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The Baking Bible

The Baking Bible

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For a great tutorial, check out the Baking Bible Bake Along with ROSE'S ALPHA BAKERS. The link is on the left side of the blog. We will also be posting "OUT-BAKES" from the book, on this blog, including step-by step photos and other extras.

Category ... Publications

LA Times Great Bread Article

Jan 13, 2011 | From the kitchen of Rose in Publications

Isn't it wonderful when a journalist who interviews you about bread is also a bread baker?! It's so sweet to be talking the same language and understood.

This article, by Amy Scattergood about the pleasures of rye bread, just appeared in the LA Times. Here's the link.

Note: pumpernickel flour is actually rye flour, aka rye meal, milled from the entire rye grain, so is the darkest of rye flours.

New Interview from FastRecipes

Jun 08, 2010 | From the kitchen of Rose in Web Appearances

Just posted: Please click on Baking Recipes.

Another Review to Share

May 11, 2010 | From the kitchen of Rose in Publications

Another very special review and recipe from the book, written by another long time friend, Miriam Rubin, and forwarded to me by a newer dear friend and blogger Matthew Boyer! It's so amazingly interesting to me to see how much of people's personalities are reflected in what they write in a review. And, I must say, I feel very appreciated and am wondering when it will be time to descend from cloud 9!

A Very Special Review

May 09, 2010 | From the kitchen of Rose in Publications

I haven't heard from my old friend Cornelius O'Donnell for many years now but what a way to hear from him now! This was send by another dear old friend, Blake Swihart (whom I always think of as 'sweetheart'.

Neal's Meals, early May 2010

The Diva of Desserts does it Again

I often listen to a couple of classical music programs on FM radio. And both have hosts that are - to put name on it - gushy. And the delivery of one weekday announced is downright breathless. These guys feel that way about Brahms, Beethoven, and Bach. I feel that way about great food and food writing. So humor me and let me gush it up in describing a new cook book.

The "Diva" in question is Rose Levy Beranbaum, and anyone who likes to bake, or would like to learn to bake, should run to the bookstore and order most all of Rose's nine books. You may know her first book - The Cake Bible - published in 1988 and named the Cookbook of the Year by the International Association of Food Professionals, a group I once was part of. Then came Christmas Cookies (a James Beard Foundation Award Winner in '98). The indefatigable Rose also produced The Pie and Pastry Bible in 1998.

More recently, praise was heaped on her 2003 Bread Bible. (I'm pretty sure she was the instigator of all the "Bible" cookbooks that others have published, for better and worse, in the last several years.)

Rose's Heavenly Cakes

Not content to rest on her laurels, Heavenly Cakes was published last year just in time to qualify for the 2009 book awards. You guessed it; the new book again won the IACP "Book of the Year." And when you pick up a copy it's easy to see why. There is no question that "Heavenly" will join the "Bible" in that pantheon of books that become instant classics. Gush. Gush.

I was impressed with the almost four pages of "Acknowledgements," including a photo of her associate Woody Wolston who painstakingly tested and retested the recipes. You really get the sense of confidence in using the recipes. Baking is so rewarding when your creation comes out perfectly. But it's one aspect of cooking that requires precise measurements. A half teaspoon too much or too little and you might have a dud instead of a delight.

I like the way the recipes are written and the feeling that Rose is beside you guiding you to perfection. Incidentally for you scientifically minded cooks, ingredients are listed by volume AND weight - in both grams AND ounces.

Add the valuable sections on the nuts and bolts of baking: special effects and techniques, ingredients and sources, equipment etc. Gush. But I caution that you'd best have ample counter space or one of those cookbook holders. This is a large format book, heavy enough to be a doorstop, and almost 500 pages long.

Restraint and Elegance

Have you seen those cake-making competitions on the tube? Zany, improbable, and wobbly-fragile creations are (maybe) fascinating to watch, but get real. What home cooks want - unless I'm nuts - is to produce desserts that are simple, attractive, and most of all tasty. And this is the time of year when cakes can celebrate graduations, anniversaries, birthdays, reunions, and weddings. The book has some stunning and doable wedding cake ideas. None of the Styrofoam layers and plastic pillars for our Rose, eh Hyacinth?

