The Clueless Baker: Baking from Scratch

Overview

In this fabulously fun and incredibly comprehensive cookbook, Evelyn Raab unlocks the seven mysteries of baking. Ever marveled over that loaf of bread that just didn't rise? Wished that you could turn your pastry into the flaky, tender delights of pastry chefs? Or, even just wondered how to make the perfect chocolate chip cookie? The Clueless Baker answers all of these questions and more!

Author and chef Evelyn Raab provides recipes for just about every baked good imaginable - ...

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Overview

In this fabulously fun and incredibly comprehensive cookbook, Evelyn Raab unlocks the seven mysteries of baking. Ever marveled over that loaf of bread that just didn't rise? Wished that you could turn your pastry into the flaky, tender delights of pastry chefs? Or, even just wondered how to make the perfect chocolate chip cookie? The Clueless Baker answers all of these questions and more!

Author and chef Evelyn Raab provides recipes for just about every baked good imaginable - from your favorite sweet staples such as Impeccable Pumpkin Pie to some tasty and exotic new creations such as Chocolate Lava Cakes. Delicious, easy-to-follow recipes, and straight forward baking tips and techniques - along with a dash of good humor - make The Clueless Baker perfect for baking neophytes and more experienced bakers alike.

With recipes for cookies, cakes,
breads, muffins, pies, and pastries, The Clueless Baker will lead even the most bashful baker down the path to baking glory!

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Editorial Reviews

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.
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)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781552095935
  • Publisher: Firefly Books, Limited
  • Publication date: 9/1/2001
  • Series: Clueless Series
  • Pages: 216
  • Product dimensions: 6.90 (w) x 9.90 (h) x 0.60 (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

Chapter 1: Getting Started

  • Baking: The Eleven Step Program
  • Bare Necessities, Electric Gizmos and Extra Added Widgets
  • The Essential Clueless Baking Cupboard
  • Emergency Substitutions
  • The Basics About Some Basics
  • Baking Fundamentals: Simple Answers to Profound Questions
Chapter 2: Quick Breads and Yeast Breads
Quick Breads
  • Beer Bread
  • Great Pumpkin Bread
  • Ridiculously Easy Cheese Bread
  • Cranberry Irish Soda Bread
  • Unpretentious Zucchini Bread
  • Blender Banana Bread
  • Cranberry Orange Bread
  • Blueberry Lemon Bread
  • Date-Nut Bread in a Can
  • Crummy Apple Bread
Yeast Breads
  • No-Knead Casserole Bread
  • Wonderful White
    Bread
  • 100% Whole Wheat Bread
  • Multigrain Bread
  • Awesome Egg Challah
  • Italian Everything Dough
  • Phenomenal Phocaccia, er I mean Focaccia
  • Universal Sweet Dough
  • Cinnamon Rolls
  • Bubble Bread
Clueless Troubleshooting: Quick Breads and Yeast Breads
Chapter 3: Muffins and Biscuits
Muffins
  • Beautiful Buttermilk Muffins
  • Honey Bran Muffins
  • Blender Peanut Butter Muffins
  • Oatmeal Raisin Muffins (or Not)
  • Cranberry Cornmeal Muffins
  • Triple-Grain Apple Muffins
  • Coleslaw Muffins
  • Cappuccino Chip Muffins
  • Chocolate Chocolate Muffins
Biscuits
  • Go-With-Anything Biscuits
  • Cheddar Biscuits
  • Herb and Garlic Olive
    Oil Scones
  • Fruit Yogurt Scones
  • Quick Little Dinner Buns
Clueless Troubleshooting Muffins and Biscuits
Chapter 4: Cookies and Squares
Cookies
  • Crisp Oatmeal Cookies
  • Big Chewy Oatmeal Raisin Cookies
  • Better-Than-Average Chocolate Chip Cookies
  • Giant Snickerdoodles
  • Regular, Everyday Peanut Butter Cookies
  • Whole Wheat Peanut Butter Banana Cookies
  • Hermit Cookies
  • Soft Ginger Cookies
  • Health-Nut Cookies
  • Chocolate Damnation Cookies
  • Chocolate Crinkles
  • Lacy Almond Crisps
  • Almost Authentic Scottish Shortbread
  • Plain and Simple Sugar Cookies
  • Gingerbread People
  • Gingerbread House
  • Four-Way Slice and Bake Cookies
  • Giant Cookie Pizza
  • Hamantaschen
  • Elegant Hazelnut Raspberry Sandwich Cookies
  • Chocolate Walnut Rugelach
  • Dog Biscuits
  • Nonedible Cookies
Squares and Bars
  • Easy Saucepan Brownies
  • Dastardly Double Fudge Brownies
  • Marbled Peanut Butter Brownies
  • Butterscotch Granola Blondies
  • Chocolate Hazelnut Truffle Squares
  • Survival Bars
  • Zingy Lemon Squares
  • Crumbly Apple Squares
  • Cheesecake Squares
Clueless Troubleshooting Cookies and Squares
Chapter 5: Cakes and Frostings
Cakes
  • Good Old Chocolate Cake
  • Divine Yellow Cake
  • Classic Carrot Cake
  • Sponge Roll Cake
  • Angel Food Cake
  • Practically Perfect Pound Cake
  • Accidental Trifle
  • European Hazelnut Torte
  • Lethal Chocolate Cupcakes
  • Anything Upside-Down Cake
  • Chocolate Chip Banana Cake
  • Flourless Chocolate Cake
  • Pure Cheesecake
  • Marble Bundt Cake
  • Poppy Seed Yogurt Bundt Cake
  • Chocolate Lava Cakes
  • Horrible Holiday Fruitcake
  • Chocolate Chip Zucchini Cake
  • Easy Lemon Gingerbread Cake
  • Fruit-Swirl Coffeecake
  • Overnight Buttermilk Coffeecake
  • Apple Cake
  • Orange Cappuccino Pudding Cake
Frostings
  • Creamy Chocolate Frostings
  • Creamy Vanilla Frostings
  • Deluxe Buttercream Frosting
  • Fudgy Sour Cream Frosting
  • Cream Cheese Frosting
  • Chocolate Ganache Glaze
  • Royal Decorator Icing
  • Shiny Sugar Glaze
Clueless Troubleshooting: Cakes and
Frostings
Chapter 6: Pies and Pastries
Pastry
  • Foolproof Plain Pastry
  • Rich Cream Cheese Pastry
  • Flaky Sour Cream Pastry
  • Basic Graham Cracker Crust
  • All-Purpose Crumble Topping
Pies
  • Classic Double-Crust Fruit Pie
  • Killer Pecan Pie
  • Impeccable Pumpkin Pie
  • Chocolate Chip Cookie Pie
  • Real Lemon Meringue Pie
  • Pie-in-the-Face Cream Pie
  • Extreme Butter Tarts
  • Hot Fudge Brownies
  • Phyllo Tart Shells
  • Baklava
  • Phyllo Pastry Apple Strudel
  • Cream Puffs
  • Pavlova
Clueless Troubleshooting: Pies and Pastries

A Baking Glossary
Index

Read More Show Less

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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