sugar and corn syrup. There simply wasn't enough liquid. I added water to accommodate and it worked fine, but I'm wondering what I'm missing. Thanks again for a wonderful resource!
Best, Mark

Rose Reply:
caramel is made by evaporating the water from the sugar. the more the water evaporates, the higher the temperature of the syrup aned ultimately the deeper the color of the caramel. i like to add a little extra water in the form of corn syrup or water to start the process of melting the sugar more evenly. the cornsyrup also helps to prevent crystallization. if you add extra water it will just take longer for the sugar to start caramelizing but if it works better for you that’s fine.

Yeast Conversion

Dec 15, 2005 | From the kitchen of Rose in Ingredients

Linda Question:
What is the conversion factor for substituting dry yeast for compressed yeast. Yeast cakes are getting harder to find in the supermarket. Thanks!

Rose Reply:
for those of you who have "the bread bible" the yeast conversion is on page 562

to convert fresh cake yeast to instant yeast, for 1 packed tablespoon/0.75 ounce cake yeast use 2 teaspoons instant yeast or 2-1/2 teaspoons active dry

1 teaspoon instant aka instant active dry=1-1/4 teaspoons active dry or 1-1/2 teaspoons fresh cake yeast

instant yeast can be added directly to the flour without proofing. it is available nationally under the following names:

fleischmann's bread machine yeast or rapid rise
red star's quickrise
red star's instant active dry
SAF instant
SAF gourmet perfect rise

i store the unused yeast in an airtight container in the freezer where it stays fresh for as long as 2 years. (if it's a large quantity i store about 2 tablespoons of it separately so that the larger amount doesn't get subjected to oxygen and deteriorate more quickly.

Please Note: There is a second posting about yeast conversion so put yeast conversion in the search box and you will find it if you need more information.

Snappy Gingersnaps

Dec 13, 2005 | From the kitchen of Rose in Cookie Questions

Caitlin Question:
I'm having such trouble with gingersnaps and I hope you can help! My goal is a cookie that can last longer than one day while still being "snappy" and still tender to the bite. I can't seem to find the balance between chewy and tooth-breaking!

I've tried increasing baking powder, I've fussed with bake times, stored in sealed bags, I've thrown in desiccant to see what would happen, but still am unhappy with my results.

Rose Reply:
i've never actually made gingersnaps but in my book "rose's christmas cookies" i have both gingerbread for building gingerbread houses and gingerbread for gingerbread people! the difference is that in the people one i use egg, more butter and more brown sugar, all of which makes it more tender though still crisp. if you roll them thicker--say 1/4", they will be more soft, chewy and pudgy!

also be sure to underbake them slightly as on cooling they will firm up but still remain a little soft. these cookies keep for several months but of course become less soft with time.

Silicone Cake Pans

Dec 10, 2005 | From the kitchen of Rose in Equipment

Allison Question:
Hello Rose,

I am a novice baker who's been turning out fabulous cakes thanks to your Cake Bible.

I have,however, had trouble locating magic strips for my cake pans, and was advised to try a silicon pan to achieve an even layer. What is your experience with silicon cake pans?

Thank you,

Rose Reply:
i am so entranced by silicone that i now represent (am spokesperson for) Lékué silicone of spain. the cake layer is not quite as high but it is more even and interestingly it has a more even, lighter, and i think much improved texture.

Read about my association with Lékué Silicone pans and bakeware from Spain.

Thank yous

Dec 04, 2005 | From the kitchen of Rose in Questions and Answers

From Marti:
Rose, I was reading your comments about the egg yolks getting smaller. Since I raise laying hens, I was curious what the egg yolks from my hens would weigh. Here's what I found: Randomly picking 3 eggs from the refrigerator, I found that 3 egg yolks weighed 2 1/4 ounces or 66 grams; 3 egg whites weighed 4 3/4 ounces or 135 grams. I weighed the eggs that were just laid this morning, and 10 eggs in the shell weighed 24 1/4 ounces.

