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Baking: From My Home to Yours

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Dorie Greenspan has written recipes for the most eminent chefs in the world: Pierre Hermé, Daniel Boulud, and arguably the greatest of them all, Julia Child, who once told Dorie, "You write recipes just the way I do.” Her recipe writing has won widespread praise for its literate curiosity and "patient but exuberant style.” (One hard-boiled critic called it "a joy forever.”) In Baking: From My Home to Yours, her masterwork, Dorie applies the lessons from three decades of experience to her first and real love: home baking. The 300 recipes will seduce a new generation of bakers, whether their favorite kitchen tools are a bowl and a whisk or a stand mixer and a baker’s torch.

Even the most homey of the recipes are very special. Dorie’s favorite raisin swirl bread. Big spicy muffins from her stint as a baker in a famous New York City restaurant. French chocolate brownies (a Parisian pastry chef begged for the recipe). A dramatic black and white cake for a "“wow” occasion. Pierre Hermé’s extraordinary lemon tart.
The generous helpings of background information, abundant stories, and hundreds of professional hints set Baking apart as a one-of-a-kind cookbook. And as if all of this weren’t more than enough, Dorie has appended a fascinating minibook, A Dessertmaker’s Glossary, with more than 100 entries, from why using one’s fingers is often best, to how to buy the finest butter, to how the bundt pan got its name.

528 pages, Hardcover

First published January 1, 1980

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About the author

Dorie Greenspan

23 books192 followers
Called a culinary guru by the New York Times, Dorie Greenspan is the author of the James Beard Awardwinning Baking: From My Home to Yours, which inspired the creation of the online baking community Tuesdays with Dorie. She has been passionately involved with French food for the last three decades. With Pierre Herm, she wrote Desserts by Pierre Herm, winner of an IACP Cookbook of the Year Award, and Chocolate Desserts by Pierre Herm, winner of the Gourmand prize for best cookbook in the English language. Greenspan won both an IACP and a James Beard Award for her Baking with Julia. She is also the author of Paris Sweets and The Caf Boulud Cookbook (with Daniel Boulud). Inducted into the Whos Who of Food and Beverage in America, she is a contributing editor to Parade magazine, writes regularly for Bon Apptit, and is a frequent guest on NPRs All Things Considered and The Splendid Table. Greenspan lives in New York City, Westbrook, Connecticut, and Paris."

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5 stars
8,862 (52%)
4 stars
4,226 (25%)
3 stars
2,526 (15%)
2 stars
664 (3%)
1 star
493 (2%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 161 reviews
Profile Image for Ereck.
83 reviews
July 8, 2011
A million years ago, I promised Christine a review of Dorie Greenspan's Baking: From my home to yours. Actually, I just promised to explain what I like about it. Then, I decided I needed to write a review essay, then I made some notes, then this project-- blown out of proportion-- fell into the abyss.

So, now, let me declare quickly, simply, perhaps anecdotally, what I find so appealing about Dorie.

1) She's a great writer:
"She stopped next to me for a second, asked if I was new and said, 'How chic-- a thin pastry chef.'" [This line echoes through my mind from time to time.]
"I lost my job because of improvising on this cake, but I got to keep the recipe-- a trade-off I now consider ample."

2) She's a thoughtful crafter of recipes:
"Don't be tempted to increase the amount of walnuts in the topping--scarcity makes them even more delightful."
"Just keep in mind that the cookie layer is really a shortbread and, like all shortbread doughs, the less you work it once the flour is added, the more appealingly crumbly the texture will be."

3) Every recipe includes a sidebar with "Serving" and "Storing" blurbs. I find the latter to be tremendously helpful:
"Storing: These are best served within 2 days of baking. If you're going to keep them at room temperature, just cut what you need and keep the remainder wrapped tightly in plastic wrap. To freeze for up to 2 months, wrap the brownies airtight."

4) Many of the recipe's sidebars also include a section entitled "Playing Around." Greenspan is a serious baker and a serious teacher of baking, yet she fully embraces that play is integral to the kitchen and essential to building culinary knowledge. She offers a wonderful balance between the recipes of M Bittman or A Waters-- which can be too sparse, too flexible-- and recipes that are too rigidly fixed, too focused on preserving and reproducing the chef's product. Mind you, I find these two extremes appealing and useful, each in its own way. What I admire about Greenspan is her ability to stretch between these poles.

