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The King Arthur Flour Baker's Companion: The All-Purpose Baking Cookbook

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Every kitchen comes equipped with a fundamental, dependable cookbook classic such as Joy of Cooking or Better Homes Gardens New Cookbook. Now bakers have a modern classic of their own. From leavening, mixing, proofing, and kneading, through shaping and baking, the experts at King Arthur Flour lead you through hundreds of easy and foolproof recipes from tricky yeast breads Every kitchen comes equipped with a fundamental, dependable cookbook classic such as Joy of Cooking or Better Homes Gardens New Cookbook. Now bakers have a modern classic of their own. From leavening, mixing, proofing, and kneading, through shaping and baking, the experts at King Arthur Flour lead you through hundreds of easy and foolproof recipes from tricky yeast breads and sourdoughs, to trendy flatbreads and crackers, to family favorites such as pancakes and waffles. They also present fried doughs, quick breads, batter breads, biscuits, quiches, cobblers and crisps, cookies, cakes, brownies, pies, tarts, and pastries. For more than 200 years King Arthur Flour has been in the business of making the highest quality key ingredient in all of baking: flour. They've done decades of experimentation and research in their famous test kitchens on how the various ingredients in baked goods behave and why. The King Arthur Flour Baker's Companion now brings you more than 350 recipes that will teach you which ingredients work together, as well as what doesn't, and why. It is this knowledge that will allow you to unleash your own creativity and to experiment in the kitchen. You'll get a complete overview of ingredients in chapters on flours, sweeteners, leavens, fats, and more. You'll find information on substitutions and variations, as well as troubleshooting advice from the pros at King Arthur. Recipes are enhanced with sidebars that share baking secrets and provide clear-step-by-step instructions, and each recipe is accompanied by a detailed nutritional analysis. Techniques are further explained with easy-to-follow illustrations by culinary illustrator Laura Hartman Maestro. The King Arthur Flour Baker's Companion is the definitive kitchen resource. Exhaustive in scope, authoritative in style, and offering clear, practical, and encouraging instruction, it is the one book you'll turn to every time you bake. Like your set of measuring cups and favorite wooden spoon, it will become an essential kitchen tool. No kitchen in America should be without a copy.


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Every kitchen comes equipped with a fundamental, dependable cookbook classic such as Joy of Cooking or Better Homes Gardens New Cookbook. Now bakers have a modern classic of their own. From leavening, mixing, proofing, and kneading, through shaping and baking, the experts at King Arthur Flour lead you through hundreds of easy and foolproof recipes from tricky yeast breads Every kitchen comes equipped with a fundamental, dependable cookbook classic such as Joy of Cooking or Better Homes Gardens New Cookbook. Now bakers have a modern classic of their own. From leavening, mixing, proofing, and kneading, through shaping and baking, the experts at King Arthur Flour lead you through hundreds of easy and foolproof recipes from tricky yeast breads and sourdoughs, to trendy flatbreads and crackers, to family favorites such as pancakes and waffles. They also present fried doughs, quick breads, batter breads, biscuits, quiches, cobblers and crisps, cookies, cakes, brownies, pies, tarts, and pastries. For more than 200 years King Arthur Flour has been in the business of making the highest quality key ingredient in all of baking: flour. They've done decades of experimentation and research in their famous test kitchens on how the various ingredients in baked goods behave and why. The King Arthur Flour Baker's Companion now brings you more than 350 recipes that will teach you which ingredients work together, as well as what doesn't, and why. It is this knowledge that will allow you to unleash your own creativity and to experiment in the kitchen. You'll get a complete overview of ingredients in chapters on flours, sweeteners, leavens, fats, and more. You'll find information on substitutions and variations, as well as troubleshooting advice from the pros at King Arthur. Recipes are enhanced with sidebars that share baking secrets and provide clear-step-by-step instructions, and each recipe is accompanied by a detailed nutritional analysis. Techniques are further explained with easy-to-follow illustrations by culinary illustrator Laura Hartman Maestro. The King Arthur Flour Baker's Companion is the definitive kitchen resource. Exhaustive in scope, authoritative in style, and offering clear, practical, and encouraging instruction, it is the one book you'll turn to every time you bake. Like your set of measuring cups and favorite wooden spoon, it will become an essential kitchen tool. No kitchen in America should be without a copy.

