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The Metropolitan Bakery Cookbook
cookbook reviewsthe metropolitan bakery cookbook
The Metropolitan Bakery Cookbook by James Barrett, Wendy Smith Born

List Price: $29.95
Price $20.97
You Save: $8.98 (30%)

Reviewed by Jeremy Emmerson

Click Here to Buy It On Line!

April 2004
"Come on let's cook" said my bossy 'assistant' and who am I to disappoint a four year old? To add some structure our Sunday kitchen fun I blew open my copy of The Metropolitan Bakery Cookbook and together we tested out a couple of recipes.

The Metropolitan Bakery opened its doors ten years ago. And over the past decade it has become a Philadelphian landmark serving up some of the City's tastiest artisan breads, pastries and desserts.

Written by the bakery's owners James Barrett and Wendy Smith Born the book serves up 125 recipes. The recipes are well laid out and accompanied by clear explanations - photographs however are pretty scarce.

The chef of tomorrow wanted to make cookies so we pulled together the ingredients for the Oatmeal-Raisin recipe. We followed the instructions, made the dough scooped and baked. The directions were clear, the measurements correct and the recipe worked. The end result tasted delicious and my assistant approved. One more recipe she screamed… Chocolate biscotti were next. Again a great tasty recipe, it was well explained but made quite a large batch - not that our neighbors complained.

In addition to the book's breads, desserts, cookies and other baked items the final chapters are reserved for some great sandwiches, spreads and salads - a nice touch that rounds off the book and leaves it as a multi-use cookbook not just a bread makers bible, if you don't believe me just ask my assistant!

Chocolate Biscotti
Although in Italy, biscotti is the term for cookie, here is a recipe that has become synonymous with the name biscotti. They are a wonderfu ldipping cookie or accompaniment to ice cream or sorbet.

Makes 120 biscotti
3 cups plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa
2 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter
1 3/4 cups granulated sugar
4 large eggs
Grated zest of 1 lemon
2 tablespoons coffee liqueur
1 cup bittersweet chocolate chunks
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup whole blanched almonds, toasted

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper (or use nonstick baking sheets). In a large bowl, sift together the flour, cocoa, baking powder, and salt. In a large bowl of an electric mixer, beat the butter and 1 1/4 cups sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, then add the lemon zest and liqueur. At low speed, add the flour mixture just until combined. Stir in the chocolate chunks and almonds.

Sprinkle a work surface with the remaining 1/2 cup sugar. Divide the dough in half. Roll each piece in the sugar into a 15-inch log. Arrange the logs, 3 inches apart, on 1 prepared baking sheet. Bake for 30 minutes or until center of each log is firm when gently pressed with a fingertip. Cool logs on the baking sheet 1 hour or overnight.

Preheat the oven to 300 degrees. Transfer the logs to a large cutting board. With a serrated knife, slice each log crosswise into 1/4-inch thick slices. Transfer the slices, cut-side down, to the baking sheets. Bake 12 to 15 minutes until crisp. Transfer the biscotti to wire racks and cool completely.

Pumpkin Muffins

On the East Coast, pumpkin is a symbol of autumn’s arrival. It is a favorite seasonal ingredient for pies, tarts; and cakes. Although some people prefer to make their own puree from sugar pumpkins, canned pumpkin is a fine substitute for this recipe.

Makes 24 muffins

4 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
2-1/4 teaspoons baking powder
2-1/4 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
2 cups granulated sugar
2 cups firmly packed dark brown sugar
10 tablespoons (11/4 sticks) cold unsalted butte~ cut into small cubes
6 large eggs
2-1/4 cups pumpkin puree, fresh or canned
3/4 cup milk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2-2/3 cups chopped walnut, toasted

To prepare pumpkin puree, preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Cut 1 sugar pumpkin in half and scoop out the seeds. Place the pumpkin halves cut-side down in a roasting pan. Add 1 cup water to the pan and bake for 45 minutes or until the skin wrinkles. Remove the pumpkin from the pan. When cool enough to handle, scoop out the flesh. Press the flesh through a fine sieve set over a bowl. Clean the sieve, then line it with a double layer of cheesecloth and set it over another bowl. Spoon the puree into the sieve and drain in the refrigerator overnight. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Butter twenty-four 2-1/2” (1/2-cup) muffin-pan cups.

In the bowl of a heavy-duty mixer, sift together the flour, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda, salt, ginger, nutmeg, and cloves. Stir in the granulated and brown sugars. Add the butter with the flour mixture and toss. With a paddle attach­ment at low speed, mix the butter into the flour mixture until the mixture resembles a coarse meal.

In a medium bowl, whisk the eggs; stir into the flour mixture. Stir in the pumpkin puree, milk, and vanilla, just until blended. With a rubber spatula, fold in the walnuts.

Spoon the batter evenly into the prepared muffin-pan cups. Bake 15 to 20 minutes, rotating the muffin pans between the upper and lower oven racks halfway through baking, until a wooden skewer inserted in the center of a muffin comes out clean. Cool the muffins in the pans 5 minutes. Remove the muffins from the pans and cool completely on wire racks.

The Metropolitan Bakery Cookbook by James Barrett, Wendy Smith Born

List Price: $29.95
Price $20.97
You Save: $8.98 (30%)

Reviewed by Jeremy Emmerson

Click Here to Buy It On Line!

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