I'm a huge baking fan, so my fiance bought me this cookbook last year. I love Alton Brown's Good Eats show, which goes into the science that goes on in your cooking. This book explains the methods that are the foundation of countless baked goods. My cakes and breads have vastly improved with some of the tricks Alton Brown shares. It has also helped me to understand what is going on in other recipes. I will warn that Alton Brown encourages the use of weight rather than volume, especially for measuring flour. Now, I can't go back. This cookbook has revolutionized how I see baking and has made me much more comfortable in the kitchen. It's a great gift for anyone that wants to learn the building blocks of baking.
I really like Alton Brown he is so knowledgeable about food every time you watch his show you always learn something from him and it makes you want to go out and get his books and try to cook like him i will always recommend Alton Brown's Cookbooks like this one and all the others as well :)
Confession. I am a nerd. In high school, I harbored a secret love of chemistry class, and, before that (before I knew liking science was not cool), my favorite Christmas gifts were my chemistry set and my telescope (the latter made me cry when from excitement!). I take this secret dorkiness with me everywhere, and it informs my approach to even the most mundane of tasks. Baking, for me, is anything but mundane, so that scientific approach only serves to up the fun/dork factor. Alton Brown's 'I'm Just Here for More Food...' is the PERFECT complement to this way of thinking. It's filled with interesting information about the science of baking: the way gluten develops, the effects of leaveners, the concept of building proteins. It is fascinating stuff. Brown segments the book in a really interesting and valuable way -- starting with "the muffin method," the simplest, most straightforward, practice: dump your wet ingredients into your dry, mix, and pop in the oven. From there, things get more complicated as Brown delves into the world of doughs both simple and complex, plus cookies and more. The book does, admittedly, take some getting used to. You've got to learn how to bake from the recipes as Brown presents them, but it's sort of like the difference between a PC and a Mac -- while the former is more conventional (so you're used to it), the latter is more intuitive and, once your brain grows accustomed to it, much, much easier. The downfall of the book is that some of the recipes (the cookie section in particular) fall flat -- Brown admits that some of this may be individual preference (I hate a crispy cookie!), but I think this area just isn't a strength. The book really shines in the bread section, where the value of Brown's scientific approach lies not only in helping to prepared bakers for making these recipes, but for beginning to explore their own.