The Clueless Baker: Baking from Scratch

( 1 )

Overview

Baking is fun. Really, it is! Not only does it make your kitchen smell wonderful, but anything you bake at home will taste a zillion times better than something you buy. This collection of truly mouth-watering recipes is for anyone who thinks that their oven looms before them, as dark as an abyss, waiting to devour, doom and ruin anything and everything that dares enter its sacred domain.

The Clueless Baker includes more than 100 tried, tested and true baking recipes as well as...

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Overview

Baking is fun. Really, it is! Not only does it make your kitchen smell wonderful, but anything you bake at home will taste a zillion times better than something you buy. This collection of truly mouth-watering recipes is for anyone who thinks that their oven looms before them, as dark as an abyss, waiting to devour, doom and ruin anything and everything that dares enter its sacred domain.

The Clueless Baker includes more than 100 tried, tested and true baking recipes as well as all the basic baking know-how needed, including the Essential Clueless Baking Cupboard, The Eleven-Step Baking Program, and emergency substitutions and equivalents. It's amazing what a great collection of delicious (and reliable) recipes, a good attitude and simple, no-nonsense tips and hints will do for the fearful baker. And, at the end of it all, there is something delicious to eat -- a scrumptious treat you made by yourself -- and isn't this, after all, the point of baking?

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Editorial Reviews

Voya
This delightful primer on baking ... encourages novices and entertains experienced bakers with a remarkably thorough treatment on home baking.
Kliatt
This is a fabulous book for both the novice and relatively experienced baker.
Saimi Bergmann
A very good book for beginning bakers, with clear, easy-to-follow recipes ... tips and asides that elevate it to valuable.
The Repository
VOYA
In this delightful primer on baking, Raab, author of Clueless in the Kitchen (Firefly, 1998) and The Clueless Vegetarian, (2000/VOYA February 2001), encourages novices and entertains experienced bakers with a remarkably thorough treatment on home baking. Chapters on yeast and quick breads, muffins and biscuits, cookies and squares, cakes and frostings, and pies and pastries each are concluded with a troubleshooting section of commonly experienced problems and their solutions. A substitution chart, checklists of supplies and equipment, step-by-step black-and-white illustrations, and a useful glossary all work together to make this unusual cookbook a joy to read or to use in the kitchen. What makes it stand out from other cookbooks is Raab's breezy, encouraging style, which would make even the most reluctant baker look for variations on old favorites and be inspired to try new recipes. Here is the solution to the broken cake, the burned cake, the cake the dog got—"Cut off the chewed parts and cut the remaining cake into a creative, unusual shape. Cover with frosting, and don't say anything to anyone." Although not segregated as such, ethnic recipes are well represented. Middle and senior high school librarians with cookbooks in their collections will want this book because its anybody-can-do-it approach is well suited to students who enjoy independent forays into their parents' kitchens. VOYA CODES: 4Q 2P M J S (Better than most, marred only by occasional lapses; For the YA with a special interest in the subject; Middle School, defined as grades 6 to 8; Junior High, defined as grades 7 to 9; Senior High, defined as grades 10 to 12). 2001, Firefly, 216p,
— Christopher Finer
KLIATT
This is a fabulous book for both the novice and relatively experienced baker. Anyone who has ever tried to bake something and had it not "turn out" will love this book. Basic skills are outlined in the 11-step program along with a marvelous section that describes the basic equipment needed for most projects. An excellent section called "The Clueless Cupboard" includes absolute necessities, emergency substitutions and a detailed section about the basic ingredients used in most baking projects. Another wonderful section answers a variety of related questions such as. Is there an easy way to separate an egg? or flour—when to sift or not sift? More than 100 tried, tested and true recipes are clearly written with a variety of basic ingredients. Some of the tantalizing recipes are: Blender Peanut Butter Muffins, Soft Ginger Cookies, Zingy Lemon Squares, Flourless Chocolate Cake, Orange Cappuccino Pudding Cake, and many more. An extensive glossary is included along with a detailed index that makes this easy to use. Category: Cookbooks, Useful Arts & Crafts. KLIATT Codes: JSA—Recommended for junior and senior high school students, advanced students, and adults. 2001, Firefly, 215p. index., $12.95. Ages 13 to adult. Reviewer: Shirley Reis; IMC Dir., Lake Shore M.S., Mequon, WI SOURCE: KLIATT, March 2002 (Vol. 36, No. 2)
Repository - Saimi Bergmann
This is a very good book for beginning bakers, with clear, easy-to-follow recipes, but it is the tips and asides that elevate it to valuable.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780641599040
  • Publisher: Firefly Books, Limited
  • Publication date: 9/1/2001
  • Pages: 216
  • Product dimensions: 7.28 (w) x 9.76 (h) x 0.56 (d)

Meet the Author

Eveyln Raab is the author of the popular column Cooking with Kids that has been appearing in Today's Parent magazine for ten years. She attributes her culinary expertise to her teenage sons. She is the author of the best-selling Clueless in the Kitchen and The Clueless Vegetarian.

