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Baking Books

Great Baking Books
To me, no baker's kitchen is complete without these books. If they are hard to find (i.e.not Amazon) try Abe's Books, Strand, Alibris or Barnes and Noble secondhand. These books and authors represent my most cherished colleagues and baking friends' fine works. Each title is a treasure of baking advice and fine recipes.

The Bread Bible, Rose Levy Berambaum
The Cake Bible, Rose Levy Berambaum
The Pastry Buble, Rose Levy Berambaum
www.RealBakingWithRose.com (Rose's great baking blog)
Beard On Bread, James Beard
Bread Alone,  Dan Leader
Bernard Clayton's Complete Book of Breads
Secrets of a Jewish Baker, George Greenstein,
The Italian Baker, Carol, Linday Hays, Whitecape Books
Amy's Bread, Amy Scherber and Toy Kim Dupree
Julia Child's Baking Book, edited by Dorie Greenspan
The Village Baker, Joe Ortiz
Peter Reinhart's Brother Juniper, American Pie,  as well as The Bread Baker's Apprentice
Elinor Klivans - any of her wonderful books
Great Breads,  Martha Rose Shulman
English Yeast Cookery,  Elizabeth David
Baking With a Passion and The Handmade Loaf, by incredible British baker (and photographer) Dan Lepard -
Baking Illustrated, Editors of Cook’s Illustrated
A Blessing of Bread, Maggie Glezer
Pastry - and/or Professional Baking - William Sultan
Baking, From My Home to Yours, Dorie Greenspan
Time Life Good Cook Series, any - but esp. on baking, pastry, candy ,etc. (vintage books -check 2nd hand stores/

Inside the Jewish Bakery, Stanley Ginsberg and Norman Berg
Camino Books 2011

www.InsideTheJewishBakery.com
www.caminobooks.com
A fabulous book that is history, memories, techniques, and totally authentic, sumptuous recipes that make for a totally irresistible book. A must!

The New Artisan Bread in Five Minutes A Day
2013
http://www.amazon.com/Artisan-Bread-Five-Minutes-Revolutionizes/dp/1250018285/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1386318171&sr=1-1&keywords=new+artisan+bread

A relatively new book that is not only classic but now, re-issued in a brand new edition of over 400 pages of amazing, easy, artisinal bread! Hertzberg and Francois have teamed up to make this new version of their great book rock. It has more grainy-ness, some gluten-free, more photos and tips and a plethora of wonderful recipes that make the most of their amazing easy method to bakery-shop bread in a few easy steps - at home!


Rose's Heavenly Cakes, Norton, 2009

Any cookbook by my friend Rose Levy Beranbaum is an instant treasure. Nuff said - !


The Kosher Baker, Paula Shoyer Bradeis 2010
Over 160 Dairy Free Recipes from Traditional to Trendy
This is a tour de force of elegant pastries, cakes and everyday baking that shows you that minus the butter and the dairy (milk, sour cream, cream, cheese), you can still have delectable, flavorful creations. The bonus is that the recipes are pareve (can be served with meat meals if you are kosher/observant) but also appeal to vegan/vegetarians and those watching their dairy intake and calories from dairy fat or those with milk and dairy allergies. Shoyer, an accomplished pastry chef and owner of Paulas' Parisian Pastries Cooking School in Washington D.C. fuses the grandeur of French classic pastry with the criterion of kashruth in a book that is for all bakers and in essence, is an inspiration in so many ways. It is artistry and taste in every bite. Fantastic photographs of both finished recipes and step-by-step and chock full of innovative ideas that come from not using the 'usual dairy suspects' in baking.


The Tassajara Bread Book, Edward Espe Brown, Shambhala Publications 2009 (Originally published in 1970, 1986, 1995) This is the classic, mindful bread book from Edward Brown and few foodies and bakers don't have an original copy of it. The recipes are easy and beautiful and come from a time and place where bread and spirituality were one (as they should be). The book endorsements: Steven Raichlen, Mollie Katzen, Mark Bittman and Deborah Madison speak volumes of how beloved this cookbook is. The new version is a jaunty hardcover and there are now photos but the voice of Brown is what shines through.

Pastry, Michel Roux, Whitecap Books 2008
This wonderful collection of both savory and sweet pastries from French Pastry Chef guru Michel Roux is a striking collection of all the basics of the French pastry kitchen, neatly laid out in gorgeous photos and accessible recipes for beginning to advanced. www.WhitecapBooks.com

Savory Baking, Mary Cech, Chronicle Books 2009
We don't give savory baking enough thought and thankfully, this skilled pastry chef does. The recipes are inventive and wholesome but exotic enough to make you pass on dessert and choose instead something like Pear and Goat Cheese Scones, or Cheddar and Sour Cherry Biscuits or anyone of a few delectable quiches. When you love baking but want a switch from the sweet stuff.....

The Complete Book of Pies, Julie Hanson, Robert Rose 2008
What I like best about this 200 recipe cookbook from experienced food writer and author Julie Hanson is the variety of both sweet and savory pies as well as the logical and appetizing division of pies into Nut and Chocolate, Berry, just Apple, or just Cream pies, as well as endearing ‘hand pies’. Pies also covers main dish Lobster based) pies, and quiche and pretty French styled tarts. The photos are captivating but the recipes are so inviting, easy, and simply the sort of overall taste that should appeal to almost any baker I know. The layout and book design makes this book that much more winning. A superb stocking stuffer and addition for any baker or pie fan. Visit the author's site at  www.juliehasson.com

 Cookies to Die For, The Complete Guide for Cookie Lovers, Bev Shaffer,
Peligan 2009 A totally awesome book of the most decadent cookies from easy to elegant. Imaginative, creative and sumptuous flavors. The photos are outstanding. A must for any cookie baking book collection.
 