30 review for The King Arthur Flour Baker's Companion: The All-Purpose Baking Cookbook

  1. 5 out of 5

    Mary Mcelveen

    If you bake, you need this book. It could be subtitled "Everything You Need to Know about Flour and the Baking Process". From the difference between hard and soft wheat to the reasons behind every step in the baking process, it is all here. Excellent reference, and excellent recipes. If I were forced to winnow (some wheat humor, there) my collection down to 5-10 cookbooks, this would be among them.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Meghan

    This is the best cookbook I have ever owned. Forget Better Homes and Gardens and America's Test Kitchen; for a beginning baker, this is the one to get. Almost every recipe comes out quite good, and several have been excellent. The White Bread 101 recipe makes the best rolls I have ever eaten, the Apple Maple Walnut Cobbler is so easy and tastes so satisfying, the soft wrap bread is so tasty and versatile - it can serve as both naan or a wrap for tacos, the pumpkin pie is delicious and I don't This is the best cookbook I have ever owned. Forget Better Homes and Gardens and America's Test Kitchen; for a beginning baker, this is the one to get. Almost every recipe comes out quite good, and several have been excellent. The White Bread 101 recipe makes the best rolls I have ever eaten, the Apple Maple Walnut Cobbler is so easy and tastes so satisfying, the soft wrap bread is so tasty and versatile - it can serve as both naan or a wrap for tacos, the pumpkin pie is delicious and I don't even like pumpkin pie! (The only recipe I really did not like was the all star muffins. They were too bland. However it is entirely possible I messed something up). I love that the book goes into detail about why certain techniques should be used - that was something I had often found missing from online recipes and other books. There is also an informative section at the back on ingredients commonly used in baking that I have referenced often. I'm pretty picky when it comes to recipes. I would say 9 times out of 10 when I make a recipe from another cookbook or an online source, I am disappointed. No one wants to waste time and resources on mediocre food. With this baking book, however, I am almost always pleased with the results. And as far as there being few pictures: ignore anyone who claims this is a serious detriment to the book. Yes, pictures are pretty, but do you want pretty pictures of food, or do you want to make delicious food? The recipes and their descriptions are inspiring on their own. You can look at pictures on Pinterest! :)

  3. 4 out of 5

    Rick Segers

    If I can quote one of the comments on this book, "if you like to bake then you need this book." It's a grand collection of recipes for baking bread (homemade rye bread yum), pies (the best Key Lime pie recipe I have found) and just about every recipe in the book is great. Couple this with information on their website and with practice you can master most baking skills easily. I know most cookbook fans don't just have one book but when the subject is baking this is the only one you would need.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Katie

    I am so excited that I received this book as a gift at my bridal shower. I love to bake and this is the quintessential baking cookbook. I live at a high altitude and it even has a small section of advice for high altitude bakers. I can not wait to use this exhaustive collection of baking recipes throughout the years.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Becky Cook

    This baking book is not for beginners! However seasoned bakers will find some amazing formulas and fun baking adventures. In the breakfast section you will find the most amazing basic pancake recipe! Give it a try... If you a new baker check it out of the library first and try some of the formulas and then make a purchase. Happy Baking!!!

  6. 5 out of 5

    Leona

    Definitely a "must have" in the kitchen.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Debby

    I have gone back and forth about whether or not I wanted to buy this book. I absolutely love King Arthur Flour products and (other than Bob's Red Mill), I don't buy any other brand of their flours. I love their customer service, their recipes and have always had great results. When I had a chance to buy this book for $4 I took it! I hovered over four stars or five stars, for one reason only. There are very few pictures! Gah! As I started to read the book, I got lost in it four a couple of hours. I have gone back and forth about whether or not I wanted to buy this book. I absolutely love King Arthur Flour products and (other than Bob's Red Mill), I don't buy any other brand of their flours. I love their customer service, their recipes and have always had great results. When I had a chance to buy this book for $4 I took it! I hovered over four stars or five stars, for one reason only. There are very few pictures! Gah! As I started to read the book, I got lost in it four a couple of hours. If someone is a beginner baker, there is a plethora of invaluable information-- from how to measure, to baking tips. I flipped through that pretty fast, since I'm between an intermediate and advanced baker. The breakfast section kept my attention for a long while-- so many different pancakes from different parts of the world! I love baking bread, and really enjoyed bookmarking some recipes I'd love to make. I went on their website and found that many of the book recipes are not on their website. This is good and bad. I hate when I buy a cookbook and find that ALL of the recipes are online for free. Then again, sometimes I like to see photos AND read reviews on what people thought. There are plenty of pie, cookie, pastry and cake recipes that I want to make. This will be a cookbook that I will go through more often, whenever that urge to bake hits me. So glad I bought this book, at last. One last thing-- there are beautiful color photos, in the CENTER of the book. You have to find the page number listed and flip back to see the recipe. Kind of annoying really, but they are quite nice-- what few there are.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Elsha