Turn the pages of the book and start by reading "Rose's Rules of Cake Baking;" no long treatise, just succinct and practical advice. Then come the recipes divided into sections: Butter and Oil Cakes; Sponge Cakes; Mostly Flourless and Cheesecakes; adorable Baby Cakes; and those wedding cakes.

While I was sorely tempted to give you a sample of such delights as the Red Fruit Shortcake in anticipation of our fresh fruit season to come, it is too long for this space. Likewise the No-Bake Whipped Cream Cheesecake, Heavenly Coconut Seduction Cake (a precursor of the wedding cakes, perhaps?), Lemon Meringue Cake, Chocolate Streusel Coffee Cake, and even the two trifles so beautifully photographed. And while I've made and loved Rose's signature Lemon Poppy Seed Sour-Cream Cake, let's try the Whipped Cream Cake. It's simple, suitable for many occasions, and a perfect foil for a few fresh berries to garnish the plate.

Fine Cooking Magazine June/July Issue

May 02, 2010 | From the kitchen of Rose in Publications

lemon cake.jpg


Those of you who subscribe will get the magazine any day now but it should be on the news stands imminently. Starting on page 66 is an article featuring my recipe for Lemon Icebox Cake I think you will enjoy. I love it so much I"ll be including it in my next book. A perfect summer-time (or anytime) dessert.

(Lemon just might be my favorite flavor.)

The Cake Bible—in The Beginning

Mar 07, 2009 | From the kitchen of Rose in Publications

In my introduction to The Cake Bible, I wrote about how my master’s thesis research paper, written 34 years ago, on the hypothetical premise: “Sifting Flour Affects the Quality of a Yellow Cake” led me to my future husband (now of 33 years!) and the writing of The Cake Bible.

Fellow blogger Hector Wong expressed a strong desire to see this thesis so I dug into my huge supply closet and found the original, copied it, sent it to Hawaii, and Hector kindly digitalized it to share it with all of you who might be interested.

If the scientific aspect holds no appeal, do jump to the final two paragraphs of the addendum on bottom of page 35 to see how this paper impacted my life. And I might add that my best advice to fellow writers is to begin a project by looking up the key word in the dictionary. It may well take you in an entirely different direction from what you might have thought.

You can download a copy of my master's thesis here as a PDF. The file is fairly large (5.96 MB) and may take awhile to dowload if your connect is slow.

New York City at Its Finest Hours

Dec 01, 2007 | From the kitchen of Rose in Announcements

There’s no time I enjoy living in New York more than December. (By the way, when a New Yorker says New York it means New York City.) Though the city is dramatic and often beautiful in all seasons, it is at its most spectacular when dressed for the holidays.

This week I walked uptown to a fascinating Austrian wine and food pairing from the Burgenland. As it was only two blocks away from Rockefeller Center I paused to enjoy the newly lit tree for 10 full minutes, with the same wide-eyed wonder as all the tourists surrounding me. I think the tree was all of 80 feet high but rose to 84 feet with the placement of the magnificent Swarovski crystal star on top.

The Austrian wine and food pairing was most successful because it demonstrated dramatically how the wine changes with the food that accompanies it. I loved the Heinrich St. Laurent 2005 by itself and with the Viennese fried chicken and especially with the accompanying sauce of lingonberries, but not when I sipped it with the Kobe beef roast where the Weninger Blaufränkisch Reserve 2003 which initially I had found quite closed suddenly blossomed. But the two biggest surprises were the sparkling grüner veltliner that went with all the hors d’oeuvres but was also extremely enjoyable by itself as was the Kracher 2003 TBA (short for trockenbeerenauslese for those who fear pronouncing it or want to boast extreme familiarity). Many people refer to this dessert wine as liquid gold and this particular one deserved the name in full. In fact it was so perfectly balanced between refreshing acidity and honeyed apricot sweetness it needed nothing at all to accompany it other than a willingness to fall to one’s knees in gratitude (difficult to do when seated).

