Wednesday, September 25, 2013

How I select what cook book to purchase.

Erna: When it comes to purchasing books for the kitchen shelf. How do you select what to buy? 

I'd buy a book that tells me more than just a list of ingredients, it's history or the scientific... ok maybe not scientific, but the mechanics of the cooking methods. The how's and why's.

I find this very important, for me at least. I'm a persistent cook in my own kitchen. If I didn't get it right the first time. I'd try to trouble shoot. I know sounds like I'm fixing a computer, but, really getting the right book to answer or the least lead me to my answers makes me a better cook the next time.

An example of how I select my books for the kitchen. A few months ago I was looking for a book that teaches you on how to actually mix the and prepare the dough. Then eventually baking it. A step by step guide. I've look into forums, YouTube, read articles by renown bakers. Still my results were  the same. Dense ugly wrong made bread! Till I found the book by Ken Forkish "Flour, Water, Salt, Yeast" .

When I read the introduction. I knew I just had to buy the book. It was the one. I was comfortable with the way it was done because the author himself, was a novice in bread making with the passion to bake good tasting bread. A corporate man who left his job to go learn to make bread and now a successful owner of his own bakery. A dream I wish to live in someday.

It was also the way he wrote the content of his book. Although the guide of methods in baking seems daunting as it is quite technical. However, clear information such as  written in the book is what I needed.  With it's step-by-step pictures to show you how it's done. Not forgetting his notes on time management. As I am a stickler for organisation and structure his book was perfect. 

Since then I've baked loaves and loaves of breads with his recipe and it all came out exactly how the book had intended. 

As you can see. I do take my books up to a personal level. This may sound bohemian and almost ridiculous, but I do find an emotional attachment to the cook books I read. Stories of real people, doing things they love and strive to achieve the best are the kinda of people I'd like to learn from. And that's what this book did for me.

So there. That's my formula on finding the right book for me. 

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