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OP: Paul Richards' Pastry Book

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by Paul Richards
The Hotel Monthly Press, ND. Hardcover. Second edition.


A major professional baking reference, this book was published in 1907, and its strong reputation continues to the present. Its publisher, The Hotel Monthly Press, was the major producer of books for the industry, and for close to one hundred years it kept this title in print, serving generation after generation of pastry bakers with recipes for (quoting from the title page) “Breads, Cakes, Pastries, Ices and Sweetmeats. Especially Adapted for Hotel and Catering Trades.”

Containing more than 1100 recipes in condensed form, Richards’ serves as an aide memoire for those who do baking in high volume establishments. Thus, for pocketbook rolls, these are the entire instructions: “Take ten pounds of white sponge, eight ounces of sugar, eight ounces of lard, two ounces of salt, and one pint of milk. Make into a medium firm dough. Let come up half and work over; repeat this once more and mold into rolls.” Some products are treated at greater length, but none in great detail. Parker House rolls, corn griddle cakes, almond soufflé, German cheese cake—this is an unparalleled resource.

Hotel Monthly was not always consistent about dating the printings, but ours at least states second edition. The book block is in Very Good condition with one grease stain to the bottom edge that carries throughout. Because of its use in high volume professional kitchens, most copies we see are used to pieces, so this is a happy exception. The case is worn enough to have dimmed the gilt title on the front. Laid in is a page from The Baker and Confectioner trade magazine, dated August 10, 1937. 

Our copy was acquired from the Sontheimer Foundation Library. Carl Sontheimer (1914–1998) invented the original Cuisinart food processor.


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