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The Weekend Baker: Irresistible Recipes, Simple Techniques, and Stress-Free Strategies for Busy People Paperback – August 17, 2008


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The Weekend Baker: Irresistible Recipes, Simple Techniques, and Stress-Free Strategies for Busy People + Mini Treats & Hand-Held Sweets: 100 Delicious Desserts to Pick Up and Eat + Desserts 4 Today: Flavorful Desserts with Just Four Ingredients
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company; Reprint edition (August 17, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0393331393
  • ISBN-13: 978-0393331394
  • Product Dimensions: 1 x 7.6 x 9.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #652,194 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

What's a weekend baker? "Anyone who loves to bake, but gets tripped up feeling that it's too time consuming," writes Abigail Johnson Dodge in The Weekend Baker, her collection of 100-plus recipes for a wide range of sweet and savory baked goods. Formulas for the likes of Gingered Shortcakes with Jumbled Fruit, Soft Chocolate-Almond Oatmeal Cookies, and Chocolate-Banana Swirl Cake are immediately attractive, but the great value of Dodge's book lies in its organization, which takes readers from the simplest and quickest projects--"Baker's Express"--through "Baking in Stages," and finally "Productions," fuller-dress items like Four-Layer Carrot Cake and Overnight Brioche Braid; these are, nevertheless, well within the average baker's skill. In a world of baking books that offer the simplest and most traditional recipes only, or assume that readers have the time and technique to create multi-element extravaganzas, The Weekend Baker stands apart. Its approach is realistic without sacrificing good taste or recipe integrity. Dodge includes tips that cover familiar ground--get to know your oven, and the lik--but also offers, for example, "Bake It and Stow It," a detailed guide to storing sweets. Features like "Do-Aheads," and "Got Extra Time?," usefully further Dodge's quick-and-delicious approach. (She's also pleasingly droll; a really rich brownie is dubbed "prescription-strength."). With color photos, the book is a real addition to the harried baker's library. --Arthur Boehm --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Publishers Weekly

Dodge believes that when it comes to the often-intimidating world of baking, one need not sacrifice quality for simplicity. Chocolate-Glazed Ricotta Cake, Old-Fashioned Berry Ice-Box Cake, Jalapeño Corn Bread Wedges—all are within reach, with a little planning. The author honed her skills at La Varenne in Paris, specializing in pastry, but despite her serious experience, her approach is relaxed and realistic. To Dodge, the weekend baker is the dinner party host who wants to accompany the meal with homemade focaccia, but doesn't get home from work until six; the mom who finds out her son needs cupcakes for Cub Scouts in an hour; or the low-maintenance sweet tooth who's ready to embark on a baking "production" on a Saturday afternoon, but doesn't know where to start. Supremely efficient, the book will help readers in any number of situations, whether they have a few days (Ready-When-You-Are-Chocolate-Raspberry Soufflés can be prepared and refrigerated for up to a day or frozen for up to two weeks before baking) or less than an hour (Nutty Cinnamon Elephant Ears use frozen puff pastry). Encompassing cookies and bars, cakes, breads, custards and pies, and sharing time-saving tips on everything from using the microwave to soften butter to keeping a well-stocked pantry, this is an excellent resource for cooks of all levels. Photos.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

More About the Author

The Short Story
A classically trained pastry chef, Abby Dodge is a widely respected, award wining, international acclaimed baking expert as well as a popular cookbook author, food writer and instructor. She studied in Paris at La Varenne and is the author of nine cookbooks, including Desserts 4 Today, a viral sensation, and The Weekend Baker, an IACP Cookbook Award Finalist. Her recipes and articles have appeared in more than six dozen cookbooks, publications, blogs and websites. A long time contributing editor to Fine Cooking magazine, Abby's recipes have also graced the covers of Bon Appetit magazine. She's a regular guest on TV and radio, including guest hosting duties on Martha Stewart Living Radio and Food & Wine with Chef Jamie Gwen where she shares monthly desserts. Her ninth book, Mini Treats & Handheld Sweets~Delicious Desserts to Pick up and Eat has just been released and is available for order. For more information about Abby, her cookbooks, blog and videos, please visit her website. www.AbbyDodge.com

