This is a fabulous book for both the novice and relatively experienced baker.
This delightful primer on baking ... encourages novices and entertains experienced bakers with a remarkably thorough treatment on home baking.
A very good book for beginning bakers, with clear, easy-to-follow recipes ... tips and asides that elevate it to valuable.
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,
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 flourwhen 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: JSARecommended 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
[Review of previous edition:] 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.
Ottawa Citizen - Karen Turner
With a healthy mix of humour, practical tips and straightforward recipes...Raab guides novice bakers through the Eleven-Step Program to success.
Charlottetown Guardian - Lois Abraham
With decent recipes, a good attitude and a plan, Evelyn Raab thinks novice bakers can turn out delicious treats and have fun doing it. In The Clueless Baker: Learning to Bake from Scratch, Raab reveals the secrets she says will lead to scrumptious cakes, cookies and breads with a dash of humour. (Her) step-by-step advice provides neophytes with enough knowledge and comfort to bake like a pro.
Read an Excerpt
The oven looms before you. A darkened abyss. The gates of hell. You know -- you just know -- that whatever you put in there is doomed. Doomed and ruined. It will burn. Or collapse. Probably both.
Plus, your house will burn down. Which is just as well, because after the mess you made of the kitchen it would take ten lifetimes to clean it up, anyway. There is flour on the floor. Batter on the walls. Broken eggs in the sink (it was an accident). You're missing a spatula (you pray it didn't get baked into the cake). The phone is ringing, but you can't find it.
Okay. Take a deep breath and relax. Help has arrived.
What you need are some decent recipes, a good attitude and a plan. Baking can be -- should be -- fun. Also easy. It should be neither traumatic nor terrifying. And at the end of it, you should have something delicious to eat. Which is, after all, the point of the whole thing.
Let's begin with the plan.