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OP: Paul Richards' Pastry Book

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by Paul Richards
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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, is 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 this book of (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’, as it is known, 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; we suspect ours to be an early printing but not a first. The copy is in Very Good condition, clean and unmarked, save for two pages that at one point must have had a newspaper clipping between them that has left a light stain, with strong binding. Brown binding cloth stamped on front in white. We have found a four leaf clover pressed inside and left it for the good luck of the next owner.

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