Every new book from Martha Stewart is cause for celebration, and with Martha Stewart’s Baking Handbook, she returns to bring the pleasures of baking to readers at every level, from beginner to expert and beyond. A culinary compendium packed with more than 200 foolproof recipes for the best baked goods, Martha Stewart’s Baking Handbook takes readers by the hand and guides them through the process of creating an irresistible variety of cakes, cookies, pies, tarts, breads, and much more.
This essential addition to every cook’s library is rich with tips, techniques, and the mouthwatering and stunning recipes for which Martha Stewart is so well known. Covering a delectable array of topics from simple to sophisticated, including biscuits, muffins, scones, cookies, layer cakes, specialty cakes, sweet and savory pies and tarts, and pastries and breads, she provides a dazzlingly delicious yet crystal-clear, vividly illustrated repertoire of recipes. There are cakes that are elegant enough for formal occasions, such as showers, weddings, and dinner parties, and basic favorites meant to be enjoyed every day and then passed down through the generations. Every chapter includes indispensable visual equipment glossaries and features vital make-ahead information and storage techniques. Organized for maximum clarity and practicality, the handbook also offers step-by-step how-to photographs that demystify even the most complex and nuanced techniques. These culinary building blocks will turn good bakers into great bakers, and make great bakers even better.
Filled with time-honored classics, such as Marble Cake with White-Chocolate Glaze, Apple Pie, Challah, Baba au Rhum, and Croissants, as well as lots of new surprises, Martha Stewart’s Baking Handbook will be reached for again and again, no matter the season or occasion.
“Here, you will find the recipes and how-tos for the popovers you dream about, and for the simple crumb cake that you always want to whip up on Sunday morning, and for the double-chocolate brownie cookies that will make you a bigger hero with the after-school crowd, and for the citrus bars that you could only find in that little bakery that’s no longer under the same management. . . . Baking offers comfort and joy and something tangible to taste and savor. We all hope that these recipes provide you with years of pleasure.” —Martha Stewart
Martha Stewart’s Baking Handbook presents the doyenne of the Better Way in tip-top form. Or rather, it offers the work of a dedicated team who, under Stewart’s stewardship, has devised over 200 baking recipes for both savory and sweet treats, ranging from the traditional likes of buttermilk biscuits, gingersnaps, blueberry pie, bagels, and chocolate angel food cake, to the more novel pleasures of Sausage and Feta Hand Pies, Cherry Fragipane Gallete, Carrot-Ginger Cupcakes, and even the buttery-sugary to-die-for yeasted pastry called kouign amans. Also present and accounted-for are Stewartian showpieces like Mocha-Pistachio Wedding Cake.
The greatest virtue of the book, apart from the clarity of its recipes, lies in its organization: the chapters, which cover all baking stops, begin with relevant tips, followed by notes on equipment and techniques, all photo-illustrated. These set-ups supply context that maximizes the possibility of pleasurable, goof-free baking. Photo-illustrated how-to’s in the formulas further the cause. A quibble is the absence in many of the recipe headnotes of descriptive material about the baked good they introduce–it’s important to provide info on techniques and ingredients, as the headnotes do, but baking recipes in particular cry out for descriptions of what, for example, sfogliatelle (an Italian pastry), or lime-glazed cookies are. This said, the book is immensely appealing and will excite as well as instruct a wide range of bakers, from the would-be to the accomplished. –Arthur Boehm