By the way, my hens are what I guess you would call "free range." They have a large fenced area they can run around in, scratching the ground, etc.

Just thought you might find this information interesting. I might pass your comments about smaller egg yolks on to the State Poultry Extension Agent and hear what he has to say.

Marti

Rose Reply:
thank you very much for pursuing this. i’d be very interested to know what the extension agent will say!

Patricia Question:
Congratulations! I love this new Blog as you call it and have signed up for the monthly newsletter. Just wanted to say "Hello" from North Carolina. I am so looking forward to your new cake book! You are the best ever teacher and because of you, I continue to be enthused about baking and trying new things. Always your friend. Pat

Rose Reply:
you southerners are the BEST. when i was in memphis filming a segment for the shop at home show i bought a great tee shirt that said southern girl on it. i figured that living in southern manhattan would make me qualify but no one has even questioned it!

thanks for your encouragement. i’m really enjoying working on the new cake book.

Gehanna Question:
Dear Rose

Thank you very much for this web site.

This morning when i read that you are writing another book i felt that i am over the moon

I bought all your books, and all my baking and cooking is from them .

You are a very great and special person.G-D bless you.

Could you please tell me when the book will be avaliable .?

I live in the U.K, but i always buy all the books from AMAZON .Com, i checked there today but i couldnot find any thing mentioned.

Waiting for your reply

Thank you in advance

Rose Reply:
i’m afraid it won’t be til 2008 or possibly even 2009 as a comprehensive cake book takes lots of time, especially since i plan to picture every cake. but once it’s finished you will have years worth of fun new baking experiences as i’m having with it now!

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.

Regards,

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.

Regards,

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?
thanks,

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.

Cake Questions

Nov 30, 2005 | From the kitchen of Rose in Cake Questions

Update Nov 2007: Have a new question? You should visit the new Cake Questions section of the forum, or the more recent blog entry, Cake Questions Too.

Jessica Question:
Hi!

I live in Australia and decorate cakes for friends and family. I just discovered an old copy of your book the cake bible in my local library. I think its great so I have looked up your site. I was just wondering if the book has been revised and updated since first being published? I notice that mud cakes are not covered at all in the book I borrowed and there are some other modern things missing too. Anyway I know you're busy so thanks for your time. Keep up the good work.

Rose Reply:
thank you for asking. in fact, the first revision of the cake bible has just come out but i haven't added any new cakes. what i revised was the equipment and ingredient sources, how to adjust batter for the more current pan sizes that are 2 inches high instead of 1-1/2 inches, and the chocolate sections because people don't talk chocolate brand anymore, they talk percentage of chocolate mass!

i am, at the present time, working on a comprehensive four color cake book for wiley which will be out in the next two or three years and it will include some of the newer cakes.

Cheryl Question:
Is it possible to attach ribbons made from fondant around the bottom edges of the tiers of a buttercream frosted wedding cake? How and at what point in assembly would you attach them? Thanks.

Rose Reply:
the answer is yes! i would apply them after the cake is assembled. they will stick to the buttercream so you should have no problem holding them in place.

Stacey Question:
What is the difference between your "favorite yellow cake" in this blog and the yellow cake in the Cake Bible in terms of taste and texture? Also, I recently made a French buttercream that tasted like a bowl of butter and a powdered sugar and butter frosting that tasted like pure sugar. What is the best vanilla frosting to use for cupcakes?

Rose Reply:
my favorite yellow cake on the blog is the same as the one in the cake bible. i put it in because i wanted everyone to have it even if they didn't have the book.

not everyone likes french buttercream. some people prefer the sugary, slightly gritty texture of powdered sugar buttercream to the satiny texture of the french variety. in any case, it's going to taste like butter and sugar because that's what it is. but it should also be flavored with pure vanilla extract. and of course there are many possible additions to buttercream such as coffee, orange, praline....

