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Baking: From My Home to Yours [Hardcover]

Dorie Greenspan
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (198 customer reviews)

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

In Baking with Julia (Child, of course) and Desserts by Pierre Hermé, Dorrie Greenspan gave voice to other baking experts while ensuring their recipes worked. Now, in Baking: From My Home to Yours, she steps fully onstage with a collection of 230-plus immediately attractive recipes ranging from breakfast sweets, cakes, and tarts to puddings, custards, ice creams, and crisps. This is homey, eminently doable baking that encompasses the more familiar, like sugar-topped molasses spice cookies, pecan sticky buns, and lemon tart, but also includes the temptingly original, such as Devil’s Food White-Out Cake, Coconut-Roasted Pineapple Dacquoise, and Toasted Almond Scones. Her cookie selection, which offers the standout Chocolate Malted Whopper Drops, is particularly good, as is her brownie group, a mini-chapter featuring a very edible espresso cheesecake variation.

Greenspan knows her stuff, of course, but it's her droll, anecdotal style (readers learn, for example how a chocolate cake got her fired) and her recipe-making expertise that sets the book apart. Precise descriptions of the baked goods--a pound cake, for example, is said to have a "moist, tightly knit crumb"--help readers understand baking anatomy. Equally exact, and reassuring, are her recipe guideposts--she notes, for example, that rubbing butter into the dry ingredients when making a biscuit recipe will result in "pea-size pieces, pieces the size of oatmeal flakes, and pieces the size of everything in between." With recipe variations and enticing color photos, the book will inspire--and inform--baking novices and experts alike. --Arthur Boehm



Recipe Excerpts from Baking: From My Home to Yours


Toasted Almond Scones

Granola Grabbers





From Publishers Weekly

Starred Review. Greenspan, coauthor of books with culinary icons such as Julia Child (Baking with Julia), Daniel Boulud and Pierre Hermé, shares her favorite recipes in this tantalizing collection, which covers all the baking bases, from muffins, cookies and brownies to spoon desserts, pies and cobblers. Instructions are clear and easy to follow, and Greenspan uses everyday ingredients readily available to the home chef. Recipes like Perfection Pound Cake and All-American, All-Delicious Apple Pie convey a comfortable, almost homey, familiarity that will bring readers back to this collection again and again. In addition, she provides insight into matters many cooks may not often consider, such as leaveners, technique and choosing the right pan. Numerous mouth-watering photos dot the book throughout, making it hard to choose which one to make first. Especially helpful is the Indispensables: Base Recipes section at the end of the book, which includes pointers for making key ingredients such dough, pastry cream, lemon curd and faux crème fraîche. This is baking at its best. Over 100 full-color photos. (Nov.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

About the Author

Inducted into the Who's Who of Food and Beverage in America, DORIE GREENSPAN is the author of the James Beard Award-winning Baking: From My Home to Yours. She worked with Jean-Georges Vongerichten in his first U.S. kitchen and was Elle magazine's first food writer, recipe tester, and translator. With Pierre Herm�, Dorie wrote Desserts by Pierre Herm�, winner of an IACP Cookbook of the Year Award, and Chocolate Desserts by Pierre Herm�, winner of the Gourmand prize for best cookbook in the English language. A contributing editor for Parade, a long-time special correspondent for Bon App�tit, and frequent guest on NPR's All Things Considered and The Splendid Table, Dorie lives in Paris, New York, and Westbrook, Connecticut.

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.

TOASTED ALMOND SCONES

THE TRIPLE-WHAMMY flavor hit here is almonds, almonds and almonds: toasted ground almonds and pure almond extract in the dough and sliced almonds on top.