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Read an Excerpt

Dastardly Double Fudge Brownies

These brownies are thick and fudgy and positively dastardly. They really need no frosting, but if you insist, you can slather them with Chocolate Ganache Glaze (see page 166) or Creamy Chocolate Frosting (see page 162) when they're completely cool. Like they'll last that long.

4 squares (1 oz/28 g each) unsweetened chocolate
3/4 cup - 175 mL - butter
1 1/2 cups - 375 mL - granulated sugar
3 eggs
2 tsp - 10 mL - vanilla
3/4 cup - 175 mL - all-purpose flour
1/2 cup - 125 mL - semisweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup - 125 mL - chopped walnuts (optional)

Preheat the oven to 350° F (180° C). Grease an 8-inch (20 cm) square baking pan. Set aside.

In a medium-sized saucepan melt together the chocolate and the butter over low heat, stirring occasionally until the mixture is smooth. Remove from heat and let cool slightly.

With a whisk (or an electric mixer on low speed) beat in the sugar, then add the eggs and vanilla, and continue beating until smooth. Stir in the flour, mixing just until it disappears into the batter, then add the chocolate chips and walnuts (if you're using them). Mix well and pour into the prepared baking dish. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes, until set but not dry (a toothpick poked in the middle of the pan should come out with a little bit of stuff clinging to it). Don't overbake -- it will ruin the fudgy effect.

Makes 25 utterly dastardly brownies.

 

[Sidebar tip]

Ack! I wrecked my chocolate!

Did you splash water into the chocolate you were melting? And now you're sorry -- it's all seized up into icky, clumpy bits that will not go away. Disaster? Well, maybe not. Here's how you may still be able to rescue your ruined chocolate.

For each 1-oz (28 g) square of chocolate (or equivalent amount of chocolate chips) that has been tragically wrecked, add 1 tsp (5 mL) vegetable oil or solid vegetable shortening, and place back over hot water, stirring until smooth. Don't use butter or margarine because they contain water and will only make matters worse.

And be more careful next time, will you please?

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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments 9
Chapter 1 Getting Started 11
Baking: The Eleven-Step Program 12
Bare Necessities, Electric Gizmos and Extra Added Widgets 13
The Essential Clueless Baking Cupboard 16
Emergency Substitutions 17
The Basics About Some Basics 18
Baking Fundamentals: Simple Answers to Profound Questions 23
Chapter 2 Quick Breads and Yeast Breads 27
Quick Breads 28
Yeast Breads 39
Clueless Troubleshooting: Quick Breads and Yeast Breads 57
Chapter 3 Muffins and Biscuits 61
Muffins 62
Biscuits 72
Clueless Troubleshooting: Muffins and Biscuits 77
Chapter 4 Cookies and Squares 79
Cookies 80
Squares and Bars 111
Clueless Troubleshooting: Cookies and Squares 121
Chapter 5 Cakes and Frostings 123
Cakes 124
Frostings 162
Clueless Troubleshooting: Cakes and Frostings 168
Chapter 6 Pies and Pastries 171
Basic Pastry Recipes 172
Pies and Pastries 178
Clueless Troubleshooting: Pies and Pastries 203
A Baking Glossary 205
Index 209
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Recipe

Dastardly Double Fudge Brownies

These brownies are thick and fudgy and positively dastardly. They really need no frosting, but if you insist, you can slather them with Chocolate Ganache Glaze (see page 166) or Creamy Chocolate Frosting (see page 162) when they're completely cool. Like they'll last that long.

4 squares (1 oz/28 g each) unsweetened chocolate
3/4 cup - 175 mL - butter
1 1/2 cups - 375 mL - granulated sugar
3 eggs
2 tsp - 10 mL - vanilla
3/4 cup - 175 mL - all-purpose flour
1/2 cup - 125 mL - semisweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup - 125 mL - chopped walnuts (optional)

Preheat the oven to 350 F (180 C). Grease an 8-inch (20 cm) square baking pan. Set aside.

In a medium-sized saucepan melt together the chocolate and the butter over low heat, stirring occasionally until the mixture is smooth. Remove from heat and let cool slightly.

With a whisk (or an electric mixer on low speed) beat in the sugar, then add the eggs and vanilla, and continue beating until smooth. Stir in the flour, mixing just until it disappears into the batter, then add the chocolate chips and walnuts (if you're using them). Mix well and pour into the prepared baking dish. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes, until set but not dry (a toothpick poked in the middle of the pan should come out with a little bit of stuff clinging to it). Don't overbake -- it will ruin the fudgy effect.

Makes 25 utterly dastardly brownies.

[Sidebar tip]

Ack! I wrecked my chocolate!

Did you splash water into the chocolate you were melting? And now you're sorry -- it's all seized up into icky, clumpy bits that will not go away. Disaster?Well, maybe not. Here's how you may still be able to rescue your ruined chocolate.

For each 1-oz (28 g) square of chocolate (or equivalent amount of chocolate chips) that has been tragically wrecked, add 1 tsp (5 mL) vegetable oil or solid vegetable shortening, and place back over hot water, stirring until smooth. Don't use butter or margarine because they contain water and will only make matters worse.

And be more careful next time, will you please?

Read More Show Less

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