The Modern Baker, Nick Malgieri, Dorling Kindersley, 2008
A new book, a comprehensive treastise on respun home baking but more so, baking with an international flair (Marble Brioche, Jouing Amman, Biscotti Regina and the American Crumb Buns), by one of our most trusted bakers, (and my baking friend/colleague) Nick Malgieri, former Executive Pastry Chef of Windows on the World, renown contributor to the leading food magazines. The photos are stand-outs, each frameable but the book lies flat, invites use and stains - as you wander from breads to pastries to cookies to cakes, all freshly re-thought and share in a wholly accessible way - This is for pros and baking newbies, both. You can go wrong with anything from Nick Malgieri - his books are instant classics.

The Complete Book of Pies, Julie Hanson, Robert Rose 2008
What I like best about this 200 recipe cookbook from experienced food writer and author Julie Hanson is the variety of both sweet and savory pies as well as the logical and appetizing division of pies into Nut and Chocolate, Berry, just Apple, or just Cream pies, as well as endearing ‘hand pies’. Pies also covers main dish Lobster based) pies, and quiche and pretty French styled tarts. The photos are captivating but the recipes are so inviting, easy, and simply the sort of overall taste that should appeal to almost any baker I know. The layout and book design makes this book that much more winning. A superb stocking stuffer and addition for any baker or pie fan. Visit the author's site at www.juliehanson.com

Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day

Jeff Hertzberg and Zoe Francois
Thomas Dunne Books, St. Martin's Press 2007
A likeable breezy book on bread for its friendly style, enthusiastic tone and the bread that resulted from the authors' smart, easy, way to make artisnal bread in ...five minutes a day. The concept, reminiscent of the French bakers' pate fermentee method, wherein they reserve some dough from each's daily break bake, is about making one batch of dough (no kneading, no real rise - just mix, let it stand or chill) and a chunk of that master dough, for days afterwards (providing you refrigerate the master dough), yields wonderful bread with a crackly crust. It takes little time (that's the point), little expertise or equipment and you can indeed have rustic bread, from your home oven, as often as you like. There are variations on the basic recipe but I got stuck, happily enough, with the basic recipe and my second option was making a double batch. But don't let that stop you from trying the othe offerings. Great for a beginner baker or old salt wanted new tricks.

 The Art of the Dessert, Ann Amernick, Wiley 2007
The recipes are only matched by the fine photography in this book which showcases pastry chef superstar Ann Amernick’s creations. There are basics and classics but the overall sense if aesthetics and a delicate palate that will bring the average home baker to the next level. The front matter is a pastry class within book pages – that alone makes this book a must – but the unique and off-the-beaten track approaches and author presence are what inspire.

The Joy of Vegan Baking: The Compassionate Cooks' Traditional Treats and Sinful Sweets (Paperback) Colleen Patrick-Goudreau, Fair Winds Press 2007

Whether you want to bake dairy- and egg-free for health, ethical, or environmental reasons, The Joy of Vegan Baking lets you have your cake and eat it, too! Featuring 150 familiar favorites -- from cakes, cookies, and crêpes to pies, puddings, and pastries -- this book will show you just how easy, convenient, and delectable baking without eggs and dairy can be. A seasoned cooking instructor and vegan, author Colleen Patrick-Goudreau puts to rest the myth that vegan baking and has delivered a book that is basically a great book on baking, that is coincidentally vegan

Baking At Home with the Culinary Institute of America
A good book for a beginner or easy reference book. Recipe are professional basics but given in domestic proportions.

Bubby’s Homemade Pies, Ron Silver and Jen Bervin Wiley 2007
If you didn’t know –the word bubby would make you think kosher –but this is the cookbook of Bubby’s restaurant, in New York. A more chock-filled pie book you would be hard pressed to find – featuring incomparable variety of pies (cobblers and deep dish and savory pie specialties) and perfectly lovely (and effective) line art drawings.  The Home Made Pop-Tarts is one fun recipe but the devotion pie gets in this book is unrivaled. They don’t publish books like this everyday – grab it.

Southern Cakes, Nancie McDemott, Chronicle Books 2007
This one is flying off the shelves for good reason – it is a stellar assembly of classically awesome cakes- the sort of baking southerners are renowned for. All the cake how-to’s are here but so are incredible cake hospitality in the way of peanut, coconut, bourbon, chocolate and jam-kissed cakes –all so very southern and so very, universally good.

Sky High, Irresistible Triple Layer Cakes, Alisa Huntsman and Peter Wynne
These are center-fold cakes- no question about it – Mile high, supplicated confections that remind you how great, great cakes are Classic Stars Desserts, Emily Luchetti, Chronicle Books 2007
A wonderful collection of famed desserts by renown pastry chef of Stars, Luchetti presents sweets ‘and stickies’ that are easy but sophisticated.

The Essence of Chocolate
John Scharffenberger and Robert Steinberg
Hyperion 2006
Finally, the long awaited, artful treatise on chocolate by America’s chocolate makers themselves. History, chocolate lore, secrets of chocolate manufacture, crafting and more. Photographs are extravagant and the recipes, both contributions from famed American pastry chefs and bakers, are also the perfected, very special recipes of the chocolate makers themselves who share the recipes along with their chocolate savvy.

Chocolate and Vanilla, Gale Gand, Clarkson Potter 2006
The only negative thing one can say about this book is a) it is too short (we want more of a good thing!) and b) half the book is chocolate and half is vanilla and you have to turn the book upside to see the recipes from the other half. It is the most annoying thing I have ever encountered and until I read the book jacket, I was sure it was a printing error. Other than that, you will want to eat the photos and the recipes are mouth-watering renditions of our favorite flavors: chocolate and vanilla. There is also a nice balance between every genre of baking (cupcakes, cookies, desserts). In fact, because the recipes are relatively few – it invites you try each and every one. Anything by Gale Gand is a must and this book is no exception.

