How to Bake Everything: Simple Recipes for the Best Baking by Mark Bittman

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Notes about Recipes in this book

  • Blueberry muffins

    • IvyManning on July 07, 2018

      Don't use the blueberry version of this recipe! It produces rubbery, flavorless muffins. So embarrassed I served this at a brunch ! I'm pitching this book and Bittmans baking book. I've just had far too many dud recipes from him.

    • MsMonsoon on July 11, 2020

      Made the peach oatmeal variation provided with the blueberry muffin recipe. It made only enough for 10 flat, somewhat rubbery muffins. The recipe has no sugar at all, so you will probably want to use the optional streusel topping recipe. I was sure glad I used some leftover streusel I had in the fridge from a Violet Bakery recipe to provide a bit of sweet. Perhaps his "Sweet and Rich Muffins" recipe is better?

  • Banana bread

    • IvyManning on November 01, 2016

      Who ever heard of a banana bread recipe without any cinnamon or any other spices? The headnote promised not-too-sweet bread, but we found it to be sticky sweet and bland at the same time.

  • Banana oatmeal chocolate chunk cookies

    • julesamomof2 on February 05, 2018

      Disaster--this recipe was obviously not tested. With no flour, it was a liquidy mess.. I could tell they weren't going to work, so I kept adding flour until they became a decent consistency, around 6 tablespoons. I like the fact that he offers a lot of variations on base recipes, but not if they can't be trusted.

  • Beignets

    • lou_weez on April 15, 2017

      These doughnuts reminded me of the ones my Nonna used to make. Really delicious with a mug of hot chocolate. They do need to be eaten on the day they are made, so we halved the recipe and still had 20 little sugar coated spheres to get through!

  • Apricot-cardamom pancakes

    • MsMonsoon on July 13, 2021

      I had some cooked, frozen apricots my dad had given me from his tree, so I pureed them for this recipe. This is one of the variations given for the pumpkin pancake recipe, and it's really good. Fluffy pancakes and the delicate cardamom flavor came through. (I added a little extra of both the cardamom and vanilla.) They were really good with maple syrup, or with whole milk yogurt mixed with a touch of honey. Later I tried modifying a pumpkin muffin recipe from Moosewood's to have this same apricot-cardamom flavor and it was a fail -- they didn't taste nearly as good as these pancakes!

  • Coffee cake

    • MsMonsoon on October 09, 2021

      Recipe calls for a 9x9. I have only an 8x8 and it didn’t even seem enough batter for this smaller pan. Also, there is no “pouring” this batter the way the recipe states, as it is very thick. Didn’t have enough batter to make a full 2nd layer. I read a suggestion to just have a single layer coffee cake, and makehalf the streusel.

  • Double-chocolate muffins

    • MsMonsoon on August 09, 2020

      Success! This muffin turned out much better than the blueberry muffin recipe two pages earlier in his book. I did the Mexican version, adding 2 tsp. of cinnamon and 1/4 tsp. of cayenne and really liked the result. Didn't have dark chocolate so I just used semi-sweet chips. Next I'll try with dark chocolate and the orange version. The recipe says to fill cups 2/3 full but there was enough batter to fill almost to the top. And while the muffins rose, they didn't spill over while baking.

  • Cardamom-orange pinwheel biscuits

    • MsMonsoon on May 19, 2021

      Quick, easy and versatile, and the cardamom orange variation is delicious. They are not very sweet and many reviewers at the King Arthur site preferred to add more butter, sugar, or a sweet glaze. But as long as you’re not expecting a gooey cinnamon roll, these are fine. There is an awful lot of baking powder (1Tbsp) here and you can taste it. The online recipe, which seems to be a revised/corrected version of the book’s, has much less baking powder, baking soda and salt, and the instructions are more detailed, recommending wrapping and freezing the roll for 15 min before slicing: https://www.kingarthurbaking.com/recipes/cinnamon-pinwheel-biscuits-recipe

  • Chocolate scones

    • MsMonsoon on January 25, 2021

      I made the chocolate orange variation of these and they rose nicely and have a nice flavor. (Just did the sugar on top, not the optional orange glaze, although that sounds good.) The dough was quite wet and sticky so I had to add more flour. Compared to some other scone recipes, these don’t have a lot of fat (5 tbsp of butter instead of Cheese Board’s two sticks!) so the result is a little more bread-like instead of a rich and buttery pastry. Recipe says use an ungreased baking sheet. Some bits did stick so I’d use parchment or Silpat next time.

