If you’re a serious home baker, you need to have the King Arthur Flour Baker’s Companion in your collection. Containing foolproof recipes, step-by-step guides, delicious variations, and numerous illustrations, it will walk you through simple baked goods such as pancakes to homemade pie crusts (not as scary or difficult as you might imagine), sourdough starters, Parisian pastries, and sweet and savory pies, tarts, and quiches perfect for any occasion.
Please note that this King Arthur cookbook covers white flour recipes. If you’re more interested in experimenting with healthier whole grains, then by all means pursue King Arthur Flour Whole Grain Baking: Delicious Recipes Using Nutritious Whole Grains. I actually purchased the whole grain book first, and then bought the Baker’s Companion as a companion book.
Winner of the prestigious James Beard Award, this is just as appropriate for a beginning baker as an experienced homemaker; numerous tips on metric conversions and European oven temperatures, yeast breads, and a very thorough ingredient glossary discussing various grains, types of wheat, and tools.
As for the recipes, they’re as simple or as challenging as you want to make them. Example: looking for a quick and easy pancake? No problem, try the Simple But Perfect Pancake. Looking for a more elegant presentation? Try the Lemon Ricotta Puff-Pancakes with Vanilla-Scented Sauce, Blinis, or Parisian Crepes. French toast, fried doughs, quick breads, muffins, scones and waffles are also discussed at length.
Also included is a comprehensive chapter on crackers and flatbreads, cookies and bars, and cakes (including cheesecakes). Nutritional analyses are also included for each item (minus variations). Clear instructions and hints help make even first-time recipes (and bakers) foolproof.
A wonderful housewarming gift, or a gift for yourself, The King Arthur Flour Baker’s Companion is a book that you’ll find yourself coming back to again and again.