- Gebundene Ausgabe: 272 Seiten
- Verlag: Scribner (7. April 2009)
- Sprache: Englisch
- ISBN-10: 1416566112
- ISBN-13: 978-1416566113
- Größe und/oder Gewicht: 15,2 x 2,5 x 22,9 cm
- Durchschnittliche Kundenbewertung: 4 Kundenrezensionen
- Amazon Bestseller-Rang: Nr. 21.013 in Fremdsprachige Bücher (Siehe Top 100 in Fremdsprachige Bücher)
Ratio: The Simple Codes Behind the Craft of Everyday Cooking (Englisch) Gebundene Ausgabe – 7. April 2009
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"Cooking, like so many creative endeavors, is defined by relationships. For instance, knowing exactly how much flour to put into a loaf of bread isn't nearly as useful as understanding the relationship between the flour and the water, or fat, or salt . That relationship is defined by a 'ratio,' and having a ratio in hand is like having a secret decoder ring that frees you from the tyranny of recipes.
Professional cooks and bakers guard ratios passionately so it wouldn't surprise me a bit if Michael Ruhlman is forced into hiding like a modern-day Prometheus, who in handing us mortals a power better suited to the gods, has changed the balance of kitchen power forever.
I for one am grateful. I suspect you will be too." -- Alton Brown, author of I'm Just Here for the Food
Über den Autor und weitere Mitwirkende
Michael Ruhlman is the author of twelve books, including the bestselling The Making of a Chef and The French Laundry Cookbook. He lives in Cleveland with his wife, daughter, and son and is a frequent contributor to The New York Times and Gourmet as well as his highly popular blog at Ruhlman.com.
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This animal is an eye opener. I finally feel that I have a handle on the art. I tried a few simple things but working my way up.
I bought this book before the Kindle. So I will also go back and get the Kindle text-to speak version and re-read the book to see if I missed anything important.
Only a few black and white pictures. But formulas do not require pictures. People may have an issue with what the book is not. However no book can be an end all be all. With the basic understanding from the sample is the book it is potable to extrapolate and expand the theory to just about anything you put in your mouth.
Ärgerlich finde ich hingegen, dass der Autor die Back-/Kochtemperaturen ausschließlich in Fahrenheit angibt. Hier wäre - wie bei den Massen - eine Doppelangabe nur wenig mehr Aufwand gewesen, der die Lesbarkeit deutlich verbessert hätte.
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For example, a cook will get some decent bread by using the 5:3 ratio in the book and a standard breadmaking technique. However, if she reduces the water, the bread will be better for bagels and pretzels. If she increases the water, it will tend toward a ciabatta or pugliese. Changing the salt and yeast will affect the rise time and flavor. That's how knowing a ratio becomes useful. The cook knows altering it little in one direction will change the results in a predictable way. Some of this information was haphazardly indicated in the chapter introductions, but it would have been much more effective if it were thoroughly explained and organized in the context of the recipe ratio.
To me, this was the information missing that would have made this book an invaluable resource. It's not just knowing the ratios - it's knowing how to tweak them to get the results I want in each particular instance. I think any mid-level cook knows that adding a few herbs and spices to their homemade biscuits won't break the recipe. But if she wants to be able to tweak her basic biscuit recipe so that just a little more moist and tender to go with fried chicken, or a little more sturdy to stand up to a lot of sausage gravy, this book doesn't offer anything. Many problems with recipes can be solved by altering the ratio slightly: cookies spreading too much, cakes collapsing, biscuits not rising, bread too dense, pie dough overbrowning, etc. (Of course, these problems can also sometimes be solved by technique, but because technique is not the theme of the book, I'm not going to fault Mr. Ruhlman for hardly mentioning it.) If the book explained how slightly altering the standard ratio affects the result, not only could I have improvised the perfect biscuit for each situation, but I could have better used the book to fix unsatisfactory (but promising) recipes.
Since the entire book could probably be summed up in a chart (with baking times and temperatures when required), I think the price is way out of line with its value. Since most passionate home cooks probably already have a decent set of recipes that duplicate what the book offers, I can't say it's even worth the recipes. Two stars for a good idea.
Still, there are certain things that remained mystical. For some reason, we think of dough as something only a baker can make. It's not. It's 5 parts flour and 3 parts water. Home-made pies are too much trouble, right? Wrong. I can make a pie dough in less time than a typical TV commercial break (and now I know where the term 'easy as pie' came from). Homemade mayo is great, everyone knows that, but emulsions are hard to make and easy to break, right? Wrong. Just make sure you have the proper ratio of water to oil and you'll be fine (and you can easily re-emulsify if it does break).
