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As many here before me have stated, this is a very comprehensive book that all bakers, and perhaps cooks too, should have on their shelves, either for study or reference or both. Many of the positives have also been highlighted, & I agree with other reviewers on these points.
However, a couple of negative observations from me. First, I am not sure why such a reference tomb should have a flimsy cover which curls up. The pages are perforated too, in at the binding, as if they are ready to tear out and I fear the book will quickly come asunder with any use. It should have a hardcover, with an easy wipe surface.
Secondly, there is no mention of egg substitutes for vegan bakers. I could find no mention of coconut flour, nor of coconut & maple sugar though jaggery is mentioned. Soy milk is covered, but minimally. I find it hard to believe, in this day & age, that vegan cakes are not even mentioned, let alone gone into in and explained. Perhaps a 4th edition is due to, furnish the ever-growing numbers who are becoming plant-based. I bought the book specifically for use in enhancing my plant-based baking skills, since I already know all the other technicalities in the book from my training as a Home Economist (many moons ago!).
Otherwise a good book with the sort of in-depth science I like and expect with my science background.
Photos show the perforated pages in at the binding and the flimsy cover.
I liked the explanations about baking science because they are clear and easily understandable. I was able to adapt my baking practice with satisfactory results. There is nothing to dislike about the book.
I'm very glad that I bought this book, although the recipes are simple, the text goes into much further detail than I expected. It's well written and has made me understand the background of the chemistry of baking. I had looked for a book like this for a while but others I'd looked at didn't give as much detailed explanation as this one does. It's a really helpful book for those who want more understanding of the products they bake.
Highly recommended for anyone studying bakery at NVQ Level in the UK or on a first year Undergraduate degree in any form of Food Technology or Nutrition. Also recommended for any home bakers who want to improve their cakes and breads or maybe want to work with ingredient substitutes but aren't sure how things will work out. There are recipes to try out and experiment with, and score tables to asses how things have gone when compared with other recipes. I was looking into fat replaces in cakes for MSc Food Nutrition and it was a wonderful source of information with regards to the various types of fats used in the home and in mass production. It's a large book, and over an inch thick so one to read before baking if you're short on space. I'd keep it between two hard back books as it's soft back. A wonderful surprise to find such a useful book, I will use every page.
I bought this for a friend who loves baking and also loves science. it's a bit like a school science book, and I mean that in a good way, it explains what you want to know clearly without pretension and without overwhelming the content by going for stylistic flourishes. if you think you'd like to know how baking works, buy it and you will find out.