The Top 100 Baking Books You’ve (Mostly) Never Heard Of…

From savory to sweet. From mini pies to massive cakes. From mildly decorated to fantabulous confectionary creations that deserve to be in an art museum. My picks for the best baking books out there. Oh, and please don’t rush out and buy them all at once! The library is your friend. Each week in 2021, beginning in April, I’ll let share two or more books deserving of your baking attention. Enjoy —Doc

Updated: April 14, 2021

The Baking Bible

 

Rose Levy Berenbaum

—from the publisher

The latest and most comprehensive baking book yet from best-selling author and “diva of desserts” Rose Levy Beranbaum and winner of the 2015 IACP Cookbook Award for Baking

Legendary baker Rose Levy Beranbaum is back with her most extensive “bible” yet. With all-new recipes for the best cakes, pies, tarts, cookies, candies, pastries, breads, and more, this magnum opus draws from Rose’s passion and expertise in every category of baking. As is to be expected from the woman who’s been called “the most meticulous cook who ever lived,” each sumptuous recipe is truly foolproof—with detail-oriented instructions that eliminate guesswork, “plan-aheads,” ingenious tips, and highlights for success. From simple everyday crowd-pleasers (Coffee Crumb Cake Muffins, Gingersnaps, Gooseberry Crisp) to show-stopping stunners (Chocolate Hazelnut Mousse Tart, Mango Bango Cheesecake, White Christmas Peppermint Cake) to bakery-style pastries developed for the home kitchen (the famous French Kouign Amann), every recipe proves that delicious perfection is within reach for any baker.

The Bread Baker’s Apprentice: Mastering the Art of Extraordinary Bread

 

Peter Reinhart

—from the publisher

Co-founder of the legendary Brother Juniper’s Bakery, author of the landmark books Brother Juniper’s Bread Book and Crust & Crumb, and distinguished instructor at the world’s largest culinary academy, Peter Reinhart has been a leader in America’s artisanal bread movement for over fifteen years. Never one to be content with yesterday’s baking triumph, however, Peter continues to refine his recipes and techniques in his never-ending quest for extraordinary bread.

In The Bread Baker’s Apprentice, Peter shares his latest bread breakthroughs, arising from his study in several of France’s famed boulangeries and the always-enlightening time spent in the culinary academy kitchen with his students. Peer over Peter’s shoulder as he learns from Paris’s most esteemed bakers, like Lionel Poilâne and Phillippe Gosselin, whose pain à l’ancienne has revolutionized the art of baguette making. Then stand alongside his students in the kitchen as Peter teaches the classic twelve stages of building bread, his clear instructions accompanied by over 100 step-by-step photographs.

You’ll put newfound knowledge into practice with 50 new master formulas for such classic breads as rustic ciabatta, hearty pain de campagne, old-school New York bagels, and the book’s Holy Grail–Peter’s version of the famed pain à l’ancienne. En route, Peter distills hard science, advanced techniques, and food history into a remarkably accessible and engaging resource that is as rich and multitextured as
the loaves you’ll turn out. This is original food writing at its most captivating, teaching at its most inspired and inspiring–and the rewards are some of the best breads under the sun.

— Food52, Most Anticipated Cookbooks
— Every Day with Rachael Ray, Round-Up

Savory Baking

 

Mary Cech

—from the publisher

Finally, a baking book focused entirely on savory baking! Developed by one of America’s top pastry chefs, SavoryBaking collects 75 inviting recipes for bakers of every skill level. Popovers, scones, and crackers pair perfectly withwine, while galettes, souffles, and strudels work equally well for brunch, lunch, or dinner. Fresh herbs, nuts, mushrooms,meats, and cheeses produce such savory delights as Peppered Pear and Goat Cheese Scones, Canadian Bacon Bread Pudding, and a showstopping New York-Style Parmigiano-Reggiano Cheesecake. Savory Baking is bothan ideal guide for adventurous bakers and the ultimate sourcebook for those who prefer savory eats to sweet treats.

The British Baking Book: The History of British Baking, Savory and Sweet

Mary Cech

—from the publisher

One of The New Yorker’s Best Cookbooks of 2020!

“Regula Ysewijn blends history and recipes in the most delectable way, with traditional cakes, buns, pies, and tarts. A British baking bible.” – Tom Parker Bowles, The Daily Mail

A meticulously researched, beautifully written, and richly photographed cookbook celebrating the recipes, ingenuity, history, and heritage of British baking.

With over 100 iconic recipes, The British Baking Book tells the wonderfully evocative story of baking in Britain—and how this internationally cherished tradition has evolved from its rich heritage to today’s immense popularity of The Great British Bake Off

With lavish imagery and evocative narrative, the expert-baker author details the landscape, history, ingenuity, and legends—and show-stopping recipes—that have made British baking a worldwide phenomenon. From cakes, biscuits, and buns to custards, tarts, and pies, authentic recipes for Britain’s spectacular sweet and savory baked goods are included here—like pink-frosted Tottenham cake, jam-layered Victoria sandwich cake, quintessential tea loaf, sweet lamb pie, Yorksire curd tart, and more. Illustrating the story of how British baking evolved throughout the country, many of the recipes have a sense-of-place heritage like Dorset apple cake, Whitby lemon buns, Cornish cake, Grasmere gingerbread, and Scottish oatcakes. Evocative and fascinating, this cookbook offers a guided tour of Britain’s best baking. 

Pies and Tarts: For All Seasons

Annie Rigg

—from the publisher

This title features 100 pies and tarts, themed by size: individual tartlets and handheld pies, medium ones for lunch and dinner, and big, celebratory pies for larger gatherings. Sweet and savory recipes for every season, and ideas for super decorative pastry-work as popularized on Instagram. Separate recipes for doughs and crusts made with a variety of flours are also included.

Gluten-Free Small Bites: Sweet and Savory Hand-Held Treats for On-the-Go Lifestyles and Entertaining

Nicole Hunn

—from the publisher

You know those days where dinner is grab-and-go, but you’re not sure what to grab? The older kids have a soccer game, a ballet lesson, the little one has a kazoo party, and they all need to be fed? Or maybe you’ve been volunteered to bring the mini quiches to the office potluck. Well you’re in luck: with Nicole Hunn at the helm, you can choose from 100 recipes for small bites-from party-pleasers like jalapeno poppers and pigs-in-blankets to easy meals like hand pies and chalupas. Have one of those special occasions when you can sit down for a meal? Nearly every recipe has instructions for how to make a bigger bite.

The voice behind glutenfreeonashoestring.com, Nicole’s been making gluten-free goodies that are delicious as they are safe for nearly ten years. Indulge in her new recipes for Crab Rangoon, Cheddar Hush Puppies, Fried Pickle Chips, Mozzarella Sticks, Pizza Pinwheels, Miniature Mac and Cheese Cups, Spanakopita Bites, a range of wraps (Cheesesteak, Greek Salad, and Huevos Rancheros, to name a few), Miniature Spinach Quiches, Chicken Empanadas, Vegetarian Chalupas, Pupusas, Shrimp Pot Stickers, Bear Claws, Apple Hand Pies, Miniature Vanilla Bean Scones . . . and more!

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