If you're a novice in the kitchen, this book is going to really do a lot for you. You'll walk past the cake mixes and straight to the bags of flour. You'll find yourself never throwing leftovers away because leftovers+stock=fantastic soup. You'll transcend simple bread baking (which is still quite enjoyable) and discover the splendor of choux paste.
More importantly however, if you're very comfortable in the kitchen as I was, but still see a division between home cooking and fine cuisine, this is even more so the book for you. It will help bring things to your plate that you thought were reserved for the outer world. The best bread is the bread you bake. The best sauce is the sauce you dream up. The best soup is the one you made from scraps.
Of special note is the very important fact that everything in this book is not just possible, but it's easy as well. I am a big Alton Brown fan, and his endorsement of this book played a big part in my purchasing it, but ironically it was Alton himself that gave rise to much of my fear of trying to make certain types of food. As much as I love him, sometimes Alton makes things sound more complicated and delicate than they are. Ruhlman does the exact opposite and makes you realize just how simple most things are (or the foundations of those things at least). I've made some pretty bad stuff in my experiments so far, but the important thing is I know what made them bad and how to correct next time. I also understand how to manipulate ingredients to vary the results of the finished food (even when baking), which is priceless.
The bottom line is this: whether you're an experienced home cook or a slave to box mixes, you will learn a lot from Ratio and will be rewarded constantly. There hasn't been a Sunday morning since this book hit my door that hasn't been spent enjoying fresh, hot biscuits (3 parts flour, 1 part fat, 2 parts liquid; 5 minutes from brain to oven).
What we have here is exactly what the title claims and very little else - it's ratios for cooking. 3 parts flour, 2 parts fat, 1 part water = pie crust; exactly what I wanted to learn. With a reasonably complete commentary on how to bake a pie, what to put in it, the best containers for pies, or even a lot of pie recipes -- mostly a discussion of the ratio (by weight) which makes it very clear, very quickly how pie dough differs from a muffin. He discusses the impact of butter vs lard vs shortening. And I found most of the ratios discussed we similarly treated.
I have plenty of texts that discuss in great detail the mechanical aspects (technical skill) that differentiate the muffin method, biscuit method, creaming, etc... I have plenty that offer recipes with ingredient lists. This isn't those. This is the very foundation that all of those should have been based upon, with personal variations, and provides the ratios not only to create a new recipe from knowledge but to debug or tweak an existing recipe based on common ratios.
Among my cooking hobbies is recipe writing and bread baking. I bake bread at least weekly, often more. I have often collected a recipe from the internet that just didn't seem write but I could exactly narrow down the problem. With these ratios, it's now easier to quickly check a recipe for reasonable variations before baking it. With these ratios, it's now easier for me to design a recipe based on the science without having to run through numerous batches of trial-and-error.
Sure, there's some other material that could be in here to make it even more helpful. But, there are other references out there that provide that information too. I might have even preferred, unlike many of the negative commenters, that Ruhlman had left out much of the commentary and recipes and provided an even shorter tome concentrated more purely on the math and chemistry.
Bottom Line: if you need a recipe book then this ain't what you want. There are plenty of those out there and if you tell all of your friends and family that you want some, you'll have a collection of 100's before you know it. Plus, internet. If you need a cooking school manual then this ain't that either. The best of those are a bit costly but there's always, internet. If what you want to do is take recipe analysis down to the bare foundation so you can create a new sort of muffin or cookie without baking twenty batches to get it close - this is near perfection.
Photo is my first run of my new pizza muffin recipe. Based on the ratios in this book. Second run will reduce the liquid just a touch but these came out marvelously.
Ruhlman organizes food into 6 categories, and provides ratios for the subgroups: Doughs; Batters; Stocks and Sauces; Meat; Fat-Based Sauces; Custards.
Skeptics and those that need pictures to produce food in the kitchen may balk at this sensible approach, but if you grok what he is saying, there is such freedom and deep beauty in his approach that it almost makes me cry. (To be fair, I cry during pet adoption commercials, too.)
I bought this book for a pittance, and I wish I had stumbled upon it twenty years ago. "Ratio" provides anyone with knowledge of why ingredients work, their importance in the dish, and this alone makes the book indispensible.
If you're already pretty handy with the steel, this book's writing and design are not going to be enough to make it worthwhile. If the idea of all recipes descending from a knowable set of ratios sounds radical and intriguing to you, this book is going to be a great choice.