Beginners' Guide to Baking

Staff Picks

Beginners' Guide to Baking

Throw yourself into floury fun

As November stares us in the face, the holiday season looms.

And one of the joys of the holiday season are baked goods!

But before you go to your local bakery or buy a boxed mix from the store, try to make your own!

Often your goodies take slightly more work but yield exponentially more delicious results. Don't be scared! I'll hold your hand. Try these, listed in order of difficulty:

How to Cook Everything: Holiday Edition by Mark Bittman

I originally was going to recommend the original How to Cook Everything, but the holiday edtion is tailor-made for the holiday season. Though this cookbook is not *just* baked goods, Bittman's recipes are a great starting point for beginning bakers.

Joy The Baker Cookbook: 100 Simple and Comforting Recipes by Joy Wilson

I found Joy's recipes through the Interwebs: She has an amazing blog that is funny and inspiring. And her cookbook encapculates that in a book of 100 recipes are simple, beautiful and delicious!

The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook by Deb Perelman

Another amazing blogger who offers great recipes, sweet and savory. If you haven't already, run, don't walk, to her blog now! She is also similarly obsessed with sweets as I am. 

Baking: From My Home to Yours by Dorie Greenspan

Dorie is one of the goddesses of baking, so much so that she has spawned "Baking with Dorie" challenges with food bloggers everywhere. This book is a great introduction to Dorie's baking philosophy.

Ready for Dessert: My Best Recipes by David Lebovitz

David Lebovitz -- a chef who trained with Alice Waters's Chez Panisse -- wrote a great memoir a few years back about moving to Paris. It's a funny book interspersed with recipes. But we're not gonna talk about that now. (Or his great ice cream "cookbook.") Instead, try Ready for Dessert, a great compilation of his greatest hits in baking.