All the best books on baking and desserts. Claire Ptak, who set up and runs her own bakery-café in London, chooses her best books on cakes. The cook and author, David Lebovitz, chooses his best books on desserts. Both authors have spent part of their time working at Chez Panisse in Berkeley California, the restaurant founded in 1971 that pioneered the use of local produce in the State. Unsurprisingly, both share a choice in Chez Panisse Desserts by Lindsey Remolif Shere.
Among her other choices, Ptak chooses A Platter of figs and other recipes by David Tanis, the Art of fine baking by Paula Peck, Tartine by Elizabeth Prueitt and Chad Robertson and The Constance Spry Cookery Book by Constance Spry and Rosemary Hume.
Lebovitz chooses the Essence of Chocolate by John Scharffenberger and Robert Steinberg, Chocolate and the Art of Low-Fat Desserts by Alice Medrich, Good to the Grain by Kim Boyce and Baked by Matt Lewis and Renato Poliafito.
The UK's favourite baker, Mary Berry, also chooses her favourite cookbooks.
Every year Becky Krystal of the Washington Post and staff writer of “Voraciously”, a food column with a strong ‘how-to’ focus, chooses the best cookbooks of the year for us. In 2021, she’s focusing on books about baking, an activity she’s passionate about—and many of the rest of us have been doing more of in the past year or two.
The Handmade Loaf: The Book That Started a Baking Revolution
by Dan Lepard
Bread Matters: The State of Modern Bread and a Definitive Guide to Baking Your Own
by Andrew Whitley
English Bread and Yeast Cookery
by Elizabeth David
by Nathan Myhrvold and Francisco J. Migoya
The Staffordshire Oatcake: A History
by Pamela Sambrook
All you need to make bread is flour, water and salt. It’s knowledge, skill and time that turns those basic ingredients into the delicious staple we call bread. Chris Young, coordinator of the UK’s Real Bread Campaign and editor of True Loaf magazine, recommends the best books for baking bread—and explains why ‘real bread’ is the only bread we should be eating.
Claire Ptak, owner of the Violet Bakery in London and former pastry chef at Chez Panisse, recommends some of her own favourite cookbooks. [Since speaking to us in 2015, Claire Ptak has subsequently designed Harry and Meghan’s wedding cake]
Great desserts can be amazingly simple, and even low in fat. The pastry chef and author cooks up a mouth-watering reading list to bring your recipes up to date