  • Whole wheat feta and rosemary scones

    • MsMonsoon on October 07, 2020

      These were bland and the finished product was begging for butter, cheese, and/or condiment. Even slathered with butter, these didn’t come alive until I spread on some Marmite!

  • Blueberry pudding cake

    • MsMonsoon on April 17, 2021

      Never made a pudding cake before. It’s interesting how a single batter turns into a two-layer dessert. A little fussy with a blender, mixer, and bain marie, but still easy. I might reduce the sugar by a couple tablespoons next time. The corn blueberry version sounds interesting, too.

  • Vegan peanut butter cookies

    • Kmatazz on July 30, 2017

      Made the vegan version - very good. I would add the chopped peanuts next time - did use crunchy peanut butter. A little larger than suggested - took 3 minutes longer.

  • Cinnamon-spice crazy cake

    • jchern on April 09, 2017

      Messing around again. Used 1 1/4 c white whole wheat flour and 1 cup regular; cut sugar by 1/4 cup. Added a shot of espresso as part of water and used olive oil. Only really new for me was the slightly less sugar and the espresso--done that with chocolate version but not spice before.

  • Challah

    • Niemie on March 27, 2017

      Braid the loaf loosely, otherwise it will tear. Also, proof at least 2 hours after the final shaping. Consider baking at 325 to avoid too much oven spring.

  • Socca or farinata

    • mjes on April 23, 2018

      Not that there is much variation in socca recipes, but this is the one I chose to start my grandnephew on. It is very well written for a beginning cook to follow. It is especially useful because of Bittman's related uses for the socca once it is done. Don't laugh, I was introduced to socca in a flatbread and crackers course that failed to discuss uses.

  • Thumbprint cookies

    • mjes on October 19, 2019

      A typical thumbprint cookie made special by the use of Alaskan spruce tip jelly.

  • Afghan snowshoe naan

    • trmarvin on May 17, 2017

      If you decide to make this early enough in the day, for very little work you can have an outstanding addition to a dinnertime curry. It requires two rises of 2-3 hours each (one for the sponge and one for the dough), as well as 30 minutes after shaping. It all comes together in the food processor with a little hand kneading - a fun technique. My three young children devoured these two very large loaves and even tried a little tikka masala. I chose this version of naan because it does not have any dairy in it; it's a lean dough.

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Reviews about this book

  • Food52

    Mark Bittman's the man whose taught us all how to cook everything. Now, he's teaching all of us how to bake. Phew!

    Full review
  • ISBN 10 0470526882
  • ISBN 13 9780470526880
  • Linked ISBNs
  • Published Oct 04 2016
  • Format Hardcover
  • Page Count 768
  • Language English
  • Edition 1
  • Countries United States
  • Publisher Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

Publishers Text

In the most comprehensive book of its kind, Mark Bittman offers the ultimate baker’s resource. Finally, here is the simplest way to bake everything, from American favorites (Crunchy Toffee Cookies, Baked Alaska) to of-the-moment updates (Gingerbread Whoopie Pies). It explores global baking, too: Nordic ruis, New Orleans beignets, Afghan snowshoe naan. The recipes satisfy every flavor craving thanks to more than 2,000 recipes and variations: a pound cake can incorporate polenta, yogurt, ricotta, citrus, hazelnuts, ginger, and more. New bakers will appreciate Bittman’s opinionated advice on essential equipment and ingredient substitutions, plus extensive technique illustrations. The pros will find their creativity unleashed with guidance on how to adapt recipes to become vegan, incorporate new grains, improvise tarts, or create customized icebox cakes using a mix-and-match chart. Demystified, deconstructed, and debunked—baking is simpler and more flexible than you ever imagined.


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