Melvin Question:
thanks for writing. i made the cheese cake but i was a little lose the next day i used low fat cream cheese was that a mistake? or should i have cook longer? thanks

Rose Reply:
i strongly advise against using low fat products in baking. they will adversely affect both taste and texture. better to cut smaller servings!

Rene Question:
Dear Rose,

I love baking and always have. And now I have the priviledge of helping a young woman, who is like a sister to me, with her wedding cakes. Unfortunately what she wants is a fair distance out of my league. I am hoping very much that you might be able to answer a couple of questions for me.

A single cake, I could do. What she wants to have one cake on each table, which turns out to be about 40 individual creations. (Ouch.) She is hoping for 2 tier cakes (around 8 and 6 inches.) We are tentatively planning 7 different designs with fillings including everything from dacquois to conserves.

It is the sheer volume that puts me out of my depth. It means that everything must be done as far ahead as possiblem, which I have very little experience with. I usually serve my cakes as soon after I make them as possible. Your Cake Bible is helping me a lot because it has so much information about storing each of the components. I am just trying to work out some logistics.

Is it better to prepare the components, store them individually and then put them together as close to the wedding date as possible OR is it better to put the cakes together and store them (for as long as 4, even 5 months?) ready to be decorated? Or could we even decorate them so they are ready to be tiered and finished? I really don't know.

I could just not begin to thank you enough for any guidance you could give me. I love this girl and want to do everything possible to help her wedding day be just the way she dreams of it. I just don't know how the best way to organize this size of a baking project.

Since I am here writing, I have a side question: what is your experience with using flower petals IN your cakes and buttercreams. I have seen these recipes, but have not tried them. Are they a pleasant suprise? Or more novelty, less than delicious?

Thank you, by the way, for all of the help your books have given me in pursuing my favorite hobby. :) Now that I know you have a blog, I look forward to enjoying that too. :)

Sincerely,

Rose Reply:
you are a saint!!! most professional bakeries when they make cakes ahead store the layers unfrosted in the freezer (well-wrapped). but this may be bc this gives them the option to use them with different buttercreams as the orders come in. but it is also easier to wrap an unfrosted cake. to freeze a frosted layer you would have to freeze it first and wrap it after the buttercream has set. so probably the best approach is to freeze the layers.

when you make cakes ahead, it is helpful to use a little simply syrup sprinkled on the layers to keep them from drying.

we all hope you will send a photo of this massive undertaking so we can post it to the blog!

re the flower petals, i don't imagine they would offer much in terms of flavor or in texture. there are wonderful extracts such as the rose syrup carried by la cuisine in alexandria.

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.

Thanks.

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.

Crème Frâiche

Nov 23, 2005 | From the kitchen of Rose in Questions and Answers

Dora Question:
Hello Rose,

Before I get to my question, I must let you know that your Cake Bible is phenomenal. Thank you for sharing all your expertise.

I've been an avid baker all my life, and this past April I made my first wedding cake for a very special occasion: my sister's wedding. She loves everything lemon, so I decided on a three-tiered cake, each layer consisting of an almond dacquoise base topped with a light layer of lemon buttercream, then alternating layers of genoise classique & lemon curd, and coverered with the buttercream and finished with porcelain white fondant.

Her bouquet consisted of white calla lilies, so I made some lilies out of the fondant for the top, and since she loves pearls, the cake was decorated with a royal icing "pearl" variation-on-a-theme: 7 pearls arranged in flower patterns for the bottom layer, 3 pearls arranged in a triangle for the middle, and single pearls for the top. It was a lot of work, but everyone loved it.

Now, onto my challenge. I've made creme fraiche many a time before, but lately I've been encountering lots of difficulty with it thickening properly. In the past, after having left the well-covered cream/buttermilk mixture on top of the fridge out to thicken for about 24 hours, it's thickened, and I've put it in the fridge to let it continue to thicken. Afterwards, I've sweetened it, and had no problems.