1 cup blanched almonds (whole, slivered or sliced), toasted 2 tablespoons sugar 1 large egg 1/3 cup cold heavy cream 1/4 cup cold whole milk 1/8 teaspoon pure almond extract 13/4 cups all-purpose flour 1 tablespoon baking powder 1/4 teaspoon salt 1 stick (8 tablespoons) cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces 1/4 cup sliced almonds (optional)

GETTING READY: Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment or a silicone mat.
Divide the toasted almonds in half. Finely grind 1⁄2 cup in a food processor or blender with the sugar, taking care not to overgrind the nuts and end up with almond butter. Finely chop the other 1⁄2 cup.
Stir the egg, cream, milk and almond extract together.
Whisk the flour, ground almonds and sugar, baking powder and salt together in a large bowl. Drop in the butter and, using your fingers, toss to coat the pieces of butter with flour. Quickly, working with your fingertips (my favorite method) or a pastry blender, cut and rub the butter into the dry ingredients until the mixture is pebbly. You’ll have pea-size pieces, pieces the size of oatmeal flakes and pieces the size of everything in between—and that’s just right.
Pour the liquid ingredients over the dry ingredients and stir with a fork just until the dough, which will be wet and sticky, comes together. Don’t overdo it. Stir in the chopped almonds.
Still in the bowl, gently knead the dough by hand, or turn it with a rubber spatula 8 to 10 times. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and divide it in half. Working with one piece at a time, pat the dough into a rough circle that’s about 5 inches in diameter, cut it into 6 wedges and top each scone with a few sliced almonds, if you’re using them. Place them on the baking sheet. (At this point, the scones can be frozen on the baking sheet, then wrapped airtight. Don’t defrost before baking—just add about 2 minutes to the baking time.) Bake the scones for 20 to 22 minutes, or until their tops are golden and firmish. Transfer to a rack and cool for 10 minutes before serving, or wait for the scones to cool to room temperature.

QUINTUPLE CHOCOLATE BROWNIES

THERE’S A little of every kind of chocolate in these sweet, more-fudgy- thancakey brownies. Following tradition, the batter is made with unsweetened chocolate, but it’s got bittersweet (or semisweet) chocolate, cocoa, milk chocolate chips and a soft white chocolate glaze too. And there are nuts—any kind you’d like, but I hope you’ll try salted cashews or peanuts at least once.

FOR THE BROWNIES 1/2 cup all-purpose flour 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder 1/2 teaspoon salt 1 stick (8 tablespoons) unsalted butter, cut into 8 pieces 3 ounces unsweetened chocolate, coarsely chopped 3 ounces bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, coarsely chopped 2 tablespoons strong coffee 1 cup sugar 3 large eggs 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract 6 ounces premium-quality milk chocolate, chopped into chips, or 1 cup store- bought milk chocolate chips 1 cup chopped nuts

FOR THE GLAZE 6 ounces premium-quality white chocolate, finely chopped, or 1 cup store- bought white chocolate chips 1⁄3 cup heavy cream

GETTING READY: Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Line a 9-inch square baking pan with foil, butter the foil and place the pan on a baking sheet. Sift together the flour, cocoa and salt.

TO MAKE THE BROWNIES : Set a heatproof bowl over a saucepan of simmering water and add, in the following order, the butter, the two chocolates and the coffee. Keeping the pan over low heat, warm just until the butter and chocolates are melted—you don’t want the ingredients to get so hot they separate, so keep an eye on the bowl. Stir gently, and when the mixture is smooth, set it aside for 5 minutes. Using a whisk or a rubber spatula, beat the sugar into the chocolate mixture. Don’t beat too vigorously—you don’t want to add air to the batter—and don’t be concerned about any graininess. Next, stir in the eggs one at time, followed by the vanilla. You should have a smooth, glossy batter. If you’re not already using a rubber spatula, switch to one now and gently stir in the dry ingredients, mixing only until they are incorporated. Finally, stir in the milk chocolate chips and the nuts. Scrape the batter into the pan.
Bake for about 35 minutes, or until a thin knife inserted into the center comes out streaked but not thickly coated. Transfer the pann to a cooling rack and let the brownies rest undisturbed for at least 30 minutes. (You can wait longer, if you’d like.) Turn the brownies out onto a rack, peel away the foil and pllace it undddder another rack—it will be the drip catcher for the glaze. Invert the brownies onto the rack and let cool completely.