The Best Bake Sale (ever) Cookbook, Barbara Grunes 2006
One of the most extensive all-purpose, daily baking books around. This is not just for bakesales –this is for the weekday or weekend baker – and it is filled with tempting classics from cupcakes to fallen soufflé cakes and everything in-between. Upscale baking but nicely laid out and no matter how exotic, the recipes appear easy for anyone to do.

Leith’s Baking Bible, Susan Spaull & Fiona Burrel Bloomsbury Publishing London 2006
You might hedge at the metric system used in this book but instantly forget as the recipes and photos draw you in. This is a hugely comprehensive book that covers the basics, UK specialties and more contemporary North American tastes. The photos are designed to match up 2-technical shots alongside a full shot of a finished recipe, inspiring you from step one to the end. Basics like icing, or covering cakes with marzipan, how to make pastry cream, are all offered making this a definitive baking book. It has a solid yeast bread section as well. There is a certain encyclopedic, reference style to this book but I would want it on hand for reading, referring to, photos, and recipes.

The Anatomy of Dessert, Edward Bunyard, Modern Library 2006 Edited by Ruth Reichl
A cute, short, pretty book – wonderful as a stocking stuffer, filled with interesting facts and trivia about not dessert, as the title states, but fruit – with a little bit on wine. In fact, the book jacket says, when we think of dessert, we think of pastries and cakes but …” and the book is about ‘decadent and sinful desserts…which, in this book, are solely fruit’. Confusing but well written once you realize you will not be reading about flour, butter and sugar things.

More From the Ace Bakery, Linda Haynes, Whitecap Books 2006
If this book weren’t as nice as the first Ace Bakery Cookbook, or as well designed, or as replete with the most gorgeous, tasteful, simple recipes for food and baking, I would buy it for the ingenious bread bag that comes with the book. This makes it a great holiday gift but makes so much sense – Buy the book, make the breads, store the results. A charming book, without or without the extras. Ace Bakery cookbooks are all keepers – the recipes are just so well-laid out, tasteful, tasty, and classic but fresh. Smart writing, great food.

The New York Times Dessert Cookbook
Edited by Florence Fabricant, St. Martins 2006
440 Recipes on what you love – baking, breads, and sweets. What could be bad? This is a sumptuous collection of recipes of New York Times contributors, carefully assemble and edited by NY Times columnist, Florence Fabricant.  Recipes range from sought after signature chef desserts, to homey comforts to some of the most trendy, elegant recipes of the last couple of years.

 Baking from the Heart, Michael Rosen, Broadway Books, 2004, American’s best bakers all got together and each donated one of their best, most personal baking recipes for a good cause – Bakesale America, a SOS charity. The recipes are varied, mostly, simple, extremely unique and it is a good read of America’s who’s who in baking as well as items you would never see all in one place. A totally charming baking book.

Baking Illustrated, Editors of Cook’s Illustrated, a sound resource book on baking that has 350 recipes and the wisdom of tireless test bakers. Great for the novice or the pro, with the wonderful line art illustrations Cook’s is renown for, this makes you rethink the most basic things, like shortbread to considering some classics like a common jellyroll. Somehow, Cook’s makes it both art and science and reminds anyone why baking rules.

A Blessing of Bread, Maggie Glezer, the long awaited treatise and treat of Jewish bread by the well respected baker/author, Maggie Gletzer, from bagels or bubkas, makos and any type of exotic challah you could wish for. This book is great fun, amazing reading, and recipes that take Jewish bread to a new exalted level.

Big Fat Cookies, Elinor Klivans, Chronicle Books 2004, what’s not to like: a favorite, great baking author, chocolate, butter, and crunch of cookies in a big, fat, generous mode? Gorgeous photography, stupendous and easy recipes.  A must for any baker’s collection.

The King Arthur Flour Cookie Companion, The Countryman Press 2004, A big and comprehenive book on America’s favorite: cookies. Recipes are easy about elegant and there is an excellent balance of classics, traditionals with more trendy and contemporary fare. Super photos and the easy-on-the-eye layout makes this a must for any baker’s pantry. A reminder of some recipes you may not have considered in a long time – and simply long overdue updated, big, bouncy book on cookies from folks the baking pros trust the most.

Sweet Serendipity, Stephen Bruce with Brett Bara, Universe Books 2004, Anyone who loves New York and loves their sweeties, know the café Serendipity. Of not, rent the movie by the same name. Big, bold, trademark recipes from the landmark dessert spot. No real surprises but totally engaging text, photos and recipes make this a fun, yet surprising elegant book (considering desserts are pure of heart).

The Weekend Baker, Abigail Dodge, Norton 2004, Simple, easy, clear recipes with basic instructions and an overall ‘basic’ approach. Good taste rules but the author also assumes the time short or baking novice is the main audience for this book. Great beginning book.

 The Brownie Experience,  Lisa Tanner, Ten Speed Press 2004. If you did not get this book in its first go-round, twenty years ago, this is your chance. A ‘Moosewood’ sort of book, hand written and whimsical, replete with basic brownies but more, an explosion of the sort of flavors that made the California food scene in the 70’s and 80’s.  A treasure trove of gooey, fudgey, caramel, nut-studded brownies for any collector.

Brownie Points, Lisa Slater Whitecap 2005, Over 100 outrageous recipes for brownies and more. Slater takes the brownie base and works it over in utterly delicious concoctions; then she broadens the concept with brownie-based cakes, torts, extravagant desserts and such exotics as Brownie Blobs, Brownie Tacos, a Brownie Christmas Pudding and more.

125 Best Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipes, Julie Hasson, Robert Rose 2003, One of those books that has super easy but mouth-watering recipes, all arranged in a format that invites instant participation. Tons of color photos and nicely balanced between big cakes to small things, from macaroons to Double Fudge Brownies.