But I'm getting really frustrated with all of my recent attempts. I know that heavy cream can vary slightly from batch to batch, but even though I've tried a couple of brands of whipping cream, I'm still not having much luck. And when I try sweetening it after it's been refrigerated a while, it liquifies way more than it ever has in the past.

Any assistance would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you so much for your time and for your generous spirit.

Warm regards,

Rose Reply:
crème frâiche is one of the most useful ingredients to temper the sweetness of desserts, to add to scrambled eggs for a rich creaminess and tangy flavor, and to sauces. there is an excellent product available from vermont butter and cheese company. as you know, making your own is quite easy if you can obtain cream that is NOT ultrapasteurized. sadly this is becoming more and more difficult. it has been my experience that with ultra-pastuerized cream, it will eventually thicken if left in a warm spot of 80 to 90 degerees but it may take several days. my best advice is to befriend your local bakery. they usually have access to commercial 40% butterfat cream that is not ultra-pasteurized. (that's what i've done!) offer to buy it and i'm sure they will be generous in ordering extra for you.

Raw Egg Safety Regulations

Nov 22, 2005 | From the kitchen of Rose in Questions and Answers

Erica Question:
Good Morning Mrs. Beranbaum,

I purchased your book about a year ago and I think it is great

I am planning to use your buttercream icing recipe for a wedding cake that I'm doing in December. I wanted to know if I should forewarn people about the use of raw egg yolks? Actually, I was also wondering if the yolks were cooked a little when I add the heated sugar/corn syrup combo?

Thank you for your time. -Erica

Rose Reply:
food safety experts agree that the highest risk is for young children, the elderly, pregnant, and those whose immune systems are impaired. the hot syrup is not sufficient to eliminate all risk.

since i'm not a food safety expert, i'd like to direct you to the american egg board: www.aeb.org.
they recommend the following:

1) use the buttercream recipe on their website, or follow the guidelines for recipes you may want to adapt
or
2) use pasteurized eggs in the shell available in some markets (pasteurized is marked on the carton)

or
3) use egg product (liquid or frozen eggs). at the present time these are available mostly to food service.

Message from Rose

Nov 20, 2005 | From the kitchen of Rose in Announcements

Dear Fellow Bakers,

this blog is two weeks old today and i'm thrilled to report that it has generated a huge number of responses and questions. reading them is so fun and fascinating i can easily see myself sitting "chained" to the computer with an i.v. (and the works)--unable and unwilling to tear myself away! of course this isn't going to be possible so i apologize that it may take a while to respond--especially around holiday time when everyone who ever bakes at all is baking NOW! i'll do the best i can to keep up.

imagine how frustrating it has been this past week when i experienced an untimely computer hard drive crash and was unable to view or respond at all!!! but i'm back in action with an improved system.

just one thing to keep in mind: while i will be sharing recipes from time to time that i think will be of interest, the purpose of this blog is not to dispense recipes on request. that in itself would be a full-time job! of course feel free to ask me if a recipe you are interested in is in one of my four "in print" books and i'll be happy to direct you to it.

Happy Holidays and Baking!

Rose

P.S. my 91 year old dad is coming down from up-state n.y. for thanksgiving weekend. his one request: cherry pie. i always have sour cherries in the freezer waiting for just such occasions! and this year was one of the most flavorful harvests ever so i froze enough for 4 pies. but for family thanksgiving day it will be something more seasonal and a touch more traditional: pumpkin cake with caramel silk meringue buttercream (both recipes in the cake bible)

Please Note: Some people's browsers cannot download such a long thread so I'm starting a "Message from Rose Part 2)

How to Get a Crisp Brown Bottom Pie Crust

Nov 20, 2005 | From the kitchen of Rose in Pie and Pastry Questions

RONI QUESTION

I love to bake and have done so successfully for many years. The one thing I can't seem to do is to get a bottom pie crust to brown. I have used a Pyrex pie pan, a Pampered Chef ceramic pan, a French ceramic pan and a shiny metal pan. I have tried a number of pie crust recipes, too! Please help..Thanksgiving is coming, and I always make an apple pie. Thanks