    I came from a home where homemade bread was rarely produced and I have always wanted to get into bread baking so this is one of the places I started. King Arthur's web page is another. This book offered excellent information and tips about bread making. I only thoroughly read the yeast bread section since the book is probably 600 pages or more. I came out understanding the science behind baking and yeast a little better. I've attempted quite a few loaves in the past few weeks and none of them I came from a home where homemade bread was rarely produced and I have always wanted to get into bread baking so this is one of the places I started. King Arthur's web page is another. This book offered excellent information and tips about bread making. I only thoroughly read the yeast bread section since the book is probably 600 pages or more. I came out understanding the science behind baking and yeast a little better. I've attempted quite a few loaves in the past few weeks and none of them have turned out inedible. Needless to say, it also has tons and tons of recipes. It also offers in depth information and tips about all types of cooking: quick breads, muffins, crackers, sweet breads, sour dough, cookies, cakes, pies, etc...all the things we love to eat but probably shouldn't. My absolute favorite part is right at the beginning where it details baking at high altitudes...information I could have used 15 years ago when I made cookies at least once a month. I highly recommend this book to any baker. Don't say I didn't warn you about it size though. It's huge!! And yes, I knowingly put two exclamation points for a reason.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Christina

    This book is a really good book. I give it 3.5 stars; four just seems too high. This is a thick book full of accurate recipes. Anyone who is into cooking knows it is a pain when measurements given do not result into a good final product. All of the recipes I have tried so far are excellent. The biscotti recipes are really great especially when dipped in chocolate ;). One of my biggest complaints for this book is the set up of the recipes and pictures. For such a large cookbook there are very few This book is a really good book. I give it 3.5 stars; four just seems too high. This is a thick book full of accurate recipes. Anyone who is into cooking knows it is a pain when measurements given do not result into a good final product. All of the recipes I have tried so far are excellent. The biscotti recipes are really great especially when dipped in chocolate ;). One of my biggest complaints for this book is the set up of the recipes and pictures. For such a large cookbook there are very few pictures of the final product. I mean VERY few. The pictures are also exhiled to only certain parts of the book, and are not next to their particular recipe. FAIL Sir Arthur. I am currently working on a cookbook (I also take the photos). It is time consuming but I know that the finished product will be of the highest quality. As a cookbook consumer I want a picture for every recipe. Overall the recipes that I have tried are excellent. The photo problem is a problem for me. It felt like this book had no soul to it. Do I recommend this book even with its faults? Yup

  10. 5 out of 5

    Michael Nichols

    This is the best!! My newest passion as a beginner is to acquire baker's skills specifically with yeasted bread. To date I've made three separate such recipes and they all have been successful. This week I made a yeasted cheese bread that was incredible. I plan to explore more of the KA baking recipes. I also now only order my baking supplies through KA. Highest quality.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Courtney

    A little complex for the beginner baker. But some really great recipes too. Worth a look.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Marie Z. Johansen

    In reality there is "finish date" for this book since I use it weekly..... This book is one of my number one resources for all things baking. I had been a King Arthur customer in the past and already owned their Cookie Cookbook (another 5 star + book imho) and had, in the past, printed many of their "Bakers Companion" recipes. I find that King Arthur is a generous company. There is a wealth of information, recipes, reviews, hunts, tips and tricks and recipe comments in their amazing website. In In reality there is "finish date" for this book since I use it weekly..... This book is one of my number one resources for all things baking. I had been a King Arthur customer in the past and already owned their Cookie Cookbook (another 5 star + book imho) and had, in the past, printed many of their "Bakers Companion" recipes. I find that King Arthur is a generous company. There is a wealth of information, recipes, reviews, hunts, tips and tricks and recipe comments in their amazing website. In fact many of the recipes in this book are available on their site. I realized that I wanted to own this book for the treasure trove of information and nearly fail proof recipes that it contains. Any recipe that I have tried using the book has turned out well and I credit using this book to be what led to, at long last, baking successful round artisan loaves (complete with crunchy crust) in my home oven. There are a few baking me bread related books that are stand-outs to me and this is one of them. I ❤️this book!

