Wednesday, January 8, 2020

A Baking Book for Beginners: The Beginner's Baking Bible


Have you been wanting to learn to bake? Do most of the baking books you've seen intimidate you? Take a look at this one. It's the simplest baking book I have ever seen.


I've been baking for more than forty years, but most of what I've learned about baking I had to learn by burning things and overmixing and making mistakes with yeast. This book can help with all those problems. I decided to test one recipe today, Cinnamon Swirl Bread. A quick bread like this is perfect for new bakers.


The prep time is only twenty minutes, so it's easy and quick. You start by preparing the topping by mixing together 1/2 cup light brown sugar with 2 teaspoons of ground cinnamon. (I like that Heather Perine, the cookbook author, tells you to use ground cinnamon. When you are just starting out, there's no such thing as too obvious.)


Then you preheat the oven at 350 degrees F. Butter and flour a 9-by-5-inch loaf pan. Combine the dry ingredients in a medium bowl: 2 cups all-purpose flour, 1 teaspoon baking soda, and 1/2 teaspoon salt.


Next, combine the wet ingredients in another medium bowl: 1/2 cup granulated sugar, 1/2 cup light brown sugar, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract, 1 large egg (at room temperature), 1 cup buttermilk (she explains how to make your own buttermilk from 1 cup of milk with 1 tablespoon of lemon juice in a footnote), and 1/4 cup vegetable oil.


Then you should combine the wet and dry ingredients by adding the dry to the wet and mixing together with a spatula. (Very clear directions...don't you love that?)


The last step is the only part that's a wee bit tricky. Pour half of the batter into the loaf pan. Sprinkle with half of the cinnamon and sugar mixture. Pour the remaining batter into the pan and top with the remaining cinnamon and sugar mixture. Draw a knife through the batter, swirling in circles, to marble. 


Then bake for 50 to 55 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Set the pan on a wire rack and cool completely.

And that's it. Just about everything you might want to make is in this book. Lemon Bars. Perfect Chocolate Chip Cookies. Easy Sugar Cookies. Fresh Cherry Pie. Banana Cream Pie. Blueberry Muffins. Banana Bread. Zucchini Bread. Carrot Sheet Cake. Basic French Bread. And lots more if you want to venture out a bit after you try these. 

Enjoy!



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22 comments:

  1. You know I always thought the Baking Bible was Mrs Beatons Cookery & Household Managment. I bought it for my wife on our fist Christmas together. Cannot think if we ever used it but it make some interesting reading. I think your book would be a lot easier to follow

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    1. What a wonderful thing to get for your wife! I bet it's a fun read.

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  2. I notice you used olive oil for the vegetable oil. Does that change the flavor? I usually use canola oil when the recipe calls for vegetable, but I would rather use olive oil.

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    1. You don't miss anything, Les! Yes, I often substitute olive oil for vegetable oil.

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  3. Deb,

    I love to bake! The only bread I make is biscuits but I hope to change that in the new year. This looks like a good resource to consider me on my baking bread path.

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  4. I've been working my way through some new vegan cookbooks, and they've been mostly successful. I want books that are easy to understand and flip through, and require ingredients that I would normally have in the house. Recipes that ask for the root of some long-forgotten tree are a bit too much, you know? ;)

    Lindsi @ Do You Dog-ear? 💬

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    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

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    2. I've got a vegan cookbook that I plan to review in a couple of weeks. It looks really good so far.

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  5. I'd rather bake than cook and have had to learn through trial and error as well. This book looks terrific!

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  6. That looks really good. I mostly followed recipes when learning to cook. Now recipes are at our fingertips.

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  7. i've never been much of a cook, but i did love to bake. now mr wonderful does it all and i love it.
    sherry @ fundinmental

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  8. Looks very yummy, but I prefer to eat then to bake, lol !

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  9. How perfectly fitting that this post came up in my Feedly! I am adding that book to my Goodreads TBR. I have a baking book that I plan to actually open and read this year, but in case I hate it, it will be comforting to have the beginners one to fall back on. LOL

    I know how to bake, I can bake, I do bake, but I'm VERY IMPATIENT and hate measuring things like flour. So, those are my main problems, as a baker. LOL

    Cinnamon baked goods are my favorites so I'm also bookmarking this recipe, in case I don't get around to either book, but need a quick and easy cinnamon treat.

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I love to hear what you think.