Bread, A Baker’s Book of Technique and Recipes, Jeffrey Hammelman, Wiley 2005, The Director of the Baking Education of King Arthur Flour has come out with a baker’s bible of techniques and production formulae that is exceptional.
It is comprehensive, well written and chock full of secrets of the trade. There are photos as well as line-art for nuances of technique. If you are thinking of going pro, this is a must for your library. If you want to know far more than the average home baker, this is for you. It is a hybrid of a textbook/recipe book. Recipes are offered in weights but conveniently segmented into a ‘bakeshop’or ‘home yield’ recipe – as you choose.

Cakes to Dream On, A Master Class in Decorating, Colette Peters, Wiley 2005, Probably Peter’s best book to date, the total inside story on making artistic cakes with grand concepts behind them. Recipe lean, this is more of a how-to, inside, trade secrets and source guide from the master. Photos are tableaus of pure art – which is then broken down into somewhat manageable steps for the home baker. Layout of this book is rather good – especially in a genre of cookbooks not known for great layouts. A must for decorators, wedding cake bakers, and dreamers of fantasy cakes.

The Handmade Loaf,  Dan Lepard, Mitchell Beazley, 2004, It is hard to know what to rave about first here –the beautiful recipes, both rustic and gourmet, aka‘Contemporary European Recipes for the Home Baker’ or the photographs which baker Lepard also contributed. This is one of the most attractive and interesting collection of bread recipes you will find on the bread bookshelf in a long while.  Most recipes are all on one page (no sprawling treatises on English Muffins) and are incredibly appetizing. Wonderful scenic pictures of the locales where the recipes originated broaden out the book. In metric and weight, this is still a particularly aesthetic, tasteful book from a pro I personally admire.

Baking Illustrated, by the Editors of Cook’s Illustrated, America’s Test Kitchen, 2004. This is a over-500 page tome on the definitive guide to baking basics. It has the serious, dedicated tone and the thoroughness home cooks have come to respect and trust, as all Cook’s Illustrated publications have. It is a one-stop source guide for baking basics, why things work or why they flop, and a solid assortment of the recipes that make up a baker’s building blocks in the kitchen. It is a book for readers as well as do-ers. Recipes are well laid out, keeping most of the informative text and notes separate from the recipe, or recipe category. This is a solid book with a terrific front section on ingredients, equipment and tools and includes both helpful line art illustrations and superb food shots of the recipes.

Ace Bakery Cookbook,  A must! Linda Hayes, 2003 Whitecap Books. This took as Gourmand International Cookbook award and is well-deserved. It features a light and aesthetic collection of recipes from savory main dishes (Chicken Tangine and Rack of Lamb with Garlic Herb Crust) to all manners of whets with a bistro/Mediterranean flair. The bread section is classic (biscuits, cornbread, milk bread) but the inbetween recipes (marinated chevre, the most incredible salads, sandwiches and soups) have the most cachet. Just a well-done ,totally refreshing cookbook from the Ace Bakery in Toronto.

American Pie, The Perfect Pizza, Peter Reinhart, Ten Speed Press 2003, The long awaited, definitive book on pizza is finally here. Bread guru Peter Reinhart leaves nothing out in the way of recipes, ingredients, handling and baker’s secret tips. Many books on pizza are lightweight but this one, while easy to get into and work from, is appealingly in-depth. Hey, pizza is serious stuff!

American Boulangerie, French Pastries and Breads for the Home Kitchen, Pascal Rigo, Bay Books, 2003. I would recommend this book for its photography alone. The recipes are classically French and mostly classic (croissants, pastry cream, nuts tarts, macaroons, galettes, quiche) but written with a warm tone and all so approachably constructed, and simply beautiful, any home cook would want to dive in and start baking. The Biscuits Bretons recipe is one of the best and Rigo’s voice and headnotes provide an inviting tone to the book, and lace the recipes together in a baking adventure. You feel you are in his bakery, up at dawn, baking with him!

Baking With A Passion, Dan Lepard, Richard Whittington, Quadrille, Cooking teacher, restaurateur, and chef Dan Lepard shares an eclectic collection of recipes that are British, French and European in heritage. It is an interesting mix of classics. The photography really makes this book but the author, owner of Baker and Spice artisinal bakery in England, shares some finer points of baking. This is for expert bakers as recipes solely in weight, and ingredients such as maldon salt, castor sugar, self-raising flour and bicarbonate of soda are the mainstay so be prepared. What is nice about it is the totally different approach to baking, and baking sensibility you get in a book from the UK.

Baking and Pastry, Mastering the Art fro The Culinary Institute of America,  John Wiley and Sons Inc. 2004. One of the finest of culinary text books  - it is of use for the home baker as well as the pro and aspiring chef. Recipes are clear, broad and do-able at a glance. Quantities for things are reasonable (10 portions for a fancy dessert – 40 biscuits in a batch) so you can try things in a home kitchen or easily divide, by the weights given. The photography is instructional but still showcases the finished product in an appetizing way. One of the best of this genre of cookbooks in a long time. A good core book to have – covering on how to make a better banana bread to chocolate tempering techniques.

Birthday Cakes, Katherine Kleinman, Chronicle Books 2004, a charming cookbook offering basics in cakes, icings, finishing touches, and theme cakes. Just what you want when you gotta do a special cake. The recipes are all from different contributors but the overall concept is appealing.

City Tavern Baking and Dessert Cookbook, Walter Staib, Running Press, 2004, This is ‘200 years of Authentic American Recipes’ from Philadelphia’s City Tavern, one of the nation’s oldest restaurants and an historical monument. It is a old-fashioned, period looking lay out with pertinent sidebars on history, recipes, or Americana. Recipes are decidedly old-fashioned for the most part (gingerbread, many puddings, flans and tarts) with some French overtones (Milles Feuilles) as colonist cooks no doubt tried their hand at pleasing the rustic tastes of the new world with some more upscale touches they brought from England and parts of Europe.  This is a charming book, and a good read and for those collecting books on American cuisine. In fact, it’s predecessor is The City Tavern Cookbook.

