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King Arthur Flour Bakers Companion: The All Purpose Baking Cookbook Hardcover – Aug 26 2003

4.7 out of 5 stars 18 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 512 pages
  • Publisher: The Countryman Press; 1 edition (Aug. 26 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0881505811
  • ISBN-13: 978-0881505818
  • Product Dimensions: 21.8 x 5.3 x 26.2 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 Kg
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars 18 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #492,424 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description

From Publishers Weekly

The company that makes one of the pantry's most recognized baking ingredients-flour-presents this practical and comprehensive baking cookbook. The book begins, of course, with a no-nonsense discussion of measuring flour, a step in the baking process that thwarts many would-be pastry chefs (the authors urge homecooks to use a scale). Recipes are divided into category-based chapters-from breakfasts (with dozens of derivatives of pancakes and waffles), fried doughs, and quickbreads to yeasted breads, cookies and bars, and cakes. Carb-haters, beware: there's not much protein in these pages. Many recipes are tried-and-true formulas for favorite dishes, such as the Simple But Perfect Pancake, Simple Sugar Cookies, and Classic Blueberry Muffins; others are more daring variations on a theme, such as White Chocolate Hazelnut Cheesecake, and Potato, Dill and Onion Crackers. Detailed and logical explanations of how baking works, plus an in-depth discussion of baking ingredients make this a valuable guide for beginning bakers and an informative addition for pastry aficionados. 16 pages of color photos. 200 line drawings.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Booklist

Experienced home bakers now have a new resource, and beginning bakers find constructive encouragement in The King Arthur Flour Baker's Companion. Long a supplier of professional-quality ingredients and equipment, the Vermont-based company has now produced a comprehensive guide for amateur bakers. The book's no-nonsense approach appears in the very first pages of its introduction, where practical tables of measurements and weight-volume equivalencies provide data that bakers are sure to consult repeatedly. Recipes outline breakfast traditions including pancakes, waffles, and French toast, followed by other quick breads such as crepes, coffee cakes, muffins, biscuits, and scones. A further chapter covers items rarely made at home, such as crackers. Recipes for yeast breads, cookies, cakes, pies, and pastries survey the high points of the baker's art and technique. Helpful hints scattered among the recipes include the advice to freeze biscuits just prior to baking to increase their flakiness. This encyclopedic work concludes with chapters covering utensils and ingredients. Detailed nutritional analyses for each recipe enhance the book's utility. The King Arthur Flour Baker's Companion's provenance grants this book authority, and its comprehensiveness makes it a necessary purchase for every culinary collection. Mark Knoblauch
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
This volume, subtitled the 'All Purpose Baking Cookbook' perfectly fits the criteria I typically apply to a book in order to decide if I want to give it five stars. A book gets three stars if it meets my expectations. A book gets four stars if it meets my expectations in a very successful way. Typically, that means that it has few or no detected mistakes. A book gets five stars if it exceeds my expectations. This book certainly exceeded my expectations.
What I anticipated when I opened this book was a dry, technical work steeped in discussions of the effects of gluten and altitude and humidity on bread making, similar to some of the more detailed parts of better books on bread baking. All of these discussions are here, plus others on the finer points of measuring flour and types of flour, but with a difference.
The biggest surprise in the book was the light, personal touch of the writing. It all has the tone you may expect in a very good book on regional cooking. And, lo and behold, there is a hint of regionality and local tradition in the selection of materials in the book. In spite of the fact that King Arthur products are available throughout the country (unlike White Lily, for example), the book retains a very New England tone to it's selection of recipes. One prominent example is in the recipe for biscuits, where it advises all experienced Southern biscuit makers to simply skip that page, as since 'we don't want to shock you with the way we make biscuits up north'.
That doesn't mean the book does not touch on every subject you may expect it to cover. As I said in my opening paragraph, it easily covers much more than what I expected. The very first chapter dealing with breakfast foods covers material not commonly covered in conventional baking surveys.
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By A Customer on May 27 2004
Format: Hardcover
I've made about a handful of the recipes in this book and have thought that most of them were quite tasy. Some were okay - the Lemon Bread was too dry I thought and the Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies were crisp and not chewy (it turns out this is because of a typo and the recipe needs two eggs instead of one as stated.) On the other hand, I made my husband a Boston Creme Pie for his birthday and it was *very* delicious. Most of the recipes have been good.
I also like the layout of this book. It's easy to find things, plus it's a cozy read. The book has a bit of a New England feel to it. I tend to like cook books that you can sit and thumb through and think of future baking projects and this book is definitely that way. There's a lot of interesting information about how to bake something better.
I don't know if this the end all book on baking, but I do find that I'm reaching for this book more than most of the others I own. The only thing I don't like about it is the use of shortening for many of the recipes. I tend to prefer baking with butter. This is only a personal preference though. Overall it's a usefull book to own.
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By A Customer on Sept. 16 2003
Format: Hardcover
I just received my copy of this cookbook last night. It truely will be the definitive classic on all forms of baking. I have about 15 baking cookbooks (that is after I weeded out the ones that I didn't like). This single volume could replace most of the ones that I have on my shelf. There on sections on breads, cookies, quiches, brioche, on and on. The shear length of the book allows it to be comprehensive on all categories of baking. One strength of the book is that every recipe has nutritional information. There is also a lengthy section on different grains, how they are processed, and how they are used in baking. There is a lot of technical information in the book,(a big plus for me) but it is set up so that if you don't want to read all the technical information, you can just go straight to the recipe and follow it. You don't have to read a lot of technical information to get at the list of ingredients. This is a small thing, but most of the recipes are printed one to a page. I like this. This helps me keep track of what I am doing without having to search on the page. The color photographs are good, but there are not a lot of them. I'm sure more photos would have driven the cost way up and the thickness of the book would have been unmanageable. Hence, this is not a 'coffee table picture cookbook'. I did think that the black and white line drawings were quite good. Thanks King Arthur!!!!
P.S. The recipes themselves look delicious. I've only had time to try a couple and they were great!!!
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Format: Hardcover
I've been baking frequently for nearly thirty years, but my results took a Great Leap Forward more than a decade ago when I discovered the advice and products from the folks at King Arthur Flour. The Baker's Companion is a welcome addition to my kitchen. Though I own at least a hundred baking books, this one has all the advice, all the recipes, all the suggestions for substitutions, that a baker of any level of proficiency would need for sublime everyday cooking. (King Arthur also offers a wickedly tempting catalogue of staff-tested equipment and provisions--check it out!)
This book already lives on my kitchen counter, rather in the bookcases. There's no higher praise than that.
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