TO MAKE THE GLAZE: Put the white chocolate in a heatproof bowl. Bring the heavy cream to a boil and pour it over the chocolate. Wait 30 seconds, then, using a rubber spatula, gently stir until the chocolate is melted and the glaze is smooth. Hold a long metal icing spatula in one hand and the bowl of glaze in the other. Pour the glaze onto the center of the brownies and use the spatula to nudge it evenly over the surface. Don’t worry if it dribbles over the edges, you can trim the sides later (or not). Refrigerate the brownies for about 20 minutes to dry the glaze. Cut into 16 squares, each roughly 21⁄4 inches on a side.

MAKES 16 BROWNIES

SERVING: Serve straight up— whipped cream or ice cream is unnecessary with these. Well, a little ice cream is nice—why not?

STORING: The brownies can be put back in their baking pan, wrapped (without touching the glaze) and kept at room temperature for about 3 days or frozen—glaze and all—for up to 2 months.

CINNAMON SQUARES

THIS IS a simple cake in every way. You mix it in minutes by hand and bake it in an ordinary square pan (I use a nonstick Baker’s Secret pan from the supermarket), first spreading half of the cinnamon batter into the pan, adding chocolate bits and a mixture of cinnamon, sugar and instant espresso, then the rest of the batter. The cake gets a delicious and equally simple frosting, a melt of chocolate and butter. It’s pretty enough in a homey way, but there’s something about the softness of the cake, the warmth of its cinnamon flavor, the way the swirl of cinnamon, sugar, chocolate and coffee melts into the cake and that really good frosting that makes it as good at a brunch as it is as a midnight snack.

For the cake 11/4 cups plus 2 tablespoons sugar 1 tablespoon plus 2 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon 11/2 teaspoons instant espresso powder 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour 2 teaspoons baking powder Pinch of salt 3/4 cup whole milk 2 large eggs 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract 1 stick plus 2 tablespoons (10 tablespoons) unsalted butter, melted and cooled 3 ounces bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped, or 1/2 cup store-bought mini chocolate chips

For the frosting 6 ounces bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped 21/2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 4 pieces

GETTING READY: Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter an 8-inch square baking pan and line the bottom with parchment or wax paper. Place the pan on a baking sheet.

TO MAKE THE CAKE : Stir 2 tablespoons of the sugar, 21/2 teaspoons of the cinnamon and the espresso together in a small bowl.
In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, the remaining 11/4 cups sugar, the baking powder, salt and the remaining 1 tablespoon cinnamon. In another bowl, whisk together the milk, eggs and vanilla. Pour the liquid ingredients over the flour mixture and gently whisk until you have a homogenous batter. Now, using the whisk or a rubber spatula, fold in the butter with a light touch, just until the butter is absorbed. You’ll have a smooth, satiny batter.
Scrape half of the batter into the pan and smooth the top. Sprinkle the chocolate over the batter and dust with the cinnamon-sugar mixture. Cover with the rest of the batter and smooth the top again.
Bake for 35 to 40 minutes, or until the cake is puffed and beginning to pull away from the sides of the pan; a thin knife inserted into the center will come out clean. Transfer the cake to a cooling rack and let it rest for 15 minutes before unmolding it onto another rack. Peel off the paper, invert it onto the first rack, and cool to room temperature right side up.

TO MAKE THE FROSTING : Put the chocolate and butter in a heatproof bowl and fit the bowl over a saucepan of simmering water. Cook, stirring gently and often, just until they melt. Be careful not to overheat the mixture so much that it thins out; the chocolate should be smooth, very shiny, thick and spreadable. (If it thins, leave the frosting at room temperature for a bit, until it thickens a little.) Using an offset metal icing spatula or a table knife, spread the frosting in generous sweeps and swirls over the top of the cake. Allow the frosting to set at room temperature, then cut the cake into 9 squares, each about 21/2 inches on a side.

MAKES 9 servings

SERVING: Serve the cake as is or, if you’d like, with whipped cream, crcme fraîche or sour cream.

StTORING: Wrapped in plastic, the cake will keep at room temperature for 2 days. It can be frozen for up to 2 months, but it’s best to put the cake in the freezer unwrapped and then, when the frosting is firm, to wrap it airtight; defrost, still wrapped, overnight in the refrigerator.

PLAYING AROUND CAPPUCCINO SQUARES: If you like the cappuccino flavor combination of coffee and cinnamon, you can easily...
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