By Lora Brody
Are novice bakers nervous? Not when they have Lora Brody walking them step-by-step through the process of turning out classic favorite baked goods. Veteran cookbook author Brody, whose works range from the bestselling Kitchen Survival Guide to Growing Up on the Chocolate Diet to Desserts from Your Bread Machine—Perfect Every Time, gets back to basics in Basic Baking: Everything You Need to Know to Get You Started Plus 101 Luscious Desserts That You Can Make.
Targeted for the novice, Basic Baking gives bakers confidence and inspires them to tackle more challenging recipes. As Brody demystifies baking techniques in her typically user-friendly way, she explains (there is a difference between baking soda and baking powder), encourages, provides endless tips on how to avoid common mishaps, and nags a bit. ("You're going to find certain things that I repeat over and over," she says. "Do I sound like your mother? They are essential things that can make the difference between success and failure in the kitchen.")
Brody even offers to bribe readers to read the introduction, which is packed with critical information on ingredients and techniques, by offering to send them "a very special chocolate recipe that will make you look around for more introductions to read" if they email her that they have made it thus far.
Basic Baking is a foolproof guide that provides budding bakers with all the information they need to succeed, including descriptive headnotes that help to decide if it is something you want to make, interpretive yields (are these portions for the garden club or the varsity soccer team?), notes on the equipment you'll need, and a glossary to turn to in moments of doubt (what does it mean when you say______?).
Brody's recipes include bars and squares (the best place for the absolute novice to begin, since they're the most forgiving recipes when it comes to overmixing, underrising, undercooking, or even overcooking); cookies; cakes (real from-scratch cakes that take no longer to make and entail no more dirty dishes than cakes made with mixes); scones and muffins; quick breads, tea loaves, and coffee cakes; and pies and tarts.
Whether you have a yen for such sinful bars as Macadamia Nut-Topped Three-Chocolate Wedges, want to nibble on some old-fashioned Chocolate Chip Cookies, need a Pineapple Upside-Down Cake to finish a special dinner, or think a homey Strawberry-Rhubarb Pie with Almond Crumble Topping would make the perfect addition to your holiday table, success is within easy reach with a little help from Lora Brody and Basic Baking, the only resource a novice baker needs for success.
One of America's most respected culinary personalities, Lora Brody is a spokesperson, lecturer, cooking instructor, and the author of many bestselling cookbooks, including The Entertaining Survival Guide, Indulgences, and Cooking with Memories. Her recipes have appeared in such publications as The New York Times Sunday magazine and the Los Angeles Times. She lives in Newton, Massachusetts.
Basic Baking: Everything You Need
to Know to Get You Started Plus 101
Luscious Desserts That You Can Make
By Lora Brody
Morrow Cookbooks/An Imprint of HarperCollins Publishers
William Morrow; November 2000
Hardcover $25.00, 325 pages
Information provided by the publisher.
This page created April 2001
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