5) Audience, audience, audience or, summary of 1-4: she understands writing for an audience and does it brilliantly.

6) She's pleasantly idiosyncratic. She loves brownies and apples, and Baking includes a disproportionate number of recipes for each. I've read complaints about this, but it seems nice and human to me. A reminder that she has a particular perspective, a particular palate. Like most of us.

7) How chic-- a thin pastry chef!
Profile Image for Becky.
22 reviews3 followers
July 1, 2009
I got this book for Christmas- and it's fantastic! I've been baking with Dorie's recipes for about six months now, and she hasn't steered me wrong yet. It's a great baking book in that it is full of basics and how-to's, but also has it's fair share of beautiful, complex recipes. She has a knack for coming up with techniques that make difficult things shockingly simple. She's a talented author, writing Julia Child's Baking with Juila, among others. Plus, it has great photos. And I'm a sucker for photos.
Profile Image for Julia.
22 reviews10 followers
April 3, 2008
Amazing cookbook! I sold all my other baking cookbooks (Martha Stewarts was terrible) and this is my only one now. I love the recipes and the way she writes. If you are a fan of this group you should join our Tuesdays with Dorie blog group: www.tuesdayswithdorie.wordpress.com
Profile Image for Manik Sukoco.
251 reviews30 followers
January 1, 2016
This sub-genre is very personal in that it reflects the recipes that happen to have meant a lot to the authors over the years. It also covers a broad range of recipes, hitting virtually every major type of baking, including pastry (pies, tarts, shells), cookies (drop, roll, sheet), cakes, yeast breads, and quick breads (muffins, biscuits, scones, fruit and vegetable breads) and cooked sweets (puddings, flans, custards). In spite of this wide coverage, there is no concerted effort to touch every little corner of baking lore or professional genre. This sets it apart from `Baking With Julia' which made a point of bringing in experts in literally every baking discipline, including some of the more esoteric topics such as artisinal (natural yeast) bread baking and wedding cakes. It also sets it apart from the excellent books done by both baking teachers (Malgieri, Flo Braker, Rose Levy Beranbaum) and leading restaurant pastry chefs (`The Sweet Life' by Chanterelle pastry chef, Kate Zuckerman and `The Secrets of Baking' by Spago pastry chef, Sherry Yard) which delve deep into the whys and wherefores of baking techniques.
This is also not an elementary cooking manual. For that, we now have the superb `Martha Stewart's Baking Manual', a true amateur's introduction to all the basic equipment and techniques. That doesn't mean you need to be an experienced amateur to work with this book, but it helps. Like `Baking With Julia' before it, all of Miss Dorie's recipes are painstakingly thorough and well written, so you really don't need the sidebars on basic techniques which Greenspan does provide. Unlike other books such as Maida Heatter's (quick genuflection here) big books on cakes, this is not an encyclopedic collection. There is no flourless Hungarian nut cake; no crepes, pancakes, or waffles; no Tarte Tatin; and no gingerbread cookies or houses. On the other hand, there are plenty of major standards such as buttermilk biscuits, blueberry muffins, cheesecakes, scones, banana bread, chocolate cake, apple pie, and lemon meringue pie.
Looking at two of the most basic recipes in the book, buttermilk biscuits and pastry dough (pate frisee), I find Ms. Greenspan is a bit different from my usual recipes, but entirely on the side of the angels in her insisting on butter and cold, cold, cold technique. She even calls for more butter than I'm used to in my Susan Purdy standard. And, like Martha Stewart's authors, she does not add in a lot of extras such as egg, vinegar, or baking soda into the pastry dough. While I use the extras, I really like the emphasis on simple ingredients and skillful technique.
The superior writing may be enough added value, but Miss Dorie also adds really useful tips to each recipe, which I immediately put to use in a task I have in hand now. I was planning to make muffins, but muse Dorie accurately points out that practically all muffin (and biscuit and scone) baked goods are best when eaten the day they are baked! On the other hand, sweetbreads made with virtually the same ingredients as muffins are much more robust, until they are sliced. The perfect example of this is a comparison of buttermilk biscuits and Irish soda bread. Biscuits mutate into hockey pucks around 8 hours out of the oven, while uncut soda bread, especially if it includes raisins or other moist fruit, will comfortably hold its interest for a day or more. Slightly less useful, but not common in other books is Miss Dorie's serving suggestions, which make each entry a perfect starting point from which to build an afternoon tea or dessert menu. There is also a sidebar on many of the recipes labeled `Playing Around' that identifies methods for tweaking the recipes, to make them a bit different the next time you bake them. Some of these variations may show little difference in the end product, such as the difference between biscuits based on baking powder and biscuits based on buttermilk and baking soda. But, if you happen to be a buttermilk and baking soda traditionalist, its good to know some options.
If you are an inveterate cookbook collector, this one is a keeper, good for both baking and reading. If you are just starting out, this is probably even better than `Baking With Julia' as a collection of really useful recipes.
Highly recommended for its excellent recipes of standards.
Profile Image for Daisy .
1,113 reviews52 followers
October 1, 2011
I didn't know that Katharine Hepburn was well-known for her brownie recipe. In her tribute to the actress, Ms. Henderson wrote, "I'll always be grateful to Miss Hepburn for making me stick it out at Bryn Mawr and for giving me these rules to live by: 1. Never quit; 2. Be yourself; 3. Don't put too much flour in your brownies."