Contemporary Wedding Cakes, Nadene Hurst and Julie Springall,  Merehurst, 2003. Merehurst specializes in wedding cake and décor books. This is a fine one, especially for beginning and mid level decorators. Photography is excellent , recipes as step by step, and the source guide, covering sources in the States and the U.K. is invaluable for this sort of baking and decorating.

Cookies, Atkinson, Farrow and Barret, Hermes House 2003. This is a simply fantastic book of over 300 cookie recipes each and all illustrated. It has a British bent to it but it is wholly appealing. What you do not actually bake, will inspire you in other ways, with your own recipes or give you a ton of new ideas. Worth sleuthing out.

Five Roses Cookbook, Bread and Pastry Etc. Whitecap Books, Seventh Printing 2001. This is Canadiana heritage and a great baking book no matter what side of the baking border you are on. This is a classic and yet recipes are very now. Good tastes last. Great gift book.

Green and Black’s Chocolate Recipes, Kyle Cathie Limited 2003 An interesting book on recipes, some savory, mostly sweet based on the Green and Black chocolate company in England. Recipes are contributions from people who know Green and Black, cooking contest winners. Some neat photos on the growing of cocoa beans and the manufacture of chocolate.

Kate Aitken’s Canadian Cookbook, Whitecap 2004, The quintessential Canadian food editor of the Montreal Standard, circa 1940’s, own collection of recipes. Fun, decent, basic food that will remind you how good simple things can be. This brings back an era in food writing and food. Worth it for the candy and preserves chapters alone. From a time where three recipes a page was normal (versus the three pages a recipe of nowadays!)

Wanda’s Pie in the Sky, Wanda Beaver, Whitecap Books,  from the creative baking force behind Toronto’s famed bakery of the same name, this long awaited ‘secret recipe’ cookbook is fun, delicious, and gives you all the basics (Tarte Tatin, Shortbread, Sour Cream Coffeecake) as well as new inspirations (Hot Fudge Pudding Cake, Mango Chiffon Cheesecake, Sweet Potato Praline Pie).This is one of those guaranteed to be grease-stained cookbooks.

 Nancy Silverton’s Sandwich Book, Nancy Silverton with Teri Gelber, Knopf 2002, When this came out, most reviewers questioned a whole book on sandwiches. In Silverton’s hands, however, sandwiches are taken to new heights of sophistication you would never dream of. This is a superlative book of impeccable taste and imagination.

Nancy Silverton’s Pastries From La Brea Bakery, Nancy Silverton, Villard 2000. It too us ages to get this book but as you would expect from a master baker, this collection of pastries, pies, cakes, tarts, scones, muffins, and cookies (oh! Just the cookies!) was worth the wait. Silverton is impeccable with her measurements but precision pays off in recipes that are unique, exotic, and nicely European in flavor. I consider this a classic for any baker.

The Ballymaloe Bread Book (Tim Allen, Pelican Publishing)
This book is pretty, well layed out, and a breath of fresh air for American
and Canadian bakers. Metric measurements, references to castor sugar.
Tim Allen is spouse to Darina who manages and teaches at the famous Ballymaloe Cookery School.

Prairie Home Breads (Judith M. Fertig, Harvard Common Press)
150 recipes from America's heartland from an author who knows her stuff. Fertig makes you want to move out west and open a bakery. The recipes are unique to a region and they're accompanied by a plethora of baking advice and helpful sidebars on food history.

Paris Sweets (Dorie Greenspan, Broadway)
We only have the preview of this book but it is indeed, a poor baker’s tour of Paris. Detailed and authentic, the recipes are from the city’s more renowned bakeries and patisseries. A modest but beguiling collection.

The Breads of France (Bernard Clayton, Ten Speed Press)
Originally published in 1978, this is a treasure of no-frills loaves from all regions of France. The well-respected Clayton provides recipes that work and historical notes. A new look for a vintage cookbook. An essential for any bread baker.

Wheat-Free, Worry-Free (Danna Korn, Hay House)
A fabulous source for gluten-free bakers. Sources and recipes galore. An upbeat, helpful book that is a must if you are on a wheat-free diet.

Baking by Flavor (Lisa Yockelson, John Wiley and Sons)
Yockelson’s recipes are all thorough and fairly sing with the flavors they exemplify. Advanced bakers will be more comfortable with its detail and level of expertise, but new bakers should be able to master the recipes which are all inventive and utterly decadent.

Apple Pie Perfect (Ken Haedrich, Harvard Common Press)
I am a big fan of Haedrich who writes with warmth and creates recipes that are simple but flavorful and wholesome. This nifty book has 100 amazing apple pie recipes. If you do not make one, you will be inspired to invent one.

Fearless Baking (Elinor Klivans, Simon & Schuster)
An interesting book that is markedly generous with explanations. Klvans' recipe head notes are some of the best I've seen, and the recipes are well laid out. A great all-round baking book.

The Buttercup Bake Shop Cookbook (Jennifer Appel, Simon & Schuster) A pretty cookbook with some nice old-fashioned recipes.

Mom’s Big Book of Baking (Lauren Chattman, Harvard Common Press)
Designed with a light touch that will make you say "I can do that". A homey baking book that is a natural for easy-going Saturday or Sunday afternoon baking.

Apples (Roger Yepsen, Norton)
One of the best, little books on a favorite fruit. Illustrations are works of art. No recipes, this is a treasury of apple varieties, that include history, region, availability, and suitability of apples, classic or historical as well as modern. A great gift.

An Apple Harvest (Frank Browning and Sharon Silva, Ten Speed).
Great recipes, photos alone (as with Yepsen's Apples) worth price of book.

Bread Baker's Apprentice (Peter Reinhart, Ten Speed)
There is a wide offering of all the types of loaves you expect to find, as well as some innovations. As always, Reinhart's voice comes through in his explanations. You do feel like an apprentice with this book. A lot of ground covered on ingredients and equipment.

101 Perfect Chocolate Chip Cookies (Gwen Steege, Storey)
I was surprised and pleased when I saw one of my own recipes in this new edition of this delightful book on America's favorite cookies. A nice collection.

