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Feb 26, 2013 05:14 AM

Standard Baking Co. Pastries

Has anyone else tried this cookbook? If so, please share your thoughts on the recipes you've tried.

I love Standard Baking Co. and really wanted to love this book, but have had mixed results from the recipes I've made. I am a very precise baker and have used the same key ingredients suggested in the book, e.g., King Arthur unbleached all-purpose flour. The ginger molasses cookies were excellent but the oatmeal raisin cookies were disappointing. The triple chocolate cake played to rave reviews but the yields for the coffee syrup and the glaze were about double what they needed to be. I used half the syrup and the cake was still a bit wet on the bottom. Even though the cake was covered thickly in glaze, more so than in the photograph in the book, there was a lot of glaze left over. Wasting a bit of coffee is one thing, wasting high quality bittersweet chocolate is another.

I had high hopes for his book because I found out about it from Rose Levy Beranbaum's blog. Her standards are so high that I value her recommendations more than others.

As I said, I'm hoping other bakers will weigh in and share their experiences with this book.

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  1. I am not familiar with the book, but I have had experiences with bakery cookbooks that were similar to yours. One bakery cookbook forgot to reduce the size that the dough for a yeasted coffeecake was rolled out to; it became about 1/16" thick if rolled to their specs!

    1. Since I posted this query, I checked to see if there are reviews on Amazon. I found several very positive reviews there from folks who had tried several different recipes. As a result, I'm feeling more confident about trying more recipes from this book and will report back after I've done so.

      1 Reply
      1. re: Velda Mae

        I've now tried several recipes from this book and have finally figured out what I don't like about it, which is that it doesn't provide enough guidance about how a dough/batter should look and feel. I made the apricot cream cheese babka last night and the dough barely rose, which might have been correct, but it would have been helpful to know how much it was supposed to rise. Some recipes say if a dough won't rise much, if it'll double, etc. Similarly, when I rolled the dough to the specified dimensions, it was about 1/16" thick, like sandyic experienced in her recipe, and began to tear when I did the final twist required after spiraling and then folding the filled dough. It would have been helpful to know if some tearing was to be expected or if the dough was supposed to fully enclose the filling. As a point of comparison, Dorie Greenspan does a great job of reassuring the baker and explaining whether a batter is going to look curdled, if bits will fall out of sliced cookies, etc. I've decided against getting rid of the book for now, but it'll be a long time before I bake from it again.