Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Baking Guru Nick Malgieri Makes Pastry-Baking Simple

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Baking Guru Nick Malgieri Makes Pastry-Baking Simple

Article excerpt

Nick Malgieri understands that some people find baking to be intimidating.

But the award-winning author of 12 cookbooks about baking also understands that baking wasn't scary to people just a few decades ago.

"You have to realize that doing things like making pastry dough or whipping up a simple cake batter or baking bread, those are things that people learned to do as part of growing up," he said in a distinctive New York accent.

"And then when World War II came and a lot of women went outside the home for the first time to work, because that workforce was needed to do a lot of things in the war effort, then that changed. After the war, convenience foods became a lot more available cake mixes, pie crusts. People began relying on that to create more and more leisure time, and people started to believe that they were insurmountably difficult to do, and so they didn't do them. And the fact that they once were commonplace was lost."

The affable, genial Malgieri is trying to reverse that trend. The subtitle for his most recent cookbook, "Nick Malgieri's Pastry," which came out in October, is "Foolproof Recipes for the Home Cook." With the expertise he wields as director of the baking program at the Institute of Culinary Education, he filled the book with gloriously tempting recipes to make pastries in any number of styles pies, tarts (sweet and savory), strudel, puff pastry and more. Each is easy for the home cook to understand and follow.

On Tuesday, Malgieri will demonstrate some of the recipes himself and sign copies of the book at Cravings in Webster Groves.

"I'm actually going to make strudel, I think. Logistically, I think it is going to be a nightmare, but we'll figure out a way to do it. That is a great visual. You start out with a little piece of dough and then it's stretching and stretching and stretching it until it is paper thin. You can read through it," he said.

Malgieri grew up with a great baker in the house. His maternal grandmother lived with his family, and she had, he said, "more than a housewife's skills in baking." She grew up in Naples, Italy, and as a girl took lessons from a great baker who had come to Naples to retire. …

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