Artisan Baking Across America (Maggie Glezer, Artisan)
I know Maggie Glezer and I recommend this book if you're intrigued by the artisanal bread movement. A book to look at, and to bake with.

The Dessert Bible (Chirs Kimball, Little Brown)
Not to be confused with The Pastry Bible or The Cake Bible. A great tome with an American spin.

 The Bread Bible (Rose Levy Beranbaum, Norton 2003) is a tremendous treatise on bread - a wonderful reference and source book with a ton of information and terrific photos and each recipe more tempting than the next. No stone is unturned, no bread is unaddressed, no baker’s secret withheld -   this indeed is a perfectly grand and thoroughly beautiful book on our favourite subject by a dear and diligent baker and daughter of science. I suggest you read the book once through first. Then make a plan – of what you want to bake, recipe by recipe. One of the most comprehensive cookbooks out there – well worth the wait.

Sweet Tarts by Maxine Clark - gorgeous - reminds you why we love quiche and tarts - easy recipes in an aesthetic and tasteful book.

 The Secrets of Baking - Sheryl Yard - more of a reference book with classic French baking and pastry techniques that is also more restaurant oriented in style than home baking but a good reference text.

  Brown Sugar , Joyce White – soul cuisine with a sweet spin – Interesting recipes, easy and homey – I liked this book a lot.

 Once Upon A Tart  Mentesana and Audureau  - probably the best photography – except for the Balthazar Cookbook – recipes are outstanding, fun, tasteful – and there is a neat spectrum of baking to light lunch. This book has received less press than some but it one of the best books of the year. The photos are frameable.

 Home Baking Alford and Duiguid, my fellow Canadians and fellow cookbook authors travelled the world to bring you everything from truck stop doughnuts to things so exotic you cannot imagine. This is a photo rich, armchair read that is also meant to use as a cookbook/travel log. It is a solid baking book but you will that is sheer inspiration. This is not a North American home baking book –this truly is an international collection.

King Arthur Bakers Companion Cookbook -their new cookbook is a solid book for new bakers and good reminder for veterans. It features a ton of traditional recipes, contemporary ones, techniques to bolster you and that friendly yet authoritative KA style we all are accustomed to and trust.

Baking at High Altitude, The Muffin Lady’s Old Fashioned Recipes, Randi Levin
Muffin Lady Incorporated, Publisher 200.This is just the book for all those needing an high altitude baking book with tasty (!) contemporary recipes as well as a reference guide. Recipes are easy, very appealing, and clearly laid out.  This is a book for everyday baking as well as special occasions. The author has a good feel for what the average baker wants to bake and a broad assortment of recipes, all formulated for high altitude baking, to choose from. One of the best in this niche area of baking.

Baking Illustrated, by the Editors of Cook’s Illustrated, America’s Test Kitchen, 2004. This is a over-500 page tome on the definitive guide to baking basics. It has the serious, dedicated tone and the thoroughness home cooks have come to respect and trust, as all Cook’s Illustrated publications have. It is a one-stop source guide for baking basics, why things work or why they flop, and a solid assortment of the recipes that make up a baker’s building blocks in the kitchen. It is a book for readers as well as do-ers. Recipes are well laid out, keeping most of the informative text and notes separate from the recipe, or recipe category. This is a solid book with a terrific front section on ingredients, equipment and tools and includes both helpful line art illustrations and superb food shots of the recipes.

Ace Bakery Cookbook, Linda Hayes, 2003 Whitecap Books. This took as Gourmand International Cookbook award and is well-deserved. It features a light and aesthetic collection of recipes from savory main dishes (Chicken Tangine and Rack of Lamb with Garlic Herb Crust) to all manners of whets with a bistro/Mediterranean flair. The bread section is classic (biscuits, cornbread, milk bread) but the inbetween recipes (marinated chevre, the most incredible salads, sandwiches and soups) have the most cachet. Just a well-done ,totally refreshing cookbook from the Ace Bakery in Toronto.

American Pie, The Perfect Pizza, Peter Reinhart, Ten Speed Press 2003, The long awaited, definitive book on pizza is finally here. Bread guru Peter Reinhart leaves nothing out in the way of recipes, ingredients, handling and baker’s secret tips. Many books on pizza are lightweight but this one, while easy to get into and work from, is appealingly in-depth. Hey, pizza is serious stuff!

American Boulangerie, French Pastries and Breads for the Home Kitchen, Pascal Rigo, Bay Books, 2003. I would recommend this book for its photography alone. The recipes are classically French and mostly classic (croissants, pastry cream, nuts tarts, macaroons, galettes, quiche) but written with a warm tone and all so approachably constructed, and simply beautiful, any home cook would want to dive in and start baking. The Biscuits Bretons recipe is one of the best and Rigo’s voice and headnotes provide an inviting tone to the book, and lace the recipes together in a baking adventure. You feel you are in his bakery, up at dawn, baking with him!

Baking With A Passion, Dan Lepard, Richard Whittington, Quadrille, Cooking teacher, restaurateur, and chef Dan Lepard shares an eclectic collection of recipes that are British, French and European in heritage. It is an interesting mix of classics. The photography really makes this book but the author, owner of Baker and Spice artisinal bakery in England, shares some finer points of baking. This is for expert bakers as recipes solely in weight, and ingredients such as maldon salt, castor sugar, self-raising flour and bicarbonate of soda are the mainstay so be prepared. What is nice about it is the totally different approach to baking, and baking sensibility you get in a book from the UK.

Baking and Pastry, Mastering the Art fro The Culinary Institute of America,  John Wiley and Sons Inc. 2004. One of the finest of culinary text books  - it is of use for the home baker as well as the pro and aspiring chef. Recipes are clear, broad and do-able at a glance. Quantities for things are reasonable (10 portions for a fancy dessert – 40 biscuits in a batch) so you can try things in a home kitchen or easily divide, by the weights given. The photography is instructional but still showcases the finished product in an appetizing way. One of the best of this genre of cookbooks in a long time. A good core book to have – covering on how to make a better banana bread to chocolate tempering techniques.