  13. 5 out of 5

    Mackay

    Not merely recipes - but how-to, why, tips, equivalents, substitutions ... all approachable and clear. I rediscovered my love for baking a couple of years ago, and the King Arthur Flour website and blog (and products - I use no other wheat flours) have helped me tremendously, so I bought this book and (sorry) devoured its information and ideas. Now, let's bake!

  14. 4 out of 5

    Margaret Anthony

    I have enjoyed this cookbook so much. It has some of the best recipes I have tried when baking. My daughter even wants my 1st copy of this cookbook. The Apple Pie recipe is the best I ever made.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Ash

    This cookbook is a like a bible for bakers, the way Joy of Cooking is for cooking. SO many recipes that you will have a hard time choosing which one to bake. Most of the recipes have eggs but there are plenty that do not use eggs too. Must have for bakers.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Jessica W

    We have yet to find a recipe we don't like from this one. Admittedly, I'm not the baker, my husband is, but he says this is THE book to have when he's baking. And we use it for pretty much everything now, from birthday cakes to breakfasts. So worth it!

  17. 5 out of 5

    Ian

    Comprehensive, with a strong emphasis on folksy New England baking. The brief history of wheat cultivation and migration at the end is worth the price of admission.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Kristin

    Excellent reference for all things baking.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Mike

    Great info and and great recipes.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Kirstin Miller

    Nice, a basic baking manual with a wealth of information. I checked this out from the library, will probably borrow again.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Klyon

    Great basic and more complicated recipes.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Beka

    Definitely a definitive baking cookbook. Obviously, I'd love more pictures, but I'm very positive that every single recipe works like a charm.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Mary Ellen

    Won this cookbook as third place in the KAF baking contest at the NC State Fair, 2017. I love it!

  24. 5 out of 5

    Juli Anna

    This is a fantastic, comprehensive cookbook. The recipes range vastly from simple cookies to more involved puff pastry and sourdough, and the variety of flavor combinations means that just about everyone will find something to suit their fancy. The two recipes I tried while I had had this book (Hot Milk Cake and Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins) were outstanding in their flavor and texture, and I love the attention paid to the science of these recipes and baking in general. The last section of the This is a fantastic, comprehensive cookbook. The recipes range vastly from simple cookies to more involved puff pastry and sourdough, and the variety of flavor combinations means that just about everyone will find something to suit their fancy. The two recipes I tried while I had had this book (Hot Milk Cake and Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins) were outstanding in their flavor and texture, and I love the attention paid to the science of these recipes and baking in general. The last section of the book is devoted to ingredients and techniques, and delves in depth into the chemistry and mechanics of baking--and truly enlightening resource for bakers of all skill levels. One note of interest to some bakers is that there is little to no attention given in this book to wheat- or gluten-free options/recipes. This is one borrowed library book that I thought seriously about purchasing, but in the end, I decided I needn't add it to my overflowing cookbook shelf, as the King Arthur website is so complete and such a great resource. This company will forever be one of my go-to resources for baking, whether through the website or cookbook.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Jennifer

    This is our go to book for baking- whether breakfast, dessert, or something in the middle.

  26. 5 out of 5

    John M.

    If you bake, then this book is essential for you. It's important to understand that this book is not just a bunch of recipes. It's not "list of ingredients and put in oven at 350 degrees for 45 minutes." This book is an instruction manual for making professional quality baked goods in your own home, and doing so with basic ingredients found in most kitchens. Every recipe I've tried has turned out exponentially better than all other previous recipes. King Arthur is now my go-to for chocolate chip If you bake, then this book is essential for you. It's important to understand that this book is not just a bunch of recipes. It's not "list of ingredients and put in oven at 350 degrees for 45 minutes." This book is an instruction manual for making professional quality baked goods in your own home, and doing so with basic ingredients found in most kitchens. Every recipe I've tried has turned out exponentially better than all other previous recipes. King Arthur is now my go-to for chocolate chip cookies, cakes, and breads. I've used other cookbooks, but King Arthur includes what I find to be the best (an often times easiest) ways to make pretty much anything that is baked. Until I got this book, I would never have thought of making bagels at home, but I did. It was a fairly easy process and they turned out equal to or better than the bagels I've had from actual bagel places. Practically my whole life, I've made chocolate chip cookies using the recipe on the bag. Not anymore. From now on, Anytime I bake something at home, it will start with this book.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Dixie Diamond