I was at first put off by the cover picture. I thought it was too fancy, meaning fussy recipes. Instead this is comprehensive and tempting, has pretty, helpful photographs. The recipes are both basic and challenging. I want to make many of the desserts in this book. Almost all of them, in fact. I'll update my review after I've baked something.

Ah, good "Pound Cake Pointers."

Luckily I'm going to buy this because my library copy has missing pages. I hate when that happens. What kind of library patrons would do such a thing?
Profile Image for Sibyl.
28 reviews
August 20, 2008
This is a cookbook you can read! I just made
her blueberry pie recipe and OH MY GOD the woman
is a muse of absolute pleasure.

This cookbook is almost a cooking class. There are pages
of her thoughts and intentions for each recipe and
she is a great advocate of enjoying the entire
process of crafting the deserts you choose to indulge in...as you read the short essays attached to each recipe, you realize how do-able this really is. I highly recommend finding a copy for your shelf.
Profile Image for Jennifer.
128 reviews16 followers
July 27, 2007
This is an amazing book. The quality of the recipes really stands out and the author's detail in explaining the process of baking is insightful and informative. The photographs are also astounding. I was not suprised to learn that she once worked with Julia Child. I consider this one of my best baking investments.
Profile Image for Mary.
119 reviews38 followers
January 24, 2008
This is such a handy book to have around--these recipes are great. So far, I've made:
-fruit tart
-linzer cookies
-honey nut brownies
-pie crusts (great essential recipe)
-fruit tarts
-lots more, this book is a monster!
Profile Image for Sarah.
56 reviews
November 12, 2007
The best cheesecake recipe ever! I've made over 1/2 of the recipes in the book, and they work! Don't subsitute ingredients though, Dorie gives plenty of substitution options for playing around. They're not low fat recipes, but these are standards that will always work. I highly recommend the cookie recipes as well. This is definitely a desserts baking book, it has some sugary breakfast foods, fantastic cookies and desserts, but no yeast breads.
Profile Image for Jennie.
299 reviews
February 23, 2008
I'd give this one six stars if I could. Haven't made a recipe from this one yet that hasn't been a success. The BEST cheesecake ever. Reworked the caramel pumpkin tart that is now my Thanksgiving mainstay.
Profile Image for Jessica Haider.
1,791 reviews241 followers
February 25, 2020
Excellent baking cookbook. I remember baking my way through this one when I was pregnant with my now 10 year old. :)
Profile Image for Nicole.
449 reviews29 followers
April 3, 2012
This is my absolute favorite cookbook in my rather extensive library. I LOVE to bake, and this is my baking Bible. The recipes are easy to follow and I enjoy reading the stories that go along with them - there's such a sense of history and it's nice to read the author's reasons for including certain recipes.

I haven't tried all of the recipes - far from it, but the ones that I've made have been SO good! There are so many options including creative variations on standard recipes, great pictures, suggestions for dressing recipes up or down according to your specific needs.

