Rose’s Baking Basics: 100 Essential Recipes, With More Than 600 Step-By-Step Photos
By Rose Levy Beranbaum
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt; Hardcover; $35.00
Rose Levy Beranbaum has been crowned the queen of baking by Epicurious, and her 11th cookbook, Rose’s Baking Basics is her most comprehensive and accessible cookbook yet.
Rose embraces beginners in a way that her previous books did not, but advanced bakers are sure to come away with some new techniques to add to their repertoire.
The format of this book is a little different, and be sure to look for the following: Step-by-step photos of the recipes and techniques; logically written recipes with any necessary preparation featured right at the top; special tips for success and good-to-know information at the end of most recipes; and ounces are mostly eliminated and grams come before volume.
In addition to sweet classics such as Rose’s Chocolate Chip Cookies, Apple Pie with a Cream Cheese Crust, or Carrot Cake, Rose has several brand new savory recipes created for the book. Her Pizza Rosa dough is slightly chewy, crunchy, and flavorful, and her extraordinarily light Japanese Milk Bread is the anti-hero of breads: it has none of the hallmarks of traditionally complicated artisan breads, but still produces a delightfully complex flavor and texture profile that can hold its own against other breads.
Rose writes that this Japanese milk bread uniquely “captures the exact flavor of one of civilization’s most enticing aromas: baking bread.” Rose fell in love with this bread nearly thirty years ago on a trip to Japan, and she struggled for many years to recreate the exquisitely light and soft bread that she’d enjoyed. It wasn’t until she found a recipe on Vietnamese baker Linh Trang’s blog, Rice and Flour, and adapted it herself that she was able to achieve the bread’s signature springy crumb and characteristic sweetness.
As we approach Thanksgiving, Christmas and Hanukkah, these would be the perfect addition to any holiday gathering:
Scottish Shortbread Cookies: a buttery, traditional cookie that bakes low and slow, but can still be done in under an hour. The best part is that they keep for 3 months, stored in an airtight container at room temperature or frozen. Before the holiday season begins you can make a large batch, freeze them, and take out smaller portions to parties, or set them out in your own home, as needed. With a little (or a lot) of self control these could last you until the new year.
Gingerbread Folks: no winter season is complete without some gingerbread cookies. This classic cookie favorite can be cut into any shape and is the perfect baking project the whole family can help with. Decorate them with royal icing, candies, or anything else you have laying around during the holiday season (leftover Halloween candy?). Whether you hang them on the tree or they’re eaten right away, making gingerbread people is a great way to bring folks of all ages together during the holiday season.
Bourbon Balls: this no-bake (yes, it’s NO BAKE) cookie is perfect for all those bourbon lovers out there. The holidays can be stressful, but these little balls of chocolate and bourbon will help you get through to the new year. They’re best made ahead of time (1 day to 6 weeks) but only require 1.5-2.5 tablespoons of bourbon, which means you have the rest of the bottle on hand to drink when the family love is too much for even the bourbon balls to handle.
Pumpkin Pie: a silky, mellow dessert that has withstood the test of time, nothing closes a meal quite like a classic, homemade pumpkin pie. Rose’s secret is a fine layer of gingersnaps and ground pecans pressed into the flaky bottom crust, to absorb any excess liquid from the filling. Between, during, or after the holiday season, a good pumpkin pie is sure to satisfy even the pickiest of eaters.
Rose’s Baking Basics will make you fall in love with baking before one of the best times of the year to bake, the holiday season.
AUTHOR APPEARANCE: Rose Levy Beranbaum will be in Brooklyn on Thursday, November 8th at 7:30 pm for a “pie with authors” event at Four & Twenty Blackbirds, the cozy pie shop on Dean Street (634 Dean Street, (347)350-5110, birdsblack.com). There will be a lot of delicious pie to enjoy.