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

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4.24  ·  Rating Details ·  5,259 Ratings  ·  86 Reviews
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 b ...more
Hardcover, 620 pages
Published September 17th 2003 by Countryman Press
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Mary Mcelveen
Jan 05, 2010 Mary Mcelveen rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: anyone who bakes.
Shelves: cookbooks
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.
Meghan
Jun 19, 2013 Meghan rated it it was amazing
Shelves: cookbooks
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 ev
...more
Rick Segers
Jul 25, 2011 Rick Segers rated it it was amazing
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.
Becky Cook
Jan 27, 2012 Becky Cook rated it it was amazing
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!!!
Katie
May 18, 2014 Katie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: cookbooks
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.
Debby
Mar 31, 2013 Debby rated it it was amazing
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. ...more
Elsha
Nov 09, 2008 Elsha rated it it was amazing
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 ha ...more
Christina
Mar 11, 2012 Christina rated it liked it
Shelves: cookbooks
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 ...more
Michael Nichols
Apr 08, 2015 Michael Nichols rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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.
Courtney
May 17, 2011 Courtney rated it really liked it
A little complex for the beginner baker. But some really great recipes too. Worth a look.
Juli Anna
May 12, 2016 Juli Anna rated it really liked it
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 ...more
John M.
May 25, 2014 John M. rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: food-cooking

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
...more
Dixie Diamond
Jan 26, 2016 Dixie Diamond rated it it was amazing
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 reci
...more
Jennifer
Feb 12, 2017 Jennifer rated it it was amazing
This is our go to book for baking- whether breakfast, dessert, or something in the middle.
Riona
Nov 03, 2010 Riona rated it really liked it
Shelves: owned, cookbooks
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
...more
Chris
Jan 28, 2015 Chris rated it it was amazing
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, ...more
CJ
Mar 02, 2008 CJ rated it it was amazing
Shelves: cooking
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 ...more
Georgia
May 29, 2014 Georgia rated it really liked it
Shelves: cookbooks
This is unquestionably the best baking cookbook I've ever read-- clear and detailed instructions, a wonderful variety of recipes, and thoughtful explanations behind proper baking practices. I'd give it a 4.5/5 only because I'm so used to seeing pictures besides recipes now (this tome does not have that, though it does have a handful of beautiful photos at the center), but really, a classic baking book.
Genie
Oct 21, 2010 Genie rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2010
This cookbook rocks! If you like to bake, it is a must have. The information is outstanding, basic info that I like to be able to reference easily, and tips and tricks from their stellar test kitchens. My goal is to be able to do all of our bakery goods, crackers and sandwich rolls for example, as well as bread and cookies, and this cookbook has a recipes for all these items. Most important, what I've baked out of it has been excellent!
Kristin
Mar 14, 2008 Kristin rated it liked it
Incredibly comprehensive with a lot, a lot of detail. Not as much as the Bread Bible, but still. My only complaint (besides the unwavering use of potato flour - I'm sorry, but who the hell has potato flour?) is that the book tries to cover so many areas, and in doing so, doesn't get really deep on yeasted breads. I could give a shit about cakes and cookies, you know?
Mary Ellen
Nov 03, 2016 Mary Ellen rated it it was amazing
I have had this book for several years, and I can honestly say I should probably give away every other baking book I own. When I want to try something new, I go to this book first because I know the recipes will be amazing. My family is addicted to my blueberry muffins now, and begs me for waffles every weekend. Those are only two of the many successes I have had using this cookbook.
Gloria
Dec 17, 2010 Gloria rated it it was amazing
Shelves: cookery
While I did not actually find time to bake any yeast bread, I love this book. It is thorough in its explanations; the recipes appear to be delicious and do-able. Lots to explore in this thick book beyond bread though bread is perhaps the strongest reason to pick this up. And the web site is absolutely excellent.
Yasmine Alfouzan
Oct 26, 2015 Yasmine Alfouzan rated it really liked it
Shelves: cookbooks
An all-purpose baking bible that I would hugely recommend to beginners. Useful to have in the kitchen, especially if you're a non-baker... Since it's pretty basic. It didn't add much to what I already know, but that's because I should know it (since I'm a baker). It uses volume measurements, which is not ideal for me.
Catherine Woodman
Jul 29, 2011 Catherine Woodman rated it really liked it
This is one of an excellent series by King Arthur on baking--having been to their store in Northfield a number of times, I can see that they have alot of experience with baking and took a long time to go from there to doing cookbooks, which is a good way to do it--these recipes work and are delicious
Karen Hood
Mar 12, 2014 Karen Hood rated it it was amazing
Shelves: cookbook
The King Arthur Flour Baker's book is a great collection of recipes for baking.The King Arthur Flour Baker's Companion: The All-Purpose Baking Cookbook
Fullfaun
Nov 18, 2014 Fullfaun rated it it was amazing
This explains a lot about each step and things you didn't know floating in the air, called Wild yeast.

Tis good and great to have on your shelf. I wish they had pictures. I am very much liking the new style of having pictures with each recipe. I have found myself not making things without a recipe.
Eva
Apr 27, 2008 Eva rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: People who like to bake, or like to read about yummy baked goods
This is the most amazing baking book I have ever read/used. It has great explanations for how things work - chemical reactions that make your muffins rise, etc and an fantastic section on artisan breads. There is a recipe for nearly anything you would ever want to bake. Every recipe I have tried has come out perfectly. Awesome book!
Marcela Mulleady
Sep 29, 2013 Marcela Mulleady rated it it was amazing
This book is a must for all bakers. Don't worry about your skill level. There are recipes here for every one. King Arthur also teaches free classes. Check their website for more information.

I attended two of their classes and I was so impressed by the professionalism and quality of classes. First class act.
Laurie
Mar 14, 2008 Laurie rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Bakers, Anyone who is a fan of bread, cookies, cakes, or pastries in general
Shelves: delectable
This book has a recipe for anything you can think of that you want to bake! I also love the fact that there is plenty to read, from the history of certain foods to baking tools.

P.S.- The popover recipe is amazing!
Liz
Jul 05, 2008 Liz rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: any baker; anyone trying to learn baking
Shelves: cookbooks
If I were on a deserted island that happened to have an oven, this is one of the books I'd want to have with me. This book is a great first baking book to buy, with a mix of a wide range of recipes, from cookies to breads. I've never made anything from this that I didn't enjoy.
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