ROSE REPLY

i feel strongly that if a bottom pie crust is soggy there is no point in having more than a top crust on the pie! i addressed this in my book "the pastry bible" where i give the technique for juicy pies of letting the fruit sit with the sugar to leach out the juices and then reduce them and return them to the fruit. this way you only need to use about one-third of the thickening agent which results in a more pure fruit taste and you won't be left with a pool of fruit juices on the bottom of a soggy crust after baking the pie.

but this alone will not brown the crust. to achieve this, i bake the pie directly on the floor of the oven for the first 20 minutes of baking and then raise it to the bottom shelf. different ovens bake differently so you may need to leave it on the floor of the oven for a longer time. the best way to find out is to use a pyrex plate the first time you do this so you can see through it and gauge when sufficient browning has taken place. if your oven is electric and has coils on the bottom, the best alternative is to use a baking stone on the lowest shelf and preheat the oven for at least 30 minutes to ensure that it is heated fully.

i have recently designed and produced a special pie plate that is ceramic with deeply fluted sides to create a beautiful border effortlessly. it also does a great job of even browning of the bottom crust. it also has my favorite pie crust recipe decaled permanently into the bottom inside of the plate.
you can view it on www.laprimashops.com

Appropriate Mixer Speeds for Bread

Nov 19, 2005 | From the kitchen of Rose in Bread Questions

Hi Rose,

I am an experienced home cook (actually a "foodie"), but not a baker, who is finally ready to tackle yeast breads. Over the years I have avoided yeast breads due to lack of time and patience. Truth be told, yeast dough intimidates me! I have purchased a new Kitchen Aid Artisan Stand Mixer (5 quart). I've also armed myself with your recent book, "The Bread Bible" and am ready to venture into the area of dough using starters or bigas.

However, I do have one initial concern and that has to do with the speed at which the dough is mixed. On page 50 in your book, you recommend using speed #4 on a Kitchen Aid for kneading dough (speed #2 if a stiff dough). The instruction manual which came with my KA mixer states in several places NOT to go beyond speed #2 when mixing yeast dough's.

So my question is: With your vast experience, is it possible to indeed mix yeast dough at speed #4 or should I follow the instruction manual and never exceed speed #2? Secondly, what qualifies a "stiff dough"? Kitchen Aid doesn't seem to qualify, i.e., the manual offers the caveat for mixing "yeast dough" in general not to exceed speed #2.

I've read your book through, now I look forward to using it as intended. I've also enjoyed your PBS series in its entirety, "Baking Magic with Rose Levy Beranbaum". You are, indeed, a wonderful instructor and a great source of inspiration. I hope to make beautiful baguettes with your help. Thanks for all you do.

Sincerely,
Penny

dear penny,
this is a very important question that several people have asked since the book first cake out. It is my understanding (and practice) that kitchen aid recommends no higher than speed #2 because if the dough is stiff it wil, over time,l wear out the motor. for many doughs, however, using speed #2 would require extremely long beating in order to develop the gluten adequately--maybe as long as 20 minutes, during which you should never walk away from the mixer as it could fall off the counter. I think it is necessary to trust one's judgement here. a bagel, for example, is a dry, stiff dough, and if you used a high speed you would actually hear the motor straining. if ever you hear this sound you will recognize it and should immediately lower the speed.

I hope you enjoy your adventures in bread baking. as I'm working on a new cake book, I am enjoying baking cakes but sneak in an occasional bread just because I love making it so much.

best baking,
rose

Pie Crust Missionary

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

sometimes i wish i could be a pie crust missionary--going around the country showing how fun and easy it is to make one of the most feared of baked goods: a delicious, flaky and tender pie crust--one that rolls out easily, is as malleable as clay, doesn't tear when transferring it to the pie plate, and doesn't shrink when baking.

the main secret to this perfect pie crust is the flour. I learned the perils of choosing the wrong flour when I was on my press tour for "the pie and pastry bible" 7 years ago.

