Baking Basics and Beyond is divided into 12 chapters. Each begins with a few pages on key points, ingredients, equipment, and techniques. That's followed by about ten recipes--some traditional (blueberry muffins, peanut butter cookies, old-fashioned baking powder biscuits) and some creative (wild mushroom tarts, honey orange scones, gingerbread nectarine cobbler, savory blue cheese cheesecake).
I like this book not only for the recipes (over 100 in all), but for the background information and tips. I appreciate that the author includes notes about substituting ingredients and baking pans, as well as tips on what to look for and what to avoid. She also explains why certain steps are done the way they are. Novice bakers will learn the fundamentals, and experienced bakers are likely to pick up some hints, too.
The recipes themselves are very appealing. The author advocates the use of real ingredients--real butter, for instance--and I fully agree. I found many recipes that I am eager to try. I'm especially looking forward to spring, when I can bake the blueberry tart with vanilla whipped cream!
The first recipe I tried, though, was Grandma's Old-Fashioned Coffee Cake. I found the instructions well-written, easy to follow, and practical. (All of the ingredients were staples that I always have on hand, and the author doesn't assume that I want to use every mixing bowl in my kitchen!) The cake was a hit with my family! The cake is tender, the crumb topping is delicious, and both are flavored with the warmth of cinnamon.
For more information, visit the publisher's page for Baking Basics and Beyond.
Thanks to the publisher, Surrey Books / Agate Publishing, one lucky reader will win a copy of Baking Basics and Beyond. Would you like to win?
This giveaway is closed.
Here's how to enter: Just leave a comment. (Tell me whether you're a novice or experienced baker, what you would like to learn about baking, which of the recipes appeals to you, or just that you want to win.) Be sure to leave a way for me to contact you. Limit 1 entry per person.
More details: Open to residents of USA and Canada, age 18 or older. Giveaway ends 2/8/12 at noon (Eastern time). Winner will be chosen by the random number generator at Random.org and will be notified by email. Winner must claim prize within 48 hours, or another winner will be chosen. Prize will be fulfilled by Surrey Books / Agate Publishing. Void where prohibited.
Disclosure: I received a copy of this book, at no cost to me, for review purposes. I was not required to write a positive review, and all opinions in this post are my own. I have received no compensation in any form for hosting this giveaway.