When I’m feeling down and uninspired, I settle into the cooking section of the local library, flipping through cookbook after cookbook for recipe ideas. I jot down some potential recipes for the upcoming weeks, making notes of tips I find along the way.
I can spend hours by the cookbook shelves in any bookstore. Oftentimes, my husband has to drag me away. Nearly every Barnes and Noble gift card I receive goes towards a cookbook purchase.
Clearly, I love cookbooks. And recently, I’ve had a particular fondness for baking cookbooks. Here are my top four for any baker (or aspiring baker):
Flour: Spectacular Recipes from Boston's Flour Bakery + Cafe. Apparently, I really need to visit this Boston bakery. Where else could I find house-made Pop-Tarts and Fig Newtons? Until then, I’ll settle for the cookbook and making these unique and tasty treats myself.
The Original King Arthur Flour Cookbook. This cookbook is great for basic muffin, scone, cookie and yeast bread recipes. There are detailed tips and directions at the beginning of each chapter, and many ideas for variations on the basics.
Bon Appetit Desserts: The Cookbook for All Things Sweet and Wonderful:. This book has everything a baker could want to make. Everything.
The Art and Soul of Baking. The food-science nerd in me loves this one the most because it details why you need to mix ingredients in a certain order or why you may need to bring ingredients to room temperature before you begin. It doesn’t offer the variety of recipes of Flour or Bon Appetit Desserts, but the helpful tips and tricks more than make up for it!
So there you have it, my four favorite baking cookbooks. What are yours?