Continue reading "Pie Crust Missionary" »

List of Books

Oct 15, 2005 | From the kitchen of Rose in Rose's Books

Here are a list of Rose's Books:

The Cake Bible

The Bread Bible

Rose's Christmas Cookies

The Pie and Pastry Bible

There are many more: See the rest of Rose's books. You will be taken to Amazon where you can search for and buy any of Rose's books.

Rose's Bio

Oct 14, 2005 | From the kitchen of Rose in Publicity

Rose has been called the "Diva of Desserts" and "the most meticulous cook who ever lived." And add this recent accolade -- "If ever there was a cookbook author who could place her hands on top of yours, putting you through the proper motions, helping you arrive at just the right touch, Beranbaum is the one."

Rose's first book, The Cake Bible, was the 1989 winner of the IACP/Seagram Book of the Year and the NASFT Showcase Award for the cookbook that has contributed most to educating the consumer about specialty foods. A culinary best-seller, The Cake Bible is currently in its 48th printing. It was listed by the James Beard Foundation as one of the top 13 baking books on "the Essential Book List," and was included in "101 Classic Recipes."

Rose's Christmas Cookies, was the 1990 winner of the James Beard Best Book in the Dessert and Baking Category. The Pie and Pastry Bible, published in 1998, received many kudos including: Food & Wine Books "Best of the Best: The Best Recipes from the Best Cookbooks of the Year" and Coffee & Cuisine "Best Cookbook" award.

Rose's encylopedic book, The Pie and Pastry Bible, 1998, was nominated for a James Beard award. It was also included in Food and Wine's book "the Best of the Best."

Rose's comprehensive book, The Bread Bible, was the 2003 winner of the Gourmand World Cookbook Awards in the Best Bread Book Category. It was listed by Publisher's Weekly and Food & Wine as one of the top ten books of 2003, and by Fine Cooking as one of the top 12. From quick breads, such as muffins, biscuits, and scones, to yeast breads, such as seeded wheat breads, Jewish rye, baguette, and brioche, this is a collection of her favorites, with innovative techniques that will guarantee making a successful bread baker of anyone who so desires.

Rose's newest book, Rose's Heavenly Cakes, is a return to cakes with a comprehensive four color book for Pam Chirls, Senior Editor at Wiley. It won the International Association of Culinary Professionals Cookbook of the Year for 2010.

Rose is currently working on The Baking Bible, to be published in the fall of 2014.
Rose also has two product lines, Rose Levy Bakeware, which includes Rose's Perfect Pie Plate and Rose's Heavenly Cake Strip, a silicone halo that produces more even layer cakes, both distributed by Harold Imports. She has just launched a new product line under NewMetro Design, called The Rose™ Line.

A luminary in the world of food writing, Rose is a Contributing Editor to Food Arts Magazine where "Rose's Sugar Bible" (April 2000) received two prestigious awards: The Association of Food Journalists Award for the Best Food Feature in a Magazine and The Jacob's Creek World Food Award for Best Food Article. She is also a contributor to The Washington Post, Fine Cooking, Bride's, Reader's Digest, and Hemispheres. Rose has been inducted into the James Beard Foundation/D'Artagnon Who's Who of Food and Beverage in America.

An internationally known food expert, Rose also has been a featured presenter in the highly regarded Melbourne Food & Wine Festival and the Oxford Food Symposium.

Rose is a popular guest on major television shows (The Today Show, The Early Show, Martha Stewart, Charlie Rose, The Food Network, and PBS: Master Classes of Johnson & Wales, and Seasonings with Dede Wilson). Rose has taped 13 episodes for a public television cooking series called Baking Magic with Rose Levy Beranbaum. The series started in 2004 on PBS stations across the country and continued for three years.

Continue reading "Rose's Bio" »

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