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Favorite cookbooks - Forno Bravo Forum: The Wood-Fired Oven Community


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Favorite cookbooks

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  • Favorite cookbooks

    I have started thinking about cookbooks, and wondered what everyone uses. My three favorites are:

    American Pie, by Peter Reinhart
    Pizza Napoletana, by Pamela Sheldon Johns
    The Bread Bakers Apprentice, by Peter Reinhart.

    This is pretty lucky. Pamela lives close to us here, so we are going to meet. She has a classic old oven at her house, so we'll see what happens.

    Let's see if we can come up with a top 10 list for books.

    Last edited by james; 04-15-2008, 02:35 PM.
    Pizza Ovens
    Outdoor Fireplaces

  • #2
    I am new to this group and will post an introduction later.

    I like American Pie, its a good read and I got a lot of tips. I also
    like Dominick DeAngelis' The Art of Pizza Making:Trade Secrets and
    Recipes. It has some good tips on oven baffling for those of us that
    don't have a wood fired oven yet.

    I got my start making pizza's with The Joy of Pizza by Pamella
    Asquith. The book is out of print but it was a good primer that got
    me started baking pies. She introduced me to Ferrante Mozzarella
    cheese. Mr Ferrante used to have a small mozzarella factory in a
    shopping center in Walnut Creek, CA. Wow, we used to shop at the
    Petrinis Market in the same center but didn't know he was there.
    You could just go in and hhe would package fresh cheese right out of
    the milk vats. That was 15 years ago and Mr Ferrante has since
    passed away.



    • #3
      Great recipe book: High Heat

      This book of recipes, from a star New York chef, caught my eye:

      High Heat:
      Grilling and Roasting Year-Round with Master Chef Waldy Malouf

      They're written for conventional ovens and grills but would be easy to
      adapt to wood-fired ovens. They're simple, use few ingredients, and
      feature highly imaginative flavor combinations like grilled pineapple
      with lime, sugar, gin, juniper berries and vanilla (!). Here are some

      ?Roasted winter vegetable risotto
      ?Whole wheat flatbread with fennel seeds
      ?Carmelized bananas with blood oranges, rum and spices
      ?Chocolate pizza with pineapple-raspberry or ginger-mango topping

      I've not tried any of these yet but I sure plan to - Mike


      • #4
        Books & Stuff

        I'd have to say that the Bread Baker's Apprentice is at the top of my list, too: well written, well edited, accurate, well illustrated, but (no criticism) it doesn't help me much with large batch recipes. I just have to get better with baking math, is all. His info & instruction on levain are just fine. The way everything is scaled is enormously helpful, though using grams as well as ounces would have been a nice touch.

        I also like Baking with Julia. Speaking of which, it might be well known, but there is a Julia child website with streaming videos of famous bakers doing their stuff. Even more Julia videos can be found on pbs.org. A lot of technique tips can be found in these.

        The Laurel's Kitchen Bread book is okay and has some good information, but, personally, I find the tone and funky drawings offputting.

        Bernard Clayton's The Breads of France is a bit advanced but very, very good.
        New edition, 2002, Ten Speed Press.
        "Made are tools, and born are hands"--William Blake, 1757-1827


        • #5
          The Silver Spoon

          We just bought "The Silver Spoon." It is supposed to be the bible of Italian cookbooks -- the cookbook newly weds get. It's about 1250 pages and 2"-3". It was translated for the first time last year and they made a big International launch.

          I'll let you know how it works. We got it at Costco.

          Pizza Ovens
          Outdoor Fireplaces


          • #6
            We have bought a number of cookbooks by Penelope Casas....you can find her on Amazon used too!

            She has done a book on Paella, one on Tapas and one on the foods and wines of Spain. Recipes are great in all the books.

            I note she has 4 rdifferent ecipes for Empanada dough in that last book, two with yeast and two with an egg for leavening.

            My wife loves the Julia Child cookbooks too.

            She measures...I eyeball and use the kitchen sink....

            sigpicTiempo para guzarlos..... ...enjoy every sandwich!


            • #7
              Re: Favorite cookbooks

              Here's a few of my favorites:

              The Complete Book of Indian Cooking - by Shehazad Husain and Rafi Fernandez - big beautiful pics, finding the ingredients may have you scratching your head though. This book is out of print.

              The Pasta Bible - by Christian Teubner, Silvio Rizzi and Tan Lee Leng. A great source for making homemade pasta. Wonderfully illustrated.

              La Cucina Siciliana di Gangivecchio - by Wanda and Giovanna Fornabene. Authentic Sicilian recipes covering all aspects of an Italian (Sicilian) meal, from antipasti to dolci. Lots of side notes and photos on Sicilian life and foods.

              Everyone makes mistakes. The trick is to make mistakes when nobody is looking.