Monday, October 02, 2006

Books: The King Arthur Flour Baker's Companion

The King Arthur Flour Baker's Companion: The All-Purpose Baking Cookbook

This hefty cookbook is a veritable Mecca of recipes, baking advice, and resource information. Not only do the authors walk you through basics like white bread, chocolate chip cookies, and muffins, but they will then coach you onwards and upwards to such lofty aspirations as croissants, elephant ears, and sourdough artisan bread. If one of the ingredients is flour, I guarantee there’s a recipe for it in there. The tone throughout the book is friendly and familiar, never assuming prior baking knowledge but also including plenty for even the most experienced baker to get excited about. In addition to the recipes, boxes with helpful baking tips and background information on ingredients and recipes are scattered throughout the book. The appendix descriptions of the various equipment and ingredients one could possibly use for baking along with opinions on the merits of each item, how they can be used, and where to find them. This hard cover, 640-page book will withstand being propped up, pressed opened, dribbled upon by errant goos and powders, and still live to see another baking day. If you like to bake, this is one book that deserves a permanent place on the shelf.

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