WANT: Paula Figoni’s How Baking Works


An up-to-date, comprehensive guide to understanding and applying food science to the bakeshop.

Each profession has its own principles to learn. These are specific principles that guide each profession into doing the correct action. These learned principles may either be acquired through formal education, experience, or books.

I am a self-confessed bibliophile. I may not own a specific genre of books, but I can boast a number of classics which I was able to read, add to that some pop culture novels from the current readers generation. As far as I can remember, I was able to buy a cookbook. Yes, a cookbook. It was Matha Stewart’s cookbook. And I plan to buy more for me learn from, especially on baking and the pastry arts. The cookbook I bought was a christmas gift for my mom. It was a really good book, if you live in the States because most of the ingredients she uses are normally found there and very scarce or rare to find here in the Philippines.

As an aspiring baker-slash-pastry chef, I want to arm myself with the appropriate knowledge in this field. I don’t want to be constantly searching the internet looking for recipes if I can make my own. This book I think can help me understand what happens behind the magic of baking, the chemistry behind it. It really is exciting for one to see the process of rising dough, or icing cakes. Trust me, I myself gets jumpy whenever I see how cream puffs become hollow inside or how custard turns from thin to thick in just a matter of a few stirs. However, what is important are the ingredients one puts inside and what these ingredients do to the final product or what it contributes to the process. This is what I want to know. This is what I want to learn. This is what I want to find out.

Here is the book’s description if I may.

The essence of baking is chemistry, and anyone who wants to be a master pastry chef must understand the principles and science that make baking work. This book explains the whys and hows of every chemical reaction, essential ingredient, and technique, revealing the complex mysteries of bread loaves, pastries, and everything in between. Among other additions, How Baking Works, Third Edition includes an all-new chapter on baking for health and wellness, with detailed information on using whole grains, allergy-free baking, and reducing salt, sugar, and fat in a variety of baked goods. This detailed and informative guide features:

• An introduction to the major ingredient groups, including sweeteners, fats, milk, and leavening agents, and how each affects finished baked goods
• Practical exercises and experiments that vividly illustrate how different ingredients function
• Photographs and illustrations that show the science of baking at work
• End-of-chapter discussion and review questions that reinforce key concepts and test learning

For both practicing and future bakers and pastry chefs, How Baking Works, Third Edition offers an unrivaled hands-on learning experience.

The sad thing though, is that the three largest bookstores here in the Philippines do not carry this title. If only I have a credit card to order it online. The only thing I can do… is blog about it plus, a few more books in my wishlist in the coming blogs.

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5 responses to “WANT: Paula Figoni’s How Baking Works

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