I'm going to start off with a confession: I have absolutely no talent as a baker or cook of any kind. At best I can boil water and at worst... well. Let's just say I have a bad habit of leaving out key ingredients and forgetting that I left food in the oven until the smoke alarm goes off. My completely inedible, rock-hard Rice Krispie treats are still something of a legend among my family.
Fans of Mary Berry, Paul Hollywood and all of the season 5 contestants will enjoy the “bakes” outlined in this photo-filled cookbook. The Great British Bake Off Big Book of Baking will show you, step-by-step, how to make the breads, pastries, biscuits, and cakes from the show, including some of the showstoppers and signature bakes. In between the recipes are short interviews with the contestants, hosts, and judges.
Titling anything the "bible" of its subject is long overdone--in fact, we have several "bread bibles" in our collection--but I'm in the market for what this book claims to be: a reliable, go-to recipe book for all things bread. The introduction has several overarching tips on bread making, including instructions on the basics of bread, different methods of mixing a variety of doughs, an analysis of each basic ingredient and what role it plays in the process, and some in-depth explanations behind the science of bread. I found this section very useful, and read it in its entirety.
Being a public librarian with access to an unending supply of books, it takes something really special to make me want to part with $27.00 just so I can call it my own. Ruhlman has found the secret in Ratio and my copy should be in my mailbox by tomorrow. It's a weird format for a cookbook in that Ruhlman buries his recipes in parts or chapters that explain the basic ratios for, for instance, doughs and batters.
“Betty Crocker’s Just cupcakes: 100 Recipes for the Way You Really Cook” has an eye catching cover with baking and decorating ideas for every holiday or just because you want to make them. Most of all each page lists how long it will take to create these delicious bits down to the very minute. It includes 160 colorful pages and great ideas in this hardcover-spiral book.