Baking science books and courses
Posted: 20 June 2008 05:16 AM   [ Ignore ]
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Hi!
I’m an italian girl who really wants to learn the whys and hows of baking science…
I need suggestions, about books to buy and about courses…
I found this (https://www.aibonline.org/) site in which some correspondence courses are mentioned…
I can’t move to usa, so I thought it was a good idea to attend some correspondence courses…
Is this a good idea? What do you think about this?

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Posted: 20 June 2008 11:20 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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Hi Mika,
I don?t live in the US either and have never had the chance to take classes so I cannot really provide useful information on that subject. But when it comes to books I cannot stress enough that, if you don?t have it already, you need The Cake Bible. I have around 70 cooking/baking books and I have not learned from any of them as much as from TCB.  It can seem overwhelming to some because everything is explained in such detail, including information that may seem too technical, but it all makes sense, particularly if you are interested in “why” as much as in “how”. You can make changes in baking succesfully only once the fundamentals are understood. Rose is very generous sharing her knowledge and her methods work every time. All of Rose?s books are great, but so far TCB is my favorite!  On the baking arena I have also made some great desserts from Marcel Desaulniers’ Desserts to die for and Death by Chocolate. A very different book, but with almost any recipe you can think of, is Bo Friberg’s The Professional Pastry Chef. The first time I made puff pastry I used his recipe. It worked perfectly every time…but once I got Rose’s Pie and Pastry Bible and tried her recipe I never looked back. Besides that, you have the internet. There is a crowd sharing recipes and experiences on blogs and forums. On the right colum of realbakingwithrose.com you will find a list of “sites i like”. You will definitely find interesting sites there. I particularly love http://desertculinary.blogspot.com/ (everything i have tried has been delicious, and i am not talking desserts only) and http://www.davidlebovitz.com/ Testi.ng recipes from books before actually buying them is possible now thanks to the generosity of so many people, including cookbook authors.
Good luck!

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Posted: 20 June 2008 08:07 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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I agree with Marina’s recommendation to study and learn from “The Cake Bible.” I am a self-taught baker who gets a lot of compliments, and I learned most of what I know from Rose’s books, including “The Pie and Pastry Bible” and “The Bread Bible.”  In each of her books, she includes a biblography of additional references that you can use for further research.

Check out Harold McGee’s “On Food and Cooking: The Science and Lore of the Kitchen.” He has sections on particular ingredients, including baking ingredients, and he explains how these ingredients behave in a given kind of baked good. I’ve used his book when I wanted to find out, for example, whether I could substitute one kind of fat for another. (On p. 800 he gives a table that compares the saturation of common fats and oils.)

I am waiting impatiently for Shirley Corriher’s book, “Bakewise.” Her book “Cookwise,” is an excellent discussion of the how’s and why’s of cooking.

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Posted: 20 June 2008 09:08 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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Ciao Mika, it depends which world you want to belong:  mass production or small production.  AIB International seems to train you on mass production (work in a restaurant, pattiserie, bakery, etc).  Most books sold to consumers train you on small production (home baking for regular people not baking as a profession nor in mass).

There is a generalization that is true for the most part, that the best possible quality of baked goods can only be done in small production…

I am working as an apprentice at a high end bakery.  They mass produce by the hundreds.  I work in the central kitchen where all the baking is done to supply for their 3 locations.

There is baking science in both worlds.  Rose’s books tailor to the small one, and that is where I belong.

And yes, Rose’s books are so scientific and technical, that many bakers have adapted her techniques for mass production!

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Posted: 21 June 2008 03:51 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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I already read “The cake bible” and because of that I want to learn more and more…the importance of ph, of temperature, the rules of cake formulas…the formation of gluten and so on…That book opened my mind and make me very courious about baking science…I don’t want to do something because I read it’s the best way to do, but because I really understand deeply what happen inside my batter…
I really want to know how to influence texture,  flavor, with consciuosness…
I read Rose’s book, “The cake bible” only, and “About professional baking” of Gail Sokol…and now I’m waiting for “How baking works”...
They are great books, but not enough to feed my couriosity…
In Italy there aren’t courses just about baking science, they are about food thecnology in general…so I though to ask a suggestion about AIB international courses, because they seem very good…I can’t go to USA so the correspondence courses seem the best choice…but correspondence courses are a good idea? In Italy the opinion about them is not very good in general…

I want to became a pastry chef who simply knows very well what is doing…

I will buy Cookwise and Bakewise because they seems to be simply fantastic…thanks for the suggestion ^_^

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Posted: 21 June 2008 11:04 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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Christine, thanks for the book recommendations!  I’ve read TCB cover to cover and am working my way through many of its recipes, I’d still like to learn more about the science.  I’m heading over to amazon now to check out Harold McGee’s tome.

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Posted: 21 June 2008 12:20 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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Hi Mika,

You might like this book: How Baking Works: Exploring the Fundamentals of Baking Science by Paula I. Figoni. Go to amazon.com and search inside the book to see the Table of Contents and more. It was one of my text books for a professional baking program.

About education by correspondence, the quality depends on the program. Perhaps because of the great distances in North America, correspondence has a long and honourable history here. Many fine programs provide education to people at a distance from colleges, universities and reputable proprietary (i.e. for profit) institutions. As with any learning opportunity, you have to assess a correspondence program carefully to see if it’s what you need and want before paying anything down.

Good luck!

Carol

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Posted: 21 June 2008 12:23 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
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Christine, thanks for your recommendation,  I just put that book on my wish list.
Mika, also on my wish list are Herv? This’ “Molecular Gastronomy: Exploring the Science of Flavor"and “Kitchen Mysteries: Revealing the Science of Cooking”. I have read great reviews on both and can?t wait to have them. You can check reviews in places like amazon.com and see if you find them interesting.

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Posted: 23 June 2008 06:08 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]
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Mika, maybe at your pastry chef school, they will have a list of books that you will love.  Keep us posted with your development.  Ciao.  Ettore.

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