The Longer Story
What began as a love for baking at a young age, developed into a passionate and successful career for Abby Dodge. A widely respected, award winning, international acclaimed expert in baking and cooking for both kids and adults, as well as a popular food writer, instructor and media personality, Abby has a simple mission: To streamline baking and cooking for home cooks of all ages. Abby's stress-free strategies and simple techniques for busy people have garnered awards, rave reviews, and a loyal following because ".. despite her serious experience, her approach is relaxed and realistic."--Publishers Weekly
Abby began cooking and baking as a young girl at home in New York and Connecticut. She studied in Paris at La Varenne and later worked under superstars Michel Guerard and Guy Savoy, specializing in pastry. She has held editorial posts at Parents and Woman's Day, and has contributed to over six dozen special-interest publications focusing on baking and family cooking. Abby is currently a contributing editor at Fine Cooking, where she has been on the masthead since 1994. She founded the magazine's test kitchen, has written and contributed to over eighty articles to date, and serves as the magazine's guru for all things baking. Her recipes have also graced the covers of Bon Appetit magazine. Abby's practical advice, recipes, and tips continue to be picked up by myriad consumer magazines, websites and, TV and radio programs.

In addition to her regular blog postings, Abby hosts a monthly online baking community on her blog called #baketogether where she encourages an international group of bakers of all skill levels to follow their own inspiration using one of her recipes. She's a regular guest on TV and radio including Guest Hosting on Martha Stewart Living Radio and Food & Wine with Chef Jamie Gwen where she shares monthly desserts. Abby also is an active member of International Association of Culinary Professionals and the American Institute of Wine and Food, and serves on the National Cutco Culinary Advisory Board. She lives in the Connecticut town she grew up in with her husband Chris, and their two children, Alex and Tierney. Abby's ninth book, Mini Treats & Handheld Sweets~Delicious Desserts to Pick up and Eat has just been released and is available for order. For more information about Abby, her cookbooks, blog and videos, please visit her website. www.AbbyDodge.com.

Author of Nine Popular and Award-Winning Cookbooks

Mini Treats & Handheld Treats ~ Delicious Desserts to Pick Up & Eat (September, 2012)
Desserts 4 Today - Flavorful Desserts with just FOUR INGREDIENTS (September, 2010) (a viral & critically acclaimed sensation)
Williams-Sonoma Mini Pies (September, 2010)
Around the World Cookbook, 2008 (Good Morning America Top 10 Cookbooks of 2008; Parents Choice Recommended Award 2008; Cordon d'Or Culinary Academy Award 2008)
The Weekend Baker, 2005, reprinted 2008 (Food + Wine Top Ten Cookbooks of 2004; IACP Cookbook Award Finalist)
Kids Baking, 2003 (Over 347,000 copies in print, translated into Spanish)
Williams-Sonoma Dessert, 2002 (Over 300,000 in print, translated into Spanish)
The Kid's Cookbook, 2000 (Over 368,000 copies in print)
Great Fruit Desserts, 1997 (Translated into six languages)

Abby has contributed or co-authored many cookbooks, including:


Baking Out Loud (Hedy Goldsmith, Clarkson Potter 2012)
B. Smith's Southern A to Z (Scribner, 2008)
The Joy of Cooking, 75th Anniversary Edition, 2006
Savoring America, 2002 (James Beard Award finalist; Ben Franklin Award winner)
Cookies for Christmas, 1999
The All New Joy of Cooking, 1997

Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5 stars
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See all 21 customer reviews
I am looking forward to trying more recipes.
J Houston
I like this book a lot because it tells how to make the recipes as time permits then put them together later.
B. Daley
What I like most about this book is the measurements by weight in addition to measurements by volume.
HanaasKitchen

