I learned to bake mostly by trial and error as well as google and youtube searches online. Of course I’ve also learned basics in home economics class in high school, from my mom as a kid and my mother-in-law as an adult. There are a lot of gaps that need filled in, the Baking Basics and Beyond book has done a good job at teaching me important information on successful baking. For instance, most baked goods are the result of a chemical interactions of simple ingredients, and the reason you should always follow baking recipes exactly.
Baking Basics and Beyond Review
I’ve learned so, so much from this book. The introduction of the book is all about the basics that you need to know and understand to give you the results you hope for. The ingredients section was so helpful to me, it is all about understanding the interaction of ingredients to become a better baker. It goes into detail about flour, eggs, leavening, sugar, salt, fats, dairy, yeast, vanilla, and chocolate. It may not sound too exciting but I couldn’t put this book down! I was learning so much!
Baking Basics and Beyond is broken into sections by type of baking. Each section has an informative introduction to that type of baking. It talks about the best equipment to use for that type of baking, helpful hints, and why baking from scratch is always better. From there, each section has a collection of recipes. Each recipe includes helpful hints called “Baker’s Note” and “Secret to Success”. I have used these to better my baking skills already.
Below are two recipes that I tried, the Dutch Apple Pie recipe is from the Pies and Tarts section and the Caramel Apple Crisp recipe was from the Crisps and Cobblers section. Please believe me when I tell you that there are many, many different types of recipes and not all of them involve apples. I just choose 2 apple recipes because Giant Eagle had a good sale on apples that weeks, so I had 10 lbs to use up!
Dutch Apple Pie Recipe
The Baking Basics and Beyond‘s Dutch Apple Pie Recipe is easy to follow and make.
I cheated a little with a Pillsbury crust, although the book references a single-crust recipe from another section of the book. The end result was a delicious dessert.
I learned from the book that you can substitute the apples in this recipe with your favorite fruit like peaches or nectarines by adding 2 TBSP flour since those fruits are juicier than apples. I’m totally going to make a fresh Dutch Peach Pie this Summer!
Caramel Apple Crisp Recipe
The second recipe I tried was the Caramel Apple Crisp Recipe. I’ve always enjoyed apple crisp but have never had a really good recipe for it until now. This homemade recipe is super easy to make and you probably already have everything in your kitchen for it – as long as you have the apples! Adding the rich caramel sauce to tart apples is genius and what makes this recipe a keeper.
I split the recipe to make 2 smaller batches, one for us and one for my sister-in-law who just had a baby – a 10 pound baby!
You’ve gotta add vanilla ice cream to complete this delicious and quite easy dessert.
What I learned from the Baking Basics and Beyond book that helped me with this recipe is to an apple that is recommended for cooking for the best results. I also learned that freshly grated nutmeg isn’t as sharp as ground, so you would use less if it is fresh – good to know!
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