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Errors & Omissions in Recipes

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Errors & Omissions in Recipes

Howard-2 | Aug 11, 2003 09:11 AM

I read a recipe the other day in a cookbook written by a "famous cookbook author" that was deficient, in that it failed to give the reader some information about what was going on in the recipe. The recipe looked like it would have worked fine, but the omission suggested to me that the author did not fully understand the recipe he'd provided, and that his editors at the book publisher understood even less.

This recipe, in a Chinese cookbook, was for yeast-raised dough, to be used in other recipes. The first step was the usual proofing of the yeast. But the recipe showed no recognition that the purpose of the step was proofing. Instead, it said something like "mix the yeast, sugar, and flour, and set aside for a moment"--no idea that the reader wanted to make sure the mixture bubbled, to show that the yeast was still OK.

What is your reaction when you see this kind of omission? Mine is to lose a small amount of respect for the author's knowledge, and that of the publisher and editor as well.

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