On the Shelf: The French Bakery at Home

Say bonjour to French baking with these five new releases, and explore the true essence of la boulangerie and pâtisserie without ever leaving your kitchen.

1. Pierre Hermé Macaron: The Ultimate Recipes from the Master Pâtissier

By Pierre Hermé

Get lost in Pierre Hermé Macaron: The Ultimate Recipes from the Master Pâtissier, a definitive guide to the macaron from the genius pâtissier who transformed this beloved pastry with his signature unique flavor combinations, like strawberry and wasabi cream or hazelnut and asparagus. Named the “Picasso of Pastry” (Vogue), Hermé earned international fame by challenging tradition. He worked as the pâtissier in some of France’s finest pastry shops before leaving in 1998 to build an empire of his own, starting with the first Pierre Hermé Paris Pâtisserie boutique in Tokyo, Japan. He now has boutiques located across Europe, Asia, and the Middle East. Pierre Hermé Macaron: The Ultimate Recipes from the Master Pâtissier is packed with breathtaking photography and more than 60 recipes ranging from Pierre’s bestselling macarons to his newest creations, such as the Jardins collection inspired by gardens and natural ingredients from around the world. The collection features recipes like the Macaron Jardin Japonais, for which Hermé combined the sour notes of morello cherries with a hint of tonka bean and lemon to recreate the flavor of Japanese cherry blossoms used in savory dishes in Japan. The book’s detachable insert of Pierre’s illustrated step-by-step techniques for macaron shells, buttercream, and assembly come in handy in the midst of creating this delectable treat.

Can’t Wait To Make: Macaron au Citron Caviar, gelée-filled yuzu lemon macarons with a finger-lime packed center for a tiny explosion of citrus flavor

 

2. Tarts

By Frédéric Anton and Christelle Brua with contribution by Chihiro Masui

With stunning photography and a clean design, Tarts provides succinct instructions for mastering this tried-and-true French comfort food from two of France’s most critically acclaimed chefs, Frédéric Anton and Christelle Brua. The pair work as the chef (Anton, since 1997) and pastry chef (Brua, since 2003) at Le Pré Catelan, which has been a premier dining spot in Paris for almost two centuries. The restaurant received three Michelin stars in 2007—which it maintains today. In Tarts, Anton and Brua collaborate on more than five dozen recipes, both sweet and savory, from the classics like quiche Lorraine—both Anton and Brua hail from France’s Lorraine region, the birthplace of this timeless tart—to newer innovations, such as a cheesecake tart and a tart-like take on pizza. Their tips for rolling, stretching, and baking the perfect tart crust are especially helpful.

Can’t Wait To Make: Caramelized Rhubarb and Chicory Tart, gorgeous to serve with glossy strips of rhubarb layered on top

 

3. Payard Cookies

By François Payard with Anne E. McBride

Award-winning French Pastry Chef François Payard believes that cookies are the ideal format for self-expression. For François, baking is more than just a profession, it is a tradition carried out by his parents and grandparents on the Riviera for over fifty years. In his fourth book, Payard Cookies, Payard gives an introspective look at the varying flavors, shapes, and textures of one of the most universally timeless desserts. From mouthwatering meringues to crumbly sables, achieve bite-size bliss with 100 French cookie recipes accessible for professional and everyday bakers alike. Some of Payard’s best-selling cookies came from his “Calendar of Cookies” collection, which he offered for many years at Payard Patisserie in New York City. The collection featured a different cutout cookie whose shape and decoration changed monthly to reflect the coming holiday or season. With the release of this book, Payard is finally sharing those recipes to replicate each of these festive, seasonal cookies.

Can’t Wait To Make: Rosaces au Chocolat, chocolate dough piped into an exquisite rosette shape that pairs beautifully with a post-meal glass of bubbly

 

4. The French Baker

By Jean Michel Raynaud

French-born master pâtissier Jean Michel Raynaud believes that creativity and science are of equal importance in baking. In his debut book, The French Baker, Reynaud, who is now head pâtissier at Sydney, Australia’s La Renaissance Patisserie and Baroque Bistro, has a goal not to turn readers into professional pâtissiers, but to give home bakers the fundamentals needed to make delicious goods from their own kitchens. Reynaud’s strength lies in keeping it simple, which is particularly useful for beginning bakers. He maintains concise explanations of basic baking ingredients and tools on everything from the difference between cooking and finishing salts to the golden rule of using kitchen scales (have all your ingredients ready and weighed before you start baking). The French Baker gives insights on French tradition and culture beyond the kitchen with Reynaud’s recollections of his training and work as a pâtissier at some of the world’s best institutions.

Can’t Wait To Make: Pain de Campagne, rustic rye bread that epitomizes simple rural baking in the French countryside

 

5. Modern Éclairs and Other Sweet and Savory Puffs

By Jenny McCoy

From éclairs to profiteroles to gougères, Modern Éclairs and Other Sweet and Savory Puffs is packed with innovative recipes all made from the same pâte à choux, or cream puff dough that fluffs up into light layers of flaky goodness when baked. Jenny McCoy, who is now a pastry and baking arts instructor at the Institute of Culinary Education, has been reinventing and improving traditional dessert recipes throughout her career as a professional pastry chef. With the seven staple ingredients needed to make pâte à choux, a few essential baking tools, and McCoy’s expert instruction, this contemporary approach prepares readers to customize puff pastries to their own liking with a variety of flavors and shapes. Her cream-filled Easter Eggs and Mother’s Day Éclairs topped with a lemon glaze and fresh edible flowers are perfect for spring.

Can’t Wait To Make: Lavender-White Chocolate Gâteaux Saint-Honoré, puff pastries honoring France’s patron saint of bakers and pastry chefs

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