Book Review: Bakewise..The Hows and Whys of Successful Baking by Shirley O. Corriher

bakewiseSeveral years ago, Ms Corriher wrote a great Cookbook/Food Science book, called Cookwise. It was an extremely useful book. Both Cookbook with recipes and helpful, insightful sections on different foods, and recipes and explaining the the science behind the proper cooking of each type of food or method of cooking. This book should be in the homes of anyone who considers themselves a good or great cook. Ms. Corriher has authored another masterpiece in Food Science/Cookbooks specifically for Baked Goods.  Bakewise : The Hows and Whys of Successful Baking . It’s every bit as good as Cookwise is.  I’ve been cooking and baking for 48 years now, and the book taught me a lot about baking. I’ve always been considered a better than average baker, though I’m only an average home cook outside of baking. As I used to bake things to take for work, especially when things in the Intensive Care Unit had been more stressful than usual. Just the sight of good homemade baked items will brighten up almost anyone, no matter how crappy their day had been up til that point.

Ms. Corriher has included over 200 good recipes and goes into great detail about what makes them successful, and what principles the recipes demonstrates. These recipes are concise and easy to follow. And darned good too.  Some may have seen Ms Corriher on the Food Network. She was a  frequent guest on the old Cooking Live with Sara Moulton program, and she’s been a fun and frequent guest on Alton Brown’s Good Eats, also on Food Network. She has a witty but expert attitude and knows so much about food and cooking.

The book is divided into 5 sections.  Cakes,Quick Breads, Muffins nd the like. And then Baked Goods leavened with Steam, such as Souffles and meringues. Next is Pies.And then Cookies. And finally Yeast Breads.  Each of these sections is divided into sub sections about specific and common cooking methods for the baked goods in each section. These sections have recipes, and the recipes have an entry on what principle the recipe is demonstrating. The recipes are easy and make for successful baking, without requiring a lot of background and previous experience in Baking. The nice thing about the book is that you can read it as you want. If you don’t want to read the whole book, then you don’t have to. Just read the sections that interest you. But it makes for one of the best Baking references, jsut as much as Cookwise makes for a great general Cooking reference.

To say that I recommend this book is an understatement, as in my opinion this book belongs in the kitchen of anyone who does any kind of baking.

Bakewise by Shirley O. Corriher is Highly Recommended.

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