Birthday Cakes, Katherine Kleinman, Chronicle Books 2004, a charming cookbook offering basics in cakes, icings, finishing touches, and theme cakes. Just what you want when you gotta do a special cake. The recipes are all from different contributors but the overall concept is appealing.

City Tavern Baking and Dessert Cookbook, Walter Staib, Running Press, 2004, This is ‘200 years of Authentic American Recipes’ from Philadelphia’s City Tavern, one of the nation’s oldest restaurants and an historical monument. It is a old-fashioned, period looking lay out with pertinent sidebars on history, recipes, or Americana. Recipes are decidedly old-fashioned for the most part (gingerbread, many puddings, flans and tarts) with some French overtones (Milles Feuilles) as colonist cooks no doubt tried their hand at pleasing the rustic tastes of the new world with some more upscale touches they brought from England and parts of Europe.  This is a charming book, and a good read and for those collecting books on American cuisine. In fact, it’s predecessor is The City Tavern Cookbook.

Contemporary Wedding Cakes, Nadene Hurst and Julie Springall,  Merehurst, 2003. Merehurst specializes in wedding cake and décor books. This is a fine one, especially for beginning and mid level decorators. Photography is excellent , recipes as step by step, and the source guide, covering sources in the States and the U.K. is invaluable for this sort of baking and decorating.

Cookies, Atkinson, Farrow and Barret, Hermes House 2003. This is a simply fantastic book of over 300 cookie recipes each and all illustrated. It has a British bent to it but it is wholly appealing. What you do not actually bake, will inspire you in other ways, with your own recipes or give you a ton of new ideas. Worth sleuthing out.

Five Roses Cookbook, Bread and Pastry Etc. Whitecap Books, Seventh Printing 2001. This is Canadiana heritage and a great baking book no matter what side of the baking border you are on. This is a classic and yet recipes are very now. Good tastes last. Great gift book.

Green and Black’s Chocolate Recipes, Kyle Cathie Limited 2003 An interesting book on recipes, some savory, mostly sweet based on the Green and Black chocolate company in England. Recipes are contributions from people who know Green and Black, cooking contest winners. Some neat photos on the growing of cocoa beans and the manufacture of chocolate.

Kate Aitken’s Canadian Cookbook, Whitecap 2004, The quintessential Canadian food editor of the Montreal Standard, circa 1940’s, own collection of recipes. Fun, decent, basic food that will remind you how good simple things can be. This brings back an era in food writing and food. Worth it for the candy and preserves chapters alone. From a time where three recipes a page was normal (versus the three pages a recipe of nowadays!)

Wanda’s Pie in the Sky, Wanda Beaver, Whitecap Books,  from the creative baking force behind Toronto’s famed bakery of the same name, this long awaited ‘secret recipe’ cookbook is fun, delicious, and gives you all the basics (Tarte Tatin, Shortbread, Sour Cream Coffeecake) as well as new inspirations (Hot Fudge Pudding Cake, Mango Chiffon Cheesecake, Sweet Potato Praline Pie).This is one of those guaranteed to be grease-stained cookbooks.

The Ballymaloe Bread Book – Tim Allen – a must. Simply, sweet, rustic, (you have to like Irish baking – I do)

William Sonoma’s new book on Baking –a basic book but really pretty and nice to browse through
Oxmoor House - it is so visual and inviting - that I consider this baking 'art'. It also will get you into the kitchen and flour fast!

 

The Art of the Dessert, Ann Amernick, Wiley 2007
The recipes are only matched by the fine photography in this book which showcases pastry chef superstar Ann Amernick’s creations. There are basics and classics but the overall sense if aesthetics and a delicate palate that will bring the average home baker to the next level. The front matter is a pastry class within book pages – that alone makes this book a must – but the unique and off-the-beaten track approaches and author presence are what inspire.

The Joy of Vegan Baking: The Compassionate Cooks' Traditional Treats and Sinful Sweets (Paperback) Colleen Patrick-Goudreau, Fair Winds Press 2007

Whether you want to bake dairy- and egg-free for health, ethical, or environmental reasons, The Joy of Vegan Baking lets you have your cake and eat it, too! Featuring 150 familiar favorites -- from cakes, cookies, and crêpes to pies, puddings, and pastries -- this book will show you just how easy, convenient, and delectable baking without eggs and dairy can be. A seasoned cooking instructor and vegan, author Colleen Patrick-Goudreau puts to rest the myth that vegan baking and has delivered a book that is basically a great book on baking, that is coincidentally vegan 

Baking At Home with the Culinary Institute of America
A good book for a beginner or easy reference book. Recipe are professional basics but given in domestic proportions.

Bubby’s Homemade Pies, Ron Silver and Jen Bervin Wiley 2007
If you didn’t know –the word bubby would make you think kosher –but this is the cookbook of Bubby’s restaurant, in New York. A more chock-filled pie book you would be hard pressed to find – featuring incomparable variety of pies (cobblers and deep dish and savory pie specialties) and perfectly lovely (and effective) line art drawings.  The Home Made Pop-Tarts is one fun recipe but the devotion pie gets in this book is unrivaled. They don’t publish books like this everyday – grab it.

Southern Cakes, Nancie McDemott, Chronicle Books 2007
This one is flying off the shelves for good reason – it is a stellar assembly of classically awesome cakes- the sort of baking southerners are renowned for. All the cake how-to’s are here but so are incredible cake hospitality in the way of peanut, coconut, bourbon, chocolate and jam-kissed cakes –all so very southern and so very, universally good.

