Review: How Baking Works By Paula Figoni

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When I received this book and thumbed through it, all I kept thinking about was how much I would have loved to go to culinary school.  Have you ever heard of Johnson & Wales University in Providence, Rhode Island?  Author Paula Figoni is a food scientist and associate professor at the International Baking and Pastry Institute in the College of Culinary Arts at Johnson & Wales. She has more than ten years experience in product development and food science at the Pillsbury Company and Ocean Spray Cranberries, Inc.  Sounds like fun to me!

Baking is chemistry.  To be a pastry chef , you have to understand the principles and science that make baking work.  This book explains the complex mysteries of bread-making, pastries, and everything in between.  How Baking Works, Third Edition, includes a whole new chapter on baking for health and wellness, with 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

How Baking Works has the following chapters:

Chapter 1: Introduction to Baking.

Chapter 2: Heat Transfer.

Chapter 3: Overview of the Baking Process.

Chapter 4: Sensory Properties of Food.

Chapter 5: Wheat Flour.

Chapter 6: Variety Grains and Flours.

Chapter 7: Gluten.

Product Details

  • Paperback: 528 pages
  • Publisher: Wiley; 3 edition (November 9, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0470392673
  • ISBN-13: 978-0470392676

Who is this book for? This is a textbook for professional baking students and true baking enthusiasts.  This would be a great gift for someone who wants to enter culinary school.  It is a required book in some baking and pastry culinary programs. If you’re looking for a cookbook, this is not for you.

How Baking Works is available at

*I received a free copy of How Baking Works for the purpose of this review. The opinions on this post are 100% my own.

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