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The America's Test Kitchen Family Baking Book Ring-bound – September 1, 2008

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Expert bakers and novices scared of baking's requisite exactitude can all learn something from this hefty, all-purpose home baking volume. The editors of America's Test Kitchen, known for their painstaking recipe testing, offer more than 700 recipes, helpfully illustrated by 1,000-plus color photos. The recipes themselves are indeed family appropriate—no architectural restaurant-style desserts here, but rather appealing basics in a wide variety of categories, including breads, pizzas, cookies, cakes, pies, pastries, custards and toppings. Easier items, such as Simple Drop Biscuits, Peanut Butter Blondies, and Red Velvet Layer Cake are labeled great for beginners; potentially intimidating confections, such as Croissants, Grand Marnier Soufflé and even a Classic Three-Tier Wedding Cake have step-by-step instructions that make them accessible. While the tone of the book is decidedly technical, the vibe isn't cold. And the info-packed introduction, with details on ingredients and equipment (the editors get specific and suggest their tried and true favorite brands) is worth reading carefully. (Sept.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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Product Details

  • Ring-bound: 552 pages
  • Publisher: America's Test Kitchen; Lslf edition (September 1, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1933615222
  • ISBN-13: 978-1933615226
  • Product Dimensions: 2.5 x 9.8 x 10 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.5 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (158 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #111,440 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Important Information

Example Ingredients

Example Directions

More About the Author

America's Test Kitchen is a 2,500 square foot kitchen located outside of Boston. It is the home of Cook's Illustrated and Cook's Country magazines and is the workday destination for over 3 dozen test cooks, editors and cookware specialists. Our mission is to test recipes until we understand how and why they work and arrive at the best version. We also test kitchen equipment and supermarket ingredients in search of brands that offer the best value and performance. You can watch us work by tuning in to our public television show, America's Test Kitchen.

Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

195 of 198 people found the following review helpful By Patrick W. Crabtree VINE VOICE on October 1, 2008
Format: Ring-bound Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Move over Betty Crocker...

I was astounded when I unboxed this brilliantly conceived cookbook (baking book). It is instantly recognizable that this one is near-perfect... and when one gets a chance to really look it over and use it, you additionally discover that, in fact, it's TOTALLY perfect! Here's why:

1. There are 700 high-quality, well-tested recipes.

2. This book is STURDY and lies open to your recipe perfectly.

3. The recipes are bound with 5 strong clasp-type binders, allowing you to remove the individual recipe that you wish to use (or, to add your own!)

4. The text is easy to read.

5. The organization of the text is terrific with "quick tabs" which stick out from the pages so you can go directly to the section that you want (17 of these, and you can read them from both sides).

6. The paper stock is heavy (no ripping of the page holes) and is of a slick texture as to resist stains from spills.

7. There are HUNDREDS of beautiful color illustrations throughout the text which illustrate techniques, "common mistakes," finished dishes, etc.

8. The substitution, equivalency, and conversion charts are all located on the inside of the front and rear covers.

9. There are nice sections on kitchen equipment (illustrated), basic techniques, and ingredients.

10. Beginners' recipes are so noted.

11. There's a beautifully-organized one-page table of contents.

12. The recipes are mostly one per page so there's no hassle with having to flip pages as you try to prep ingredients or bake.
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65 of 69 people found the following review helpful By bezoarrn VINE VOICE on September 24, 2008
Format: Ring-bound Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
I give it ten stars! Where oh where has this cookbook been all my life? I have been looking for this type of comprehensive baking cookbook for years but have been very disappointed with every one I find. Not any more. I can honestly see myself spending the rest of my life cooking my way through every recipe in this volume.

OK - why am I so in love with this book? Because the baked goods are everyday, homestyle, "like Momma used to make" recipes. Most cookbooks are a variety of everyday recipes mixed with what I call "fantasy" baking - nice to look at but not practical to make - or eat. Not this volume. There's not one intimidating recipe in the entire book. These items are the memories of my childhood. They are also the recipes that I never tried but always wanted to make. Plus there are elegant baked goods and rustic breads that will make you look like a super star instead of a super snob. Everyone will love them.

Where do I start with my praise? The photos. The cookbook is full of color photos - not the occasional giant, glossy photo of finished products - but smaller, relevant color photos for each section, each recipe, each baking food or product recommended, and each process. Almost EVERY recipe has its own set of instructional photos that follow the recipe through it's steps to the finished product. Where has this book been all my life?

Besides the excellent compilation of recipes, another big selling point of this cookbook is its "accessibility." Everyone from the most novice cook to an experienced baker will find something to admire in this volume. A novice baker will find lists of ingredients essential to baking along with photos, explanations about each item, and brand name recommendations.
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76 of 83 people found the following review helpful By Biblioholic Beth VINE VOICE on September 24, 2008
Format: Ring-bound Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
This is one of those cookbooks that you can use forever and then pass down to a loved one. The recipes are classic and anyone, from novice up to experienced baker, can find something new to do or to learn.

A few of the things I found most impressive about the cookbook:

1. It's very solid. The construction is not cheap and will help it last through many years of baking, flying flour and all.

2. There's a terrific pantry section in the front that covers the most common baking ingredients - it describes (and pictures) what the ingredient is, how it's used, and if applicable, any substitutions or ways to make your own.

3. Following the pantry section is one called "Bakeware and More: Stocking Your Kitchen". It shows pictures and describes what to look for in equipment, as well as listing test kitchen favorites and their prices. Each category shows several items, with the "must-have items" having a light yellow background to make them easy to pick out. Then come the specialty items, and just as important, the "10 Baking Gadgets You Don't Need".

4. The recipes cover the whole spectrum from basic to complicated and everything in between. Basic recipes are easy to pick out - they have a spoon and "great for beginners" in red. This would be a great cookbook for those with children to teach them the basics of baking. I plan on using it with my own two kids!

5. There are a TON of photos, hints and tips. Even if you've been baking for years, there will be *something* to learn.

Ok, so there are more than a few reasons I like this cookbook. All the more reason to add it to your collection!
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