Cooking The Classics

I’ve been thinking for a while now that I would like to learn classic cooking techniques and recipes. I consider myself a reasonably good cook and baker but, there are some very big holes in my repertoire. I mean, I have made jam and chocolate ganache but I have never made a simple custard or a white sauce, I have made short crust pastry, pizza dough and god knows how many different kinds of bread dough but I have no idea how to make choux buns or ruff puff pastry, and I’m still confused about the difference between basting and braising (is there a difference?).

So, to try and rectify this, I went to the library, naturally, to see what books I could find. I came back with Leiths Techniques Bible by Susan Spaull & Lucinda Bruce-Gardyne and French Cooking – Classic Recipes and Techniques by Vincent BouΓ© & Hubert Delorme. They both look like they cover all the basic cooking and baking techniques and also provide a few recipes per technique.


I’m very excited to start. I even made the icon above. I picture myself in the very near future making elaborate dishes (possibly flambΓ©-ing a lot of things because that always looks fancy) and creating gastronomic feasts for dozens of guests. On a more realistic note, I think I’ll begin tomorrow, possibly by making a white sauce.

Let me know if you have any book recommendations or tips and tricks when it comes to classic cooking.


10 thoughts on “Cooking The Classics

  1. Cecelia says:

    You are brave! I don’t know that I’m ready to learn the classic techniques (and for some of those you mention, I’d want a class and a teacher!), but your method seems sound. Can’t wait to see what you cook up!

  2. Couscous & Consciousness says:

    I totally admire your commitment to trying to master some of the classics (love your week logo too). I love to cook, and consider myself pretty competent, but I think I’m much too undisciplined for a classical approach. Though I’ll certainly admit that sometimes I come up against something and I’m not sure how to proceed – answers which I’m sure would be obvious if I paid more attention to learning those skills. Look forward to hearing about progress.

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