Professional Baking, 7th Edition by Wayne Gisslen
Professional Baking has been a widely used resource and teaching tool for tens of thousands of students since it was first published. During that time, the baking industry has evolved as interest in artisan baking has blossomed, and Professional Baking has changed with each new edition to keep pace with new demands. At the same time, the art and science of teaching has also evolved rapidly as new technological resources have become available to instructors and students.
Electronic media, including WileyPLUS, Wiley’s online teaching and learning environment, and CulinarE-CompanionTM recipe management software, provide a wealth of resources and tools to make the latest Professional Baking the best learning and teaching text yet. This new 7th edition of the text has been reorganized to fully integrate the print book with its electronic resources. (This wealth of resources is described in more detail later in this preface.)
Even with these developments, however, the focus of the text remains, as it always has, on a solid grounding in the basics, presented in a straightforward and easy-to-grasp style. The goal of Professional Baking is to provide students and working chefs with a solid theoretical and practical foundation in baking practices, including selection of ingredients, proper mixing and baking techniques, careful makeup and assembly, and skilled and imaginative decoration and presentation. It is designed as a primary text for use in colleges and culinary schools, baking courses within broader food-service curricula, and on-thejob training programs, as well as providing a solid reference for professional bakers and pastry chefs.
Professional Baking focuses on both understanding and performing. The practical material is supported by a systematic presentation of basic theory and ingredient information, to ensure that students learn not only what techniques work but also why they work. Procedures for basic bread and pastry doughs, cake mixes, creams, and icings form the core of the material. Much of the text is devoted to step-by-step procedures and production techniques. The discussion of techniques is reinforced with straightforward formulas that allow students to develop their skills while working with large or small quantities.
Organization of the Text
Two factors strongly influence the arrangement and organization of Professional Baking. First is the aforementioned dual emphasis of the book, on both understanding and performing. It is not enough to present readers with a collection of formulas; nor is it sufficient to give them a freestanding summary of baking theory and principles. These must be presented together, and the connections between them made clear. In this way, when students practice preparing specific items, their study of theory helps them understand what they are doing, why they are doing it, and how to achieve the best results. At the same time, each formula they prepare helps reinforce their understanding of the basic principles. Knowledge builds upon knowledge.
The second factor revolves around the fact that most of a baker’s activities fall naturally into two categories: (1) mixing, baking, and/or cooking doughs, batters, fillings, creams, and icings, and (2) assembling these elements (for example, baked cake layers, fillings, and icings) into finished pieces. The first category of tasks requires careful selection of ingredients, accurate measurement, and close attention to mixing and baking procedures. Naturally, most of the detailed guidelines and procedures in this book are devoted to these kinds of tasks. The second category, the assembly of prepared components, is less a matter of scientific accuracy than of manual skills and artistic abilities.
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