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Food Made Fast: Baking
By Lou Seibert Pappas
ISBN: 0848731387
Publisher: Oxmoor House (Williams-Sonoma)
Publication date: Fall 2006
Format: Hardcover
List price: $17.95
Type:Single Subject: Baking, Quick, Series: Williams-Sonoma Food Made Fast
Sample recipe:Raspberry-Lemon Muffins
Intended audience: novice advanced beginner good home cook gourmet professional
Apparent goal: stocking stuffer sampler comprehensive Biblical stature coffee-table
Competition: outclassed also-ran midrange strong challenger leads the pack
# of recipes: <50 <100 <200 <300 >300
Practical recipes: <20% <40% <60% <80% >80%
# of ingredients: <3 <6 <9 <12 >12
Ingredient hunt: 7-11 pantry supermarket online airfare required
Recipe complexity: baby steps simple medium intense professional
Instructions: inadequate bare bones full figured educational verbose
Time conscious: outright lies speed of light quick takes time takes all day
Photos/drawings: skimpy adequate decorative instructive glorious
Recipe results: dorm food casual food family meals fancy food fit for royalty
Flavor: disappointing fair good delicious exceptional
Layout: ick cluttered clean kind to cooks work of art
Legibility: microscopic challenging adequate clear brilliant
Production quality: cheesy questionable years of service gift-quality stunning
Value: ouch! a little pricey on the money worth splurging overpriced
Ease of Use
Page numbers: invisible hard to find spotty adequate good
Table of contents: missing frustrating passable useful helpful
Index quality: none tragic adequate good excellent
Page flipping: infuriating tedious acceptable rare never
Writer: hack food writer writer turned cook comedian auteur
Cook: self-taught non-restaurant chef teacher celebrity
Overall rating: fair good really good excellent Ochef Top 100

Comments: Quite honestly, there's not a lot of baking you can do in 30 minutes. And this book admits it — with only ten of the forty recipes in the 30-minute start-to-finish section (a few cookies, muffins, and biscuits.) More than half of the remaining recipes take 15 minutes or less of "hands-on time," although they may spend a while in the oven. The final dozen recipes offer instructions for preparing and storing large batches of cookie, pie, and tart dough, so that you can whip up something delicious at a later date when you are pressed for time.

In the case of this book, baking means dessert, not bread and rolls.

The Smarter Cook section at the back of the book offers suggestions on planning ahead, how to prep ingredients, how to shop, how to keep a well-stocked pantry, etc., which will certainly be of interest to new cooks, and will have some helpful suggestions for not-new cooks.

Except for the occasional frozen puff pastry and phyllo dough, this is really baking from scratch — and this from a company that exists to sell you lemon curd and lots of other prepared foods. Bravo!


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