    Yes, it's huge. No, there are not many pictures. I don't feel like I need pictures of chocolate-chip cookies and loaves of bread and pie crusts; I have a pretty good handle on what they should look like. I checked this out from the library but will probably buy it as a replacement for some of my semi-extraneous general-purpose cookbooks (Joy of Cooking is my core GP cookbook, but I've picked up a few others that I've kept for specific recipes, but would not need if I had King Arthur). It has Yes, it's huge. No, there are not many pictures. I don't feel like I need pictures of chocolate-chip cookies and loaves of bread and pie crusts; I have a pretty good handle on what they should look like. I checked this out from the library but will probably buy it as a replacement for some of my semi-extraneous general-purpose cookbooks (Joy of Cooking is my core GP cookbook, but I've picked up a few others that I've kept for specific recipes, but would not need if I had King Arthur). It has recipes I would actually use. I not only gives you helpful tips, it tells you why you should or should not do them, and how and why they affect the outcome of your baking so that you understand what is going on and don't feel like you're blindly following old wives' tales. It also has better high-altitude hints than I've seen in any other GP cookbook (I don't need those any more, but I remember my mother being frustrated when she couldn't find complete enough HA info when we lived in Colorado).

  28. 5 out of 5

    Riona

    This is another cookbook I've had for ages but have barely made any of the recipes in it. I really like the layout--there aren't many photos, just a few color inserts, but the sheer amount of recipes makes up for it. This is definitely like a baking bible. I especially like that they list both volume and weight measurements for all recipes. As with all my cookbook reviews, I'll update as I cook from this! Gingerbread Pancakes -- 4 stars These have really good flavor, but I found them a touch on the This is another cookbook I've had for ages but have barely made any of the recipes in it. I really like the layout--there aren't many photos, just a few color inserts, but the sheer amount of recipes makes up for it. This is definitely like a baking bible. I especially like that they list both volume and weight measurements for all recipes. As with all my cookbook reviews, I'll update as I cook from this! Gingerbread Pancakes -- 4 stars These have really good flavor, but I found them a touch on the dry side. The batter was really thick, so if it's like that in the future I'll add a bit more buttermilk. Or just serve them with lots of butter on top. These would also be great with a sweet topping since they're more on the savory side (I wish I had some maple syrup!)

  29. 4 out of 5

    Chris

    This book is indispensable. Anything I want to bake, I flip open the index. I learned how to bake with a scale using this. I learned how to bake good wheat bread from this. I learned how to make good scratch muffins from this. They have a kind of build your own muffin recipe I've used over and over to create new muffin recipes. Works like a charm. It is stuck full of post its where recipes I have to look up all the time are marked. If you are a from scratch flour baker and you need a cook book, This book is indispensable. Anything I want to bake, I flip open the index. I learned how to bake with a scale using this. I learned how to bake good wheat bread from this. I learned how to make good scratch muffins from this. They have a kind of build your own muffin recipe I've used over and over to create new muffin recipes. Works like a charm. It is stuck full of post its where recipes I have to look up all the time are marked. If you are a from scratch flour baker and you need a cook book, this is the one. The things you make from this book will be good. They will explain how the ingredients work in the recipe, and you will be able to figure out how to make changes in the recipes if you need or want to.

  30. 4 out of 5

    CJ

    I have not read all of this book, as it is mostly a recipe book, but about 1/3 of it is the science behind baking and how ingredients combine to make your breads and cookies and cakes rise or be fluffy or not. Knowing the 'why' behind the recipe is helping me make the substitutions that I like doing to try and make slightly healthier versions of bad for you treats! I am a fan of the KA flours and their website too, though. This one is from the library, but I think I need to purchase one to keep I have not read all of this book, as it is mostly a recipe book, but about 1/3 of it is the science behind baking and how ingredients combine to make your breads and cookies and cakes rise or be fluffy or not. Knowing the 'why' behind the recipe is helping me make the substitutions that I like doing to try and make slightly healthier versions of bad for you treats! I am a fan of the KA flours and their website too, though. This one is from the library, but I think I need to purchase one to keep in the kitchen!

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