Sky High, Irresistible Triple Layer Cakes, Alisa Huntsman and Peter Wynne
These are center-fold cakes- no question about it – Mile high, supplicated confections that remind you how great, great cakes are Classic Stars Desserts, Emily Luchetti, Chronicle Books 2007
A wonderful collection of famed desserts by renown pastry chef of Stars, Luchetti presents sweets ‘and stickies’ that are easy but sophisticated.

The Essence of Chocolate
John Scharffenberger and Robert Steinberg
Hyperion 2006
Finally, the long awaited, artful treatise on chocolate by America’s chocolate makers themselves. History, chocolate lore, secrets of chocolate manufacture, crafting and more. Photographs are extravagant and the recipes, both contributions from famed American pastry chefs and bakers, are also the perfected, very special recipes of the chocolate makers themselves who share the recipes along with their chocolate savvy.

Chocolate and Vanilla, Gale Gand, Clarkson Potter 2006
The only negative thing one can say about this book is a) it is too short (we want more of a good thing!) and b) half the book is chocolate and half is vanilla and you have to turn the book upside to see the recipes from the other half. It is the most annoying thing I have ever encountered and until I read the book jacket, I was sure it was a printing error. Other than that, you will want to eat the photos and the recipes are mouth-watering renditions of our favorite flavors: chocolate and vanilla. There is also a nice balance between every genre of baking (cupcakes, cookies, desserts). In fact, because the recipes are relatively few – it invites you try each and every one. Anything by Gale Gand is a must and this book is no exception. 

The Best Bake Sale (ever) Cookbook, Barbara Grunes 2006
One of the most extensive all-purpose, daily baking books around. This is not just for bakesales –this is for the weekday or weekend baker – and it is filled with tempting classics from cupcakes to fallen soufflé cakes and everything in-between. Upscale baking but nicely laid out and no matter how exotic, the recipes appear easy for anyone to do.

Leith’s Baking Bible, Susan Spaull & Fiona Burrel Bloomsbury Publishing London 2006
You might hedge at the metric system used in this book but instantly forget as the recipes and photos draw you in. This is a hugely comprehensive book that covers the basics, UK specialties and more contemporary North American tastes. The photos are designed to match up 2-technical shots alongside a full shot of a finished recipe, inspiring you from step one to the end. Basics like icing, or covering cakes with marzipan, how to make pastry cream, are all offered making this a definitive baking book. It has a solid yeast bread section as well. There is a certain encyclopedic, reference style to this book but I would want it on hand for reading, referring to, photos, and recipes.

The Anatomy of Dessert, Edward Bunyard, Modern Library 2006 Edited by Ruth Reichl
A cute, short, pretty book – wonderful as a stocking stuffer, filled with interesting facts and trivia about not dessert, as the title states, but fruit – with a little bit on wine. In fact, the book jacket says, when we think of dessert, we think of pastries and cakes but …” and the book is about ‘decadent and sinful desserts…which, in this book, are solely fruit’. Confusing but well written once you realize you will not be reading about flour, butter and sugar things.

More From the Ace Bakery, Linda Haynes, Whitecap Books 2006 
If this book weren’t as nice as the first Ace Bakery Cookbook, or as well designed, or as replete with the most gorgeous, tasteful, simple recipes for food and baking, I would buy it for the ingenious bread bag that comes with the book. This makes it a great holiday gift but makes so much sense – Buy the book, make the breads, store the results. A charming book, without or without the extras. Ace Bakery cookbooks are all keepers – the recipes are just so well-laid out, tasteful, tasty, and classic but fresh. Smart writing, great food.

The New York Times Dessert Cookbook
Edited by Florence Fabricant, St. Martins 2006
440 Recipes on what you love – baking, breads, and sweets. What could be bad? This is a sumptuous collection of recipes of New York Times contributors, carefully assemble and edited by NY Times columnist, Florence Fabricant.  Recipes range from sought after signature chef desserts, to homey comforts to some of the most trendy, elegant recipes of the last couple of years.

 Baking from the Heart, Michael Rosen, Broadway Books, 2004, American’s best bakers all got together and each donated one of their best, most personal baking recipes for a good cause – Bakesale America, a SOS charity. The recipes are varied, mostly, simple, extremely unique and it is a good read of America’s who’s who in baking as well as items you would never see all in one place. A totally charming baking book.

Baking Illustrated, Editors of Cook’s Illustrated, a sound resource book on baking that has 350 recipes and the wisdom of tireless test bakers. Great for the novice or the pro, with the wonderful line art illustrations Cook’s is renown for, this makes you rethink the most basic things, like shortbread to considering some classics like a common jellyroll. Somehow, Cook’s makes it both art and science and reminds anyone why baking rules.

A Blessing of Bread, Maggie Glezer, the long awaited treatise and treat of Jewish bread by the well respected baker/author, Maggie Gletzer, from bagels or bubkas, makos and any type of exotic challah you could wish for. This book is great fun, amazing reading, and recipes that take Jewish bread to a new exalted level.

Big Fat Cookies, Elinor Klivans, Chronicle Books 2004, what’s not to like: a favorite, great baking author, chocolate, butter, and crunch of cookies in a big, fat, generous mode? Gorgeous photography, stupendous and easy recipes.  A must for any baker’s collection.

The King Arthur Flour Cookie Companion, The Countryman Press 2004, A big and comprehenive book on America’s favorite: cookies. Recipes are easy about elegant and there is an excellent balance of classics, traditionals with more trendy and contemporary fare. Super photos and the easy-on-the-eye layout makes this a must for any baker’s pantry. A reminder of some recipes you may not have considered in a long time – and simply long overdue updated, big, bouncy book on cookies from folks the baking pros trust the most.

Sweet Serendipity, Stephen Bruce with Brett Bara, Universe Books 2004, Anyone who loves New York and loves their sweeties, know the café Serendipity. Of not, rent the movie by the same name. Big, bold, trademark recipes from the landmark dessert spot. No real surprises but totally engaging text, photos and recipes make this a fun, yet surprising elegant book (considering desserts are pure of heart).

The Weekend Baker, Abigail


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