Good cake/pastry books for a "bread guy"
I’m an accomplished home bread baker, and have recently started experimenting with cakes and pastries. However, I have been disappointed with the pastry books I’ve tried so far. For instance, I’m probably the only person in the world who isn’t thrilled with the Cake Bible. The recipes are all so precious– but they just don’t taste good to me. “Cake flour” most of the books use may make the crumb tender, but it tastes strongly of chemicals, and is very hard to take for a bread baker who’s picky even with his all purpose. A lot of the recipes lack… for want of a better word… soul. When i read bread blogs here, even when they’re not my personal style, i sense an authenticity and lack of artifice. That’s what I want from pastry baking books! Maybe I’m just a bread guy, not a cake guy.
This all a long way of asking if anyone has any cake and pastry recommendations for a “fresh loaf” bread baker person like me?
So far the guy I’ve liked the most has been David Lebowitz. He lives in Paris, but his recipes are quick an dirty, lacking unnecessary steps, and remind me of baking bread in their lack of precision and unusual combinations.