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

29 of 29 people found the following review helpful By Lissa Ruger on December 8, 2004
Format: Hardcover
After taking a long haitus from baking because of a busy work schedule, I suddenly found myself with a long-term houseguest who has a decided sweet-tooth, and this book has been a godsend! I have been baking cookies and brownies and cakes galore, to rave reviews: my husband and our guest have declared me a bloody genius! Everything I've tried has come out exactly as promised. Abigail Dodge's reassuring, conversational style is so refreshing, and she made me realize that I don't need huge blocks of time and a bunch of gadgets to get great results. I actually like to bake again. Thank you, Abigail!
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26 of 26 people found the following review helpful By Stephen E. Mcdonald on December 9, 2004
Format: Hardcover
The author's vast experience with baking comes through in this family-friendly treasure chest of recipes. She provides very useful guidelines for home baking in her chapter introductions and encouraging anecdotes and advice in her head notes. Each recipe starts with do-ahead steps, which are great for those of us whose schedules require that we bake in time installments. Let your dough rise in the fridge overnight! It will be perky and ready to shape into bread in the morning! We made the Buttery Pull-Apart Dinner Rolls for Thanksgiving, and everyone raved. The dough for the rolls was some of the easiest I've ever worked with. It was fun for the kids to see how successful dough is supposed to look and feel at each step. (Note: If you make the rolls plain rather than using one of the suggested herb or cheese flavorings, add an extra pinch of salt.) We also made the Velvety Pumpkin Tart. It's richness is balanced by the (easy!) gingersnap crust. We made it in stages starting 2 days ahead of Thanksgiving, following the do-ahead steps. Very convenient! We have a list of six more recipes we're dying to try, including Brandy Snaps, Three-Bite Whoopie Pies, and Pumpkin Half-Moon Pie Pockets. Large type makes the book easy to read, and wide margins left me room to write notes for the next time. Thanks, Abby!
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23 of 23 people found the following review helpful By M. Thorpe on January 12, 2005
Format: Hardcover
I love to bake but I prefer recipes that aren't very complicated (a little challenge is fine) and that contain common ingredients so I'm not running around the grocery store trying to find this one item no one has ever heard of. This cookbook has met my requirements!

She has it divided into three sections: the first being quick desserts to whip up for unexpected parties, guests, etc., the second being recipes that you can prepare parts of ahead of time (which she also shows you how to do that with other recipes in other chapters), and the last section are recipes that require a little more time.

At the beginning of the book she lists common cooking tools and ingredients that you might want to stock your cabinets with.

I have made the mini elephant ears which were eaten quickly and this week I am trying the chocolate chip cookies. I love how she explains the baking process in the recipes and I couldn't be happier with this book!
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21 of 21 people found the following review helpful By Icicle on September 8, 2005
Format: Hardcover
I'm a cookbook junkie on a short bookshelf leash so when I found out about this book, I checked it out of my library before I grabbed my checkbook just in case I was being lead astray by another pretty cover. Boy, did I underestimate this book! If you have an interest in baking, buy this book, buy it now, buy it for baking friends! I did.

It looks like a simple list of recipes that you probably already have in any number of other baking books, and really it is, but what makes this book so useful is that it's like all the best recipes in those books are condensed into one easy to read, easy to follow and easy to grab reference. It saves me time not because of any earth-shattering shortcuts, but because I don't have to sift through 10 baking books to find a recipe I want to make or spend time figuring out how I can spread out the recipe over time -- that's already done. And the author is fabulously reassuring that yes, you can do this if you have a few minutes, and yes, it will be worth it!

My only complaint: an index of recipes at the start of the three main chapters would make finding a particular recipe even quicker. Currently, I have to mark them with post-it flags, making my book look like it's eating a tibetan prayer flag.

Thanks for putting the fun back in baking!!
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Kelly Gifford on July 25, 2006
Format: Hardcover
I was working on a project that required multiple baked goods. In my search for a variety, I checked out several baking books from the library. Once my project ended, I had fallen in love with only one book and discovered I had to have the book for my own personal use. That book was, "The Weekend Baker" by Abigail Johnson Dodge.

Now, I'll be honest there are 3 things that I think you should consider if you are considering buying this book.

1. This is a hard bound book, which makes it slightly challenging to keep open on your counter as you work throught he recipe. A couple of #10 cans will easily help you out but it is a bit annoying.

2. This book is said to be for those who love to bake but struggle to find the time. While I agree, I think we forget that there are a lot of people who "love to bake" yet assume baking means boxed cake/brownine mixes, premade pie crusts or frozen cookie dough - it is important to note that this book is for people who love to bake FROM SCRATCH and are too busy. (My friend was disappointed in the book when she discovered Abigail is NOT Sandra Lee!)

3. Further to my note in #2, if you are baker who relies on photo images to assure your finished result is correct, you may be disappointed. While the photos that are in the book are fabulous they are sparse and not available for every recipe.

That being said; The Ginger Snaps on the cover are fabulous! I now have a friend that expects the Banana Cake with Fudgy Frosting every year for his birthday and in a recent search for the perfect "shortcake" this book provided the winning recipe! A wonderful book!
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