Continue reading "New York City at Its Finest Hours" »

Rose Levy Beranbaum’s 100% Whole Wheat Epiphany Loaf

Nov 30, 2006 | From the kitchen of Rose in Bread

first published in the April 2005 issue of Food Arts Magazine

It is a common misconception, which I have shared until very recently, that 100% whole wheat bread is by its very nature dense and bitter. On a trip to the Bay Area, while researching the story in this issue on the Bay Area bakeries, I was invited to an unusual bakery in Oakland: Vital Vittles, which specializes in kosher, organic, 100% whole wheat bread. They didn’t tell me why they had invited me until I tasted the bread and then Kass, the owner, admitted that it was to disprove what she had heard me say about whole wheat on the radio a year before when on tour for “The Bread Bible.”


To my amazement, the bread made with 100% whole wheat had the aroma of a new-mown lawn combined with freshly cut hay. Kass explained that the bitterness I had experienced was due to rancidity. It was absent in her bread because she used wheat berries ground the same day as baking the bread. A wheat berry can be decades old and if stored properly, will still be viable, the fats in the germ protected from oxidation by the bran, its outer coating. The moment the wheat berry is broken or ground, oxidation starts to take place. Most millers agree that once ground, the flour should be used within 3 days or held for 3 weeks due to certain enzymes that would render it undesirable for bread baking. Three months is the limit for shelf life of the whole wheat flour unless frozen. But for the best flavor, it is ideal to use it the day it is ground.


I immediately asked Kass for a few pounds of wheat berries and the day I returned home I started grinding and developing a recipe for 100% whole wheat bread. I discovered that the secret to lightness of the crumb was not only the freshness of the flour but also not allowing the dough to double during rising which tears the more fragile gluten. The result: This soft, moist, slightly chewy, crunchy with walnuts loaf that captures the true nutty-sweet multi-dimensional wheaty flavor of the grain.


Note: The average bread made with refined flour has about 66 percent hydration. This bread has almost 88 percent hydration due to the very absorbant bran. It is preferable to weigh the flour as no two flour mills grind the same, which would impact the volume significantly.

Continue reading "Rose Levy Beranbaum’s 100% Whole Wheat Epiphany Loaf" »

"Rose's Vanilla Bible" for Food Arts Magazine

Aug 13, 2006 | From the kitchen of Rose in Publications

To my view, the pastry world is divided between two different personality types: chocolate and vanilla, chocolate reflecting the heavy hitters and vanilla the more subtle and complex. I love both flavors but if I had to chose only one it would be simple: vanilla wins hands down, not only because I love its flavor but because it is one of those rare synergistic ingredients that enhances others. If chocolate is king, then vanilla is queen. And it is indeed the power behind the throne. Where, after all, would chocolate be without vanilla to round out its harsher, coarser characteristics. And in the domain of ice cream, vanilla reigns supreme as our number one flavor.

The term plain vanilla is an absurdity. There is nothing plain about magic. Perhaps the concept came about because vanilla sauces and creams are often used as a base for other more intense flavors; but there is nothing plain about it at all. In fact, when it stands on its own as vanilla ice cream or vanilla pound cake, it is the very essence of purity and haunting floral flavor notes that make one yearn for the impossible while feeling utterly fulfilled in the moment.

Continue reading ""Rose's Vanilla Bible" for Food Arts Magazine" »

Articles by Me

Mar 03, 2006 | From the kitchen of Rose in Publications

May 2005, Food Arts Magazine, Best Bakeries of the Bay Are

April 2005, Food Arts Magazine, a new 100% whole wheat walnut bread recipe to satisfy the new dietary guidelines

Food Arts, May 2004: Article on the new technology in thermometers

March 2005, Hemispheres Magazine (United In Flight Magazine) Bread story (with recipe on their website www.hemispheresmagazine.com, click on cyber bar)

Food Arts November 2003 pages 94 - 102: "Rose's Vanilla Bible"

Bride's Sept/October 2003 pages 169 – 171 Wedding Cakes

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" »

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.

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