Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Cookbook Corner: Baker's Companion

Continuing on the baking kick I've been on lately, I thought it would be a good time to introduce you to one of my favorite baking cookbooks. If you ever want to buy me a cookbook and you're not sure what to get me, a baking book is always a great idea. I have many a baking book, and as a rule I love them all, for different reasons.

This book comes from The King Arthur Flour people, and if you've ever used King Arthur flour, you know how nice their products are. They also have a really fun shop in Vermont that I look forward to visiting when I'm back in the Green Mountain State. These people know their baking stuff...if you just follow their advice, you're going to do just fine.

A lot of people are intimidated by baking, but I really think that's silly. When it comes to doing it right, just be sure to read the recipe through a couple of times before you get cooking and take your time.

Now on to the book!

What to expect: The book starts with a great overview on measuring, and even if you're an experienced baker, you can learn a thing or two by reading this section. The rest of the book is broken down into chapters filled with recipes on:
  • Breakfasts
  • Fried Doughs
  • Quick Breads
  • Buckles, Cobblers, and Crisps
  • Crackers and Flatbreads
  • Yeast Breads
  • Sourdough
  • Cookies and Bars
  • Cakes
  • Pies, Tarts, and Quiches
  • Pastry and Viennoiserie
Best Recipes: here are five of my favorites:
  • Cinnamon Puffs, page 67
  • Scallion Cheddar Scones, page 121
  • Devil's Food Cake, page 345
  • Almond Puff Loaf, page 99
  • Basic White Bread, page 198
Complaints: There are not a ton of pictures in this book, and when it comes to baked goods, looking at them is so inspiring. Oh well. Also, you really, really, really need to read the full recipes through at least once or twice so you know what's going on. They don't specify if butter or other ingredients should be at room temperature, so reading the full recipe is mandatory. But the pros with this book outweigh the cons.

Deliciousness Scale: 4 spoon fulls of yum out of 5. I think this would be an awesome wedding or housewarming gift.

Details: This review is based on the First Edition of the King Arthur Flour Baker's Companion, ISBN 0-88150-581-1, published in 2003.

1 comment:

phairhead said...

King Arthur is the guru of baking! I just wish the flour wasn't so damn expensive