I highly recommend this cookbook to anyone who enjoys baking and likes to know more about the recipes than just the ingredients and steps.
Profile Image for Melody.
2,629 reviews258 followers
November 17, 2013
This is a huge book, filled with a ton of recipes. Lots and lots and lots of recipes, all of which I read. I noticed a pattern, as I read the ingredients- I'd be thinking, "Yes, this sounds good, mmhmmm, yep, yep, okay, what the hell? NO." And possibly if I'd made any of them, they would be delicious. But I'm not willing to try- of all the recipes in the book, I marked just 3 as possible, and have already identified changes I'd make before baking them! So I think that Greenspan and I are deeply incompatible in the kitchen and this book, while easy to understand, fun to read and lushly photographed, just isn't for me.
Profile Image for Rose.
8 reviews1 follower
February 17, 2008
Absolutely, hands down, one of the best baking books I've read. I have had it checked out of the library for about two months, begging and renewing the copy. It has lodged itself in my consciousness and is on my "I need to own" list.

Dorie Greenspan gives great instructions and is incredibly generous, sharing recipes I probably would have kept under wraps. Her recipes for Chocolate Malted Whopper Drops and Molasses Spice Cookies guided me through the holiday baking season and earned me some kudos.

Well worth a look-see. Try just about anything in here, it's bound to be really good.
Profile Image for Asta.
173 reviews7 followers
February 15, 2016
Dorie Greenspan's breadth of knowledge and skill at making it accessible to the everyday cook/baker is impressive.
This book works equally well for the novice and the experienced home baker. I know, because I used it to help a rookie friend hosting her first dinner party. Her Apple Kuchen cake was as fine as anything I could have produced and I've been baking for years.
Recipes are clear, well plotted, and full of helpful details.
This should be a foundation cookbook in any keen baker's collection.
Profile Image for Beth Cato.
Author 109 books536 followers
December 5, 2019
Well. I think I can say Dorie Greenspan is my new favorite cookbook author. Most cookbooks, I'm lucky if I can find a couple recipes of interest. In her cookbooks, I find bunches. I just recently borrowed her Around My French Table through Amazon Prime, and loved it so much I went out and bought a hardcover. You better believe I jumped on the chance to read this cookbook for free through Prime, too--and I found even more recipes of interest. Not only are her recipes appealing, but her tone is utterly approachable and friendly. I'll continue to seek out her books and try her recipes.
Profile Image for Jenny (Reading Envy).
3,876 reviews3,049 followers
March 14, 2010
I kept giving this as gifts and finally asked for it for Christmas. This could be every cook's general baking cookbook - Dorie creates infallible recipes (the perfect party cake is a great example) and all of these are crowd pleasers.
Profile Image for Laila.
1,285 reviews47 followers
March 3, 2008
Amazing, intelligent, unintimidating. Made the lemon poppy seed muffins and they were wonderful. Can't wait to try more recipes! I *must* own it.
Profile Image for Suzanne.
1,643 reviews36 followers
April 17, 2021
I bought this book because I became so enamored of the author’s work in a new book, BAKING WITH DORIE, that I received to review, and I could not wait for publication(!) Greenspan’s explanations, presentation of recipes and range make her books ideal home companions. I have already baked two recipes and they turned out wonderfully. I am a fan now, no question about it.
161 reviews13 followers
January 27, 2016
This is a heavy book - weighing about 4 lbs. - so not one I would use or read often. It is also pricey - tagged $53.95 on the copy I got at the library - so not likely to get to my shelves. It does have 472 pages of recipes as well as a 23 page glossary of terms.

Apart from that, it is a good basic+ baking book, with a good selection of recipes and good explanations.

I did not copy down ANY of the recipes included, though, that looked good enough to replace my own favourites. Some were a bit tempting, but I now go for more simple recipes. Also, many were higher in fat content than the ones I prefer - I use recipes with 1/4 cup oil or margarine per 12 muffins, not the double that or more in Dorie's recipes - and I don't generally substitute applesauce for fat that would reduce that level.

The comment inside the back cover states that Dorie 'bakes at home nearly every day'. Lucky her! I guess she has more people around to feed than I do. Many years ago, I worked for a food company in product promotion, in a branch office located in the warehouse - and I had a kitchen in my office so could bake often - and the guys in the warehouse always welcomed my baking!

228 reviews3 followers
May 20, 2019
I will be clear. I am not a baker. I struggle with the exact science of baking. I am a cook (IMHO a very good one) but that is more forgiving, less scientific - and I get to taste DURING cooking.

