Twenty-Five Book Review

Twenty-Five Book Review

Title: Twenty-Five: Profiles and Recipes from America's Essential Bakery and Pastry Artisans
Author: Sosland Companies and Editors of Bake Magazine
Published: October 11, 2016, Andrews McMeel Publishing
No. of Pages: 176
Cover Price: $25.00 Paperback, $9.99 Kindle

Twenty-Five: Profiles and Recipes from America's Essential Bakery and Pastry Artisans is a book for foodies who have an interest in the people behind today’s baking trends. It is an enjoyable book to read, and can be quite inspiring for those who are looking into a career in the art of pastry and baking. The book is filled with lots of information on each of twenty-five individual chefs, but fairly light on recipes.

Each chef profile includes a recipe from that chef, and while most of the recipes are of beautiful baked goods that look mouthwatering, they are not necessarily recipes that really represent the specialties of that particular chef.

Recipes range from breads such as Ciabatta Pizza Dough and Rustic Italian Bread to fancy tarts, muffins, cakes and pies. I especially liked the Sucré Sour Cream Muffins, but the recipe obviously hasn’t been tested; it instructs you to prepare two standard muffin pans which would make 24 regular size muffins. In reality, this recipe made significantly more than 24, and only called for 1 cup blueberries for the entire batch. Since I like more than one lone blueberry in each of my muffins, I opted to add 4 cups and believe me, that wasn’t too many. Once I changed the amount of fruit and adjusted my mindset for the extra muffins (I got more than 36), I found this to be a fabulous recipe, and one that I will adapt over and over for add-ins that I have on hand. The staff in the test kitchen should have done this before publishing the book.

Another recipe I tried was for California Raisin-Walnut Pretzels. I figured we could eat part of the 22 pretzels and freeze the rest. However, this is another recipe that wasn’t properly tested. The basic dough amounts were fine, but five cups of raisins is waaaay too much, and with the 2 1/2 cups of walnuts, there wasn’t much dough to work with – only lots of raisins and walnuts falling out of the dough. The finished product was tasty, but once again, I got about 36 pretzels (and they were big) rather than the 22 indicated on the recipe.

On the upside, the pictures are excellent, the writing is good, and there are several recipes that will appeal to many who love to bake. The book needs to go back to the test kitchen before a second printing. It is recommended for those who are experienced bakers and who are willing to test the recipes and know when there are too many or too little of some of the ingredients before changing the recipes accordingly.

Special thanks to NetGalley for supplying a review copy of this book.

This book may be purchased at Amazon:
Twenty-Five: Profiles and Recipes from America's Essential Bakery and Pastry Artisans

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