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Martha Stewart's Baking Handbook (2005)
by Martha Stewart
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some of the things I have tried and specifically recommend: chocolate cake and banana nut bread.
Is it odd that I like Martha more now that she's a convict? LOL
This is a beautiful book and an excellent compliment to my Williams Sonoma baking book. She has some wonderful recipes and gives great tips!
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
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Melvil Decimal System (DDC)641.815Technology and Application of Knowledge Home and family management Food And Drink Cooking Specific Dishes Appetizers Breads
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I've made quite a few of the recipes in this book and thought I'd share a few of my favorites. There are four cupcake recipes in this book, of which I've tried three. The Maple-Walnut Cupcakes with Maple Buttercream (p. 164) are really excellent. Make more candied walnuts than cupcakes - you'll just want to grab a handful and munch on them while you're garnishing. The Carrot-Ginger Cupcakes (p. 166) were really light and fluffy, although they very mild and not all that carrot cake-y, so that may not be to everyone's taste. But the instructions for making marzipan carrots (with photos!) make them so easy. I've made the One-Bowl Chocolate Cake on p. 168 as both cupcakes and a layer cake, and it's a great go-to basic chocolate cake recipe. The Marble Cake with White Chocolate Glaze (p. 65) is super easy yet impressive - the perfect thing to have with coffee when a friend stops over.
Martha's Classic Apple Pie recipe (p. 228) is simple and excellent, and her Pate Brisée (p. 224) is my go-to recipe for pie dough - it works every time. The Tarte Tatin (p. 265) is about as easy as a "company" dessert can get, looking both rustic and fancy at the same time (and it tastes amazing - like candied apples on pie crust; how could you go wrong?) I've made the Fruit Curd Tartlets (p. 258) with both lemon and lime curd (both on p. 390), and while the tartlet molds I used were really small (about 1" - don't do it to yourself!!!) and a huge pain in my ass, everyone loved them and they were gone in a flash.
This book makes even difficult, pastry chef-caliber techniques like laminated doughs accessible. I made the from-scratch Puff Pastry on p. 359, and while it took the better part of a day and used a crapload of butter, the difference from frozen, pre-packaged puff pastry was so amazing that I don't ever want to buy it again. I also tried my hand at the Danish Dough (p. 334), and made the Prune Pinwheels and Apricot Bow Ties (p. 336 & 338, respectively). The absolute winner of the book, though, is the Chocolate Babka on p. 352. Coming from a Russian/Polish Jewish background, I've eaten a lot of babkas, but this one was PERFECT. Loaded with chocolate, covered in streusel.... you need to try it. Granted, the recipe calls for 2 rises and with several different components it takes a bit of time to complete, but it also makes three loaves and they freeze beautifully. Eat one, store the other two in the freezer, and you'll have something perfect to bring to a potluck or housewarming at a moment's notice. ( )