So how did I ever buy this book? First I bought AROUND MY FRENCH TABLEAround My French Table: More than 300 Recipes from My Home to Yours. While I cooked away in that book I also made her Orange Almond Tart which my son declared the best EVER. Dorie gave me the idea that I can bake. Yes it is a challenge and some of these recipes are more than a challenge. Now, this is my Baking Bible.

First up, Molasses Cookies - for guests. One who said molasses cookies were a Christmas tradition growing up and this was the best! (from Me!). And so now World Peace cookies are my Christmas tradition.

Bundt cakes - yes, that pan my mother gave me decades ago. She made them cool!

Dorie Greenspan is continuing to teach me how to bake. Her writing makes it all so interesting, her sidebars about storage are invaluable plus her suggestions give me the creativity I crave.

This book makes a great gift for someone who is a wanna be baker. ($$$) . Also, take a look at her other book. Not to mention www.tuesdayswithdorie.com

Profile Image for Dan Stern.
951 reviews7 followers
September 6, 2019
... this is a great cookbook to have. I bake a lot, and there is a fine range of "homey" and fancy recipes in this book. I actually pre-tested this by borrowing it from the library, and found there were enough recipes that I tried and liked or was planning to try that the purchase was definitely worth it for me. The recipes I have tried so far have been, at minimum, good, up to GREAT, and I am very fussy. Recipes are very clear, and I believe they would also be understandable to an inexperienced baker. I also enjoy the suggestions the author gives for "playing around" with the recipes. Bottom line, worth it to have on your bookshelf, even you have a big library of cookbooks already.
Profile Image for Natelle.
391 reviews1 follower
August 13, 2022
What exactly counts as reading a cookbook? I perused all the recipes to see which ones sounded good. My personal tastes preclude me noshing on anything with coffee, tea, or alcohol, but I found pretty much every other recipe tempting. I appreciated Dorie’s explanations of where she first encountered each recipe and tested tips for how to make each one turn out delicious. Looking forward to re-reading each one with ingredients and tools at hand. I might have to try a recipe a week for the next couple of years and then start over…
422 reviews7 followers
July 22, 2019
Have you seen Dorie Greenspan? She's tiny! And yet she has put together this incredible compendium of mouth-watering, amazing, sugar and butter laden desserts. Just looking at the photos has put 5 pounds on me. Must be good genes and a high metabolism.

The recipes in the book are clear, concise, well thought out, and from what I can tell, foolproof. The pictures make you want to eat the pages themselves. A marvelous book that I plan to use often.
Profile Image for jeanmarie.
63 reviews1 follower
September 27, 2020
Really enjoy this book. I bought it and love the variety. I like that she has a nice description, options for twists (‘playing around’), and straight forward directions.

I do wish there were weights.

So far I’ve made about ten recipes and they were all solid. The chocolate cupcakes were delicious. The chocolate muffins really were lightly sweet and not tooth-achingly sweet, and the blueberry pie was really nice. She includes helpful process tips/explanations and seems very approachable.
Profile Image for Rhonda Stephens.
106 reviews9 followers
February 7, 2023
I borrowed this book from the library because a family member wanted the recipe for the cake on the front cover. I have gone thru this book cover to cover about three times now and either I'm simply missing it or it's just not in here. Either way, I'm a little frustrated. There were some good recipes, but you know how it is when you have your heart set on something only to be disappointed.
September 6, 2017
The best brownies I have ever made! Easy to follow recipes and so many variations to choose from, whether it be muffins, Madeleines, cookies. Lots of recipes to choose from, highly recommended for any keen bakers out there.
608 reviews5 followers
May 6, 2019
Wonderfully written!

Yummy and fantastic recipes that everyone who loves baking can definitely enjoy. This book has everything from cakes, pastries and intriguing sauces that you will love trying out at home for your family and friends.
Profile Image for Sara.
329 reviews1 follower
May 9, 2019
Entertaining to read. Gorgeous pictures! I only made one recipe. The lemon cream tart. It should be called the lemon butter tart. I felt like I was eating a stick of butter in a tart shell. Oh well. It was due at the library so I couldn't try any others.
557 reviews1 follower
December 25, 2019
I have several of Dorie Greenspan’s Cookbooks,along with too many other cookbooks, but after sifting through numerous times, I think I am going to have to add another to my collection. There are so many standards and so many helpful hints. If you like to bake, I do recommend it.
Displaying 1 - 30 of 161 reviews

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