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Cook's Illustrated Baking Book: Baking Demystified with 450 Foolproof Recipes from America's Most Trusted Food Magazine

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Notes about this book

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Notes about Recipes in this book

  • Pumpkin bread

    • twoyolks on November 05, 2014

      This pumpkin bread actually has good pumpkin flavor (instead of just pumpkin pie spice flavor).

  • Quick cheese muffins

    • twoyolks on September 15, 2015

      The muffins have a strong cheese flavor but it would be better if there were some complimentary flavors in the muffin.

  • Classic blueberry muffins

    • twoyolks on February 08, 2016

      These were acceptable as blue berry muffins but there was nothing special about them.

  • Oatmeal muffins

    • twoyolks on June 17, 2015

      The muffins were moist but the flavor was lacking. Also, it's impossible to fully grind the oats so there are small bits of oats throughout the muffin which impacts the texture.

  • Quick and easy cream biscuits with crystallized ginger

    • damazinah on May 13, 2016

      These are fantastic, especially on a cold frosty morning! They're more of a scone than a biscuit, and great with a bit of orange marmalade.

  • Popovers

    • twoyolks on January 23, 2015

      Despite the recipe specifying reduced fat milk, I successfully made these with whole milk. They rose considerably in the oven and were quite tasty.

  • Ultimate cinnamon buns

    • twoyolks on December 25, 2013

      These are enormous cinnamon buns. They are also very rich. They are not overly sweet. The tang from the cream cheese frosting is a bit weird.

  • New York-style thin-crust pizza

    • twoyolks on November 11, 2014

      The most important part about this pizza is getting just the right thickness of the dough. When it's the right thickness, it's very good. If it's too thick or too thin, it rapidly loses its appeal.

  • New York-style thin-crust white pizza

    • twoyolks on February 24, 2018

      This was just too rich and too much. I'd prefer a simpler white pizza.

  • Chicago-style deep-dish pizza with sausage

    • twoyolks on March 20, 2015

      This was pretty tasty. The only issue is that the bottom of the crust got very crisp such that it was hard to cut through.

  • Brown sugar cookies

    • twoyolks on February 10, 2014

      The cookies are very good. They have an almost toffee flavor to them. The recipe almost seems like it was written for a stand mixer but the use of one is never specified. It does become a bit difficult to mix the batter by hand.

  • French butter cookies (Sablés)

    • twoyolks on February 17, 2014

      The texture and flavor of these cookies was terrible. The dough is also very difficult to work with given that there is zero liquid in the dough. After one bite, we threw out the remaining cookies.

  • Spritz cookies

    • twoyolks on December 27, 2016

      Really good, if simple, spritz cookies.

  • Raspberry streusel bars

    • macfadden on December 20, 2017

      These were a bit disappointing. They looked great in the oven, but I found them a bit dry and bland. The filling was thin and leathery, which is exactly what the description said it wouldn't be.

  • Lemon chiffon cake

    • Partyof7 on March 20, 2018

      Fabulous, bakery quality cake. Universally beloved by young and old!

  • Old-fashioned chocolate layer cake

    • twoyolks on December 07, 2017

      The cake and icing have a good amount of chocolate flavor without being particularly sweet.

  • Yellow cupcakes with chocolate ganache frosting

    • twoyolks on August 15, 2018

      Basic cupcakes. I did have trouble getting the chocolate ganache to actual set all the way. In the future, I'd prefer a buttercream frosting just so it was more stable.

  • Fresh peach cobbler

    • twoyolks on September 15, 2015

      This recipe didn't work for me. The peaches didn't cook all the way through. The topping was under baked. I suspect that the recipe was designed for yellow peaches but I used white peaches.

  • All-season blueberry cobbler

    • damazinah on June 17, 2016

      A really good cobbler. Thawing the berries first then concentrating the juice was a bit of a pain, but worthwhile.

  • Peach crumble

    • twoyolks on August 29, 2016

      This didn't work properly for me. I didn't have the full amount of liquid called for after macerating the peaches. When baking, despite baking for longer than the required time, the peaches weren't fully cooked all the way.

  • All-butter single-crust pie dough for custard pies

    • Smokeydoke on February 25, 2017

      My favorite pie crust so far. I love the taste and I used half water, half vodka to help it along. It wasn't hard to work with, probably due to the sour cream.

  • Deep-dish apple pie

    • Smokeydoke on February 25, 2017

      This is the pie you find at really good cafes all around the US. It's the quintessential apple pie. The technique is perfect albeit labor-intensive. However the flavor is not for me, I felt it lacked something. The apples get cooked down quite a bit and it lost a lot of apple flavor. No need to buy expensive Braeburns for this pie, it turned into mush. Next time, I'll quadruple the cinnamon and maybe add another ingredient, I'm thinking caramel.

  • Classic lemon tart

    • themarybaker on September 15, 2014

      As a time saver, use Pillsbury crust.

  • Classic crème brûlée

    • twoyolks on February 17, 2014

      Really good flavor in the creme brulee but it took longer for them to cook than the recipe called for.

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Reviews about this book

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  • ISBN 10 1945256818
  • ISBN 13 9781945256813
  • Published Jun 11 2018
  • Format Hardcover
  • Page Count 518
  • Language English
  • Countries United States
  • Publisher America's Test Kitchen

Publishers Text

The Cook’s Illustrated Baking Book has it all—definitive recipes for all your favorite cookies, cakes, pies, tarts, breads, pizza, and more, along with kitchen-tested techniques that will transform your baking. Recipes range from easy (drop cookies and no-knead bread) to more ambitious (authentic croissants and dacquoise) and the trademark test kitchen expertise shines through each one. Discover why spreading the dough and then sprinkling the berries leads to better Blueberry Scones, why cubed versus shredded extra-sharp cheddar cheese makes all the difference in our irresistible Cheese Bread, how we found three ways to squeeze more lemon flavor into our Lemon Bundt Cake, and how to keep the best Buttermilk Waffles your family will ever taste warm and crispy. 

An illustrated Baking Basics chapter at the front of the book provides information on key ingredients and equipment and lays the groundwork for a lifetime of baking success. A shopping guide at the back recommends our favorite brands.  The recipes in this book represent all the wisdom of the bakers that came before us as well as all we've learned through literally thousands of trial-and-error sessions in our kitchens.